Google Analytics 4 is a new, exciting, and evolving tool. Those of us who started working with it on its launch date have seen its improvements firsthand. Not only have we seen the tool evolve a lot in the past, but it will keep evolving well into the future.
If you want to keep track of the new features and utilities of the system, we’ve prepared a rundown of several recent updates to the system. As GA 4 is a growing system, more features will be introduced in the future. This article only mentions improvements until the end of July 2023.
You might not have seen this feature even if you use GA 4 every day. A new report can be added by the administrators or editors of your property to the report tab. The audience report focuses on users and their behaviour on your website. While this is not completely new data, so far we’ve had to use exploration to access it. The audience report tab is part of an effort to put the most useful information for audiences right at their fingertips.
If you want to know more about the audience report and how to enable it, look here.
Automated exports of GA 4 audiences to Google Ad Manager
You can now use third-party segments with Google Analytics 4 audiences in Google Ad Manager. To use this, you need to have correctly linked the Analytics property to Ad Manager. Once the link is established, you can activate Google signals and enable ad personalisation in the link settings. This will automatically export your GA4 audiences to Ad Manager.
You can then use these audiences for targeting, combining them with other audiences, or performing analyses. For example, you could target a third-party segment of high-value customers with a specific ad campaign. Or, you could combine a GA4 audience of website visitors who have abandoned their carts with a third-party segment of people who have recently searched for products on your website. More information is available here.
This new feature comes just on the heels of the previous audience export option, the GA 4 Audience Export API.
Improved audience builder
You might have noticed that the recent improvements revolve around audiences. One of its key elements, the audience builder in GA 4, received a lot of care this year, with several updates aimed at its evolution.
One key new feature is the option to include custom dimensions and metrics while building an audience. This allows you to truly customise your audience exactly to your business’s specifications. Custom dimensions and metrics are just the latest options enabled for the audience builder. A month before that, the item-scoped dimensions and metrics became available.
Along with that update, we also got an improved way of defining the audience, with a full set of mathematical operators for count and values. Now, it’s simple to define an audience with more than 20 product detail views in the last 5 days. Values from events can be used, as well as in-between date ranges. With each update, the segment/audience builder becomes a more refined and powerful tool that will play an important role in the use of GA 4.
Improvements to reusing analytics.js website tags for GA 4 properties
When migrating from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4, customers with websites tagged with analytics.js can use a feature called connected site tags to reuse their existing tag. There are a few things to consider when doing this. For example: If you use analytics.js to load your connected site tag, enhanced measurement events will be disabled in GA 4.
Generally, it’s advised to customise your implementation to ensure full compatibility with the new GA 4 and other Google products. But the option to quickly update to GA 4, using your existing structure, is an option. You can read more about it, including a step-by-step guide, here.
Ecommerce dimensions and metrics are now available in the custom report builder
Custom reports are a major step forward in keeping your team informed and on track with the latest developments on your website. Now, you can add e-commerce dimensions and metrics to your reports in the report tab.
Along with this, two duplicate revenue metrics were removed (e-commerce revenue and Event revenue), and three new ones were added:
- Gross item revenue (The total revenue from items only, excluding tax and shipping)
- Gross purchase revenue (The total revenue from purchases made on your website or app)
- Refund amount (The total amount from refunds given on your website or app)
To create explorations and see revenue from e-commerce transactions, use Purchase Revenue. Existing explorations that use these removed metrics will continue to work, but new explorations should use the new revenue metrics instead.
GA 4 is now in a very exciting phase of development and usage. New updates are rolled out each month, improving the already-existing technology.