Keys To Navigating GA4’s New UI (Part II)
Sep 01 2023
Navigating an all-new UI takes practice, even with one designed to be as intuitive as Google’s newest analytics platform. Advertisers should continue to familiarize themselves with a few of Google’s key upgrades, both to the standard data analysis dashboards and campaign-building processes.
In part I of our blog on navigating GA4’s new UI, we addressed how to plan for, build, and optimize custom events within the interface. Today we’ll examine Google “Events,” including best practices for keeping track of customer interactions and the present limitations of the events feature.
Best Practices for Event Naming
An event is Google’s umbrella term for any customer interaction with your brand online. GA4’s new event model allows advertisers to curate event tracking to granular user engagements that best represent their brand’s specific customer journey, from discovery all the way to product purchase and beyond. Each step your customers take closer to conversion can (and should) be traceable through an event, in order to identify potential weak links in a campaign’s performance and optimize ads post-launch.
Unsurprisingly, the number of possible event types at your disposal is as vast as the number of businesses utilizing Google’s ad platform to extend their reach. Keeping each event distinct and organized will save your team headaches in the months ahead as you sift through incoming campaign data.
Here are the keys to naming events in GA4:
– Event names must be unique within each event type.
– Event names should be descriptive and clear so that anyone looking at an event report can easily understand what the event is tracking.
– Event names are case sensitive — marketers should stick exclusively to lowercase letters and underscores instead of spaces and capitalization to avoid confusion (ex. use “add_to_cart” instead of “AddToCart” or “Add to Cart”).
– Event names should be concise and not exceed 40 characters in length.
– Event names can include up to 5 parameters, which can be used to provide additional context or information about the event.
– Parameter values should be strings or numbers, and should not contain any personally identifiable information.
Follow these rules to ensure each of your events remains consistent and avoids crossing wires with other events.
Modifying an Event
GA4 makes modifying events fairly straightforward:
1. Go to the GA4 property and click on “Events” in the left-hand menu.
2. Find the event you want to modify and open its details page.
3. On the details page, click “Edit” at the top of the page.
4. Modify the event name or any other details as needed.
5. Remember to hit “Save”
Modifying an event in GA4 affects any and all data collected for that event — if you change the name or parameters of an event, the historical data associated with that event will be updated accordingly.
For more major changes, it may be worth creating a new event instead of modifying an existing one. This way, historical data for the old event remains unaffected as your new event begins collecting fresh user data.
Know Your Event’s Limits
While GA4 allows up to 50 event parameters per event, only the first 25 parameters are available for use in reports. Similarly, the platform supports up to 50 custom metrics and dimensions per property, but only 10 of each can be used in a single report.
Further technical limitations to GA4’s event tracking include data processing latency, which can extend up to 24 hours and prevent reports from reflecting real-time data, and a default data retention period of 14 months. Historical data may not be available beyond the retention period unless you regularly export it or use Google’s BigQuery data warehouse.
Thanks to GA4’s well-organized event types, you can gain greater visibility into the user journey across platforms. By utilizing event types, you can now see how well your campaigns are performing in a much more granular way. With well-organized, customized event types, you can stay up-to-date on consumer trends, discover new audiences for growth, and make sure your campaigns are reaching the right people for maximum impact.
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