A Beginner's Guide to Using Google Analytics 4 for Web Traffic
Updated: Sep 5
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a powerful web analytics tool that provides insights into your website's performance, user behaviour, and marketing effectiveness.
GA4 provides a wealth of data and insights that can be overwhelming for beginners. Luckily for you, we’re here to help.
If you want to learn how to use Google Analytics to track website traffic intelligently, here's a guide to help you get started. We’ve broken down the key points to using GA4 for web traffic analysis.
Understanding Google Analytics 4 and Web Traffic
GA4 helps you track and measure various aspects of web traffic and engagements across your website. We’ll elaborate more on key metrics later, but for now, it’s enough to say that GA4 has a range of reports and features for this.
The point here is Google Analytics website traffic analysis, of course. With the data GA4 gives you, you can get a deeper understanding of things like the following:
And understanding those things gives you a strong marketing advantage. For instance, it helps you evaluate your website’s performance, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions.
The Key Metrics to Track on GA4
Now you know why you’re tracking traffic on GA4. But do you know what you’re tracking?
To get you started, here are the key metrics that matter:
GA4 also allows you to track Events, which are basically specified interactions or occurrences on your website or app. You can specify purchases on your website as events, for example, or clicks on specific links.
Using GA4 to Track the Top Pages on Your Site
Two of the best Google Analytics metrics to track are traffic and engagement (through metrics like average time on page). Keeping an eye on these lets you identify your website’s top-performing pages on GA4.
Why does this matter? Because knowing the most popular pages on your site gives you insight into what your audience is most interested in and what they respond to.
This lets you optimise both the already-successful pages and the ones that are still underperforming. Based on what the successful pages have in common, you can improve the ones that don’t have as much traffic or engagement.
This can help you achieve myriad other goals, from enhancing user experiences to driving conversions.
Finding Your Sources of Traffic through GA4
GA4 can help you understand where your website traffic is coming from and which channels are driving the most visitors. This is another of its great virtues: by giving you this data, it lets you assess the efficacy of your marketing channels.
For example, it can tell you how much of your traffic is coming from organic search, referrals, social media, or even paid ads. When you know which of these sources is sending you the most traffic, you essentially know which one to invest in most.
As you can see, this is hugely useful when you’re allocating your marketing budget. If you know a channel sends you far more traffic than others, it makes sense to prioritise it.
Setting up Goals (Events) and Conversion Tracking
You can set goals (as events) in GA4 to help you track and measure specific actions or conversions on your website. Your goals can be things like these but aren’t limited to them:
Let’s say you define one of these – purchases – as a goal in GA4. If a user performs the action by buying something on your site, GA4 will record it as a conversion.
That means you just need to use the “Conversions” report in GA4 to gain insights into goal completions and even the conversion paths users took on your website (the path that led them to the event you specified as a goal).
Tracking goal completions and analysing your conversion rates is great for evaluating the effectiveness of your website and marketing efforts. And GA4 really takes it to the next level.
That’s because it lets you go beyond just measuring predefined metrics. You can even leverage custom metrics and dimensions to measure additional data specific to your business needs!
Monitoring User Engagement
GA4 provides various metrics to measure user engagement and interaction on your website. Metrics like session duration, average time on page, and bounce rate let you gauge how users are engaging with your content.
By monitoring these metrics, you can assess the overall performance and effectiveness of your website in capturing and retaining users' attention.
You can also improve user experience by identifying pages with high bounce rates or low engagement to optimise them for increased conversions.
If you want to keep an eye on this, you can refer to the "Engagement" report in GA4 to gain insights on user engagement.
Analysing Audience Demographics and Behaviour
GA4 offers audience analysis to understand the demographics and interests of your website visitors. For instance, you can analyse user behaviour like the flow of users through your website or the frequency of their visits.
The value of this is obvious: you can understand users’ preferences better when you can see this data. This lets you tailor your marketing strategies accordingly, whether through things like language optimisation or even UI design or site layout.
To use GA4 for this, go to the "Audience" reports. This will let you gain insights into age, gender, location, and other demographic information of your audience.
Start using GA4 to get a handle on your digital marketing now
If you’ve made it this far, you should now have a good idea of how beneficial GA4 can be for any marketer or business owner. Its functions allow you to dive deep into your traffic data in order to optimise your marketing efforts with smart insights.
That said, it’s alright if you think you still need guidance in making the most of this tool. Simply reach out to us if that’s the case – we can help you use GA4 to take your business and website to the next level.
Contact us for a chat about your digital marketing needs any time!