Hard launched by Google in June this year Google Analytics 4 has changed up how we see and track what’s happening on our websites. And while I know Analytics is NOT a sexy topic to dwell on there’s just so much information that is stored away in this powerful, [like HULK powerful] tool if you know where to look.
Today, we’re going to give you our top 3 reports you can have a look at to understand how customers are interacting with your website and why understanding it is oh so important.
Traffic Acquisition: Where Are People Coming From?
Tucked away within the ‘Reports’ tab and sitting under ‘Acquisition’ you’ll find the ‘Traffic acquisition’ report.
This report gives you a broad overview of where traffic is coming from [i.e. are they coming from Organic Search? Paid Social? Paid Search?] and how different segments of your traffic are interacting with your site from a top level.
This might sound really broad or really obvious but this is always a really good place to start as it’ll give you all the basics how many sessions each channel brought in while also giving you a top level look at which channel saw the greatest level of success in relation to events or conversions [or in normal non-Google terms interactions or purchases/leads]
Pages and Screens: What Are People Doing On My Website?
So you’ve worked out where people are coming from and how they’re getting to your website now you want to know what they’re doing on your website fair enough I would want to know too.
You could go to the events report which sits under the engagement tab however that’s only going to show you events happening on your site at a really top level. We would recommend that you actually head on over to the ‘Pages and Screens’ report still in that ‘Engagement’ tab as this will give you a much deeper insight into user behaviour as you can filter the activities and events via Page Title [cause idk about you but I can’t remember URLs for the life of me].
You also have the ability in this report to look at specific events – so if you’re in e-commerce and you want to know which pages people are most likely to ‘add_to_cart’ or most likely to ‘initiate_checkout’, so long as your events have been configured correctly, you can see that information.
Conversion Paths: What Are The Touchpoints In Your Customer Journey Driving Sales?
Okay, this one is a personal favourite: within the ‘Advertising’ tab in Google Analytics 4 you’ll find a report sitting under ‘Attribution’ called ‘Conversion paths’, and omg I love this report.
The really cool thing about this report is it will give you a clear understanding of how the different parts of your digital presence are impacting and influencing conversions that are occurring on your website. This report will not only tell you which channels were involved in a customer’s journey to purchase, but it will also tell you whereabouts in that journey to purchase that channel sits.
So in this example, you can see that organic search is a really really important Early Touch Point, which means that people are most likely to interact with that channel first. However, Direct Traffic [which is traffic that comes from just typing your URL into their search bar btw], is outlined here as a late touchpoint which indicates that’s the channel where people are most likely to get over the line and make that purchase.
Understanding your customer’s journey and interactions with your website over time is important as sometimes we can’t see the benefit of certain activities we’re undertaking. For example you might have a display campaign running in Google Ads that might be uplifting your conversions in an indirect way, i.e. it might not be your last touchpoint but it might be a really important first touchpoint at the start of a consumer’s journey.
But What Does All This Mean?
Understanding how people are interacting with your website is paramount in terms of optimising your website and your digital marketing activities.
Your website is a really valuable asset that can work to your benefit or your detriment so understanding what’s working well, whether that’s a landing page with lots of engagement or a particular paid campaign that is a great early touchpoint, is crucial for decision making.
The more you understand what’s happening on your website the more you can leverage it to your advantage and at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about, finding your strengths and amplifying them!