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Friday SEO Tip | An Introduction to Google Analytics 4 (GA-4)

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Hello, everyone.

Boulder SEO Marketing here.Thank you for joining us for yet another Friday SEO tip.

We really hope you guys are enjoying these.We’re certainly enjoying making them, and we’ve

enjoyed your response quite a bit. You may notice that I am not Chris.Chris is currently conducting the final session of our three part online SEO course.I hope a lot of you are there right now.It’s definitely good stuff.Usually he gets paid a lot of money to give that information away, but he wants to do it for free, which is excellent. My name is Jake.I’m a search analyst here at BSM. And for today’s tip, I’m going to talk to you a little about GA-4. So let me share my screen really quick.What is GA-4?I’m sure most of you have heard about it, if you’re at all into web analytics.But if you’re not, that’s fine.We’re definitely going to walk through some basics first here.So GA-4 is what’s replacing universal analytics, which is probably the Google analytics platform you’ve been using up until now.In fact, it almost definitely is,unless you’re already on GA-4. So one thing that you absolutely need to know is that beginning July 1, 2023, Google is no longer going to support universal analytics.Your clicks will not be processed,data will not be collected.So this is something that’s happening and we’ve all got to get on board. But that’s marketing.And don’t take my word for it.Take Google’s word for it.All right, so now that we’ve established that GA-4 is happening, let’s talk about it.So what is GA-4? GA-4 is basically an entirely new analytics platform.It’s not a big update.It is different.

So in universal analytics, which you’ve probably been using up until now, most of your data was probably collected in the context of sessions over in GA-4.This is going to be event focus, and what that means to you is going to depend quite a bit on your clientele or your business itself.Leave that up to you.But let’s dive into a few of the differences and by the end of this, you’ll know what’s important for you.So a few key things are that Google is adding predictive audiences.If you are in e commerce, this is going to be especially valuable for you.Basically, what happened is Google is going to start using machine learning algorithms to group customers into audiences that are like, say, 90% likely to purchase in the next seven days or 90% likely to churn.Using that, you can probably figure out who you would rather send ads or coupons to.Another big thing, bounce rate is going away.It’s being replaced by these three metrics, which are basically Google’s attempt at creating a better version of knowing if people are having a meaningful experience on your site they’re intended to replace bounce rate.

And then there are a host of new features that you would have previously seen in Ga 360,which is the enterprise version of Google Analytics.And now these are going to be in GA-4 for free.

So practically speaking, what are the new changes?Start with reports, arguably one of the

most important parts of Google Analytics.Back in Universal, you probably had some reports

that you could basically customize and edit, but in GA-4, that’s definitely a bit different.

You’ll have a bunch of premade, high level kind of overview reports, but for anything specific you’ll have to go to the Explore tab right here and build it yourself, which is a mixed bag.

Obviously, you’ll have to learn how to do that.And it can be a bit wonky at first,but it allows for much more customization and in a few months time it’ll be of second nature.GA-4 you can have multiple data streams in a single property.So if you have a website, maybe a few websites

or an app, you can view those altogether in a single property and look at that data aggregately.

Whether this matters to you is up to you.You can still have multiple properties, but it’s a good option to have in GA 360, this is what would have been called April of Property and then the Insight section.Google is using machine learning to track notable trends in your analytics.

Basically, as far as I can tell, this just allows you to be a bit more Proactive and act on things as they’re happening rather than waiting for them to happen and for you to notice them.

And this is also going to be an opportunity to detect unusual activity and maybe get

a little bit ahead of that.The BigQuery integration, for those of you who don’t know BigQuery is basically Google’s version of SQL.If you’re a small business, this probably doesn’t really matter to you.But if you are working at an enterprise level,I’m sure you know how important this could be.You’ll be able to integrate BigQuery with Google Analytics and query it and custom funnels.

You’ll be able to build a customer journey and basically track it and filter it through page views, events, event properties, whatever you want.So overall, GA-4 is happening. It’s here to stay.We’ve all got to get behind it.I certainly know that learning a new software isn’t fun, but what are you going to do?Shout out to Daniel, he’s the author here.He’s a great guy.He is also conducting that SEO course.So maybe you guys are hearing him talk as we speak.So let’s dive into creating a report.Here is Google Analytics and one thing is that it is faster than Universal, but it’s also still in beta and they’re still working on it.So keep that in mind.It’s not in beta, but it’s not like a fully fleshed out product yet.So this is what the home page looks like, as you can see, it’s pretty bare bones down here.Is that insight settion that I mentioned.It’s telling you just trends that might be relevant to you.You might care, you might not.But it’s also just generally cool.And check it out.Here is the reports tab.As you can see, there’s just a lot of overview high level data.

Definitely a good place to check in, but hard to do some in depth drill downs here.Then right here, the Explorer tab.This is where the magic happens as far as reporting goes.So let’s build a basic report here.So as an SEO company, we’re going to look at organic and paid search and how that varies by country.To find those segments, go to session segments.And then you’re going to want to go down to traffic source, session, default channel grouping,and in here, organic search apply.And then once you’re done, you’re just going to hit save and apply.And it’s going to pull that in for you.Notice how I forgot to name it.You’re probably going to want to do that just to keep track of things.Search.Perfect.All right. And briefly here, this is the variables column.This is where you’re just pulling in your variables, which includes segments, dimensions and metrics.Just because as you’ll see right here, there are far too many to fit in.So that’s just your way of importing them onto this page.Once you actually want to use them, you’re going

to end up dragging them into this column.That will be what eventually appears on your visualization.But okay, let me pull in paid search as well.All right.Now we’ve got the two segments that we’re going to compare.Notice how Google has already added them into our comparison.Now let’s grab countries.Perfect.Go with first visits just to see where new people are coming from.All right, so we’ve got our segments in here.We’re going to drag countries over to here.And so it knows what we want to look at.We’re going to drop first visits into values and then we’re going to wait a second because while this is faster, it’s still not as fast as you might want it to be.But you can’t have your cake and eat it too.Okay. Yeah.So right here we’ve got our top ten countries as far as these metrics go, looks like most of the actions coming from the United States and India.There is a shockingly high amount of relatively high amount of paid search coming from Canada, which might be interesting.Now, if you want to view more than ten countries, you can pop this down right here.It’s very customizable waiting for that to load.Also,while we’re here, if you guys have any questions you want us to answer in our next email tips, please feel free to reach out, even if it’s just really specific.Like to you, we have a lot of ideas and requests and we’re always happy to share. Okay.Yeah.So now we’ve got 50 countries.Obviously down at the bottom it’s not super meaningful but that is fine.Now say you’re a picture person and you don’t really like looking at spreadsheets and instantly change it.I find this pretty helpful personally just as far as getting an idea as to what is going on.Okay, here we go.So yeah, here’s our organic search.You can see where it’s concentrated and where it isn’t.

Over here we’re looking at paid.As you can see, there’s a bit of a difference.It looks like there’s a lot more paid search happening in the Caribbean. I’m not Google so I don’t care.But if I was that might be a bit interesting to me.Although it also looks extremely small.So perhaps not.But obviously I’m sure you can extrapolate and see what metrics this might be extremely useful for and what might be important to your business.So that’s how to build a very basic report.Now let’s look at some sample reports that Google just has lying around waiting for us.Here’s your basic spreadsheet.Brief formal.Yeah, you can imagine.Now I want to touch on the sheer amount of options you have here.Before I go look at the reason we have to pull stuff into the variables column is that there are just so many things that you can group by and filter by metrics.It’s pretty same case those predictive audiences I mentioned.I know this is a lot of information but I’m sure at this point you can see exactly how customizable this is and the potential that you could eventually gain from Google analytics for so thank you for joining us.Originally we wanted to do these two minute SEO tips but we’re more focused on the content and really learning in general.

So these are now just SEO tips.We’re going to try to keep them in the five to ten minute range.

But thank you for joining us today.Definitely excited to do tips like these.And again, if you have any tips that you want us to cover or you just want to reach out,anything like that, feel free to reply to the email.Thank you.

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