Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google-powered analytics tool. The new analytics tool offers a wide range of powerful features while using machine learning to provide more insightful data that businesses can use to understand their clients better and improve the efficiency of their marketing. To effectively use GA4 to your advantage, there are some things that you want to avoid doing. In this blog post, we have outlined 5 Google Analytics 4 Mistakes to Avoid.
Not Adjusting Engaged Session Timeout
By default, the period for a session to be considered an “engaged session” is 10 seconds. If a user is on a website for at least 10 seconds, the session is regarded as an “engaged session.” This threshold is relatively low and it should be updated to a more extended period. In GA4, the options for increasing the period for engaged sessions are 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 seconds. We recommend selecting 30 seconds for determining an engaged session for a regular content website because that’s a more accurate capture of an engaged session.
Not Adding an Internal Traffic Filter
Internal traffic is defined as website traffic from your internal team or office. For example, if a staff member visits your website while browsing on their computer at your office, that visit is part of internal traffic. Internal traffic can skew your website data because you may see a lot of website traffic, but a good portion of that traffic is your internal team members visiting your website and not clients visiting your website. To avoid collecting website traffic from your internal team and skewing your data, you can define internal traffic in your GA4 property by adding your office IP address to your GA4 property. Any website traffic from such IP addresses will be excluded from your GA4 data, assuring accurate data collection in your GA4 property.
Not Adjusting Data Retention Period
By default, the data retention period in GA4 is 2 months. You can change it to 14 months. This change lets you create exploration reports and extend the time of your report to the previous 14 months. If you don’t make this change and set the data retention period to 2 months, you can only look back at 2 months of your historical data.
Not Activating Google Signals
Google signals are session data from sites and apps that Google associates with users who have signed in to their Google accounts and turned on Ads Personalization. This data association with these signed-in users enables cross-device reporting, cross-device remarketing, and cross-device conversion export to Google Ads. If you activate Google Signals in your GA4 property, your GA4 property can better identify unique users on multiple devices. If a user logs in to their Google account on their computer and phone and visits your website from both devices, GA4 can determine that both visits come from the same user. This more accurate data collection approach lets GA4 capture a more precise reflection of your website performance.
Not Creating Custom Audiences
One of the new, compelling features in GA4 is the ability to create custom audiences. You can build audiences based on specific conditions. For example, you can build audiences of new visitors, returning visitors, visitors who have converted on your website, or visitors who have been to specific pages and haven’t converted. Building custom audiences lets you dig deeper into the website behaviors of these specific audiences and find opportunities to improve your website performance. For instance, you can build a custom audience of those who have converted on your website and another custom audience of visitors who haven’t converted on your website. Once the audiences are created, you can compare the website behaviors of these two audiences and determine the differences between the two and find opportunities to convert more visitors who haven’t been converted into conversions.
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