GA4 Part 2: Data-backed Insights: Leveraging GA4 Exploration for Business Growth

Technical Advice - 27.07.23

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, data plays a pivotal role in understanding user behaviour, optimising campaigns, and driving business growth. Google Analytics has long been a cornerstone tool for analysing website and app performance. But with the advent of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) which is a more forward-looking analytics solution, marketers will have access to a powerful platform that offers enhanced insights and more comprehensive reporting capabilities.

So in the second part of this two-part blog on Google Analytics 4, we will delve into the top GA4 exploration reports, highlighting their key features and benefits. GA4's Explore section offers flexible options for data creation and analysis, surpassing the capabilities of Universal Analytics (UA). Its visualisations enhance data understanding, although mastering its functionalities may require some initial effort due to the variety of reports and components involved. First, let’s explore what sets GA4 properties apart from Universal Analytics.

What distinguishes GA4 from UA?

Google Analytics 4 GA4 offers several key distinctions from UA that make it a more advanced and comprehensive tool for data analysis. One significant difference is the shift from a session-based model to an event-based model. GA4 focuses on a more flexible event tracking model, tracking individual events and interactions rather than relying solely on sessions, allowing for a more granular understanding of user behaviour. 

Another notable feature of GA4 is its enhanced cross-platform tracking, allowing businesses to track user interactions across websites, apps, and other digital platforms, providing a holistic view of the customer journey. Furthermore, GA4 offers improved privacy features and compliance with evolving data protection regulations, addressing growing concerns around user privacy. 

Within GA4, there’s a Reports section and an Explore section that provides flexible reporting options for data creation and analysis, surpassing the capabilities of UA.  You can create reports in Explore by dragging and dropping dimensions and metrics, applying filters, and adding segments. This feature allows you to explore your data visually, drill down into specific dimensions, compare segments, and apply advanced data visualisations. 

This feature is found by clicking on the Explore Tab on the left in GA4 and selecting Blank + to create a new report.

GA4 Explore tab

Under Technique there are many different report types to choose:

GA4 Explore report types

Let's look into some useful GA4 reports found in the Reports section or in the Explore section, highlighting their key features and benefits.

User Acquisition - Reports / Acquisition

The User Acquisition report provides a holistic view of how users discover and engage with your website or app. It offers valuable insights into the channels, campaigns, and sources driving traffic and conversions. This report allows you to evaluate the performance of your marketing campaigns and optimise your acquisition strategies.

By understanding which marketing efforts yield the highest-quality users, marketers can allocate their resources more effectively, optimise campaigns, and refine their acquisition strategies.

Engagement and Retention - Reports / Engagement

The Engagement and Retention report provides insights into user engagement and retention metrics. You can analyse metrics like session duration, screen views, event counts, and user retention cohorts. This report helps you understand how users are interacting with your website or app, identify areas where users may be dropping off, and optimise user engagement and retention strategies.

Ecommerce Behaviour - Reports / Monetisation

If you have an ecommerce website or app, the Ecommerce Behaviour report is crucial. It provides insights into users' purchasing behaviour, such as product views, add-to-cart actions, and transaction data. You can track ecommerce metrics like revenue, conversion rates, average order value, and purchase funnels. This report helps you identify popular products, optimise the user journey, and improve your ecommerce performance.

Conversions Exploration - Reports / Engagement

Conversions Exploration allows you to track and analyse conversion events on your website or app. It provides detailed information about the conversion journey, attribution, and the impact of different marketing channels on conversions. This report helps you identify the most effective marketing campaigns, channels, and touchpoints for driving conversions and optimising your marketing efforts.

Landing Pages Exploration - Reports / Engagement

The Landing Pages Exploration report provides insights into the performance of different landing pages. It helps you understand which pages attract the most traffic, have the highest engagement, and generate the most conversions. By analysing landing page performance, you can optimise your content, calls to action, and overall user experience to drive better results.

Path Exploration - Explore 

The Path Exploration report in GA4 enables you to analyse the sequence of events users take on your website or app. By understanding the most common paths users follow, you can identify areas of friction or drop-offs in the user journey. This report helps you optimise the flow and design of your website or app to enhance user engagement and conversion rates.

Funnel Exploration - Explore

The Funnel Exploration report allows you to track user interactions within specific conversion funnels. It provides insights into the steps users take before completing a desired action, such as making a purchase or submitting a form. By analysing funnel drop-offs, you can identify conversion bottlenecks and optimise the user experience to maximise conversions.

Segment Overlap Exploration - Explore 

Segment Overlap Exploration helps you understand the overlap between different user segments. It allows you to compare the behaviour and engagement of various user groups to identify commonalities and differences. This report is valuable for refining your targeting and personalisation strategies by tailoring content and offers to specific user segments.

User Lifetime Exploration - Explore

The User Lifetime Exploration report provides insights into the lifetime value of your users. It tracks user behaviour over time, allowing you to analyse the retention and engagement rates of different cohorts. By understanding how user behaviour evolves over the customer lifecycle, you can implement strategies to improve user retention and maximise long-term value.

Cohort Exploration - Explore

Cohort Exploration in GA4 enables you to analyse user behaviour based on defined cohorts. Cohorts can be created based on various criteria, such as acquisition date or user characteristics. This report helps you evaluate the performance of different cohorts, understand user behaviour patterns, and make data-driven decisions to improve engagement and conversion rates.

Custom Reports - Explore

In addition to the pre-defined reports, GA4 Exploration Reports also allow you to create custom reports tailored to your specific needs. You can select dimensions, metrics, and filters to analyse the data that is most relevant to your business goals. Custom reports enable you to dive deep into specific segments, dimensions, or events to uncover actionable insights unique to your website or app. You are able to share these custom reports with other GA4 users, once a report has been created, click on the three dots on the left of the report and you can share - this will allow other GA4 users who have access to the Analytics account a view only level of the report where they can duplicate it if they need to make edits.

Why use GA4?

These reports provide valuable insights into user behaviour, allowing marketers to optimise their online presence and enhance conversion success. From user acquisition and engagement to analysing landing page performance, these GA4 reports help empower businesses to optimise their digital presence, enhance user experiences, and drive revenue growth. 

By leveraging the power of Google Analytics 4 and exploring these reports, marketers can gain a deeper understanding of their audience, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately achieve their objectives in today's dynamic business environment.