7 Things That GA4 Analytics Can Tell You About Your SEO Campaign
Analyzing data plays a huge role in your organization. You can extract data from any process within your business and see how that area is performing. Analytics can be applied to almost any part of your workflows and can validate that things are working well, identify areas that need some adjustments, or confirm that individual campaigns are doing what they were meant to.
One particular area that you want to analyze regularly is your SEO strategy. After all, it’s your SEO that leads to how high your website is ranked, helps people find and engage with your content, and drives customers to your site where, hopefully, their visit will lead to better conversion and sales rates as well as a good CSAT score.
It’s crucial that you use an analytics tool that’s efficient and gives you accurate snapshots. It’s fantastic when that tool is free to use (the CFO cheers). Step forward Google Analytics 4 (GA4), a brilliantly insightful tool that can give you all the information you need to ensure that your SEO strategy is working well.
What is GA4, though? Are you already using GA4 and, if so, are you using it to its full potential? If not, how can you improve your use of it and get even more insights? We look at seven things GA4 can tell you to ensure your SEO is as good as it can be.
What is GA4?
GA4 analytics was created by Google as a free tool that allows businesses to see how people find and use your site and to better understand the customer journey. You can also add to this through Dialpad's guide to customer touch points.
As you can probably guess, GA4 is the fourth version of Google Analytics to be released and has improvements made to previous versions so that you get more insights.
What sort of things can you do with GA4? Let’s take, for example, that you’re offering unified communications services with products such as virtual business phone numbers. You can:
- See your visitor demographics, such as age and gender.
- Look at the geographical locations of people visiting your site and making purchases.
- Analyze the percentage of traffic that comes from organic searches.
- Identify which content is most engaged with and which has low engagement stats.
- Have insights into how people found your website.
What's changed with GA4?
When a company releases a new version of an existing tool, you, of course, expect some changes and improvements. So, what can you expect to see differently about GA4 compared with the previous version?
The main change is that GA4 has changed the logic in how it collects data and structures it. Whereas previous versions focused on sessions, GA4 focuses more on events and users. What that means is that every user interaction is now viewed as a unique, standalone event. When you used GA before, it grouped all user interactions within a certain timeframe as sessions.
Changing to events means that your marketing team gets better insights into how different platforms are performing and a more focused view and analysis of the path any customer takes. This allows your teams to have greater flexibility and an increased ability to predict customer behavior as you move forward.
7 Things that GA4 analytics can tell you about your SEO campaign
So, you can see that major improvements have been made and that you should be considering making the switch to GA4 analytics now. Better insights mean you can improve performance and improve the metrics and KPIs that matter most to you.
1. Real-time Users
This can be a great insight as it lets you see information on your users/visitors over the last 30 minutes. It lets you see their location, analyze traffic from that location, and compare it with overall traffic. You can also see what sort of device they’re accessing your site from, such as desktop or mobile devices.
This feature also lets you see what percentage of your users are finding you via a Google organic search. You can also see how many users come from other sources, such as paid searches or links embedded in other content, such as blogs or social media posts.
This can help you see how effectively different strands of your SEO strategy are working to drive customers to your site.
2. Organic visitors
This is one of the most important data sets when it comes to measuring how effective your SEO tactics are. With GA4, you can analyze your organic visitors over different time frames (seven, 28, and 90 days), which is something that can be really helpful if you’ve made any adjustments to your SEO. It also lets you see how many organic visitors came from different search engines.
Organic visitors should be your biggest user group. They have found your website using certain keywords, and your SEO strategy should have established a ranking that puts you high on SERPs (search engine result pages).
Your ranking on SERPs is a reflection of how a particular search engine views your authority, and your SEO team should always be striving to achieve (and maintain) as high a ranking as possible.
3. User trends
As with organic visitors, you can also look at other user trends over a seven, 28, or 90-day period (seven is the default setting). Being able to identify and compare any trends can let you see whether things are remaining stable (good), improving (very good), or going in the wrong direction (bad). These comparisons can be extremely helpful when it comes to adjusting SEO tactics and could influence changes in website structure.
You can also look at any developing or changing trends in different dimensions, such as device category (which could show you that you may need to optimize aspects of your site), location of users (which could highlight a need for different regional SEO tactics), and how many users are coming from Google organic searches.
4. User engagement
Of course, you don’t just want people to visit your website. You want them to actively engage with your site and your SEO-enabled content. GA4 allows you to analyze the most important aspects of user engagement, such as the average engagement time, how many engaged sessions each user has, and what the average engagement time on each session is.
This is—again—something that reflects how well your SEO is working, especially in the wake of any changes you’ve made to your SEO. Positive changes can mean that the SEO and content are performing well, while negative changes can—obviously—show that something isn’t working as well as it should and needs attention.
5. Traffic acquisition
One of the main factors that will drive any changes to your SEO strategy is knowing the patterns in where traffic comes from. You’ll already know that different search engines may prize some SEO above others and that you need to be able to adjust your strategy to suit those engines. Of course, Google will be the most important, but you can’t overlook other search engines.
Being able to see where you’re acquiring traffic from can help you with future decisions. And, of course, it’s not just about the volume of traffic but also the quality of that traffic and how long people engage with your site. GA4 lets you see all the traffic you acquire, from search engines primarily, but also from referrals or from a specific site or blog.
6. Geographical location and engagement
If your business is operating globally, then you want to be able to analyze data by region or country. You also want to see whether there are related patterns when it comes to engagement; do visitors from a particular country engage better than those from other countries?
If you’re just operating within one country or region, GA4 can also let you see any patterns on a city-by-city basis.
You’ll already know that SEO and content needs can differ from region to region. There may be both language and cultural differences you need to take into account. If you’re operating different strategies in different locations, then GA4 can let you see at a click how those strategies are performing and if you need to make changes.
7. Retention data
Customer retention has always been important. These users have lower CAC (customer acquisition costs) as well as a higher CLV (customer lifetime value). But you also want to see visitors returning to your website even if they haven’t yet made a purchase.
It shows they like your content and engage with it. It also shows they’re likely to buy something in the future.
GA4 lets you compare new and returning visitors over those same seven, 28, and 90-day periods. If your returning visitor numbers are low, then there may well be issues with your website that need to be addressed.
That can, however, depend on the type of website and the topics your content covers, as your site may be specialized and offer services such as agile methodology for testing. It may also be a reflection that your SEO tactics aren’t broad enough.
Analytics is crucial for any business and can range from simple analysis of sales figures to more complex SQL for analytics. However, without a good SEO strategy driving traffic to your site, the likelihood is that all your analyses will show poor overall results.
The improvements made in GA4 give you deeper insights than ever before that allow you to track and compare the important metrics that result directly from how you use your SEO. With the changes and added features, your marketing team should be able to utilize SEO more efficiently than they did before.