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The most important metrics you should be tracking inside GA4 in 2023

11 Jul 2023 by Carol Wallace

You may or may not have heard about Google’s revamped web traffic analytics tool Google Analytics 4 (GA4) which tracks a host of different metrics that can be used to gauge how your business is performing online. It’s much more advanced than its predecessor (Google Analytics) capturing and processing more data to determine where your customers came from, how they landed on your site, and what action they took when they got there. 

What are the main differences between the old GA and new GA4?

When you create your new GA4 property, you’ll have access to a series of reports which are made up of ‘dimensions and metrics’.

  • Dimensions are the descriptive attributes of your data. For example, the dimension ‘City’ refers to the city from which a user is browsing your website. Another example of dimension is ‘Browser’, which tracks whether a user is browsing your website through Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.
  • Metrics are quantitative measurements, such as ‘Sessions’. A session starts every time a user enters your website and lasts until they exit your website, or remain inactive after 30 minutes. Other metrics include ‘Total Users,’Page views’, and ‘Bounce Rate’.

If you’re unfamiliar with Google Analytics you may not be sure what

What are the most important metrics to measure in GA4

  • Total Users: This measures the number of unique individuals visiting your website over a certain period that you choose. It calculates this number by tracking the unique user ID or cookies of each user. This is great for determining the reach and size of your website’s audience and monitoring this can help you track the growth or decline of your user base over time.
  • New Users: This tracks the number of first-time visitors to your website over a certain period of time that you choose. Again it tracks their unique ID and any Id’s that have not been previously recorded are considered new users. This is a great one to monitor as it shows the success of your marketing efforts and campaigns in attracting new visitors to your website
  • Active Users: These users are the number of engaged visitors who have completed an active and engaged session on your website site or app.
  • Pageviews: This counts the number of times specific pages are viewed by a visitor. Each time a page loads, Google Analytics 4 logs this as a new pageview and is great to help you understand the popularity of your website’s content. It can also provide insight into which pages are the most popular and learn how users navigate through your site. (Note: GA4 combines both app and web views unlike the old GA which tracked them separately).
  • Sessions: Record the length of time users spend on your website during a visit. The new GA4 also tracks engaged sessions, which consist of sessions with two or more pageviews or when a user spends more than 10 seconds viewing pages. Sessions are great for learning how much traffic and engagement you get on your website, and allows you to analyse what visitors are doing when they arrive on your site and how effective your content is in keeping them engaged.
  • Sessions Per User: This shows you how frequently users return to your website and is a strong indicator that you are attracting the right customers, who are engaged with your brand and content and return time and time again.
  • Acquisition Source: This identifies the different channels or sources that are driving traffic to your website like social media, organic search (Google) or direct traffic and helps you understand what channels are the most effective in reaching your audience.
  • Engagement Rate: This calculates the percentage of engaged sessions on your website. an engaged session is:
    • Lasts at least 10 seconds
    • Has at least 1 conversion event
    • Has at least 2 pageviews
  • Average Engagement Time: Measure the average time users spend actively engaging with your site.
  • Bounce Rate: This looks at the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page and are potentially not engaged with your content or haven’t found what they are looking for.
  • Conversions: This tracks the number of actions completed by visitors on your website. The type of action can vary based on your goals, like making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, or making an enquiry. In GA4, you set these as conversion events and are CRUCIAL for evaluating the effectiveness of your website and marketing efforts.
  • Revenue: This shows you the total monetary value generated from conversions on your website and is tracked by assigning a value to each conversion.
  • Events: Events capture specific actions on your website, such as button clicks or form submissions and are tracked by implementing a unique event tracking code on your website.

As highlighted in the list above, the most important metric to monitor are conversions that generate revenue for your business and events that capture specific actions you want your visitors to take.

Clicks, impressions, users, new users, engagements, sessions, bounce rate, click through rate, cost per click are all good metrics to see as they give an overall impression of how your marketing activities are performing, but they don’t show the return on investment your marketing is bringing or ROAS for your paid advertising.

Do you have your conversations and events set up? 

If the answer is no (then you’re definitely not alone, but…) you should implement them as soon as possible. CONVERSIONS are what matters here and your goals should be measurable against what brings in money to your business, be it sales, leads, bookings or enquiries.

Need help setting up goals or deciphering the data you already have?

If you’re struggling to set up Google Analytics (GA4) or track events and conversions on your website, get in touch and let’s chat through what you need.

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