Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a valuable tool for businesses looking to gain insights into user behaviour and improve their operations. If you’re new to analytics and the GA4 platform, don’t worry! WSI recently hosted a webinar titled “Unlocking Google Analytics 4 for Better Business Insights” where our WSI colleagues shared insights and tips for setting GA4 up correctly.
WSI has been working with GA4 since its launch and has identified some common mistakes to be aware of that businesses make when setting up the platform.
Failing to make use of personalized reports and metrics in GA4
One of the standout features of GA4 is its flexibility in creating personalized reports and metrics. With this tool, you have the power to gather the exact data you need to enhance your digital marketing campaigns and gauge your ROI. Instead of settling for generic reports, GA4 allows you to tailor your dashboard to showcase the metrics that truly matter to your business. Don’t be content with what everyone else has; excel in your business by customizing your GA4 reports to align with your unique goals and objectives.
Failing to adjust the time Google retains Tracking Data
The default data retention period for Google Analytics 4 is just two months. This means that after two months, the user and event-level data will be automatically deleted. If you want to keep this data for a longer period, you can adjust the retention period to store it for up to fourteen months. However, it’s important to note that increasing the retention period will only affect the data collected from that point onward. Any data that was collected before changing the retention period will still be deleted based on the initial timeline. Therefore, it’s recommended to adjust the retention period right from the start to avoid losing any important data.
Failing to remove unwanted referral traffic from GA4
Referral traffic is an important aspect of website analytics as it helps businesses understand where their website visitors are coming from. However, not all referral traffic is valuable. Some sources may be spammy or irrelevant, and can skew the data and analysis. It is crucial for website owners to regularly monitor their referral traffic and remove any unwanted sources to ensure accurate reporting and decision-making. By doing so, businesses can focus on the sources that are actually driving quality traffic and conversions, and allocate their SEO efforts effectively for better results.
To locate referrals in GA4, go to the Reports section and click on Acquisition. From there, select Traffic Acquisition.
Failing to establish connections between various Google tools that are relevant
Have you already connected your website to Google Search Console? It is highly recommended to do so as it provides valuable insights into your site’s organic search traffic and performance. Google Analytics 4 simplifies the process by integrating all Google Tools into one platform. Additionally, you can easily link your GA4 platform with other Google services such as Google Ads, Ad Manager, and the Google Merchant Centre dashboard. If you require in-depth analysis of large amounts of data with BigQuery, you can effortlessly connect your company’s GA4 platform to BigQuery with just a single click.
Failing to enable cross-device and demographic tracking
Have you heard about cross-device tracking? By enabling Google Signals, you can collect data from various devices and generate Cross-device reports. This means that regardless of whether your customers access your website through a mobile, tablet, or laptop, you can gather information from all these devices to gain a comprehensive understanding of their behaviour.
If you are familiar with using Google Ads, you are aware that Google is recommending the use of Conversions in GA4 as the preferred method for measuring the effects of your Ads. It is advised to activate Conversions in Google Analytics 4 and deactivate your Google Ads conversions or Universal Analytics Goals to avoid counting conversions twice and overspending on advertising. It is important to transfer your remarketing lists from Google Ads to GA4 as soon as you can and disable them in Google Ads.
To get started, download our free GA4 set-up checklist.
Don’t worry about any concerns you may have regarding Google Analytics 4! Our team of WSI Certified Digital Marketing Consultants are here to support you throughout the entire process, whether it involves setting up Google Analytics 4 or personalizing reports. Contact us today, and we’ll help you get GA4 working properly for your business.