Website analytics are online tools that allow you to track and monitor your website’s performance. They tell you how many people visit your website, how they find your website, and what they do once they are on your website. Google Analytics’ latest offering – GA4 – is one of the more popular (and free) ways to track your website’s performance and boasts privacy controls, predictive capabilities and direct integrations to media platforms to help drive visitors to your website.
The easiest way to keep track of your website metrics is by customizing your Reports Snapshot to include the following top-level metrics. While it may take some time up front to create this report, it will save you time overall. The upfront investment of time will allow you to easily track your website data so you can make evidence-based decisions about your business and what’s working and not working online. You can customize your reports in Reports > Reports Snapshot > Customize Report.
Users and New Users by Audience
GA4 breaks down your user data into two categories: users (those who have visited your site) and new users (those who have not previously visited your site). It’s important to track how many users visit your site monthly so you can see how your overall web traffic changes month to month, and better determine what content is driving (and retaining) site users. You can learn more about users and new users in User > User Attributes > Audiences.
Sessions by Sessions Default Channel Group
Sessions are a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time. A session is different than a user because one unique visitor can visit your website for multiple sessions. In GA4, sessions are broken out into channel group metrics – direct, referral, organic shopping, paid search, organic search, organic social, and more. The channel group tells you where your traffic originated from, which can be especially useful if your team is running social or digital advertising campaigns because you can track which campaigns are driving the most traffic to your website. You can learn more about sessions in Life Cycle > Acquisition > Traffic Acquisition.
Views by Page Title and Screen Class
In GA4, pageviews are called views but hold the same meaning – the total number of views per page. Each individual page view is counted even if a user views the same page more than once. The most effective way to understand views is through page title and screen class – which is the title of each page on your website. From the Reports Snapshot, you can easily see which pages on your website are being viewed the most and what type of content your key audience finds popular. It’s important to understand which content is resonating with your audience so you can improve user experience and increase user retention with relevant content. You can learn more about views in Life Cycle > Engagement > Pages and Screens.
Average Engagement Time
The average engagement time is the average amount of time a user is spending on a page. This is helpful to inform you if people are reading your content or navigating away from a page quickly – indicating a high bounce rate. The same rules apply – if you want to keep your users engaged on a page longer, consider adding more digital media to your posts or pages.
Users by Country and City
Depending on your business, understanding what country or city your user’s activity originated from can be helpful. If you are a global brand, it might make sense to see user activity in various countries worldwide. In contrast, if you’re a domestic, localized business and you’re seeing worldwide traffic – it could indicate spam. The same rules apply for cities on a smaller scale. You can learn more in User > User Attributes > View Countries or View Cities. For localized businesses, you can also create a storefront property in the Admin tab.
Users by Platform / Device Category and Operating System
The users by platform / device category metric can help you better understand the platform, device and operating system used to access your website. You can also use the users by device category metric to show you the same information in a percentage-based pie chart. Most website traffic is from a mobile device, so it’s important to make sure your website is mobile friendly. You can learn more in Users > Tech > Device Categories and Operating Systems.
If you need assistance with setting up GA4, integrating it into your website’s content management system (CMS) or want to learn more about what metrics your business should be tracking, contact us. Our team is here to help.