Google Analytics 4 – Quick Notes & Introduction 

The new version of Google Analytics – Google Analytics 4 – has less pre-made reports and users are prompted to customise their own dashboards and use the search function.

You can literally ask questions, using the search bar. Which is fun.

Instead of pageviews and sessions, GA 4 is built around events.

Pre-configured reports are limited in GA 4. It’s a good idea to have Universal Analytics in addition to GA4

  • You can’t yet link GA 4 to Search Console
  • You can Can store raw data in BigQuery

when you install GA4 on your site, the reports don’t import data from GA universal – start from scratch – no historical data is passed over to GA4 when you install it on your site.

  • GA4 is Built Around Events.

Events:

You can track pageloads, elements clicked, product details, and loads more

Parameters:

Parameters are info that are sent to GA4 with the events. 

Eg. Pageview is sent to GA4 with URL of the page, page title and the referral details

Automatic Events:

First Visit – first time someone visits site (this even populates the new user report too)

Page View – same as normal pageviews

Session Start – new session after 30 mins of inactivity

User Engagement – starts whens someone on your site for at least 10 secs

Enhancement Measurement

GA4  automatically tracks:

Scrolls – 90% of a page

Outbound Clicks –

Site Search – search queries

Video Engagement – for embedded YouTube videos

File Downloads

To edit the Enhancement Measurement reports go to “Data Streams” in the Admin area:

Click on data stream and check to see that “Enhanced Measurement” is switched to the on position. If you click on the cog icon, you can then switch different measurements on and off.

They’ll be set to “on” by default.

There are advanced settings for pageviews and site search – just click “Show advanced settings”. 

Google provides a list of recommended events for all websites and apps, and then by industry.

Retail & eCommerce

Jobs, Education, Local Deals & Real Estate

Travel 

Games

Custom Events

Custom events allows you to name your events.

Google’s naming convention is probably best to copy – [action]_[object/item]

For example, if you create an event to track when people rate your website, call it:

Rate_item 

Instead of

Product-rate

Add parameters such as product, item_id and rating – so you know which product is rated and what rating the user gave it.

You’ll need to register the parameters as custom dimensions or metrics

To make a new event – in the left hand nav/side bar – click – 

Events – Create Event – Name the event

Enter the parameters to tell Google when to trigger the new event

E.g. page_location – contains – thank-you

Click “create” in top right corner.

You can create brand new events in Tag Manager – rather than basing them on existing events

Data Settings>Data Retention

By default GA4 only stores data for 2 months – in the Admin area, you can change this to 14 months.

Go to Admin>Data Settings>Data Retention and change it to 14 months on the drop down menu.

Brief Run Down of GA4 Reports (in the left hand side-menu)

Acquisition Reports – Where are visitors coming from?

Engagement Reports – What are visitors doing on your site?

Monetization – New term for eCommerce Reporting in GA 4

See what items people are buying and how much money their spending

Retention – Looks at new users/visitors and returning visitors. See what percentage of different cohorts come back to the site etc

Demographics – Where are people based and what type of people are coming to your site?

Tech – what computers, tablets and phones are people using?

EVENTS

Conversions – conversions can be customised. But typically include “Begin_checkout” and “purchase”

All Events – basically less important events – compared to conversions. Include clicks, scrolls etc.

EXPLORE

Analysis – There is a Template Gallery (top right of screen) 

You can look into funnels, acquisition etc and get cool reports

CONFIGURE 

Audiences – you can build different audiences by location, device etc and analyse them