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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: Go to the GA4 property and click on "Events" in the left-hand menu. Find the event you want to modify and open its details page. On the details page, click "Edit" at the top of the page. Modify the event name or any other details as needed. 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.

Keys To Navigating GA4’s New UI (Part II)

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…

Keys To Navigating GA4's New UI

Keys To Navigating GA4’s New UI

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…

The leap to GA4 draws ever nearer, and along with it comes the need to quickly get marketing departments on board with a host of new tools and reporting features. GA4 caused some initial confusion with its rollout of both “Reports” and another feature they’re calling “Explorations,” with each serving a similar-yet-different function in this new digital ecosystem. Here’s everything you need to master GA4 reporting and ensure you’re using this powerful new tool to its fullest. GA4 Reports: An Overview The goal of Google’s new reporting framework is to provide marketers with detailed insights into their respective businesses. GA4’s big selling point is its advanced ability to attribute data to individual users across platforms and devices without infringing on any data privacy policies. Reports are built by connecting this user data to site activity, identifying patterns in engagement, conversion rates, and several other key trends to develop a more flexible marketing action plan. In addition to standard reporting parameters like identifying the origins of incoming traffic and which campaigns are driving the most activity, GA4 includes a “Realtime Report.” This report consists of data up to the latest 30 minutes — a useful feature for catching any potential snags with a new campaign or product launch. Advertisers can also create custom filters to easily view subsets of user data (and even compare datasets side-by-side). Creating Successful GA4 Reports GA4 comes preloaded with about 20 standard reports built for your convenience, but marketers can still tailor reporting parameters to their liking. Creating a new report is fairly user-friendly; options to edit an existing report, make a copy, or build an entirely new one can all be found under “Reports” followed by “Library.” A good report accurately measures activity with a goal-specific KPI. For digital marketing teams, this often takes the form of comparing all traffic with organic-only traffic to gauge the impact of paid promotions or page vs. site conversion rates to adjust which pages are lagging behind in prompting user actions. Explorations Explained If you want to expand your view of site data and other insights, the “Explore” tab on the left-hand side of GA4’s base dashboard unlocks more granular reporting capabilities. According to Google, Explorations is a “collection of advanced techniques that go beyond standard reports to help you uncover deeper insights about your customers' behavior.” In practice, Explorations gives marketers a chance to tinker with every filter and data subset they can get their hands on at the user level. That means increased functionality, additional dimensions and segmentation, and ultimately more pointed insights to spur further action. This tab is also the portal to use visualization tools like pathway and funnel explorations, which break the average customer’s journey with your brand into easily viewable (and of course, trackable) steps. How detailed can explorations be? There are some technical limits to the number of filters, segments, and individual explorations you can create within GA4. Per Google, advertisers can create up to: -200 individual explorations per user per property -500 shared explorations per property -10 segments per exploration -10 filters per tab Quickly Learn Your Way Around Explorations Marketers familiar with Google’s suite of tools (Drive, Sheets, Docs, and so forth) will feel right at home using Explorations. Options to create a new form or use a pre-configured template (such as free-form, funnel, or segment overlap explorations) are spread across the top of the page, with previous projects organized below. After opening a new exploration, a pair of columns on the left (labeled Variables and Tab Settings) contain optional filters and visualizations to produce your desired report. Common demographic targeting levers like age, gender, and interest — as well as all attribution settings — are nested within the Variables column under “Dimensions.” Key Data Differences Between Reports and Explorations Standard reports are designed for top-level data analysis, with some dimensions and metrics only available through this tab and not supported within Explorations. While reports can quickly identify rises and fall in key events without digging into segmented data, Explorations will likely draw more attention since it houses the most advanced filters, user-level data, and broader functionality. Though the transition to GA4 may include an unwanted learning curve for advertisers used to Universal Analytics’ more familiar dashboards and tools, correctly utilizing both reports and explorations within GA4 will undoubtedly serve every brand’s long-term marketing efforts.

Deep Dive Into GA4 Reports & Explorations

The leap to GA4 draws ever nearer, and along with it comes the need to quickly get marketing departments on board with a host of new tools and reporting features. GA4 caused some initial confusion…

Free Digital Marketing Campaign Audit

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Google Analytics (UA) vs. GA4: What You Need to Know

Google Analytics (UA) vs. GA4: What You Need to Know

Earlier this year, Google announced big plans to phase out Universal Analytics entirely in favor of the new-and-improved GA4 platform. The move presents a major challenge for many marketers relying on historical UA data for…

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