Digital marketers that want to get the most accurate and complete information from their website data are measuring Events. The good news is that these events and event parameters cover most aspects of collecting data for Google Analytics 4 (GA4), so you can get a more complete picture of how visitors to your website are converting. One way to ensure your website is properly set up to accurately record these GA4 events is to analyze your user data.
When can user data help optimize your website for GA4 events?
If you are looking for ways to optimize your website for Google’s GA4, observing how people are currently using the website can help you map the on-site digital experience to your analytics structure. Here are the best times to consider a user experience audit to optimize your website analytics:
When you’re thinking about a site redesign or you’ve recently undergone a site redesign.
When you’re revisiting your messaging/branding.
When you aren’t getting engagement with a specific Call To Action (CTA) or conversion point.
When you have Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) questions, but limited traffic.
“This is a great solution that doesn't take as much time as a full scale audit, and can help us identify improvements that can move the needle in an effective way.”
When engagement varies outside of Core Web Vitals (CWV) scores between mobile/desktop.
Free GA4 Migration Planner
Worried that a broken or incomplete infrastructure might make your switch to GA4 difficult? We can take a look and let you know where we see potential issues and how to make it work!
Use this GA4 Migration Planner to see what you might be missing.
Start by considering the user journey
To determine where and how to adjust your website so you get the most accurate and useful data from GA4, take a close look at what’s needed for a user to convert to a lead or sale.
How difficult is it for a user to get from a landing page to a conversion?
What steps might they need to take to convert?
Is the path clear, with discernible mileposts along the way?
It helps if you have a good foundation of historical data. You can begin to identify other relevant metrics that help indicate a user is advancing through each level of the sales funnel.
“Start by fixing technical issues first, strengthening the site for both search engines and users. Then, conduct a user experience assessment with at least 8 months of data prior to any adjustments. This information is also valuable in that it shows how users are actually engaging with the website.”
Determining the right way for your company to track GA4 Events
When introducing a new set of data to help optimize a website, we recommend you take a step back and answer these questions:
1. Why are we doing this?
2. What do we value?
3. What trends do we want to identify?
4. What can we realistically accomplish based on our findings?
“You don’t necessarily want to redo everything on your homepage based on a heatmap and some GA data, but this is great to review visibility and accessibility of your website’s primary objectives.”
Your guide to auditing user data to improve GA4 tracking
Here’s how Workshop Digital helps clients assess and optimize their websites for the GA4 method of data collection.
- Install and run heatmaps for at least 2 months. We like to have a tool like HotJar installed for at least one quarter.
One thing to note: If you aren’t worried about detailed conversion rate optimization metrics, you can take heatmap data from sampled traffic of a limited number of sessions/day.
- Pull the relevant data from Google Analytics:
Pages that receive most conversions
Devices that users convert on
- Pages that funnel visitors to the most valuable conversion point
i.e. If form submissions are a goal, you would map out what landing page organic users went through to eventually submit a completed form.
If we have multiple conversion points of a high value, we do this for each goal we have configured.
- Related to the above, we use phone call tracking software to identify pages that generate the most phone calls
This one may uncover some interesting data. In our experience, this traffic does not always come from the homepage, as you might expect.
- Pull data from a tool like HotJar. We typically look at:
Scroll depth on the homepage
Most clicked items on the homepage
Scroll depth on any other core pages
Most clicked items on those core pages
Scroll depth on blogs (if applicable)
Most clicked items on blogs (if applicable)
Cross-reference the data with your primary KPIs and targets
Establish next steps to begin optimization
Conducting a user data analysis will help you identify ways to optimize your website for GA4 events, and can help make your website more effective and efficient. Improving the user experience on your site should create more efficient pathways to conversion while also making sorting GA4 data easier. Get in touch with us today so we can help you use data to get the most from your digital marketing budget.