What is Google Analytics for? Discover the main metrics and monitoring tool on the Web!

What is Google Analytics for? Discover the main metrics and monitoring tool on the Web!

What is Google Analytics for? Discover the main metrics and monitoring tools on the Web!

      1. You’ve probably heard of it, but do you know what Google Analytics 4 or GA4 is for? This article will teach you about one of the leading digital marketing tools!
      2. All the time, we are being measured and evaluated. I don’t know if you’ve already had the opportunity to watch the first episode of the third season of the much talked about series “Black Mirror” on Netflix: “Nosedive” takes place in a not-so-distant and not-so-dystopian future, in which Lacie (Bryce Dallas Howard) lives in a society where an app rates people, and she is obsessed with good reviews.
      3. I won’t give away too many spoilers, but several events occur during the episode, dropping the girl’s rating. Consequently, she becomes increasingly frustrated and disliked by the other characters. In addition to the plots and metaphors of the series, the crucial point to note is the increasing use of metrics to measure our popularity, transforming us into mere extensions of websites and applications.
    1. Ratings and comments can be found on urban mobility apps, delivery apps, hotel booking sites and other digital tools. Although some aspects can and should be questioned, using ratings and comments was how millions of people coexist and enjoy products and services online, defining the success of websites and applications.

Okay, but what is Google Analytics for in digital marketing, anyway?

    1. Google Analytics is the completely free Web Analytics tool available, and it is a platform that collects digital data and provides preventative guidance for brands and companies, helping professionals make decisions related to the visibility and consumption of content on websites, hot sites, blogs and others. With Google Analytics, you can analyze metrics and monitor website performance.
  1. In the digital world, metrics can be defined as the quantification of a specific ACTION, such as:
        1. Website traffic (how many visitors it receives daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annually and annually);
      1. The number of clicks;
      2. The average lead conversion value.
    1. At this point, it is essential to highlight that metrics cannot just be read; they must be interpreted to reveal your consumer’s behaviours.

In addition to knowing what Google Analytics is for, it is essential to understand how it works.

  1. Before delving deeper into Google Analytics and its new version, Google Analytics 4, it is essential to know the main metrics that were adopted in Universal Analytics, which are:
        1. Session: is the total number of website visitors in a given period. When discussing Google Analytics, time without browsing is considered a “session drop”.
        2. Users (unique visitors): Refers to the number of people accessing the website in a given period. This count is based on the user’s IP address, making it possible to identify how many different people visited the website, even if the same user has created multiple accesses, counting only once in the “users” metric.
        3. Bounce rate: Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website via the same landing page. Quick exits can indicate problems, while exits after a considerable time are favourable. A low rate suggests relevant content and engagement; a high rate may point out issues in user experience.
      1. Pages per visit: one of the most straightforward Google Analytics metrics is the average number of page visitors on a website. An intuitive and responsive design is crucial to encourage users to browse more pages, creating a fluid trajectory and increasing information consumption. A standard layout, such as menu, submenu and form, contributes to a better user experience.
    1. Average session duration: As mentioned previously, regarding the bounce rate, the average session duration corresponds to the time a visitor spends on your website. It needs to be analyzed carefully and also consider other metrics.


GA4 overview and its main features:

      1. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the next generation of Google’s analytics platform, bringing with it several advanced features and significant changes over the previous version, Universal Analytics (UA).
      2. In 2020, 15 years after the launch of Universal Analytics, Google decided to launch its new Web Analytics platform, Google Analytics 4. As of July 2023, it has become the default website monitoring software, causing its predecessor to be shut down permanently. This way, with the new tool, it is possible to access metrics better related to the current scenario we are experiencing in digital marketing.
      3. What are the differences between GA4 and the previous version (Universal Analytics)?
      4. One of the main differences is the data model. Google Analytics 4 uses an event-driven model, tracking user interactions, giving you more flexibility to monitor various activities. Meanwhile, Universal Analytics had a model centred on page views — known as pageview.
      5. Another critical difference is the ability of Google Analytics 4 to support tracking across the web and mobile (apps). It can track data from both websites and mobile applications, all in the same property, providing a more comprehensive view of user behaviour to the detriment of UA since it was necessary to use separate properties to perform tracking on different platforms.
      6. Reasons to adopt GA4 on your website or app:
      7. By embracing Google Analytics 4, you benefit from the advantages of a more advanced data model, offering a complete view of user behaviour across different platforms. Additionally, GA4 integrates with machine learning, providing predictive insights and more accurate attribution. Further, it can be combined with other Google tools, such as Google Ads and Google Search Console.
    1. These improvements can help you improve your marketing strategies and make more informed decisions to optimize the user experience.

GA4 Configuration and Implementation:

      1. Now that you’ve had a preview of what Google Analytics 4 is, its main difference from the old Google version and why you should adopt this new system on your web platforms or applications. The time has come to understand how implementing this critical tool for your business works.
    1. How do you create a property in GA4?
  1. Just as it worked in Universal Analytics, in Google Analytics 4, it is necessary to develop a property to start using the platform. See the steps below:
        1. Go to Google Analytics and log in to your account.
        2. Click “Administrator” in the left sidebar.
        3. On the “Admin” page, click “Create property”.
        4. On the “Create property” page, select GA4 as the property type.
        5. Provide a name for your property and choose the time zone and currency.
        6. Select the relevant option and provide the URL if you have an existing website or app.
      1. If you don’t have an existing website or app, select the “Create a website or app later” option.
      2. Click “Create”.
      3. Once you’ve created your GA4 property, you must add a tracking code to your website or app. You can do this manually or using Google Tag Manager.
      4. Implementation methods, including tracking code and GTM (Google Tag Manager):
      5. There are two main ways to implement Google Analytics 4: tracking code or Google Tag Manager (GTM). GA4 tracking code is a small snippet of code you add to your website or app. The tracking code collects data about user behaviour on your website or app and sends it to the metrics platform.
      6. Now, Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows you to manage your website or application tags in one place. GTM can add a GA4 tracking code to your website or app. Therefore, your method to implement GA4 depends on your needs and preferences.
      7. Setting up custom events and conversions in GA4:
      8. As previously mentioned, Google Analytics 4 has several new tools that help optimize your website’s data analysis, including configuring personalized events and transformations.
    1. In this logic, custom events allow you to track specific actions on your website or app, such as button clicks, form submissions, and video views. Custom conversions will enable you to track activities essential to your business, such as purchases, newsletter signups, and app downloads.Google Analytics


    1. Once you create an event or custom conversion in Google Analytics 4, you must add the tracking code!

GA4 Key Features and Metrics:

    1. Like its old version, Google Analytics 4 has essential features and metrics for complete analysis, so it has some similar features to UA but with some differences. Read more below.
  1. Understanding key GA4 metrics such as events, active users, and sessions:
        1. Events: Events are one of the most critical metrics in GA4. Events are specific actions on your website or app, such as button clicks and pop-ups, form submissions and video views, etc. With them, you can better understand how people interact with your content.
      1. Active users: Active users for Google Analytics 4 are those who performed at least one action or event during the analyzed period, such as a session or page view. This metric is essential for evaluating the reach of your audience and quantifying user engagement within a given time frame. By monitoring active users, you can understand your audience’s level of interest and engagement with your content and identify trends over time.
      2. Sessions: In GA4, sessions are more flexible, using “end of session events” to determine termination. This allows a session in GA4 to contain multiple user activities, which is terminated when an end-of-session event is triggered. Unlike UA, where a session was released after 30 minutes of user inactivity or at midnight
      3. Explore features like funnels, audience segmentation and cohort analysis.
      4. GA4 offers a variety of features that you can use to gain a better understanding of user behaviour on your website or app. These features include:
      5. Funnels allow you to visualize users’ paths when interacting with your website or app. This helps you understand the conversion flow and identify exit points or bottlenecks preventing users from completing the conversion.
      6. Now, audience segmentation within Google Analytics 4 allows you to target your users based on various criteria such as age, gender, location, and behaviour. It helps you better understand different user groups and personalize marketing strategies.
      7. Cohort analysis applied to GA4 allows you to monitor the behaviour of groups of users who share a common characteristic. Cohorts are groups of users who initiated a specific action within a particular period.
      8. How important is machine learning in GA4, and how can it benefit analytics?
    1. Machine learning in Google Analytics 4 is essential as this technology allows the system to automate analysis and provide predictive insights, identifying trends and patterns hidden in data. Therefore, it is possible to obtain a deeper understanding of user behaviour and improve the efficiency of marketing campaigns, personalizing them according to the audience’s preferences and interests.

Integration with other Google products:

      1. As stated at the beginning, one of the significant advantages of GA4 is its ability to integrate with the most essential Google products regarding traffic within websites and the data generated.
      2. How does GA4 integrate with Google Ads, Google Search Console and other tools?
      3. GA4 integrates with Google Ads, Google Search Console, and other devices in several ways. The most common integration is through the events above and tags. Google Analytics 4 integration with other tools allows you to access data from multiple sources in one place.
      4. Its integration with Google Ads makes tracking conversions from clicks on ads possible. And with Search Console, you can find out how your website performs in Google search results.
      5. How to use GA4 for marketing campaign optimization and website performance analysis?
    1. With GA4, it is possible to analyze the performance of marketing campaigns in a more detailed and personalized way. Insights into custom events, goals, and conversions help you measure your initiatives’ success and identify improvement opportunities. Furthermore, analyzing website performance allows you to understand how users interact with content, enabling you to optimize the user experience and increase conversion rates.

User Engagement Analysis:

      1. Tracking user engagement is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. By monitoring user engagement, you can understand how your website or app visitors interact with your content and identify areas where you can improve the user experience. The most important way when using Google Analytics 4 is to use the data obtained in your reports.
      2. You track user engagement events such as page views, clicks, and interactions.
      3. GA4 metrics must be monitored frequently: generally, reports are extracted and checked monthly, but some companies check fortnightly, weekly and or even daily, in the case of e-commerce with virtual stores that operate 100% online.
      4. How do we identify user behavioural patterns through analytics in GA4?
    1. Once you start collecting data, you can use GA4 to identify user behavioural patterns and visualize the data in various ways, such as graphs, tables, and reports. So, marketing campaigns can improve the user experience.

Conversion Funnel Analysis:

      1. Google Analytics 4 Conversion Funnels is a powerful tool to help you understand how your website or app visitors move through your conversion process.
      2. How do you set up and analyze conversion funnels in GA4?
      3. To configure GA4 conversion funnels, you must follow these steps: Account access > click on “Administrator”> choose the property > In “Property Settings” click on “Data Settings”> Then on “Conversion Funnels” conversion”> create conversion funnel.
      4. After that, provide the conversion funnel name, conversion funnel type, and conversion funnel steps. And that’s it, press “create”!
      5. By analyzing data from your conversion funnel, you can identify areas where you can improve the experience and increase conversions. For example, if you notice many users abandoning your site in the second conversion funnel stage, you may want to change the page content or add new features.
      6. Funnel optimization to improve conversion rate and identify pain points:
      7. Once you’ve set up and analyzed a GA4 conversion funnel, you can start optimizing the funnel to improve the conversion rate and identify pain points. In this scenario, look at your conversion funnel data to identify issues where users are abandoning or not taking desired actions.
    1. Then, when you place pain points, you can test different variations of the funnel to see if you can improve the conversion rate. How to test different page layouts and different content. By optimizing your funnel, you can improve your conversion rate and increase conversions.

Audience Analysis and Segmentation:

      1. With Audience and Segmentation analysis in GA4, we can better understand common user groups and their actions within the platforms.
      2. Using advanced segmentation in GA4 to better understand different user groups:
      3. Segmentation in Google Analytics 4 is a powerful tool for understanding diverse user groups and their actions. It is feasible to carry out this segmentation using specific criteria, such as traffic source, geographic location, user behaviour, etc.
      4. Learn how to create custom audiences for remarketing and re-engagement campaigns:
    1. Custom audiences for remarketing and re-engagement campaigns allow you to target users who have already interacted with your website or app. For example, you can create a tailored audience for users who visited a specific page on your website or added a product to their shopping cart but still need to check out. Or even for individuals who signed up for your newsletter.

Privacy and Compliance in GA4:

      1. Understand GA4’s privacy and compliance practices:
      2. Google Analytics 4 is designed to comply with the latest privacy laws, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). It also offers a variety of features to help users protect their user data, such as the ability to turn off cookie tracking.
      3. Use of resources to ensure the protection of user data:
    1. To protect user data on GA4, it is essential to utilize the privacy and compliance features offered by the platform. In addition to anonymizing IP addresses, you can configure the data retention duration to delete information after a specified period automatically.

Custom Reports and Dashboards:

      1. How do you create custom reports in GA4 to meet specific company needs?
      2. GA4 offers a variety of features to create custom reports and dashboards to meet your company’s particular needs. Owners can create custom reports to track various metrics, including website visits, conversions, and demographics. Users can also create dashboards to visualize data from different sources in a single location.
      3. Building dashboards to monitor essential metrics efficiently:
      4. Fundamentally, dashboards are panels made within the GA4 platform where you can view the most pertinent information about your company’s website or application. Therefore, within Google Analytics 4, you can precisely define the metrics and numbers on your property’s home screen.
    1. Those responsible must know how to interpret at least the basics when they receive the reports, which can be extracted into PDF and sent by email.

Best Practices and Advanced Tips:

  1. Tips to optimize GA4 performance and gain more valuable insights:
        1. Configure GA4 to track the metrics most important to your company;
        2. Create custom reports to follow the performance of different campaigns and initiatives;
      1. Use dashboards to visualize data from other sources in a single location;
    1. Experiment with different settings and parameters to find what works best for your business;
  2. Examples of advanced GA4 use cases across various industries and scenarios:
        1. E-commerce using funnels to optimize the purchasing process;
        2. A media company analyzing cohorts to understand audience retention;
      1. A mobile app using segmentations to target marketing campaigns;
      2. A news site tracking engagement events to improve user experience
      3. Did you better understand how Google Analytics 4 works?
      4. After exploring Google Analytics 4 in detail, it is clear that this is an essential tool for digital marketing and web performance analysis. GA4 is the new generation of Google Analytics, bringing numerous advantages and advanced features compared to its previous version, Universal Analytics.
    1. Therefore, Google Analytics 4 is an indispensable tool for companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategies, providing valuable insights to optimize the user experience, increase conversions and achieve better results. Thus, its advanced analysis capabilities and integration with other Google tools make GA4 a key player in contemporary digital marketing!
  3. You may also be interested in:
        1. How does digital marketing on social media work?
      1. Why hire a digital marketing agency?
    1. Why invest in e-commerce for my business?


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