Get to grips with the all-new GA4 thanks to our complete user’s guide
It’s been a long time coming, but Google Analytics (GA4) is finally here. Marketing agencies like ourselves have been busy working in the background to ensure that your analytics accounts are successfully migrated and pulling through all the necessary data – it’s been quite the task but we’ve done it!
Naturally, we’ve had quite a few of our customers get in touch with questions about the changes, and while some of you like to wait until your monthly report to check the stats, we appreciate there’s others who prefer to keep an eye on the data in between. That’s why we’ve put together this handy how-to guide all about using GA4…
Why is Universal Analytics changing to Google Analytics 4?
You know what they say, all good things must come to an end and the same can be said in the world of analytics. Innovative in its nature to push digital boundaries, Google has said goodnight to Universal Analytics (UA) and good morning to Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
The driving force behind its change is privacy and the move into an online world without cookies (not of the edible kind, that would be madness!). Operating across over 85% of the world’s websites and apps, Google is making artificial intelligence (AI) ever more present in its delivery of key data to users for an even more detailed insight into consumer behaviour.
When will Universal Analytics data be deleted?
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has replaced Universal Analytics (UA) which means that its properties (accounts) will stop processing new data as of 1st July 2023. Although you might notice that your UA account is still performing as usual, this will eventually stop in the coming weeks. However, you will still be able to access the existing and historical data up until 1st July 2024 before it completely disappears.
10 things you need to know about Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
We appreciate time is money, so we’ll try and keep things to the point by highlighting the biggest changes you can expect to see on the platform. Here’s 10 things you need to know about GA4:
1 – LAYOUT
Get used to change because GA4 has moved things around which means there’s not a like-for-like comparison in some areas. Here’s where you can now find the key data:
- Acquisition can now be found under Reports > Life cycle > Acquisition > Overview
- Audience can now be found under Reports > User > > user Attributes > Demographics
- Behaviour can now be found under Reports > Life cycle > Engagement > Overview
- Conversions can now be found under Reports > Life cycle > Engagement > Conversions
2 – COLLECTIONS
GA4 is divided into two main areas (known as ‘collections’) called Life cycle and User which can be viewed when accessing the Reports section. The new navigation layout on the left-hand side replaces the reporting tab you will have been used to in UA, which works in the following way:
- Life cycle includes reports that display data from user activity, such as acquisition, engagement, monetisation and retention
- User is in place to help you understand how people use your website and/or app platforms by collecting data based on Demographics and Tech
3 – USERS
Users in GA4 are now split into three types which are new users, total users and active users:
- New users are people who have interacted with your website for the first time
- Total users are the total number of unique visitors to your website who logged an event (this could be sending an enquiry, for example)
- Active users are those who are considered to have an engaged session on the website (these are people who have visited your site in the last 28 days)
4 – VIEWS
There’s been one small change here – where UA had pageviews, GA4 simply calls them views, but essentially, they are exactly the same thing. The main change to note is that GA no longer has unique pageviews, so there won’t be any data available for these going forward.
5 – EVENTS
GA4 has streamlined events and removed categories, actions and labels that were present in UA – these can either be auto created or manually created. It’s worth being aware here that it’s now harder to break down the event conversions which were previously tracked in UA.
6 – ENGAGEMENT
Session duration that was present in UA has now been changed to average engagement time and average engagement time per session in GA4.
7 – BOUNCE RATE
UA’s bounce rate has been removed in favour of engaged sessions in GA4. Engaged sessions are classed as those that are longer than 10 seconds, include an event or views with a minimum of two pages.
8 – CONVERSIONS
In UA, conversions were only counted per session, no matter how long that session was for or what events unfolded. This has been reviewed for GA4 where EVERY conversion is counted. Another point to note is that in GA4, goals are now measured as conversion events.
9 – ACQUISITION
In GA4, acquisition is separated into two categories which are user acquisition and traffic acquisition. These help to determine where website users come from and work in the following way:
- User acquisition provides data based on user engagement
- Traffic acquisition provides data based on session engagement
10 – IT’S FREE
All this information and data at your fingertips for FREE! By using it to determine the performance of your brand online, you are just one of almost 30 million website owners who are doing the same thing – so you’re in pretty good company!
How to use Google Analytics 4
We know what you’re thinking now – “How do I analyse customer data in GA4?” Let’s face it, the likelihood is that you’ll want to access some of the key topline data in respect to your business. To help you find the most relevant data, we’ve put together this quick-look beginners guide of how to use GA4…
Where to find device data
Click on Reports > User > Tech > Overview
This will then provide you with a fancy pie chart which breaks down which device your visitors are viewing the website through (mobile, desktop or tablet).
Where to find location data
Click on Reports > User > User Attributes > Demographic details
Here you can change the country to a specific region, city, language, age, gender, or even interests by clicking the Country dropdown.
Where to find referral traffic
Click on Reports > Life cycle > Acquisition > Traffic acquisition
In the top section is where you can find the traffic source – whether it’s Organic Search, Direct, Paid Search, Referral or categorised as Unassigned. Below that you can click on the dropdown titled Session default channel group and select Session source which will show where the traffic has come from – this is exactly the same as referrals in Universal Analytics.
Where to find events
Click on Reports > Life cycle > Engagement > Events
View the Event count by Event name and see the graph of activity over time. Here you’ll also see the Event (buy now button, enquire online button, form submission, etc) by Event count, Total users, Event count per user and Total revenue (if applicable).
Where to find conversions
Click on Reports > Life Cycle > Engagement > Conversions
View the Conversions by Event name and how they perform over time. You can also see the specific Event (infinity call, form submission, etc) Conversions, Total users and Total revenue (if applicable).
What if it says the property setup is not complete?
If you receive a notification to say the property setup is not complete when you login to GA4, there is no need to panic. For 67 Degrees customers reading this, we have set up each property (the website tracking on your account) to suit your needs.
Prompted by the Admin and Setup Assistant, the property notification is in place to ensure that users have successfully set up all the relevant integrations required, so that nothing is missed. It is simply a tick box system, but not all our clients require every element to be integrated, hence you will be notified. This doesn’t mean the property isn’t working or collecting data – it is.
How does Google Ads work with Google Analytics 4?
Another benefit of GA4 is the ability to build audiences directly into Google Ads. This means you can be much more efficient in the way your audiences are managed and created, by accessing them both in the same tool. If we’re already managing Google Ads for you as a 67 Degrees customer, then we’ll have this covered.
GA4 for 67 Degrees customers
If you’re a 67 Degrees customer then there’s no need to panic as we have already set up GA4 for ALL of our dealers. You’ll still be able to view your historical data in UA prior to the changeover, but any new data will only be accessible in the new GA4 platform.
As such, you can expect to receive an updated new-look report from us as of August 2023. Your individualised report provides a snapshot of GA4 data from the previous month – you can change the time frame for this in the top right corner if you wish. You’ll be able to access channel data, referral data, page data and more – and best of all, it’s entirely dynamic and responsive, which means you’re in control of what data you want to see.
Moving on from the initial snapshot page, you can get a first look at month-on-month (MoM) and year-on-year (YoY) which means you can compare website performance to gain a greater picture. If you benefit from additional marketing services from us such as paid social, PPC or blog content, then you’ll also be able to access individualised campaign data too.
We’ve aimed to make your GA4 reports easy to understand and digest, but of course, we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have – get in touch if you need us.
PS. If you want to know more about GA4 then take a look at our blogs including ‘An introduction to Google Analytics 4’ and ‘Google Analytics 4 – what our dealers need to know’.