Keys To Navigating GA4’s New UI
Aug 28 2023
GA4 has a lot to offer when it comes to collecting user behavior and conversion data. Among GA4’s most powerful features is the ability to create what Google terms custom “events,” which enable advertisers to track specific actions or behaviors on a brand’s home website (or app).
Here’s a guide to creating custom events in GA4, plus a few items marketers should be aware of to ensure accurate data collection.
Planning Custom Events in GA4
Before implementing custom events into your digital strategy, it’s important to identify which user activities are most critical to collect. Consider what you want to learn from your data, and which insights and KPIs will most help optimize your website or app toward conversion actions. By planning your event strategy ahead of time, your custom events promise to align with your business goals and provide actionable insights.
GA4 is pre-loaded with a set of standard events covering common actions (page views, clicks, form submissions, email signups, and file downloads to name a few). New advertisers adjusting to the platform should use standard events whenever possible, as they are easy to implement and provide consistent data. Custom events should be reserved for campaigns where standard events fail to provide the necessary information.
Creating Custom Events in GA4
Google calls the data points associated with an event “Parameters,” which in turn track everything from button clicks to user profile information to transaction data. Once you’ve determined a campaign’s primary performance metrics and the events associated with those goals, it’s finally time to implement your custom events:
1 – Sign in to your GA4 account and select the property for which you want to create an event.
2 – In the left-hand menu, select “Events.”
3 – Click on the “Create event” button in the top right corner.
4 – Give your event a name that clearly identifies the action you want to track. For example, if you want to track clicks on a button, you could name your event “Button Click.”
5 – Select the event type. GA4 offers several predetermined event types, such as “Page view,” “Scroll,” and “Click.”
6 – Click “Add parameter” to define your event parameters.
7 – Choose the parameter name from the drop-down menu. For example, if you want to track the category of the event, choose “Category.”
8 – Enter the parameter value. For example, if the category is “Product,” enter “Product” in the value field.
9 – Repeat these steps for each additional parameter you want to define.
10 – Click “Save” to create your event.
11 – Once you’ve created your event, you can view it in the “Events” report in the left-hand menu. You can also use your event in custom reports and analysis.
Be sure to follow Google’s implementation guidelines and test these events thoroughly to ensure they are tracking accurately before a campaign’s full launch.
Monitoring and Optimizing Post-Launch
Even seasoned marketers should monitor event data regularly to identify trends or patterns that can inform business decisions — or signals that something in the campaign structure is misfiring, resulting in faulty data. A little fine-tuning is normal when transitioning to an entirely new platform, and in the case of GA4, you won’t be alone in navigating the new UI.
Creating custom events in GA4 can be a powerful way for brands to track changes in customer behavior while respecting continual shifts in privacy restrictions. By identifying primary campaign KPIs, using standard events when appropriate, defining event parameters, and correctly implementing events, marketers can quickly optimize their insights — and results — from digital campaigns built on GA4’s foundation.
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