Introduction to GA4
Google Analytics Webinar: Introduction to GA4
We’re pleased to share our July 19, 2023 Google Analytics webinar: Introduction to GA4
GA4 represents a significant change from Universal Analytics. During this webinar, we covered the following topics:
- Understanding the key differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics
- Navigating the GA4 dashboard to find the top-level information you need
- Exploring new features and innovations that can enhance your marketing efforts
- Custom event tracking: Tailoring data collection to your specific goals
- Reporting dashboards
Thank you to everyone who asked questions both before and during the webinar. Here are Q&As from the webinar as well as more information about some of the other topics we discussed.
Engagement Rate replaces Bounce Rate
During our webinar, Alexander explained why Google replaced Bounce Rate in Universal Analytics with Engagement Rate in GA4 and why this is an improvement. You can learn more about this in his blog post:
Engagement Rate vs Bounce Rate
What happened to ‘Unique Pageviews’ in GA4?
Google has removed the Unique Pageviews metric from GA4; in its place, we recommend using the Users metric to measure one-time traffic to your webpages.
In Universal Analytics, Unique Pageviews measured the number of sessions during which a specified webpage was viewed at least once. This means that repeated visits to a webpage during a session would only count as one unique pageview. (A session expires after 30min of inactivity.) The new Users metric gets around this problem by keeping track of website visitors from visit to visit:
|UA Metric||GA4 Metric||Description|
|Pageviews||Views||Measures the number of times a page was visited, including repeat visits.|
|Unique Pageviews||-||Measures the number of sessions during which the specified page was viewed at least once.|
|-||Users||Measures the number of distinct users who visited a webpage.|
If you, as a logged-in Google user, visit a webpage on a website twice during a session on a Monday and once during a session on a Wednesday, your activity that week would be measured as:
- 3 Pageviews/Views (once for each time I visited the webpage)
- 2 Unique Pageviews (once for each of my visits to the website that included a visit to that webpage)
- 1 User
GA4’s Users metric will show a lower value than Unique Pageviews did in Universal Analytics because it screens out more repeat page traffic, which also makes it in our opinion to be a more valuable metric for reporting.
Why doesn’t GA4 automatically track the age, gender, or interests of users?
Although GA4 is capable of tracking the age, gender, or interests of users, data collection for some demographic information is turned off by default. This is because greater data collection places greater responsibility on companies and organizations to guarantee user privacy.
After this, Google may apply data thresholds to your reports to prevent analysts from inferring the identity of individual users. This would affect all reports - not just the age, gender, or interests reports.
If you do not have a business need for tracking information about user age, gender, or interests, we recommend leaving these settings alone and not tracking this data. If any of you would like more information about tracking demographics data, please contact us and we can share more information and discuss.
Event Tracking & Conversions
What are events in GA4?
Events are specific actions or interactions that users perform on your website or app. These can include button clicks, video plays, form submissions, or any other user engagement. By tracking events, you can gain insights into how users interact with your digital property and use this data to optimize and improve the user experience.
What events are tracked automatically?
In GA4, several events are tracked automatically without the need for any additional setup including pageviews, scroll tracking, site search, video engagement (like play, pause, and completion), file downloads, and outbound link clicks. By default, GA4 captures these events to help you understand user behaviour on your website or app without requiring any custom setup.
What other events can be tracked in GA4?
You can also track custom events to gain more insights into user interactions. Custom events allow you to track specific actions or activities that are important for your business, such as button clicks, form interactions, form submissions, e-newsletter subscriptions, and event registrations, to name a few.
Setting up custom event tracking requires edits to your GA4 measurement code or your Google Tag Manager container. Contact Cubicle Fugitive to learn more and discuss a customized event tracking setup.
How do I track conversions?
Any tracked event can be measured as a conversion. These can be configured in GA4’s Admin settings, however we recommend that you speak with a digital marketer at Cubicle Fugitive to ensure you track the conversion actions important to you.
End of Universal Analytics
Can Universal Analytics and GA4 data be merged?
No, because the data collection methods are completely different. If you compare any recent Universal Analytics data with GA4 data, you’ll notice some discrepancies due to the different data collection models. Unfortunately, these two data sources are incompatible with each other.
How Can I Save Universal Analytics data?
Universal Analytics data can be saved on a report-by-report basis. In UA, you can export individual reports by clicking the Export button on the top right of any report page.
How long do I have?
Even though Universal Analytics is going away, you’ll still be able to review any data in your UA property for a while. Google has said that Universal Analytics data will still be accessible until July 1, 2024.
Google Demo Account
During the webinar, we used Google’s demo account to explore the different features of GA4. You too can access Google’s demo account: visit Google’s Demo Account help page to gain access.
For more tips on using the demo account, you can watch Google’s video: Demo Account in Google Analytics.
If you have any more questions about Google Analytics or would like help with any aspects of analytics tracking, reporting, or analysis, contact us and we’d be happy to set up a meeting to discuss your specific needs.