Entering the New World of GA4 & Its Related Terms
If you’re not a numbers person, or in tune with the online performance of your website, you may be unaware that a big change has taken place regarding analytics tracking of your dealership website. Analytics, of course, allows you to see how many new & returning users are visiting your website, as well as how they interact with said website. This is crucial in understanding your customers, and how you, and us as your marketing agency, can help your website improve both website traffic and user engagement.
We know there are a lot of dealers who aren’t too connected with the online world of their business, that’s fine, that’s where we come in, but, there’s also a huge contingent of our clients who are working hand-in-hand with us to take advantage of all the digital media landscape has to offer. Either way, no matter your familiarity or interest in analytics, it is crucially important to the modern success of your business, and, at EDealer, we are committed to making understanding that data as easy as possible for you.
The Big Switch from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4
Google recently (officially as of July 1st, 2023) replaced Universal Analytics with a new, upgraded platform for analytics data called Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This new system was put in place not only to avoid privacy concerns regarding third-party cookies but also to provide much higher quality, accurate and practical metric insights to match how customers shop online today. GA4 (once you get used to it) is a smarter and more effective tool to more easily track a customer journey across different platforms (like websites and apps) using more convenient event data, all the while being more privacy-conscious.
Beyond privacy legislation, GA4 is tracking a different consumer journey than UA did. Rather than just considering everything in terms of what happened with a user on a singular visit where they convert, the fundamental tracking in GA4 breaks down into two clear concepts. Firstly, users engage with our brands and websites more than once, and through multiple mediums, so it is important to acknowledge the differences between their first visit and their final visit. Secondly, and most centrally, everything that takes place on your website is a series of connected “events” that help us more clearly define each of the steps taken on the way to a purchase. While many of the metrics that we track are still relevant, their context changes based on how those numbers impact each of the events that they are related to.
What this does mean, though, is that there are going to be a few new terms, and slightly modified definitions to familiar terms, that we all need to become used to seeing in our monthly reporting. To help you better understand what these metrics mean, we’ve put together a growing list of GA4 terms and their definitions, so you can better understand what they are, how they’re gathered and what their purpose is.
GA4 Metric Term Glossary
- Views: This is the number of web pages that a user saw. Similar to pageviews from UA, but with differing numbers from UA due to how GA4 collects data.
- Total Users: This is the number of users who have visited your website. This metric should be exceedingly familiar to those knowledgeable in Universal Analytics, but with differing numbers from UA due to how GA4 collects data.
- New Users: This is the number of new visitors who visited your website. This metric should be exceedingly familiar to those knowledgeable in Universal Analytics, but with differing numbers from UA due to how GA4 collects data.
- Sessions: This is the amount of time a user has been engaged with your website. This metric should be exceedingly familiar to those knowledgeable in Universal Analytics but with differing numbers from UA due to how GA4 collects data and additional factors like geography, UTMs and filters.
- Average Session Duration: This term concerns the length of time a user spends during a session. While familiar from UA, it’s tracked differently in GA4, and thus you’ll see a largely different number. Since GA4 collects events, it provides more accurate data on what a user may be doing on a page, something UA simply couldn’t do.
- Engagement Rate: The engagement rate is calculated by the percentage of engaged sessions on your website. You’re probably used to bounce rate, which is the percentage of sessions that weren’t engaged with, so the engagement rate is just the inverse. This provides a better idea of the engagement that you are getting with your website.
Note: this is an ongoing list to be updated periodically to match the demands of the most frequented & requested terminology guidance from our dealers.
Get GA4 Reporting at EDealer
From your website’s general performance to specifics like SEO content marketing and digital advertising, EDealer is your one-stop shop to expertly promote and track insights online for your dealership. We are the complete solution for today’s car dealer, so contact us to see how we can make your numbers rise in GA4 thanks to a number of online services and marketing strategies aimed to satisfy the modern vehicle shopper.