Following the previous article about getting started with GA4, You will want to ensure that traffic is flowing into your GA4 account, and if it is, see if Google has identified any “events” on your behalf.
The first thing you see after logging in to Google Analytics 4 is the Home section that shows an overview of all users including those in the last 30 minutes.
If you see any data here, you have been successful in the previous step of setting up a GA4 account.
You may notice that the number of users in GA4 does not align with the number of users in your UA (Universal Analytics account). The goal is to keep it simple for now so we are not going to go into detail about the how and the why – but if this is of interest to you, I refer you to Online Metrics, who do a great job of summarizing this:
We are going to start to focus on ENGAGED traffic, not just any traffic so it is important to understand events and conversions:
Events are user behaviours that signal an interest in something you have to offer – examples include (but are not limited to):
- Form completions
- Clicks on email addresses or phone numbers
- Newsletter signups
- Clicks out to your social media platforms
- Video views
- Appointment bookings
Some events are more important than others (e.g. a form completion is likely more valuable to you than a click out to your social media platform) and we want to designate these events as Conversions.
In Universal Analytics, events were not built in – you had to set them up yourself or in some cases your website would send event activity to GA. In GA4, some events are built in. For an up to date list of events, see GA Support (warning, it’s not fun reading for the faint of heart!).
Conversions are not built into either system (UA or GA4) – you can create them based on events (and other ways but we’ll focus on events for now).
Seeing Events in GA4
You navigate to events using the Configure menu, followed by Events.
Configure -> Events
You will only see events here if a user has taken this action on your website. For example, just because you have videos on your website, if nobody has viewed a video, then you will not see video views as an event.
Here are my events (some of these are defaults and some are a result of my asking my team to create them).
Creating Conversions From Events
We can only create a conversion (you may have known this concept as a goal in GA4) from an event that is showing here (we’ll talk about other ways to create conversion in future). You do this by sliding the toggle over as seen below.