How Marketers Can Use GA4 to Improve Campaign Performance

Published: 4 November 2023

Updated: 29 January 2024

How Marketers Can Use GA4 to Improve Campaign Performance

When you hear Google Analytics 4, you probably think about mountains of data and complex analytics, right? But did you know that GA4 also serves as a valuable tool for marketers and marketing teams?

This article is all about exploring the lesser-known but incredibly crucial side of GA4. We will explore how GA4 can be a game-changer for marketers, unfolding its key features, showcasing practical use cases, and guiding you on how to use this tool to make smarter decisions and improve your marketing campaigns.

So, let’s uncover the magic of GA4 for marketing. Are you ready to dive in?

Table of Contents:

  1. Let’s Talk about Google Analytics 4
  2. How GA4 Can Benefit Marketers
  3. Wrapping It Up

Let’s Talk about Google Analytics 4

If you are sitting there thinking, “Wait, what’s the big deal with GA4?” – do not worry.

We have already discussed how GA4 stands apart from the previous Universal Analytics (UA) version and the features it brings to the table. All the ins and outs are laid out in our other blog post. You can check it out right here.

Once you are done with that, come back here, and let’s continue our deep dive into the world of GA4 for marketers.

How GA4 Can Benefit Marketers

Before we go into all the details, let’s talk about why GA4 should matter to you as a marketer. GA4 is not just a new tool for analysts. It has a bunch of features that directly benefit us marketing specialists as well.

For starters, GA4’s data model is based on the customer journey rather than individual sessions. This means you will get a more complete view of how users are interacting with your brand across different platforms and devices. You can say goodbye to fragmented data and hello to a more comprehensive understanding of your audience’s behavior.

Plus, GA4 brings predictive analytics to the table. This means it uses AI to predict future actions users may take. And let’s be honest, we all want help with our marketing strategies.

Finally, GA4 is designed with privacy at its core. This is a massive boon in a world where data privacy laws are becoming stricter. You can keep up with your marketing game while staying compliant with privacy regulations.

That is just a snapshot of how GA4 benefits marketing teams. We will explore all of this in more depth as we move through this guide.

1. User-Centric Reports: Look at Your Customers Under the Microscope

Who are your users? What do they want? How are they interacting with your site? These are questions we all face as marketers, and they are the backbone of any effective digital marketing strategy. The user-centric reports in GA4 bring you closer to your audience, allowing you to examine their behavior and patterns in more detail. You will see how they interact with your website, their journey through your site, and what actions they perform.

  • User acquisition: This report shows you how users find your website or app, including the channels and campaigns they’re coming from
  • GA4 user acquisition report

    GA4 engagement overview

  • User retention: This report shows how often users return to your website or app and how long they stay each time
  • GA4 user retention report

  • User demographics: This report shows you the demographics of your users, such as their age, gender, location, and interests
  • GA4 user demographics report

  • User interests: This report shows your users’ interests based on the content they interact with on your website or app

GA4 user interests report

2. Making the Most of Events in Google Analytics 4

In GA4, everything revolves around events – page views, clicks, purchases, you name it. This switch in focus from sessions to events gives you a far more detailed view of your users’ actions. With the flexibility to define your own events and parameters, you get to decide what’s important for your business.

By tracking events, you can explore insights that can then be used to fine-tune your landing pages, content, and marketing campaigns. It is like your users are telling you directly what works and what doesn’t – you just have to listen!

Now, you might be wondering, “What exactly can I do with these events?” Well, here are some practical examples:

  • Measure clicks on buttons and links

    With GA4, you can see which buttons on your website or app are getting the most love from users. This info can help you optimize these elements to convert more users into leads or sales. You can answer questions like, “How many times do users click on some important CTA buttons?” or “Do people really use that ‘contact us’ link?”

  • GA4 events-event name

  • Analyze scroll depth

    Maybe the majority of users are not even reaching your ‘about us’ section, or they are not scrolling past your initial product offerings. Either way, knowing this info can help you tweak your page layout or content.

    Note: Default ‘scroll’ event in GA4 is the first time a user reaches the bottom of each page (i.e. when a 90% vertical depth becomes visible)

    GA4 custom event

    • Track downloads

      If you offer downloadable content, you can track it in GA4 by default. The event name is ‘file_download’. You can link your downloads back to your pages (using a second dimension ‘Page path and screen class’) or traffic sources, be it organic search, email, social, you name it. This way, you can see which sources and pages are driving the most downloads.

    • Tracking downloads in GA4

    • Track form submissions

      Let’s say you have a form on your website. It could be a contact form, a sign-up form, or anything else. By capturing form submissions in GA4, you can understand how your marketing campaigns and content influence your buyer’s journeys. You can see which campaigns are leading to more sign-ups or inquiries and adjust your strategy accordingly.

      The default ‘form_submit’ event can appear in GA4 after enabling the ‘form interactions’ option under Enhanced Measurement (Admin -> Data Streams -> Enhanced Measurement). At the same time, you can create your own custom events to track any form you like with the help of your analyst team (and we do recommend it more than using the default form_submit event).

      Tracking form submissions in GA4

      As you can see, events in GA4 are a practical tool that can help you understand your audience better and optimize your marketing efforts.

    3. Audience Builder: The More, The Merrier

    Let’s be honest: your goal is not attracting more people to your website; it is about attracting the right people. GA4 audience builder allows you to define your ideal audience. You can also explore lookalike audiences to extend your reach.

    Audiences in Google Analytics 4

    Let’s say you run an eCommerce store, and you have noticed that a group of users added products to their carts but did not complete the purchase. With audience builder, you can define this group as an audience (we could call them “cart abandoners”) and create specific retargeting campaigns targeting them. Maybe they need a little nudge? A discount code or free shipping offer?

    Cart abandons report in GA4

    Or maybe you have a blog and want to track people who visit frequently but have not subscribed yet. You can create an audience and target them with campaigns offering them a reason to subscribe, such as early access to new posts or exclusive content.

    Or, here is another example. You can create an audience of users who spent more than a certain amount of time on your site or visited a specific number of pages. You can then cater to these engaged visitors with tailored campaigns, offering them loyalty rewards to encourage further engagement and conversion.

    The best part is that GA4 allows you to create 100 audiences per property. And it is up to you to experiment, refine, and find what works best for your marketing efforts. That is the beauty of an audience builder.

    4. Funnel Analysis: Navigating the Customer Journey

    If you have ever wondered where your customers drop off during their journey, then this GA4 feature is definitely for you. With enhanced funnel analysis, you can analyze every twist and turn your users take.

    Funnel analysis in GA4

    Let’s imagine an online store selling eco-friendly household products. You have set up a conversion funnel in GA4 with stages like “visited site”, “viewed product”, “added to cart”, and “purchased”. Now, with funnel analysis, you can uncover where potential customers are dropping off.

    Are lots of users viewing products but not adding them to their carts? Maybe your product pages need some sprucing up. Better descriptions or higher quality images could make a difference. Or maybe the issue lies with the “add to cart” button, which is not easily noticeable and accessible.

    On the flip side, if users add items to their carts but do not finalize the purchase, your checkout process may be too complicated or time-consuming. Or maybe your shipping costs are high.

    With funnel analysis, you can spot and address these roadblocks, optimizing your site for a smoother, more enticing customer journey.

    5. Conversion Paths: Last-Click Attribution is So Yesterday

    With GA4, you can say goodbye to those days when only the last click mattered. Today’s customer journeys are much more complex, spanning multiple devices, channels, and touchpoints. So attributing a conversion to just the last click is not effective.

    A typical customer journey may look like this: a potential customer might first discover your brand through a Google search, visit your website, then leave. A week later, they might see a remarketing ad on Facebook, click it, and browse your products but still not purchase. Finally, after receiving an email newsletter with a special discount, they decide to purchase.

    With the last-click model, all the credit goes to the email newsletter. But with conversion paths, you get to see that Google Search and the Facebook remarketing ad also played critical roles in the customer journey. As a marketer, understanding these paths can help you allocate your budget and efforts more effectively. You can see which channels and tactics are playing key roles in driving conversions, even if they are not the final touchpoint.

    6. Looker Studio Dashboards: Your Data, Your Way

    Visuals are key, aren’t they? With Looker Studio, you can turn those intimidating data spreadsheets into engaging, easy-to-understand visuals. You can build and customize dashboards with drag-and-drop ease, and there is a range of chart types to choose from.

    Want to know which advertising platform has the highest cost metrics? Create a report. Curious about how your website traffic fluctuates throughout the week? Line it up. And the best part? You can share these dashboards with your team or embed them on your site or an app.

    Looker studio dashboard and GA4

    Looker Studio is not just about making your data look good (though it does do that exceptionally well). It is about making data accessible and understandable for everyone on your team, so you can all make better, data-driven decisions.

    If you have not connected GA4 and Looker Studio, we recommend you to read our guide on how to do that.

    7. Insights and Predictions: The Future is Now

    GA4 is not just about understanding what is happening now but also about predicting what is to come. With machine learning at its core, GA4 can help you forecast future trends, spot anomalies, and even predict churn.

    GA4 insights could show you that your blog post-XYZ is driving high-value users to your site, people who browse your product pages and make purchases. With this insight, you know that content marketing is worth investing in.

    On the prediction front, GA4 could tell you that, based on customer behavior, your new line is likely to be your best-seller in the upcoming quarter.

    The three main prediction reports in GA4 are:

    • Purchase probability: This report predicts the probability that a user will make a purchase within a specified period
    • Churn probability: This report predicts the probability that a user will churn (stop using your product or service) within a specified period
    • Predicted revenue: This report predicts the amount of revenue that a user is likely to generate within a specified period

    These metrics can be used to build audiences or create custom reports in GA4’s Explorations toolset -> User Lifetime report.

    Now, you know where to channel your marketing efforts and consider increasing inventory to meet the predicted demand. Remember, the future is a lot less scary when you have a heads-up. And that is precisely what insights and predictions in GA4 offer you.

    Wrapping It Up

    Now you know how to use Google Analytics 4 for marketing. Remember, GA4 is more than just a tool for understanding your data; it is a comprehensive platform that can shape your marketing strategy and drive growth.

    The transition to GA4 and harnessing its full potential might seem challenging, but you do not have to do it alone. At Viden, we help businesses set up and use GA4 to its maximum potential.

    So if you want to get started with GA4 or simply want to learn more about how it can improve your marketing efforts, do not hesitate to contact us. We believe in empowering businesses to succeed. And with GA4, we can make that happen.

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