In the rapidly evolving landscape of digital marketing, data-driven insights have become the backbone of success for businesses worldwide. Affiliate marketing in particular, has become a strategy for businesses and individuals to generate income online.
For affiliate marketing websites, understanding user behaviour, optimising conversions, and measuring campaign effectiveness is paramount to achieving sustainable growth. In order to maximise reach and conversion, affiliate marketers need to leverage tools that provide valuable insights.
Enter Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the latest iteration of Google’s web analytics platform.
For years, GA4’s predecessor Universal Analytics, served as a fundamental analytics platform for tracking website performance. The newest GA4 update represents a significant leap with improved attribution, both data-driven and algorithmic, as well as more granular data controls and cross-device tracking.
Unlike Universal Analytics, which focused primarily on tracking page views and sessions, GA4 adopts an event-driven data model. This event-based approach allows affiliate marketers to track specific user interactions and actions, providing a more comprehensive understanding of user engagement.
Moreover, GA4 incorporates machine learning and artificial intelligence, offering marketers predictive insights and automated reporting to make data-driven decisions. The platform provides a wealth of actionable insights that go beyond simple traffic numbers.
With alternatives to GA4 available on the internet, such as Fathom Analytics and Woopra, you might be thinking, why do you need Google Analytics? Here’s why:
Through tracking key metrics such as traffic sources, user behaviour, and conversion rates, GA4 can provide a wealth of insights into your website performance. These can help affiliate marketers understand how users interact with their websites and identify areas for improvement.
GA4 is highly customisable, allowing affiliate marketers to set up custom reports, dashboards, and goals tailored to their specific needs and objectives. This level of customisation ensures that affiliates can focus on the metrics most relevant to their goals.
No matter how big or small your audience is, GA4 can handle vast amounts of data and traffic. This allows the platform to meet the needs of growing affiliate marketers without sacrificing performance.
By understanding user preferences, data behaviour, and pain points, marketers can refine their strategies, optimise user experience, and allocate resources more effectively. GA4 makes this possible by collecting data and presenting it in a clear and concise manner.
Gain deeper insights about your website users and their journeys with GA4’s exploration reports.
You can access Exploration reports in Google Analytics 4 on the left side of the screen.
When you want to explore data in more detail, you can use explorations to:
In line with GA4’s promise to bring advanced analytics, users can now check events that happen on their websites to see a user’s behaviour and interactions while on your page. An event is an action that a user does on your website. This includes scrolling through a page, filling out a form, or clicking a link.
There are four types of events on Google Analytics:
|Type of event||Event description||Examples|
|Automatically collected events||Default events that are tracked when you set up Google Analytics on your website||first_visit: When a user visits a website or launches an Android instant app with Analytics enabled for the first time. session_start: When a user starts a new session on your website or app. User_engagement: When the app is in the foreground or the webpage is in focus for at least one second Find the full list and read more about it here.|
|Enhanced measurement events||Default events that are tracked when you set up Google Analytics on your website and have enhanced measurement enabled||Video engagement: When a user watches a video on your website or app. File download: When a user downloads a file from your website or app. Search: When a user searches for something on your website or app. |
Read more about it here.
|Recommended events||Events that you implement but have predefined names and parameters||Sign_up: Signs up for an account on your website or app Share: Shares content from your website or app |
Login: Logs in
Read more about it here.
|Custom events||Events that you define||Any events not covered by the above. |
Read more about it here.
You can access Events in Google Analytics 4 by clicking on Reports on the left side of the screen.
Next, click on Engagement.
Then, click Events.
By creating or identifying specific events that measure critical user interactions and marking them as events, affiliate marketers can gain valuable insights into user behaviour and conversion funnel optimisation.
This is important as it helps to understand which pages or elements contribute most to conversions and helps them focus on improving high-performing areas and removing potential bottlenecks in the conversion process. Moreover, tracking conversions allows businesses to report on key metrics, such as conversion rates, revenue generated, and ROI, enabling data-driven decisions about marketing strategies and resource allocation.
Read more about setting up and tracking conversions here.
After identifying areas for improvement, the next step is to optimise your websites to rank them higher on search engines. This is important as it increases visibility, which in turn increases potential traffic to your website. GA4 can assist with this by connecting your Google Optimize containers with Google Analytics 4 properties.
Read more about how to use Google Optimize with Google Analytics here.
While the sunsetting of Universal Analytics may come as sad news for many, Google Analytics 4 reports offer many benefits, such as improved customer journey tracking, simplified goals and events setup, enhanced visualisations and reporting that can empower affiliate marketers with deeper insights and enhanced data analysis.
Here are some benefits of using GA4 reports:
The real-time feature in Google Analytics allows users to monitor website or app activity as it occurs. By utilising card-based visualisation, businesses can observe users’ entry into the conversion funnel and their subsequent behaviour within the funnel in real-time.
You can access Realtime reports in Google Analytics 4 on the left side of the screen.
You can monitor activity on your website or app as it happens, including:
Ways to use Realtime
The Traffic Acquisition report is tailored to provide insights into the sources of your website and app visitors. This report focuses on identifying the origin of both new and returning users. It is important to note that the Traffic Acquisition report differs from the User Acquisition report, which specifically reveals the sources of new users only.
You can access the Traffic acquisition report in Google Analytics 4 on the left side of the screen.
Read more about traffic acquisition here.
User engagement refers to the duration of time an individual spends actively interacting with your webpage or app screen while it is in focus or in the foreground. This metric enables you to gauge how users actively utilis
ze your site or app and provides valuable insights into their level of engagement.
When a user begins a new session, Google Analytics starts to record the amount of time in the session (in milliseconds). The amount of time is sent to Analytics when any of the following happens:
You can access the different Engagement reports in Google Analytics 4 on the left side of the screen.
The Monetisation report quickly shows you an overview of the income generated, allowing you to track each source of income effortlessly.
You can access the Monetisation report on the left side of the screen.
From here, you can see the following reports:
|Report type||Report description|
|Monetization Overview Report||This report provides an overview of e-commerce activity on your website.|
|E-commerce Purchases Report||This report provides information about the products you sell on your website.|
|In-app Purchases Report||This report provides information about the products you sell through your mobile app.|
|Publisher ads Report||You can access your Google Adsense data in the ‘Publisher Ads’ report once you have linked your Adsense account with your GA4 property and more than 24 hrs have elapsed.|
|Promotions Report||Through this report, you can determine the impact of each promotion on purchases and revenue.|
|User Purchase Journey Report||This report provides insights into the number of users who abandon the purchase process at each stage of your sales funnel.|
|Order Coupon Report||This report shows the revenue associated with each coupon on your website or app. You can access this report only through the ‘Monetization Overview’ report.|
|Item list Report||Through this report, you can measure the performance of the item list. You can access this report only through the ‘Monetization Overview’ report.|
The Retention report is made up of individual cards that summarise user retention data. It includes key metrics such as the average time users spend engaged on your site or app after their initial acquisition and the percentage of users who return daily within their first 42 days. You can customise the cards to make them tailored to your individual business goals.
You can access the Retention report in Google Analytics 4 on the left side of the screen.
User properties are attributes that describe groups of your user base, for example age, language, geographic location and type of device.
To see your user properties, access the realtime report.
You can also create custom user properties that you are interested in based on the nature of your affiliate business. Your user properties are then collected in the Users by User property card of the Realtime report. The card shows the number of people who are grouped into each user property.
The user properties segment plays a vital role in understanding the demographics of your audience, allowing you to create localised and relatable content that resonates with the majority of your users. By tailoring content to their preferences and interests, you can enhance relevance and engagement with your audience effectively.
This report Identifies the technology people are using to access your website or app, including their browser, screen resolution, app version, and operating system.
Understanding these metrics are important as you will be able to identify areas for improvement on your website for different devices. For example, if a particular browser has a high drop-off rate, it could mean that your website isn’t showing up well on the browser.
You can access the Tech Details report by going to Reports on the left side of the screen.
Next, click on the Tech tab.
GA4 brings a host of innovative features and improvements, making it a game-changer for affiliate marketers.
GA4 equips marketers with advanced tracking capabilities, cross-platform insights, and machine learning-powered metrics to drive success in the ever-competitive world of affiliate marketing. This helps affiliates understand their audience through user behaviour and website performance. Marketers can then improve their websites by identifying lacking areas.
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