Life Cycle: The Google Analytics Reports You Will Use Most Often
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Life Cycle: The Google Analytics Reports You Will Use Most Often
Kate Gingold
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Life Cycle: The Google Analytics Reports You Will Use Most Often

While there is a plethora of information available in the new GA4 reports, knowing how to read the Life Cycle reports is probably most important for you and your team. Here’s what you’ll find:

We’ve been working our way through the screens in Google Analytics 4, identifying each briefly so you know what you’re looking at, but most small businesses won’t spend a lot of time with the minutiae. The info your team will find most useful is in the Life Cycle series of reports.

There are four collections of reports:  Acquisition, Engagement, Monetization, and Retention. The Monetization reports will be all-important if you sell product on your website as it shows how revenue is generated. When you click on the little arrow next to the word “Monetization,” the drop-down reveals a breakdown of the report collections. You can track e-commerce purchases including the Purchase Journey, the Checkout Journey, and In-App Purchases, if you have an app for your business.

The Promotions report tracks activity on promotions within your website such as banner ads, sidebar ads, or similar. For instance, if your website has a page of products and a pop-up ad says “Order now and get free shipping!” you can track how many customers started on that journey, what products they put in their shopping carts, and how many completed their purchases.

That’s great stuff, but not very interesting to businesses that do not sell product on their websites. The Retention group of reports may also be of more interest to e-commerce businesses. These reports measure how many of your website’s visitors return to your site as well as how often they return and how engaged they are when they do return.

As an example, if you provide skin care products, reselling and upselling are a vital part of your business plan. You’ll want to know if customers who just bought the firming cream are now coming back to get the face wash. You might also offer a skin care class with a new video every day. The Retention reports show you the percentage of users who have returned to your website in their first 42 days as well as their engagement on your pages.

Again, this data could be crucial to certain kinds of businesses, but if it isn’t important to your business, you don’t have to spend time figuring out how to read these reports. For many small biz folk, the Acquisition and Engagement report collections will be of the most interest. Next time, we will focus on just these two.

Remember, the old Google Universal Analytics stopped processing data in July of 2023. In July of 2024, everyone loses access to the UA interface. If you have been putting off migrating to the new Google Analytics 4, or if you don’t think you set it up properly, you really need to make the change. Our Sprocket Websites team can straighten your Analytics out so it’s recording data properly and providing you with useful reports. Just give us a call to learn more!

Photo by Johannes Plenio

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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