Google Analytics

Google Analytics 4 Event Parameters: What is it and Why You Should Be Using it

A Guide to Understanding Your Website Traffic

When running a business you have to use data to optimize profit and efficiency. Data is one of the most important resources you could utilize as a business owner. Therefore, taking time to understand the tools on the market for data collection is vital to the success of your business. For example, there is data on the user experience when they visit your site— you can see how long they stay on your site, and what tabs they opened while visiting. There is so much knowledge to be gained by exploring data. 

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a data collection service that measures traffic and engagement across websites and apps. If you want to see what tabs a person is clicking on your website, you want to use the event tracking feature that GA4 offers. With GA4 event tracking you’ll be able to see user engagement and track the overall performance of your website. Website design can be tricky, so by using the event parameters you can figure out if there are specific elements on your site that aren’t working. 

One thing that makes GA4 event parameters great is that you can customize the parameters you want it to track. There is a bit of a learning curve, but what program doesn’t have that?

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What is Google Analytics? 
  • Benefits of event tracking with GA4
  • The different types of events 

What is Google Analytics? 

Google Analytics falls under the umbrella of the Google Marketing platform. Google Analytics 4 replaced Universal Analytics. As of July 2023, GA4 is the only Google analytic software that is collecting data and is used to track and measure website activity. Universal Analytics did not have an event parameter component in its software. . A feature GA4  is known for is its cross-platform tracking abilities. As more and more people use mobile devices, app use increases, therefore, using a platform that can track website and app traffic is essential. 

When we think about the amount of apps and websites at the average person's disposal, you definitely want your app to stand out. One way your service will be memorable is if the user experience is seamless. The website needs to be easy to understand as well as easy to navigate. 

GA4’s event feature showcases the actions users perform. The actions of the user become “events” and you can track them and use the data to optimize your site.

Event tracking with Google Analytics 4

When you get to a website, the landing page tends to have the most information. Have you ever thought about why? The main reason is that most people don’t click off from the landing page. What if someone did though? There is value in this information. As a business owner, you want to know how long someone stays on your landing page, and if they click a tab, which tab and why. If someone only stays on the home page for an average of 10 seconds, then you know the most important and eye-catching material needs to be right there, front and center. 

 Despite the event tracking system being the primary focus of Google Analytics 4, there are a lot of features that separate it from its predecessor, Universal Analytics. Image courtesy of e-cens.

When users interact with your website it is called an “event” and these events become compiled in the Google Analytics 4 database. You can also create events for different website elements—if you want to track how many times someone clicks on a video you have up on your site or if they click certain buttons or links. This information becomes a collection of user behavior. 

Once you understand the user behavior, you have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. You also don’t have to be an expert or be Google-certified to use the event features of Google Analytics 4. There are custom event parameters that you can create but there are also built-in ones that get the job done. 

Google Analytics 4 is definitely something you should mess around with and see what the data does for your business. 

Types of Events in Google Analytics 4 

There are four types of events you utilize in GA4 and they range in terms of difficulty: 

  • Automatically collected events 
  • Enhanced measurement events 
  • Recommended events 
  • Custom events 

You don’t want to use the wrong type of event if there is one better for the specific data you're trying to collect. Taking a second to make sure you understand what each event is used for will save you time down the line. 

Screenshot of GA4 Event parameters screen
GA4 even has a color code system to help keep track of events. Image courtesy of datadrivenu.

Automatically collected events

Automatically collected events are exactly what they sound like. They are the events that are tracked without you having to set them up. When you connect your website and app to Google Analytics, it will track a few features. Some of those features include ad clicks, ad exposure, ad impressions, app refund, and when the app is opened. There are also additional features not mentioned above. 

The nice thing about automatically collected events is that they are user-friendly. There isn’t a learning curve involved since it's set up for you the second you connect. 

Enhanced measurement events 

There is an enhanced measurement setting that needs to be activated within Google Analytics 4 before you can use enhanced measurement events. 

If your website or app is more interactive and has more pop-ups, you might want to consider the enhanced measurement events. Some of the things they track are user clicks on embedded videos as well as file downloads. 

Recommended events 

When using recommended events it can be a bit complicated because you have to individually activate the advanced events. These events are in GA4 already but there isn’t one switch that activates them all. It's up to the admin to activate the recommended events one by one. After you activate the event in GA4, you still have to add a specific code to your website. Two of the most useful recommended events are user searcher and user logins. 

Custom events 

Custom events are the most difficult out of the four types. The admin has to create and define the event themselves. Once the event is created you have to add the code to your website—this step is very similar to a recommended event. Custom events are great if you have a unique audience or website design. Creating your own event allows you to optimize your data collection by obtaining information that is the most useful, 

That's all for understanding Google Analytics 4 Event Parameters!

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can turn the tide for a business. The amount of data that can be collected is endless. The new event-tracking tools are revolutionary for tracking the user experience. Users are what determine the success of a business, so try to make their experience enjoyable. 

I hope these tips were helpful and that you give GA4 event tracking a try!

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