Analysing Website Performance with GA4

GA4 - Measuring metrics for small business growth

Tools and Metrics for Small Business Growth


Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest iteration of Google’s web analytics platform, designed to provide deeper insights into user behavior across websites and apps. This guide will help small business owners understand and utilize GA4 to track and optimize their WordPress websites effectively.

7 Reasons to use GA4

  1. Event-Based Data Model:

    • Provides a more flexible and comprehensive way to track user interactions, allowing for more granular data collection.
  2. Cross-Platform Tracking:

    • Offers unified tracking for both web and mobile app data, giving a holistic view of user journeys across platforms.
  3. Enhanced User-Centric Data:

    • Provides deeper insights into user behaviour with features like cross-device tracking, user lifetime reports, and enhanced segmentation.
  4. Improved Privacy and Compliance:

    • Designed with a privacy-first approach, offering more robust data control and better compliance with privacy laws such as GDPR.
  5. Advanced Machine Learning:

    • Uses machine learning to provide predictive metrics and insights, such as purchase probability and churn probability.
  6. Customizable and Flexible Reporting:

    • The Analysis Hub allows for highly customizable and detailed reporting, including exploration reports and advanced analysis techniques.
  7. Automatic Tracking:

    • Can automatically track many standard events without additional coding, simplifying the setup process.

Setting up Google Analytics (GA4)

  1. Create a GA4 Property:

    • Sign in to Google Analytics.
    • Click on “Admin” and in the “Account” column, select the account you want.
    • In the “Property” column, click “Create Property.”
    • Follow the prompts to set up your GA4 property.
  2. Add GA4 to WordPress:

    • Install a plugin like “Site Kit by Google” or “GA Google Analytics.”
    • Follow the plugin instructions to connect your WordPress site to your GA4 property.
Google Analytics 4 with site kit

Understanding GA4 Metrics

GA4 introduces new metrics and a more user-centric approach compared to Universal Analytics. Here’s a detailed breakdown of key metrics:

1. Users

Definition: The total number of unique users who visited your site within the specified date range.

Importance: Indicates the size of your audience and helps measure the reach of your marketing efforts.

2. New Users

Definition: The number of first-time users during the selected period.

Importance: Shows the effectiveness of your campaigns in attracting new visitors.

3. Active Users

Definition: The number of users who have an active session on your site.

Importance: Helps understand engagement levels and the regularity of user visits.

4. Sessions

Definition: A session is a group of user interactions with your website within a given time frame.

Importance: Measures user engagement and activity on your site.

5. Engagement Rate

Definition: The percentage of sessions that lasted longer than 10 seconds, had a conversion event, or had at least 2 pageviews.

Importance: Provides insights into user interaction and interest in your content.

6. Average Engagement Time

Definition: The average amount of time users are actively engaged on your site.

Importance: Indicates the quality of your content and how well it retains user attention.

7. Pageviews

Definition: The total number of pages viewed, including repeated views of a single page.

Importance: Helps identify popular pages and areas needing improvement.

8. Events

Definition: User interactions with content that can be tracked independently from a web page or screen load.

Importance: Tracks specific actions like downloads, video plays, or link clicks, offering granular insights into user behaviour.

9. Conversions

Definition: Completed actions that are valuable to your business, such as purchases, sign-ups, or form submissions.

Importance: Measures the success of your site in achieving business goals.

10. User Demographics

Definition: Information about the age, gender, and interests of your users.

Importance: Helps tailor content and marketing strategies to your audience.

11. Traffic Sources

Definition: Where your users come from, including search engines, social networks, direct visits, and referral sites.

Importance: Evaluates the effectiveness of different marketing channels.

12. Retention

Definition: Measures the percentage of users who return to your site after their first visit.

Importance: Indicates user satisfaction and the long-term value of your content.

Analysing Website Performance with GA4 1

Utilising GA4 for WordPress Optimisation

Setting Goals and Conversions

  1. Identify Key Actions: Determine what actions are most valuable (e.g., purchases, form submissions).
  2. Set Up Conversions: Configure these actions as conversions in GA4 to track their completion rates.

Monitoring User Behaviour

  1. Use Engagement Metrics: Regularly review engagement rates and average engagement time.
  2. Analyse Event Data: Understand how users interact with different elements on your site.

Enhancing User Experience

  1. Identify Popular Pages: Use pageviews data to see which content resonates with users.
  2. Optimise Low-Performing Pages: Improve pages with low engagement or high bounce rates.

Improving Marketing Strategies

  1. Track Traffic Sources: Determine which channels drive the most valuable traffic.
  2. Refine Campaigns: Adjust marketing efforts based on user demographics and behaviour data.

Increasing Retention

  1. Analyse Retention Data: Identify patterns in user return rates.
  2. Enhance Content Strategy: Create content that encourages repeat visits.

Get a personalised GA4 Review

Get a free GA4 review and find out what is stopping your website from ranking high on Google. 

This includes a 30 min call with me and a bespoke action plan to help you get your practice on the map!


Why register for the Bitesize Marketing Guides

They have been created to support small business owners in all areas of marketing. Looking for help with your Website, Search Engine Optimisation or general Digital Marketing?  

We have insights from business leaders across London and the guides are formed from our weekly Power Hours as well as separate content driven pieces that have been proven to create long lasting relationships with customers. 


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