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A Guide to Google Analytics 4 Reports

Now that the Universal Analytics sunset is finally here, it’s essential that you know how to read Google Analytics 4 (GA4) reports correctly. Understanding the changes and the unique insights GA4 has to offer can help you improve your marketing strategies and meet your sales goals. We put together this guide on Google Analytics 4 reports to help you interpret the data it collects from your website.  

How Does GA4 Reporting Differ from UA?

If you’ve created a GA4 property (or if Google created one for you) then you’ve likely noticed how different the dashboard is compared to UA. But there isn’t only a visual change—Google Analytics 4 reports can track data much more efficiently than Universal Analytics used to. 

For instance, it was difficult for UA to track one customer’s journey across multiple platforms and devices. GA4, however, is able to collect that data and fill in the gaps to create one unified customer journey. 

Many people found Universal Analytics a bit overwhelming, as it gave you all possible predefined reports up front. Google Analytics 4 starts out with a few default reports, but you can easily customize its reports according to your preferences. GA4 also offers several default reports that efficiently break down the most significant data. 

Understanding the Standard Google Analytics 4 Reports

When you first open up GA4, it will take you to a home page that displays an overview of the main data. From this snapshot, you can tell at a glance whether your website is operating as expected, or if there are any serious issues in performance. 

But for a deeper look at Google Analytics 4 data, you’ll need to head to the different types of standard reports listed on the left of your dashboard. 

Realtime Report

The Realtime Report shows events that happened on your website within the last 30 minutes. You can monitor how users interact with your site in real time, including which devices they use and where they’re located. This report is especially useful for tracking live campaigns, monitoring unusual traffic spikes, and evaluating the immediate impact of any changes or updates you make to your site. 

User Reports

The User Reports provide in-depth insights into the characteristics and behaviors of your user segments. They help you understand the demographics, interests, and behaviors of your audience. This information allows you to personalize the user experience, tailor your marketing strategies to specific audiences, and create targeted campaigns that make a bigger impact. 

Life Cycle Reports

The Life Cycle Reports offer a deeper understanding of a customer’s journey through the conversion funnel. (A conversion funnel refers to the different stages a potential customer goes through on their way to becoming a paying customer.) 

These reports help you analyze how users enter the conversion funnel, and how they behave once inside. By tracking the entire “life cycle” of a visit, you can gain insights into how your customers discover your website, engage with your content, and become loyal customers. 

Two other key reports can be found under the Life Cycle Reports:

Acquisition Reports

The acquisition Reports focus on how users arrive at your website. They provide insights into the channels, sources, and campaigns driving traffic and conversions. (This includes traffic from your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.) With this data, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, identify top-performing channels, and optimize your marketing strategies to attract high quality leads. 

Engagement Reports

The Engagement Reports explore how users interact with your website by measuring session duration, screen views, and event activities. These reports help you understand how users are engaging with your content, so you can identify the most popular pages and features. Then you can make adjustments to your site that enhance the user experience and improve engagement. 

Digital Marketing Services for Small Businesses

The team at New Wine Digital can transform your website, launch PPC campaigns, produce engaging content, improve your SEO, and much, much more. 

We know how important it is to monitor your website’s performance in Google Analytics, especially after updating your site or launching an advertising campaign. We can monitor your Google Analytics 4 reports for you, and provide detailed insights into how to make your business grow. 

To learn more about how our digital marketing services can help your business thrive, give us a call at 480-516-1819 today. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/8/2023). Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

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