GA4 Tips and Tricks for Marketers

Generative AI for Marketing Intelligence

Table of Contents

Filter out internal traffic

The Search Box is your ally

Customize as much as you can

Track your Engaged Sessions

Utilize the “first user” dimensions

Enable Enhanced Events

GA4 gets even easier with Narrative BI

GA4 is no longer a relatively new tool for marketers, many are already using it entirely for their analytical operations, and some are already even becoming experts and thought leaders in it. However, with the sunset of Universal Analytics looming at our doorstep, more marketers are migrating to GA4 and discovering that its new features are not just a piece of cake.

Whether you're a newly migrated user or struggling to leverage GA4's capabilities, we have gathered valuable tips to help you navigate this powerful analytics tool.

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Filter out internal traffic

Filtering out internal traffic is a crucial step in obtaining accurate insights and making informed business decisions. Without excluding internal traffic, your analytics data may be distorted, making it challenging to evaluate the true performance of your marketing campaigns. For example, if you run an online clothing store, your team likely visits the website frequently to test product pages and checkout flows. By filtering out internal traffic, you ensure that your conversion rates and engagement metrics reflect the behavior of your actual customers.

To filter out internal traffic in GA4, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the IP addresses associated with your organization's network or devices. To do this, go to the Admin settings in your GA4 property and navigate to the "Data Streams" tab.
  2. Select the appropriate web data stream, click “Configure tag settings” and select “Show all”.
  3. Click “Define internal traffic” to set a new rule. 
  4. Enter a value for the traffic_type parameter, for example, Narrative_bi_traffic. 
  5. Next, navigate to “Data Settings” in your property tab and select “Data filters.” Create a new filter and enter the name of the parameter you set in step 4 above. 
  6. Select “Exclude” so that GA4 can exclude events matching your traffic_type parameter.
  7. Click “Create”.

For a more detailed breakdown of how to filter out your internal traffic, check out this GA4 support page.

The Search Box is your ally

One often overlooked feature in Google Analytics 4 is the search box functionality. The search box allows you to quickly locate specific data, uncover hidden insights, and gain a deeper understanding of user behavior on your website. Gary Warner, marketing manager at Joloda, emphasizes the importance of leveraging the search box feature to enhance your GA4 experience.

By utilizing the search box, you can:

  • Identify specific pages or events related to your marketing campaigns.
  • Analyze user behavior during particular timeframes or concerning specific conversion goals.
  • Explore trends and patterns based on search queries to uncover actionable insights.
  • Quickly access relevant reports and dimensions to refine your analysis.

Next time you're exploring GA4, remember to use the search box to navigate through your data and uncover valuable information efficiently.

Customize as much as you can

GA4 uses events as a measurement model. What this means for you as a marketer is that there are more answers to your questions and more certainty. You can create custom events to track every customer interaction touchpoint, no matter how unique, allowing for deeper analysis and personalized marketing strategies.

With GA4, you can:

  • Create custom events to track unique customer interactions, regardless of their nature.
  • Develop custom audiences and segments based on specific user attributes and behaviors.
  • Target campaigns more precisely and deliver personalized experiences to different user groups.
  • Set up custom conversions to accurately measure the impact of your marketing efforts.
  • Generate custom reports tailored to your specific business goals and requirements.

By customizing GA4 to align with your marketing objectives, you can unlock its full potential and gain a competitive edge in today's data-driven landscape.

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Track your Engaged Sessions

In GA4, Engaged Sessions are sessions that meet any of these requirements:

  • Has at least one conversion event or more,
  • Has at least 2 page or screen views,
  • Or lasts more than 10 seconds.

Tracking the engaged sessions helps you qualify the value of your website’s content based on how your audience interacts with it.

“I use the engaged sessions metric to gain insight into what needs optimization. This metric shows which content on our blog was engaging enough for visitors and what they found interesting without distracting themselves with another action, such as clicking on a redirect link.”
- Alvin Wei, CMO of SEOAnt.

By tracking engaged sessions, you can:

  • Identify content that resonates with your audience and holds their attention.
  • Optimize underperforming pages by analyzing their engagement metrics.
  • Include relevant and valuable CTAs to guide users through their journey.
  • Compare engaged sessions across different user segments to gain deeper insights.
  • Improve the overall user experience by tailoring your content based on engagement patterns.

To view engaged sessions in GA4, select the "Acquisition" section under Lifecycle reports and click on "Traffic Acquisition." You can further analyze and compare engaged sessions to refine your marketing strategies.

Side Tip: A good way to increase engaged sessions is to identify the pages users spend a lot of time on by looking at the average engagement time in the Pages and Screens report. Then, include valuable CTAs that help the customer continue their journey. For example, if your audience spends a lot of time on an article about measuring attribution, you can include a CTA to a more practical article that shows how you helped someone measure attribution.

Utilize the “first user” dimensions

The First User dimension captures the unique identifiers of users, allowing you to identify their initial entry points, acquisition sources, and subsequent interactions. This dimension plays a pivotal role in tracking and analyzing user journeys, providing valuable insights into user behavior patterns and their impact on conversions.

“This dimension gives you an idea of which channel users are first coming to your site, and this is useful in itself. But combine it with the session default channel group (either in a report or an exploration), and you have a really good analysis of channel acquisition from the point of first interaction to the point of conversion.”
- Kyle Rushton McGregor, SEO Analytics Specialist.

By leveraging the "first user" dimensions, you can:

  • Analyze the actions users take during their initial visits to identify potential bottlenecks.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of user acquisition channels and their impact on conversions.
  • Improve landing pages and user flows based on insights derived from first user data.
  • Provide a seamless and personalized experience that encourages further engagement.
  • Refine your marketing strategies by aligning them with the customer journey from the point of first interaction to conversion.

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Enable Enhanced Events

Enhanced Events in GA4 allow you to collect additional data about user interactions beyond standard events. By enabling Enhanced Events, you gain more granular insights into user behavior, which can significantly enhance your understanding of customer preferences and optimize your marketing efforts.

Here are some benefits of enabling Enhanced Events:

  • Track specific user actions such as video interactions, scroll depth, or form submissions.
  • Uncover detailed engagement patterns that provide actionable insights.
  • Analyze the effectiveness of individual features or sections within your website.
  • Refine your targeting and personalization strategies based on enhanced event data.
  • Improve conversion rates and overall user experience by optimizing based on user behavior.

Marketers can elevate their analytics game by utilizing Enhanced Events in GA4 and gain a competitive advantage in delivering targeted and impactful marketing campaigns.

GA4 gets even easier with Narrative BI

As you embrace GA4 as your primary analytics tool, understanding its features and maximizing its potential is crucial. These tips and tricks will come in handy and help you navigate Google Analytics 4. 

You can also stay ahead of the curve and unlock the true power of GA4 to drive your marketing success by connecting your GA4 account to Narrative BI. We will help you generate insights that will enable you to extract meaningful data, gain deeper insights into user behavior, and make informed decisions to optimize your marketing efforts in the GA4 environment.

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