Latest Google analytics updates: Google Analytics Universal to Google Analytics 4

Authored by: Katherine Monestel DocuSend, powered by MTI.
Updated on April 28, 2021
Marketing strategies using GA4

Hey! Google does it again!

If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner who likes to review the analytics of your website, you should know this…

There is a huge update on Google Analytics and some rules have changed.

First, the bounce metric is removed from the new Google Analytics, GA4.

Bounce rate was certainly a very useful metric for our SEO analytics. The bounce rate was calculated when users landed on a particular page from an external resource (i.e. Google search) and left the page without any other action. This metric used to help us determine if the page was interesting for users, or if it provided what the searcher was looking. It also provided some clues as to whether any of our keywords really matched the content the visitor was trying to find.

In short, the bounce rate told us if the page did not satisfy the user’s intent. This implied that visitors viewing that page were less likely to become customers or repeat users. They did not click on links to other pages, since they did not find what they were looking for.

Google, in terms of digital marketing, follows the maxim: Users first!

They want to keep their users happy and satisfied. If a page is not providing good results for users, it will drop in the search position list. This is translated to low visibility and low ranking.

The New Way to Know if Your Site Is Good for Users

The new version of Google Analytics has replaced the concept of a “bounce” with something called an “engaged session”. It will work almost the same but from the positive rather than the negative perspective.

With bounce rate, we were taking care that it did not go up to 100% because that was extremely negative, but now with the Engagement Rate, you will want it to go up to 100% because that says that your site is very good and satisfies users’ expectations.

In simple words, Engagement Rate is the inverse of Bounce Rate.

You’ll notice several new metrics in GA4 properties that are built on top of this concept:

  • Engagement Rate = (engaged sessions) / (sessions)
  • Engaged Sessions per User = (engaged sessions) / (users)
  • Engagement Time = sum(engagement time)

Second, the standard menu reports have changed:

tips to create reports and track website performance

Many tabs have been merged or renamed, so you will need to take some time to learn it again.

A walkthrough of the Google Analytics 4 user interface is at:

Here you will find some other changes in GA4:

February 19, 2021. Contribution Analysis V1

Analytics frequently scans your data for anomalies in metrics. If irregularities are found it will display granular user segments to demonstrate them. This also provides you the source name and some other data that will help to determine which digital marketing technique is working better.

Here’s an example of contributing segments:

smallbusiness owners tool

Cohort Analysis is very useful for ecommerce companies to spot products that have higher sales or sales potential.

track and analyze your website

Cohort analysis is used effectively in the following industries:

  • Mobile apps
  • Cloud software
  • Digital marketing
  • Online gaming
  • Website security

This analysis helps us determine customer retention rate (CRR)

There are two types of cohort analysis:

  1. Acquisition cohorts: Cohort divides users based on when they signed up for a product. Depending on your product, user acquisition could be tracked daily, weekly, or monthly.
  2. Behavioral cohorts: This helps you to observe user’s behavior during a given period.
cohort analysis

If you have not moved to GA4 yet, here is a short explanation about how to do it:

GA4 assistant setup guide

Benefits of Using GA4

  • Tracks your website and mobile apps
  • More focused on the user´s journey through your site
  • User centric
  • Enhanced Visualization and Reporting
  • Provides predictive analytics capabilities
  • Advance analysis reports

See this link for more GA4 advantages.

Google frequently changes their algorithm and metrics, so make sure you don’t get left behind. Keep your competitive edge by continually updating your knowledge and honing your way of analyzing metrics.

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About the author
Maximizing Small Business Efficiency

Katherine Monestel is the SEO Coordinator for DocuSend and enjoys sharing ideas with small business owners and others involved in optimizing their websites. A trained educator and the mother of a child on the autism spectrum, she coordinates seminars on autism and asperger syndrome to support families and inform teachers.

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