Get to Know Your Customers Using Google Data Analytics

Written on 12 June, 2022 by Melissa Toh
Categories E-commerce Marketing Tags customer behaviour online business online marketing

There has been a rapid escalation in customers moving online in recent years. As a result, that channel has also become increasingly competitive. The ability to attract new customers and keep them has become more important too. That’s where data comes in.

From Google Analytics on your own site to the data on offer from social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, analytical information has never been more accessible. By taking advantage of this treasure trove of information, you can build a fascinating and informative picture of your customers’ personas, behaviours and different demographics.


Guide to Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

  1. How Google Analytics helps in understanding customers?
  2. What is a Google Analytics 4 property?
  3. How does Google Analytics 4 work?
  4. How do you analyse customer data on Google Analytics 4?
  5. When can I start using Google Analytics 4?
  6. Should I use Google Analytics 4?


But for some businesses, it all seems somewhat overwhelming, as they struggle to understand and analyse so many measures. However, all you need to focus on is the way this data directly relates to your customers and the journey they take when making a purchase.

Google Data Analytics is a great place to start getting to know your customers better. With it, you can predict their needs and likely behaviours.


How Google Analytics helps in understanding customers?

Google Analytics is a platform that helps you collect data, track visitor actions, create goals, measure performance, track expectations, and generate reports. This data provides an improved understanding of what is happening throughout your site.

Using Google Analytics, you can answer some revealing questions about how your customer interacts with your site and its messaging. The type of questions that Google Analytics addresses includes:

  • How do visitors find your site?
  • Are you converting visits into the desired outcomes? (sales, requesting additional information, subscribing to a mailing list etc.)
  • How are visitors moving around your site? Are there pages that they do not visit?
  • How long are visitors staying on your site, and how many pages are they reaching?
  • Are visitors returning, and are they becoming more engaged?
  • Are conversion behaviours more likely with first-time visitors or returning visitors?

Google Analytics is changing at the moment. Since October 2020, site holders have been able to monitor their digital performance using the new updated version of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) or keep using the existing Universal Analytics (GA3).

There has been much Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics debate during this period, but from July 1, 2023, only GA4 will be available. All site administrators will need to use the remaining time to get up to speed with Google Analytics 4.


What is a Google Analytics 4 property

What is a Google Analytics 4 property?

A Google Analytics 4 property is a data collection and reporting system enabling users to understand their digital performance better. Users can report and analyse their customers’ current and likely future behaviours. The GA4 property replaces the Universal Analytics property.


How does Google Analytics 4 work?

Google suggests that Google Analytics 4 provides users with a more comprehensive view of how customers interact with a business by assessing how those customers behave as a whole rather than via an individual channel.

GA4 provides a broader range of metrics called Google Analytics 4 events. In the past, Universal Analytics was driven by sessions.  To measure anything other than a few key GA3 session metrics was much more complicated. Those GA3 session metrics have become a little entrenched, so it will take some time for people to become acclimatised to a broader range of event measures.

Google Analytics 4 allows visitors’ interactions to be tracked as an event creating a more far-reaching but streamlined approach to measurement.

One significant difference highlighted in the Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics comparison is that GA4 offers machine learning. This is a powerful dimension that enables users to predict future behaviours based on patterns of behaviour exhibited by other visitors.

Customer engagement is an interesting new dimension available with GA4, with a metric called “engaged sessions per user”. Additional analysis is possible with GA4 by adding other events to develop richer engagement understandings.


How do you analyse customer data on Google Analytics 4?

If you have been using Universal Analytics, you will find that GA4 provides fewer automatic reports for analysis. You will be required to set up events to be measured. However, automated reports are generated to track the following Google Analytics 4 events:

first_visit (number of new visitors)

page_view (what page the user is viewing)

session_start (when the session started)

user_engagement (when someone has spent at least 10 seconds on your website)

You will have to determine what reports you would like to see, meaning more work, to begin with, but it can provide improved insights into performance. The aim should be to report on the metrics you need to make better decisions. It is important to ensure your website has goals/conversions set up in Google Analytics to measure your website success and visitor engagement. Make sure you customise reports with metrics appropriate for your business needs, and always report and monitor regularly.

One you complete your Google analytics login there are five types of reports for analysis:

  1. Acquisition: focusing on traffic performance
  2. Engagement: detailing events of user interaction with the page (views, conversions, and other visitor activities).
  3. Monetisation: presents revenue and sales data of e-commerce and advertising sales.
  4. Retention: reporting on return visitation, customer retention and customer life-cycle values.
  5. Demographics and technical: reporting on user demographics and data such as devices, browsers, and operating systems used during access.

Spend time creating events and establishing your report suite. The freedom to create so many Google Analytics events means that you can provide data and analysis that is meaningfully aligned to your business strategy.


When can I start using Google Analytics 4

When can I start using Google Analytics 4?

You can start using Google Analytics 4 immediately. If you are using Universal Analytics, be aware that from July 1, 2023, GA3 will stop recording data, so you will need to act well before to ensure a smooth transition.

Many users will use both properties while transitioning, particularly as they set up and learn about the GA4 property. The question is less about when was Google Analytics 4 released, but how long do I have to master it so I can optimise its impact on my business.


Should I use Google Analytics 4?

If you are currently using Universal Analytics, you will have no choice from July 1, 2023.

There are many positive commentaries about the Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics evolution. Key benefits of the new property are:

  • GA4 provides access to BigQuery for free.
  • By moving from sessions to Google Analytics custom events, insights can be tailored to meet the needs of each user.
  • With GA4, users will have improved control over the personal data that is stored and collected.
  • GA4 enables tracking across a range of platforms and devices.

The improved functionality of Google Analytics 4 takes time and effort to set up and optimise. Search for any Google Analytics 4 for beginners resources available. But, if you remain a little daunted by the change, we have a team of locally-based experts who know Google Analytics metrics inside out.

Give us a call on 1300 638 734. We’d be happy to help.

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