Optimizing Your Digital Marketing Strategy With GA4


A solid understanding of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is essential for marketers looking to optimize their digital campaigns.


Journalists ask six classic questions when gathering information:


  • Who is this person?
  • What do you mean?
  • When will it happen?
  • What’s the location?
  • What’s the reason?
  • In what way?


You can also use this framework to determine how to best use GA4 within your organization.


In order to get the most out of the analytics platform, you must be able to answer at least six of the following seven questions:


  • What is the target audience for our company or client?
  • How should we set up our website’s events?
  • What is the best time to measure micro conversions?
  • Can you tell me where our reports need to be customized?
  • What is the purpose of integrating Google Ads with GA4 in the first place?
  • What is the best way for B2B marketers to use GA4?
  • What is the best way to use GA4 as a B2C marketer?


The purpose of this article is to provide you with a framework for optimizing GA4 to improve your digital marketing strategy.


What is the target audience for our company or client?


Audiences may mean different things within the same organization.


Remarketing audiences may be referred to by the advertising team.


A brand’s SEO, social, content, or digital PR teams may define audiences as a segment of users who have generated similar behavioral data or share demographic information.


These teams typically report their acquisition traffic by channel (e.g., organic search, social, or referral), but rarely segment their audiences by behavior, demographics, or conversions.


You might consider segmenting GA4 users based on the following criteria:


  • Searched for items.
  • Watched a video.
  • I’ve just finished watching a video.
  • Tutorial not completed.
  • A tutorial has been completed.
  • Email address provided.
  • Leads that can lead to business opportunities.


When users initiate X sessions, read Y articles, or cross Z conversion thresholds, GA4 allows Editors and Marketers to create audience triggers.


These features allow you to:


  • Find out what different audiences are searching for and engaging with.
  • Discover how users are unexpectedly moving through the customer journey.
  • Analyze what this means for optimizing the company’s digital marketing strategy.


If most of your traffic comes from organic search, organic social, organic video, organic shopping, referrals, and audio (e.g., podcast platforms), then why let advertising take all the credit for remarketing to audiences who are not “paid”?


How should we set up events on our website?


GA4 automatically collects events showing your contribution to the bottom line, but they aren’t reported and can’t be used to create audiences until enhanced measurement is enabled.


For enhanced measurement, SEOs may want to enable the following seven automatically collected events:


  • When a user clicks on a link to download a document, presentation, or audio file.
  • The first time a user interacts with a form in a session.
  • A form is submitted when the user submits it.
  • First time a user reaches the bottom 90% of a page.
  • The video starts playing when video_start is set to true.
  • The video progresses past 10%, 25%, 50%, and 75% duration time.
  • When the video is complete.


Go to Admin, click on Data Streams > Web, and slide the switch On under Enhanced measurement to enable the events you want to measure.


Additionally, you should consider adding the following events:


  • The user submits a form to request information.
  • The user logs in.
  • The user completes a purchase.
  • Your content is searched for by a user.
  • Your content is shared by a user.
  • A tutorial begins with tutorial_begin.
  • A tutorial has been completed by a user.


It is also possible to create custom events, but I won’t even try to guess what you might want.


As GA4 uses event-based data instead of session-based data, you’ll need to measure specific interactions after users arrive at your site and which channel they used to get there.


What is the best time to measure micro conversions?


In order to complete macro conversions, micro conversions measure important steps.


Until GA4, executives seemed only interested in macro conversions, so setting up micro conversions wasn’t worth it.


It is usually as simple as going to Admin, clicking on Events, and selecting the toggle under Mark as a conversion.


You may want to measure the following micro conversions, for example:


  • A blog post or article should be scrolled to 90%.
  • Watch at least 50% of a product video.
  • Learn how to complete a tutorial.
  • Get a copy of the white paper.
  • Fill out the registration form.
  • Sign up for a service.
  • The shopping cart will be filled with merchandise.


Micro conversions will be more meaningful to executives if they are associated with monetary values.


You might associate $50 (i.e., 10% of $500) as the monetary value of a newsletter sign-up if 10% of those who sign up become customers.


When someone completes a registration form, add the following value:


  • Click Admin > Events on the left.
  • The table of custom events can be accessed by clicking Create event.
  • To modify an event, click on it.
  • Click Add modification under Parameter configuration.
  • Enter currency in the Parameter field.
  • Enter a currency type (e.g., USD) in the Value field.
  • Add a modification by clicking Add.
  • Enter the value in the Parameter field.
  • Enter a value in the New value field (e.g., 50 for $50).
  • Save the file.


Do we need to customize our reports anywhere?


Based on the information provided during setup, GA4 offers different report collections.


Default reports include the Lifecycle collection, which helps you understand each stage of the customer journey – from acquisition to engagement to monetization to retention.


During setup, it is replaced by the Business objectives collection if someone selected “Raise brand awareness,” “Examine user behavior,” “Generate leads.” or “Drive online sales.”


Additionally, a User collection helps you learn about the people who use your site, including their age, location, and technology (e.g., browser, app).


Additionally, you can:


  • Reports can be changed by changing the primary dimension.
  • Reports can be enhanced by adding a secondary dimension.
  • Filter your report data to display a subset.
  • Reports can be adjusted by adjusting the date range.


You can also check out Explorations, which is a set of tools to help you discover deeper insights about your customers.


  • Identify where customers abandon the customer journeys you have laid out on your site, and how well they are succeeding or failing at each step.
  • Explore your users’ paths as they interact with your site.
  • Check if different segments of users overlap with each other. Use this technique to identify new user segments.
  • Analyze the users in the segments you create. You can also drill down into individual user activity.
  • Learn about the behavior and performance of groups of users that share common characteristics.
  • Examine user behavior and value over the course of their lifetime as a customer.


What is the purpose of integrating Google Ads with GA4 first?


Additionally, GA4 offers direct integration with a variety of platforms.


Google Ads integration allows you to see the full customer journey, from clicks to micro and macro conversions. It also enables remarketing with Google Ads using lists derived from the Analytics audiences that SEOs and marketers create in GA4.


However, Google Ads integration is only the first step.


For SEOs to analyze organic search traffic to their websites, they need to integrate Search Console with GA4.


With this integration, you can see:


  • Search engine rankings for your site.
  • Click-generating queries.
  • What landing pages engage more users and how many of those users convert.


It may be necessary for B2B marketers to integrate Salesforce Marketing Cloud with GA4. This integration allows you to track and analyze customer journey activity.


It sounds like plumbing projects. How can you turn critical data from these integrations with GA4 into strategic insights?


While I gasped when I first read his article five years ago, I now realize this is exactly how GA4 can be used to optimize your digital marketing strategy.


What is the best way for B2B marketers to use GA4?


Rather than calling their digital marketing strategy “suck less every day,” B2B CMOs might re-brand it as “flywheel marketing” or “digital transformation.”


This approach will allow marketing teams to nurture audiences, subscribers, and leads with the insights Analytics Intelligence will display on the home page of GA4.


Machine learning and conditions can be configured to highlight unexpected opportunities and threats with Analytics Intelligence.


To detect hourly anomalies, Analytics Intelligence uses a statistical technique called anomaly detection.


The training period is 90 days for detecting daily anomalies, and 32 weeks for detecting weekly anomalies.


Analytics Intelligence uses a statistical technique called “contribution analysis” to identify the user segments (a.k.a., audiences) contributing to anomalies.


In the next step, it calculates the “anomalous metric value” for each user segment. Finally, it displays these segments on “anomaly insight cards.”


Volunteers are needed to deliver food from retailers to people experiencing food insecurity through a non-profit organization in Pittsburgh called 412 Food Rescue.


“Google Analytics: 412 Food Rescue Case Study” reveals that automated insights indicated weekends were a little slower for volunteers and engagement.


They adjusted their social media campaigns to drive traffic to their website.


As a result, they were able to expand to new cities due to the 50% reduction in reporting time.


What is the best way for B2C marketers to use GA4?


The question is, how can the country’s top 100 advertisers, which are all B2C firms, use GA4 to optimize their digital marketing campaigns?


It is fortunate that GA4 offers a new way to measure online video advertising campaigns through engaged-view conversions (EVCs), which indicate that someone watched your YouTube ad for at least 10 seconds and then converted on your website within three days.


People tend to stay on YouTube even when they see an ad during their viewing session as this new KPI leverages consumer behavior.


In most cases, people do not act immediately after watching a YouTube video ad. Instead, they wait until they have finished watching the whole video.


EVCs also play a role in explaining why 70% of YouTube viewers say they bought a brand after finding it on YouTube.


YouTube’s 12th annual advertiser showcase, which was part of Upfronts 2023, gave the top 100 advertisers in the U.S. even more reasons to use this nerdy KPI.


Neal Mohan, YouTube CEO, said:


According to Nielsen, YouTube is the leader in streaming watch time on U.S. TV screens. We are seeing a seismic shift in the way people consume content.


According to Nielsen data, YouTube reached more than 150 million people on connected TVs in the United States, which is more than advertisers can reach during the Super Bowl.


Mary Ellen Coe, YouTube’s Chief Business Officer, said:


YouTube gives you access to all the content fans love, live and on-demand, from league partnerships like the NFL, NBA, and more. We are the number one destination for Gen Z sports fans.”


Among Gen Z (18-24) YouTube viewers, YouTube is the #1 platform for engaging with things they are passionate about, according to Archrival.


Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, said:


This past year, NFL content on YouTube gained a 27% increase in viewership year-over-year, with 1.9 billion views. Millions of football fans are on YouTube to catch all the action from the NFL.


As a result, GA4 is an excellent tool for optimizing your digital marketing strategy before YouTube becomes the new home of NFL Sunday Ticket on Sept. 10, 2023.


Afterward, you don’t want to face tough questions about why you didn’t reach football fans across YouTube’s entire NFL catalog.

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