Crafting engaging content is one thing. Making sure that your out-of-this-world content and shiny new infographics spark real action that leads to concrete business for you — well, that’s the pot of gold at the end of every content marketer’s rainbow.
Hundreds of blogs feature the best secret marketing measurement tools out there. Developers constantly work their code magic to create programs to sell small and medium-sized businesses just the type of feedback they (think they) need.
Analytics is a big business. But one of the most powerful tools available today doesn’t cost money. Take some time to teach yourself a few Google Analytics skills, and you’ll uncover a wealth of insight that makes it easy to target your content with unparalleled precision.
Specialize in Advanced Traffic Segments
One of the best ways to tell whether your site is accomplishing what it’s supposed to be doing is to analyze your traffic. However, it’s nearly impossible to understand your traffic in a vacuum. It’s much easier to compare stats side by side so that you can see the differences and gather insight from them.
For example, let’s say you want to compare your site traffic from mobile devices and desktop computers. When making this comparison, you notice that users are interacting with certain pages on mobile but not on desktops. So, you can pay attention to these pages to see where the disconnect is happening and fix it.
How to do it in GA4
Building comparisons is really easy in Google Analytics 4, and you can compare any data set you like. Everything from user acquisitions to eCommerce purchases and demographics is up for grabs. Here are the steps involved in creating advanced segments in GA4.
- First, log into your account and pick the reporting tab you want to start with (i.e., Engagement>Conversions). Then, click on “add comparison.”
- A pop-up window will appear and allow you to define your traffic segment dimensions. The first thing to do is determine whether you want to include or exclude specific dimensions. Dimensions are part of the same condition, and they’re handled with an “or” logic field. So, if you choose two dimensions, GA4 will include data from either one.
- You can also add up to five categories. They are things like countries, devices used, etc. The dimension tabs help you narrow down each category. Also, if you add multiple categories to a single comparison, GA4 will treat them as an “and” condition. For example, perhaps you’re looking at users from the U.S. who use mobile devices.
- Once you’ve finished building a comparison, you’ll see it side by side with data from all users. Over time, you can refine your traffic segments and really drill down to the data that matters most for your needs.
Measure Content ROI
One problem many brands have is that they generate tons of content without knowing if it will result in sales. Yes, high-quality content is valuable, but are you getting anything out of it? Measuring content ROI is essential because it tells you which type of content gets the most traction. This prevents you from wasting time on irrelevant pieces.
On the one hand, GA4 allows you to build custom events to track conversion rates and assign dollar values to them. The downside, however, is that this process is relatively tricky and time-consuming, so it can take a while to build an ROI system. But once you do so, you should be able to run it on autopilot and see the results pretty easily.
How to do it in GA4
While the details are a bit more complicated, here is an overview of the steps involved in measuring content ROI:
- Create Custom Events – You must set up unique events (e.g., when someone makes a purchase or signs up for an email list) and mark them as conversions. GA4 has a long list of conversion events, and you can also create your own.
- Pull Cost Data – GA4 allows you to import data from other sources, such as third-party advertisers or Google Ads. You’ll need to pull your cost data so that you can compare it to your conversion statistics and determine your ROI.
- Add Values to Each Conversion Event – One of the great things about GA4 is that you can add monetary value to events. For example, you could assign your average order value to each purchase, or you can estimate the value of a specific event. You’ll then compare these values to your cost data to see how much profit the events generate overall.
Track Keyword Engagement
One of the biggest changes implemented in Google Analytics 4 is that it doesn’t publish organic keywords anymore. This change is intended to help protect user privacy, so you have to work around it to know which keywords are driving the most engagement.
Because you can produce more effective content by identifying these keywords, it’s important to learn the steps you must take to get these reports.
How to do it in GA4
First, you need to verify that you’re the site owner in GA4. To accomplish this, you must have a Google Search Console account. In your GSC account, go to Search Property and then Add Property to enter your site’s URL. Verification only takes a couple of minutes. You’ll have to click on “go to property” to finish verification.
Next, access your Google Analytics account and find your website. Go to Admin>Property Column>Product Links>Google Search Console Links. Then, link your site to GA4. You’ll have to review the link and submit your settings for it to go live.
Once your site is linked, you have to turn report publishing on. Go to Library and find Search Console. Click the three dots and hit “publish.” Then, go to the Queries report under Search Console. You’ll want to add “organic Google search query.” Once you’ve added this to your reports, it will take 48 hours before you see any data.
After you start to see your organic keyword report, you can filter the data as you see fit. Be sure to track this data over time to see which keywords are generating the most traffic. This way, you can adapt your content publishing strategy accordingly.
Understand Your Customer Journey
The customer journey is how a user interacts with your website. Ideally, the journey will end with a purchase, but not always. Seeing the customer journey in real-time provides valuable insight that helps you understand how people are using your website and landing pages. This data may confirm that you’re doing the right thing, or it could show you where you need improvement.
GA4 is excellent for tracking the customer journey, and you can do it like this:
First, you have to create unique user IDs. You’ll need to do this regularly, but it’s worthwhile because this step allows you to track multiple users and their journeys. Just make sure the ID doesn’t include any personal information, or it’ll get flagged by Google.
When tracking a customer’s journey, you can either pick a starting point and see where they went or begin at an ending point (e.g., buying a product) and work your way backward. Either way, you’ll use the Path Exploration template and choose a Starting Point or Ending Point. Then, put your user ID into the dimension tab to see data nodes in the direction you chose.
The default number of nodes (actions or events) is five, but you can add up to 20 total nodes for a single path. You can also adjust the path data as you see fit to get more insight from your users. GA4 has a lot of data on tracking customer journeys, so you’ll want to experiment as much as possible to get the best reports.
Predict Customer Habits
Another major change to GA4 is the addition of machine learning. While this option only works for sites with relatively high traffic (i.e., several thousand unique visitors per day or week), it’s hugely valuable.
There are three ways that GA4 can predict user behavior:
- Purchase Probability – The likelihood that an active user will trigger a conversion event (e.g., buying a product)
- Churn Probability – The likelihood that a user will not be active for at least seven days
- Predicted Revenue – The total revenue expected over the next 28 days based on user activity over the last 28 days
As you can imagine, this data could help you understand your site traffic better and enable you to make smarter predictions about which users are high-value and which ones are likely to churn.
That said, GA4 needs to collect a lot of data before it can deliver accurate predictions. For example, at least 1,000 returning users must have triggered the same conversion event within the last 28 days. Otherwise, GA4 won’t have enough information to provide valuable insight.
However, the program will only get better and more refined over time. So, while the predictions in the first month may be somewhat hit-or-miss, subsequent months will likely be much more precise. Eventually, you can rely more heavily on this data to help your sales and marketing teams generate greater earnings.