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Google Analytics GA4 updates

Tom

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Google Analytics has been given a makeover with GA4 and you will soon be forced to admire it. As a reminder, by the end of 2023, incoming data from Universal Analytics properties will no longer be processed at all. However, major changes are to be noted in the new version of the web analytics tool, including an increase in cross-device events, AI or the possibility to create new reports. In order to make it easier to get used to the tool, here are some new terms to use from now on.

User Engagement

This metric displays how long your page is active or running in the foreground. This lets you know when the user is directly viewing your website or mobile application.

Churn probability

The churn probability predicts the probability that a user who was recently active in the last seven days on your website or application will not be active in the next seven days. This allows you to focus on users who are likely to increase the growth of your business. A likely way for Google to monetize this audience is through Google Ads or a retargeting campaign.

Lifecycle

The lifecycle is a new report section in GA4. It allows a better understanding of the customer journey. It offers reports on user acquisition, engagement, monetization and retention.

DebugView

Debugview eliminates the need to wait hours for data to arrive in standard reports. DebugView allows you to easily debug new implementation changes in the reporting interface without having to wait for data to be processed in the reports.

DebugView allows you to keep an eye on events from a device or browser for which you have set up debugging. This is useful to see how GA4 receives your configurations. DebugView thus allows you to monitor your events in real time, as well as the custom settings and user properties you have defined.

User lifetime

The “user lifetime” allows you to analyze the behavior of users during the time they have been customers of your site or application. This is useful to display for example high potential users in your active campaigns. Note that two methods are used to identify users and create reports: with User-ID, then by device or with device only.

Automatically collected events

With GA4, there is no need for developers to implement tags to track automatically collected events. These are already set up. Among them: page views, first visit, clicks to outbound links, certain types of searches on the internal search engine, interaction with embedded Youtube videos compatible with the JavaScript API, or file downloads. “The event-based model is closer to real user behavior,” explains Maurice Largeron, Google Analytics trainer. “The interactions collected are natively based on his lifecycle.”

Recommended events

If an interaction you’re interested in tracking doesn’t exist in the automatically collected events, you can go through the recommended events. This is where you’ll find e-commerce-related attributes, such as add to cart, checkout or delivery. Google also offers events related to virtual currencies for example.

Custom events

If your event is not mentioned in the automatically collected and recommended events, you can opt for custom events. Unlike recommended events, custom events require setting up their own event names.

Explorations

GA4 reports take more account of the customer lifecycle. For example, it’s easier to see which preferred channels to position yourself on for best results. Reflecting this, “Explorations”, replacing Analysis Hub, is a set of techniques that allows you to create customized reports. With a search engine on dimensions, statistics and events, it helps analysts cross-reference variables. For example, you can create visualizations for cohorts, paths, funnels or segments.

Measure ID

The Measure ID, which replaces the Tracking ID, identifies the data stream coming from your site or application. The measure ID appears as G-XXXXXXX.

Monetization

The monetization report includes the ability to see the revenue generated by articles, ads and subscriptions on the website and app. “It focuses on the revenue of mobile applications and websites that monetize their audiences with advertisers using banner ads,” says Maurice Largeron.

Probability of purchase

AI allows the user to program GA4 to receive alerts when certain trends are discovered. Machine learning should help to bring up these data. A help for example to better prepare your stocks. Among the predictive statistics, there is the probability of purchase. It automatically predicts the possibility that users of your site or application will buy in the next seven days.

Engagement rate

The engagement rate takes the indicator of sessions with engagement. These include sessions that lasted at least 10 seconds, had at least one conversion event or had at least two page or screen views.

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The engagement rate is more precise and accurate than the bounce rate. Remember that a bounce rate is a session that triggers only one request to the analytics server. With the bounce rate, a user who has consulted a page of a site for 20 minutes and has left directly is counted with a 100% bounce and a time spent on the page of 0 seconds.Marketers say this update has been a long time coming, but is still a few updates short.

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