One of the main benefits of Google Analytics is its ability to track vital website data and produce reports detailing performance. However, pulling up and deciphering these reports in GA4 can be cumbersome, even for experienced users.
This post will show you some different report types in GA4 and techniques that will help you quickly conquer them and get the information you need.
Standard Reports in Google Analytics 4
Once you’ve verified that your tracking is in order and data flows into your property, GA4 reporting capacities can be used to analyze and understand the data.
Standard Reports are a great way to start, and they offer a more visually appealing overview of your data than the GA.
These are the main blocks of reports:
The Acquisition report covers user acquisition channels, and the Engagement report shows user engagement.
Monetization is an exciting report for eCommerce businesses since it shows financial performance more segmented way. For example, you can see how different products perform compared to each other in the eCommerce purchases report, and you can spot trends more easily by looking at the graphs.
Another fact to point out about standard reports is the absence of sampling. The GA4 eliminates sampling from standard reports to enhance data quality and strengthen conclusions.
Implementation of secondary dimensions and segments is one of the things that helps highlight key insights and push them to the front. The problem is when we apply secondary dimensions and segments, we increase the chance of making conclusions based on incomplete data.
GA4 eliminates this issue by allowing you to choose secondary dimensions, apply your audiences, and create a comparison segment right in the report UI. This is applied in all the other reports, too.
The absence of the bounce rate metric is something you will notice immediately if you haven’t done so already. Bounce rate is removed from the scene (you won’t see it in any of the reports) and replaced with other engagement metrics.
Bounce rates were used to determine how many sessions had a certain level of interaction with the content on the website. As the name implies, engagement rate is the inverse of bounce rate, which means that if you wanted a target bounce rate of 70%, your intended engagement rate value would be 30%.
However, the idea of engagement is not precisely simple as engagement metrics bring the concept of interactivity onto a whole new level.
A session will be considered “engaged” if a user accomplishes at least one of the following:
- Engage with your website or app in the foreground for at least 10 seconds
- Fire a conversion event
- Fire at least 2 screens or pageviews
If you’re new to the GA4 craze and need a walk-through, head over to this blog page to get you acquainted with this powerful data toolset.
You may wonder what other possibilities are available for data exploration, analysis, and additional insights after seeing the Standard Reports and their initial outputs.
Exploration comes into the picture with versatile visualization and data segmentation options that provide an improved experience compared to the previous GA version.
Let’s see what types of reports are available in Explorations.
Google Analytics 4 offers improved funnel customization capabilities to define and modify steps on the fly. Go to the Explore on the left sidebar, and in Template gallery you’ll see the Funnel Exploration report.
As with other reports, you can modify it and interact with it more than in the previous version.
- Set up closed or open funnels where users can enter at any step
- Examine trends in trended funnels to detect any irregularities in the current funnel
- Get the information about the elapsed time between each of the steps. That allows you to get an estimate of the length of the user journey and the time delays that occur in the funnel.
As an example, we have a shopping behavior funnel report below with all the steps on the path toward the final conversion.
The most frequently used path for users from a starting point to an end point can be found with Path Exploration. You may freely define the starting and ending points.
For example, it can be a specific page (e.g., a thank-you page) or a conversion (e.g., a newsletter subscription). This report beats the previous version thanks to its simplicity and ease of access.
Free Form Report
If you’re interested in data analysis, you’ll know that heat maps are an excellent method to compare performance variables broken down by dimensions. Instead of looking at a flat table, you may use this functionality right within the GA interface without having to export any additional data to Google Spreadsheets.
Segment Overlap answers the question of how your built segments are connected. You may quickly determine which ones are mutually exclusive and which ones have a lot of overlap, and some measurable facts, such as the number of users.
User Explorer Report
The User Explorer Report shows data entries per individual user. The report is pretty similar to the one we had in the previous version of Google Analytics, but there’s one extra feature – you can now see a fraction of users you are most interested in.
You may access this feature from any report by right-clicking on the user segment you wish to examine and selecting View users. This report can help you reduce all of the “noise” in your data if you want to get rid of it.
Audiences are similar to Segments in that they divide users into groups based on criteria (such as gender, device, and geolocation) to search for trends that are common among a specific group of users.
However, the most recent version of segments offers some essential distinctions that provide it with significant advantages. Let’s go through a few of them.
The first difference is the new events-based segment, unavailable in UA. Segments can now be created based on users, sessions, or events. Second, you can use the segment suggestion list to make segments. Generated segments will include some predefined fields that can be helpful to the process.
The third difference is an entirely new feature. It’s the option to include the notion of time in your segment. You can set up a sequence for a segment where you can define the time between the steps or the membership duration time. The fact that you can add time as a factor is significant for remarketing campaigns.
There’s also the possibility to remove users temporarily or permanently, which removes any limitations from the generated segments.
The fourth difference is that you may create an audience that allows you to explore additional segment application possibilities. You’ll be able to use them in the main reports, among other things. But there’s more: you can provide immediate access to your audience in Google Ads.
All published audiences will be shared with Google Ads by default unless you opt-out. In contrast, you’ll have to publish your audiences separately in UA.
Finally, you may use the audience trigger to make an event (and perhaps a conversion) when a user joins an audience.
So there you have it – a comprehensive guide on using Google Analytics 4 to generate reports that give you the insights you need to make your website work harder for your business.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide on understanding your website traffic and how to use Google Analytics 4, be sure to check out our other posts on the blog.
And if you need help setting up tracking or creating custom reports, our team is happy to work with you. Just drop us a line!
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