A fantastic tool you can use for your business is Google Analytics (GA). Currently, on GA4, the tool “collects both website and app data to better understand the customer journey.” While GA4 is helpful, it’s also challenging.
Before you can start using Google Analytics, learn more about what it is and how you can benefit from it in 2022.
What Is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a tool that helps you analyze your web traffic, understand your best-performing content pieces, and measure the conversion of actions taken by website visitors, including customers and prospects.
Moreover, it allows you to create audience segments for Google Ads that optimize your marketing campaigns. Currently, Google Analytics is being used by over 80% of the top 10,000 sites on the internet.
Benefits of Using Google Analytics
As mentioned, Google Analytics is very useful for your website and business. Its key benefits are:
- Improved Website Bounce Rate – Some people find your website but leave after just one single page view. This is the “bounce rate.”
- Optimize Your Website Ranking – Google Analytics can help you find the best keywords to ultimately rank higher on Google Search Engine results. This will lead to more web traffic and better conversions in your business.
- Get To Know Your Prospective Clients – GA allows you to turn on specific geographical locations which allow you to get to know your customers and prospects and create better marketing campaigns.
- Segment Your Visitors Effectively – You can segment your website visitors based on visit frequency, location, and other details to better understand what online activity brings you visitors.
- Set and Monitor Goals – Having information about your customers and prospects allows you to set and monitor marketing goals more efficiently.
- Provide Data Visualization – One of the great things about Google Analytics is that it allows you to visualize data you collect and analyze it into easy-to-understand graphs, charts, and spreadsheets.
- Identify the Ideal Platforms for Marketing – Google Analytics lets you know which social media platforms your customers are most active in and helps you discover the perfect channels to market your business.
If you’re a digital marketer, you absolutely have to use GA. However, the current state of Google Analytics can be confusing.
You may be wondering whether you should stick to Universal Analytics or start using the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
To help you make better sense of it, read on to find out the 7 things you should do with Google Analytics in 2022.
What You Should Do With Google Analytics in 2022
1) Use Both GA4 and Universal Analytics on Your Site
According to an announcement by Google, GA4 will be the only option starting on July 1, 2023. Formerly known as “App + Web”, this new platform introduces some new functions while still lagging behind Universal Analytics in several areas.
Since GA4 will be the only option for you by next year, it’s essential that you start using and understanding it now. Since Universal Analytics has several features not yet available on GA4, you may continue using it as well, but absolutely also need to get a head start on GA4.
2) Set Up Site Search Tracking in Both UA and GA4
If you aren’t yet using site search, start leveraging it right away. This website search bar provides you with valuable insights into what your prospects and customers are searching for.
Using this information, you can optimize your website layout, gain new ideas for what content to post, or add an FAQ page for your readers. However, you’ll only gain these insights when you track your site searches.
3) Create a Calculated Metric Like CPA or ROAS
Google Analytics doesn’t track everything but you can create additional custom metrics that capture certain data.
For example, if you use paid advertising to generate leads, you can track metrics like Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) or Return On Ad Spend (ROAS). Developing a calculated metric allows you to use both.
4) Create a Custom Report
Custom reports allow you to analyze your business more efficiently. They are different in Universal Analytics and GA4 but are useful for both. Regardless of which tool you use, or both, you should start creating custom reports to make the most of your data.
Here’s how to create custom reports on both platforms:
- How to Create Custom Reports in GA4 – Google Analytics 4 allows you to create “Explorations” on the Explore menu. This provides you with your own funnels, path explorations, or free-form reports. Another option is to sync your GA4 data with Google Data Studio to create your own free custom reports.
- How to Create Custom Reports in UA – Universal Analytics makes building custom reports easy. Simply use a default report and edit it to view the dimensions and metrics you want to prioritize.
5) Install Google Tag Manager
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is incredibly useful so if you’re not already using it, install it with your Google Analytics.
Do so by visiting tagmanager.google.com where you can create a free container code.
Then, place the container code you created in the backend of your website. You won’t need any further codes hard-coded into your website since you can use Google Tag Manager to push them all to your website.
Not only can Tag Manager clean up and streamline the tags hard-coded onto your site, but it can also unlock a wealth of additional Google Analytics tracking capabilities that you can’t do on your own.
Read on below for more information about event tracking!
6) Get Comfortable With Event Tracking in Both UA and GA4
Another useful tool to leverage with Google Analytics in 2022 is event tracking. Whether you use GA4 or Universal Analytics, you should be tracking events in both.
Here are some details on how to go about it:
- Event Tracking With Universal Analytics (UA) – In Universal Analytics, hit data is collected based on pageviews and sessions. That means that when a new page loads, UA will collect that data. Since all the events, including scrolls, button clicks, video plays, downloads, and more, that happens after the page loads, are not automatically tracked, you need to set up event tracking. To do so, use Google Tag Manager.
- Event Tracking With GA4 – In Google Analytics 4, all data, including page views, are collected as events. This may appear to make things easier for you. However, it’s not that straightforward. While external link clicks are automatically tracked by GA4, for example, internal links need to be set up manually. Once you create a new event in GA4, you have to register it as a custom dimension so the data appears in your reports. This is an important step so don’t miss it or you’ll be frustrated about not being able to see your data.
7) Build Custom Segments to Better Analyze Your Data
Last but not least, make sure to build custom segments to better analyze your data. They allow you to take all website visitors and divide them into subcategories to analyze them individually. Without these subgroups, it’ll be challenging for you to gain actionable insights.
Here are some tips on how to create custom segments in UA and GA4:
- Creating custom segments in UA –First, take an existing report with multiple segments. For example, go to the Channels report ( Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Channels), and then click the “+ Add Segment” button in the top right corner. Next, name your segment, then go to “Advanced” and then the “Conditions” button to specify your segment conditions (i.e. limiting users to specific ones like those that found your site through organic search). By choosing your conditions, you will be able to see a preview with them in place. Lastly, press “Save” to make the segment accessible in the future. Now start using the segment by analyzing specific time periods and comparing it to other segments.
- Creating custom segments in GA4 – To create segments in GA4, go to the “Explore” button on the left-hand navigation. Click the plus sign to create a new blank exploration. Next, select the variables you want to use, such as “Segments,” “Dimensions,” and “Metrics”. You can create user segments, session segments, and event segments. To create the same conditions as the UA segment, go to “create a custom segment.” Now, specify your conditions. Start by naming your segment, add an optional detailed description, then choose “OR” or “AND” before selecting your second condition. Just as in UA, GA4 will provide you with a preview and from there you can create further conditions if you like. Lastly, hit the “Save and Apply” button to save the segment.
Google Analytics is a helpful tool for many reasons. It allows you to track events on your website, get to know your customer, and make better decisions based on your findings.
Since GA4 will be the exclusive tool available starting in July of next year, it’s crucial that you get started on using it early on. If you haven’t been familiar with it so far, try out some of the tips and tricks lined out in this article to get started.
Ultimately, the more you use Google Analytics, the more you will get out of it to benefit your business.