Grab a coffee and read our purpleblog

Tea works too. Or hot choco­late. Or even some­thing stronger! Our arti­cles are based on the most com­mon ques­tions we get from our clients, that’s why they are so inter­est­ing to read, and actu­al­ly utilise. You won’t notice how time flies!

How To Use Google Analytics to Level Up Your Marketing Efforts

How To Use Google Analytics to Level Up Your Marketing Efforts

Key Takeaways

  • Google Analytics 4 is Google’s latest version of its website performance tool, powered by artificial intelligence.
  • Make sure you export all your data from Universal Analytics to prevent data loss and start tracking before 23rd July 2023 to maximise its data pool.
  • GA4 allows for cross-platform tracking, providing even more detail about the actions users take before making a purchase.

As the dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing land­scape grows increas­ing­ly com­pet­i­tive, lots of busi­ness­es are turn­ing to ana­lyt­ics to under­stand their cus­tomers and cre­ate bet­ter expe­ri­ences for them. With more trans­ac­tions mov­ing online and busi­ness­es under mount­ing pres­sure to max­imise their mar­ket­ing bud­gets, insights from dig­i­tal ana­lyt­ics tools are even more critical.

It’s unde­ni­able that bet­ter ana­lyt­ics lead to bet­ter mar­ket­ing strate­gies. How­ev­er, amidst major shifts in con­sumer behav­iour and pri­va­cy poli­cies, cur­rent data ana­lyt­ics tools aren’t with­out their lim­i­ta­tions. And in the absence of reli­able ana­lyt­ics, busi­ness­es are unable to make sound decisions.

Enter Google Ana­lyt­ics 4 (GA4): Google’s new solu­tion to nav­i­gate these chal­lenges and under­stand cus­tomers’ com­plex, mul­ti-plat­form jour­neys across — all while pri­ori­tis­ing privacy.

Undoubt­ed­ly, GA4 grants you access to a pletho­ra of ana­lyt­ics, but how exact­ly do you lever­age them? Which reports and met­rics should you be pri­ori­tis­ing to boost traf­fic, engage­ment, and conversions?

If you want to lev­el up your mar­ket­ing efforts, keep read­ing! We’ll be look­ing at how to do that and more with Google Ana­lyt­ics’ lat­est ver­sion: GA4.

How Can Data Analytics Improve Your Marketing Strategy?

Assump­tions can be cost­ly, which is why ana­lyt­ics are their much more pow­er­ful coun­ter­part. They pro­vide a wealth of infor­ma­tion to help opti­mise your mar­ket­ing efforts in the most rel­e­vant way.

They also tell you more about your audi­ence, your site’s per­for­mance and how you can lever­age your most effec­tive efforts. In addi­tion, data analytics:

  • Inform deci­sion making
  • Guide strat­e­gy formulation
  • Track the progress and per­for­mance of your strategies
  • Reveal key areas of improve­ment to help opti­mise your mar­ket­ing efforts
  • Help you get a bet­ter return on invest­ment from your mar­ket­ing efforts over the long term.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Ana­lyt­ics (GA) is a pow­er­ful free tool by Google for analysing and mon­i­tor­ing impor­tant data relat­ed to your web­site’s per­for­mance and its users. The lat­est ver­sion of Google Ana­lyt­ics (GA4) is built around users and events and pre­dicts user behav­iour bet­ter than pre­vi­ous versions.

With greater flex­i­bil­i­ty and user pre­dic­tion capa­bil­i­ties, it’s all you need to gath­er enhanced insights.

7 Benefits of Google Analytics 4

GA4 is pow­ered by machine learn­ing to give you access to pow­er­ful pre­dic­tive insights, as well as a more com­pre­hen­sive under­stand­ing of your audi­ence across dif­fer­ent devices and plat­forms. The pri­va­cy-first design is made to keep up with indus­try changes so there are few­er gaps in your data.

Through pow­er­ful user-cen­tric met­rics and dimen­sions dri­ven by AI, GA4 pre­dicts cus­tomer actions and val­ue; and pro­vides a gold­mine of infor­ma­tion to max­imise your efforts. Unlike pre­vi­ous ver­sions of Google Ana­lyt­ics, GA4 offers:

1. A bet­ter way to track cus­tomers’ journeys

2. More rel­e­vant audi­ences for your ad campaigns

3. Enhance­ments to user engage­ment analysis

4. Eas­i­er Goals and Events Configuration

5. Intel­li­gent user pri­va­cy and track­ing capabilities

6. A wider range of parameters

7. Improved visu­al­i­sa­tions and reporting

4 Ways to Use Google Analytics to Level Up Your Marketing Efforts

To get start­ed, you’ll need to migrate to GA4 if you have an active Google Ana­lyt­ics account. As the old­er ver­sion of GA, or Uni­ver­sal Ana­lyt­ics, will offi­cial­ly stop work­ing on 1 July 2023, make the switch to GA4 now to get ahead.

If you don’t have a GA account, sign up for one and use the Google Tag man­ag­er to get started.

1. Get familiar with the interface

Let’s explore GA4’s inno­v­a­tive interface.

Search Bar

The search bar gives you access to instant answers to your queries, spe­cif­ic reports, insights, set­tings or help con­tent. For instance, you can search for “top users by loca­tion” or “sales by traf­fic source.”


The home page sum­maris­es web­site traf­fic, con­ver­sions, and rev­enue. It’s a quick way to check that every­thing is work­ing as expect­ed. The inter­face is intu­itive, mean­ing you’ll get to see more per­son­alised con­tent over time.

To your left is a nav­i­ga­tion pane con­tain­ing the fol­low­ing sections:

  • Home
  • Reports
  • Explo­ration
  • Adver­tis­ing
  • Con­fig­ure

The Overview card dis­plays the met­rics that are rel­e­vant to you. To your right is a nifty Real­time report sec­tion. As you pan down, you’ll see fre­quent­ly viewed pages. You’ll also see the Insights and Rec­om­men­da­tions section.

Here, GA4 pro­vides you with insights about anom­alies, emerg­ing trends, and any­thing else it deems insight­ful. It’ll also give you rec­om­men­da­tions based on your set­tings, his­tor­i­cal data, and trends across GA4. Last­ly, you can adjust the date range for your cards from the default 7 days to a time­frame of your choice.

2. Understand the Basic GA4 Reports

GA4 includes a cus­tomis­able Reports snap­shot report, a Real­time report and a set of col­lec­tions and top­ics which con­tain pre­de­fined reports. Let’s look at col­lec­tions first.

Lifecycle Collection

The life­cy­cle col­lec­tion breaks down user activ­i­ty at each stage of the cus­tomer jour­ney. The reports gen­er­at­ed include the following:

  • Acqui­si­tion — where your traf­fic comes from, how users get to your site and your traf­fic gen­er­a­tion efforts.
  • Engage­ment — mea­sures engage­ment across the web pages that users vis­it, as well as cer­tain events
  • Mon­eti­sa­tion — how much rev­enue you gen­er­ate from your website
  • Reten­tion — how often and how long cus­tomers engage with your web­site after their first visit

User collection

The user col­lec­tion helps you under­stand who uses your web­site. The col­lec­tion gen­er­ates the fol­low­ing reports:

  • Demo­graph­ics — groups your users by char­ac­ter­is­tics such as age, gen­der, loca­tion, lan­guage, and inter­ests (as deter­mined through online brows­ing and pur­chase activities)
  • Tech — shows you traf­fic by the tech­nol­o­gy your users use

3. Use reports to level up your marketing efforts

What can you track with GA4’s default reports? Well, a lot. And how can these insights help you lev­el up your mar­ket­ing efforts? Here’s how:

Track changes in real-time

How to access this fea­ture: click Reports > Real­time on the left nav­i­ga­tion panel.

Real­time helps you mon­i­tor activ­i­ty on your web­site in real-time up to the last 30 min­utes. The dimen­sions and met­rics fea­tured are all about how you acquire users. You can see how users first enter your con­ver­sion fun­nel and track their behav­iour once they’re in the funnel.

Real­time also allows you to mon­i­tor the imme­di­ate effect that new cam­paigns and site changes have on your traf­fic. For instance, you can check if a pro­mo­tion is dri­ving traf­fic to your web­site. You can also mon­i­tor how a par­tic­u­lar post on a social net­work is affect­ing your traffic.

If you’re run­ning mul­ti­ple cam­paigns and want to see how they stack up against each oth­er, you can apply com­par­isons to gen­er­ate this infor­ma­tion quickly.

Track your acquisitions

How to access this fea­ture: click Reports > Acqui­si­tion on the left nav­i­ga­tion panel.

GA4 organ­is­es acqui­si­tion infor­ma­tion into users, ses­sions, and events. Here are some key terms to get famil­iar with:

A user is some­one who inter­acts with your web­site. Each per­son who does this is count­ed as a sep­a­rate user. If a user leaves and comes back, GA4 still sees them as one user.

A ses­sion refers to the time between when a user access­es your web­site and when they leave. If a user com­pletes a spe­cif­ic action on your web­site and leaves — only to return the next day to com­plete anoth­er one, GA4 counts this as two sep­a­rate sessions.

An event allows you to mea­sure a dis­tinct user inter­ac­tion with­in a ses­sion. Actions such as adding some­thing to a shop­ping cart, load­ing a page or com­plet­ing a pur­chase are exam­ples of inter­ac­tions you can mea­sure using events.

GA4 auto­mat­i­cal­ly cre­ates sev­er­al actions and events. For those that aren’t auto­mat­i­cal­ly tracked, set-up is much eas­i­er and requires much less time to imple­ment than old­er ver­sions of GA.

The Acqui­si­tion overview sum­maris­es your acqui­si­tion data to show you where your traf­fic comes from. By iden­ti­fy­ing your most valu­able traf­fic medi­ums or sources, you can focus your mar­ket­ing efforts and adjust your bud­get accordingly.

Addi­tion­al­ly, inte­grat­ing this with your Google Ads account gen­er­ates sum­ma­ry cards that can fur­ther help you mea­sure the impact of spe­cif­ic mar­ket­ing campaigns.

To see how your traf­fic is chang­ing over time and to spot con­cern­ing trends, adjust the date range. You can see data from the last 7 to 90 days or even up to the last cal­en­dar year. What have you done dif­fer­ent­ly in a spe­cif­ic time peri­od? Has that result­ed in a pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive change to your traf­fic lev­els for that period?

Use the User acqui­si­tion top­ic to take a deep­er look at your traf­fic medi­ums (organ­ic search, social, refer­ral etc.) and the engage­ment lev­els for each. Where do your most engaged users come from? What are you doing on that spe­cif­ic medi­um to attract them? How can you repli­cate your approach across your oth­er mediums?

With access to engage­ment rates for each of your traf­fic medi­ums, you can gauge how effec­tive your traf­fic gen­er­a­tion efforts are.

Track engagement

How to access this fea­ture: click Reports > Engage­ment on the left nav­i­ga­tion panel.

Instead of bounce rate, you now have sev­er­al engage­ment met­rics to choose from. GA4’s engage­ment rate pro­vides valu­able insight into how users inter­act with your web­site rather than how often they leave.

A ses­sion is con­sid­ered engaged when a visitor

  • Active­ly uses your web­site for over 10 seconds
  • Views two or more pages
  • Trig­gers one or more con­ver­sion events

The Engage­ment top­ic helps you mea­sure user engage­ment by 1) the events and con­ver­sion events trig­gered by users and 2) the web pages users vis­it. You’re able to iden­ti­fy pages with the most engage­ment and under­stand user behav­iour through events.

You can gain a bet­ter under­stand­ing of your user expe­ri­ence and how to improve it. Plus, you can see if your con­tent is res­onat­ing with your audience.

The Engage­ment overview gives you a com­plete pic­ture of user engage­ment on your web­site by dis­play­ing a trend line for each met­ric you’re com­par­ing. To see met­rics for dif­fer­ent dimen­sions, e.g., mobile users or desk­top users vs all users, sim­ply add comparisons.

This helps you iden­ti­fy which dimen­sions dri­ve the high­est engage­ment lev­els, so you can tai­lor your efforts accord­ing­ly. For instance, low­er engage­ment for mobile users might sug­gest that your web­site isn’t mobile-friendly.

Valu­able engage­ment trends can also be iden­ti­fied by chang­ing date ranges. Are there any con­cern­ing spikes or dips? What site or con­tent updates may have led to these changes?

Analyse user stick­i­ness ratios to under­stand how you retain users over time. If your ratios are high, this sug­gests good engage­ment and user reten­tion. If they’re not look­ing good, it may sug­gest that you need to under­stand your audi­ence bet­ter and improve your nur­tur­ing strate­gies to retain more customers.

Detailed infor­ma­tion about events and con­ver­sions can be found under Events. By analysing these reports, you can see how users nav­i­gate your site and which spe­cif­ic events dri­ve or deter conversions.

By track­ing the typ­i­cal cus­tomer jour­ney through your site, you can spot what’s work­ing and what isn’t. You can iden­ti­fy which actions are caus­ing fric­tion and update them to cre­ate a more seam­less experience.

Pages and screens help you dis­cov­er your best-per­form­ing con­tent so you can opti­mise your con­tent strat­e­gy. This is incred­i­bly impor­tant for con­ver­sions, not to men­tion cru­cial for SEO. Once you’ve deter­mined your best-per­form­ing con­tent, make more of it and spread it across your chan­nels for even greater impact.

Track your revenue

How to access this fea­ture: click Reports > Mon­eti­sa­tion on the left nav­i­ga­tion panel.

To see the total rev­enue you gen­er­ate from pur­chas­es, sub­scrip­tions, and adver­tis­ing (if applic­a­ble), use the Mon­eti­sa­tion overview report. This pow­er­ful snap­shot helps you eval­u­ate your busi­ness per­for­mance. By mon­i­tor­ing rev­enue data over time, you’re bet­ter able to spot dynam­ics and trends — and adjust where necessary.

For a deep­er analy­sis of the rev­enue you gen­er­ate from sales on your web­site, the E‑commerce pur­chas­es report is available.

Track retention

How to access this fea­ture: click Reports > Reten­tion on the left nav­i­ga­tion panel.

The Reten­tion top­ic helps you under­stand how often and how long users engage with your web­site after their first vis­it. It also helps you deter­mine how valu­able users are based on the addi­tion­al rev­enue you gen­er­ate after their first visit.

Com­par­ing the num­ber of new vs return­ing users can alert you to qual­i­ty or con­tent issues. Hav­ing few or no return­ing vis­i­tors may indi­cate that your web­site isn’t meet­ing your audi­ence’s needs.

The User reten­tion by cohort graph shows you how well your site retains users by cohort. A cohort is a col­lec­tion of users who are grouped accord­ing to some cri­te­ria. A strong down­ward trend points to a reten­tion problem.

The User engage­ment by cohort graph shows the aver­age amount of time users spend engaged on your web­site after their first vis­it. An upward trend sug­gests that your efforts are pay­ing off and your audi­ence is get­ting more val­ue from your web­site over time.

The User engage­ment chart shows the aver­age engage­ment time of users who return with­in the first 42 days. The more engaged return­ing users are, the more val­ue they’re receiv­ing — and there’s a greater like­li­hood that they’ll con­tin­ue to make purchases.

The Life­time val­ue chart shows the aver­age rev­enue from new users over their first 120 days. This helps you deter­mine how valu­able users are to your busi­ness. You can track life­time val­ue for users across var­i­ous chan­nels and, with this infor­ma­tion, make well-informed chan­nel invest­ment decisions.

Track demographics

How to access this fea­ture: click User > Demo­graph­ics on the left nav­i­ga­tion panel.

The Demo­graph­ics top­ic helps you visu­alise data relat­ed to user age, gen­der, loca­tion, lan­guage, and inter­ests. Demo­graph­ics allow you to:

  • Seg­ment your audi­ence into groups of users with sim­i­lar characteristics
  • For­mu­late the right strategies
  • Tar­get seg­ments with rel­e­vant and engag­ing mar­ket­ing messages
  • Boost your con­ver­sions through a more per­son­alised and focused approach

Track Technology

How to access this fea­ture: click Users > Tech on the left nav­i­ga­tion panel

The Tech top­ic shows traf­fic based on the tech­nol­o­gy your audi­ence uses. Under­stand­ing how your users con­sume your con­tent allows you to opti­mise your web­site. You can track engage­ment lev­els across oper­at­ing sys­tems, browsers, and devices. This helps ensure that 1) your site is mobile-friend­ly and 2) that it has great func­tion­al­i­ty across dif­fer­ent browsers.

4. Leverage GA4 explorations for even deeper insight

How to access this fea­ture: Click Explore > Tem­plate gallery to enable this feature.

GA4 allows you to analyse your audi­ence through pow­er­ful audi­ence dis­cov­ery and com­par­i­son tools. These ‘explo­rations’ go beyond the stan­dard reports to help you uncov­er deep­er insights about cus­tomer behaviour.

Key tech­niques to focus on include:

Cohort exploration

This advanced tool allows you to explore the behav­iour and per­for­mance of groups shar­ing com­mon char­ac­ter­is­tics over a cer­tain peri­od. For exam­ple, you can group users accord­ing to ‘acqui­si­tion date’ and com­pare them using sev­er­al metrics.

User Lifetime

User life­time analy­sis allows you to analyse how users behave over the course of their life­time as cus­tomers. Dis­cov­er unique behav­iours and iden­ti­fy which efforts get you high-val­ue users.

Take advan­tage of GA4’s pre­dic­tive capa­bil­i­ties to deter­mine the pur­chase prob­a­bil­i­ty of cer­tain users and cam­paigns. You’ll know exact­ly how to man­age your spend­ing and, pos­si­bly, dis­cov­er lucra­tive user segments.

Funnel exploration

Fun­nel explo­ration helps you visu­alise the steps tak­en by users to com­plete an event. For exam­ple, you can analyse how prospects become buy­ers and then repeat buy­ers. You can see how they per­form at each step and opti­mise their jour­neys to boost conversions.

Segment overlap

GA4 takes the pow­er of seg­ments to a whole new lev­el. With the seg­ment over­lap fea­ture, you can com­pare up to 3 user seg­ments. This allows you to iden­ti­fy how these seg­ments relate to each oth­er. From there, you can iso­late new audi­ences based on more com­plex con­di­tions. You can then cre­ate new lucra­tive seg­ments to tar­get based on these findings.

User exploration

The user explo­ration fea­ture allows you to select spe­cif­ic groups of users and drill down on their indi­vid­ual user activ­i­ties. Armed with this infor­ma­tion, per­son­al­i­sa­tion is a breeze.

Path explo­ration

This tool allows you to explore user jour­neys through a tree graph. You can spot the following:

  • The top pages new users vis­it after land­ing on your home page.
  • Where users are get­ting stuck on their journeys
  • How cer­tain events affect sub­se­quent user actions

Final thoughts

AI-dri­ven and user-cen­tric, GA4 can be quite a learn­ing curve at first. But, once you get into the flow of things, you can delve into more advanced reports and explo­ration tech­niques. You’ll be able to gen­er­ate robust, action­able data and dis­cov­er a wealth of insights to pow­er your decision-making.

If you’re up for the chal­lenge, take advan­tage of GA4’s vast cus­tomi­sa­tion capa­bil­i­ties and unlock even more pow­er­ful insights to grow your business.

Free Consultation
Please let us know your project requirements, and we’ll get in touch as soon as we can.

    We are pleased to welcome you on the purpleplanet!
    To order the service package you’ve chosen, please fill in the form and we’ll get in touch with you soon.

      We are pleased to welcome you on the purpleplanet!
      To order the service package you’ve chosen, please fill in the form and we’ll get in touch with you soon.