Google Analytics

Exhibit 27.12  Video demonstration of Google Analytics (GA4).

Google Analytics is a powerful and versatile platform for web analytics. For a demo of GA4, the latest version of the platform, view the video in Exhibit 27.12.

Google’s account structure

Exhibit 27.13   Google’s account structure (source: Google).

To use Google Analytics, you need a Google Account. Structurally depicted in Exhibit 27.13, the account is a unified sign-in system to authenticate users with email and password, giving them access to products registered with Google. The analytics account is a way to name, organize and track properties (websites, mobile apps, point-of-sale devices) using Google Analytics.

Each Analytics user has access to at least one account.

Once you create your Google Analytics account, you need to set-up the data collection process to track user behaviour on your website. This requires the insertion of tracking codes into webpages, as described in Section Data Collection — Page Tagging (JavaScript).

The tracking code is a snippet of JavaScript code that collects and sends data from your website to the Google Analytics server. For Google Analytics to track users’ behaviour on the site, the code must be added directly to each page on the website or indirectly using a tag management system.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) uses a measurement model based on events and parameters. For example, a page view is an event called page_view and this event contains the parameters page_location (URL), page_referrer (previous URL) and page_title.

GA4 comprises sets of dashboards classified under the following report books, collectively referred to as the Life Cycle report collection:

  • Acquisition reports: track users (total, new and repeat users) and where they come from, i.e., the traffic sources (organic, direct, referral, organic social etc). The metrics include sessions, engagement rate, engagement time, conversions and revenue.
  • Engagement reports: track user behaviour in terms of events such as page views, total user engagements, scroll, file downloads etc. Users can view dashboards for each event with details on event count (e.g., number of page views), user count, user demographics (country, age) and events per session. Event-specific information is also included. For instance, the page view dashboards provide the share of page views across pages and the average time users spend on the page.
  • Monetization reports: track revenue and purchasers.
  • Retention reports: track new and returning users, and retention and engagement by cohort, where cohort comprises new users on charting date. Retention reports include a user engagement dashboard that tracks the decay in the engagement of users over time, i.e., after their first visit.

The above set of report books, called the Life Cycle report collection, are configured to help users understand each stage in the customer journey — from acquisition to retention.

The information content and structure of the above report books is predefined so that the dashboards are easy to read and understand. However, when users are interested in more detailed and in-depth analysis, they should go to the GA4 report library. Here, users can modify existing reports or create new ones, using a wide range of metrics and dimensions to choose from, and they may also use filters to focus on specific details.

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