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Understanding & Utilizing Traffic Acquisition Reports & User Acquisition Reports In GA4

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blog on how to use Acquisition Reports in Google Analytics 4

Posted on 01/25/2023 at 10:00 AM

With the removal of Universal Analytics approaching in the summer of 2023, it’s vital to begin the transition to a Google Analytics 4 account sooner rather than later. Global Reach publishes monthly Google Analytics 4 tutorials to help you learn to use the powerful features of this new generation of analytics. In this month's helpful GA4 tutorial, we’ll examine GA4 life cycles and acquisition reports. Understanding these GA4 features will help you craft a successful digital marketing strategy and better monetize your website. 

Understanding Life Cycle Collection

Understanding the Life cycle collection in your GA4 account will give you incredible insights into how your website is performing. Unlike other features which give you information about user data, Life cycle collection helps you understand how the visitors are using your website. This is an essential feature because it helps you gauge the quality of the user experience, helping you to fine-tune your content to increase your web traffic and drive user engagement. 

There are four stages to the Life cycle customer funnel. While today’s tutorial will focus primarily on the first stage of acquisition, it is important to understand that a successful website will seek to get as many visitors as possible through all of the stages. The complete customer funnel and their available report types are is as follows:

  • Acquisition
    • Acquisition Overview
    • User Acquisition 
    • Traffic Acquisition 
  • Engagement
    • Engagement Overview
    • Events
    • Conversions
    • Pages & Screens
  • Monetization
    • Monetization Overview
    • E-commerce Purchases
    • In-app Purchases
    • Publisher Ads
  • Retention

Acquisition: The Crucial First Stage Of The Life Cycle

The ultimate goal of any business website is to acquire new customers, convince them to make a conversion, and ultimately retain these customers. The critical first stage of accomplishing this goal is to drive more traffic to your website and increase your rankings in search engine results. Using the two Google Analytics reports available for this first step in the customer funnel will help you make improvements to your website in terms of user experience and content, as well as help you make any adjustments in your marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at what you need to generate these reports, and what they offer GA4 users.

What Are User Acquisition Reports? Why Should You Use User Acquisition Reports?

How To Get To User Acquisition Reports In Google Analytics 4 by Global Reach

Analyzing the Google Analytics data from these GA4 reports will help you uncover in-depth insights into your marketing strategy. This report is incredibly helpful because it tells you just how people are discovering your website for the very first time. This will help you identify the sources of your new traffic and potential customers. Understanding the source of new website traffic will help you to identify which advertising and marketing campaigns are successfully driving new visitors to your website and which are not. With such detailed data, you can re-orient funds to successful marketing campaigns while cutting unsuccessful ones. 

Like many Google Analytics reports, the User acquisition report generates helpful visualizations to help you better understand and present website performance data. The visualizations in this GA4 report display new user data in two easy-to-read charts. The first shows the source of new traffic broken down by “channels” (sources) during a specified period. The other chart other shows the number of new visitors by channel. These helpfully display how certain sources of website traffic change over time and can help you identify flagging or surging origins of new traffic for your marketing efforts.

The helpful information does not end there. The User acquisition report gives insights into how many new users have moved on to other stages in the Life cycle customer funnel. Data tables will display additional information such as:

  • Engagement Rate Of New Users
  • Number Of Engagements
  • Engagements Per Session
  • Average Time Length Of Engagement
  • New Website Users & Total Website Users
  • Conversions
  • Total Revenue Generated By New Users

What Are Traffic Acquisition Reports? Why Should You Use Traffic Acquisition Reports?

How To Get To Traffic Acquisition Reports In Google Analytics 4 by Global Reach

The Traffic acquisition report feature of GA4 is similar to the User acquisition report in that it measures website traffic. Unlike the User acquisition report, this type of Google Analytics 4 report measures both new and returning visors to your website. This report is helpful in combination with the User acquisition report because it allows you to break down your website traffic to assess your marketing strategy. It will give you further insights into how your campaigns are driving traffic to your website and allow you to re-prioritize ad spending to the most productive ones. 

The Traffic acquisition report also generates helpful chart visualizations to assist you in understanding and presenting the data. The two charts generated will detail the total visitors in the same way as the User acquisition report does for new visitors. Additional helpful data is included in this report that displays how your website users are progressing through the Life cycle customer funnel. These metrics include:

  • Engagement Rate Of All Users
  • Number Of Engagements
  • Engagements Per Session
  • Average Time Length Of Engagement
  • Total Website Users
  • Conversions
  • Total Revenue Generated By All Users

How To Use Acquisition Reports In Google Analytics 4

What You Need 

Before you can take advantage of the helpful data in Google Analytics 4 acquisition reports, you must ensure that you have a fully set up Google Analytics 4 property that is properly connected to the website that you are measuring the performance of. If you are running Google Ads, you should have your Google Ads property connected as well. If you haven’t done that before, check out our tutorial on how to link Google Ads to GA4.

How To Get To Acquisition Reports In GA4

Step One: Open your Google Analytics 4 Property
Step Two: Navigate to the “Reports” section on the left menu. It has the icon of a graph.

How To Get To Acquisition Reports In Google Analytics 4 by Global Reach
Step Three: You will see several headings, click on “Acquisition”.
Step Four: This drops down a menu, and you will find the “User acquisition” and “Traffic acquisition” options.
Step Five: There is also an “Acquisition overview” section if you are looking for a consolidated page of your acquisition data.

More Google Analytics 4 Tutorials 

With Universal Analytics ending in 2023, Global Reach is here to help you make an easy transition to GA4. Each month we will do a blog on “How To in GA4” to help you and your business take full advantage of all the features your GA4 account offers. Be sure to check out last month’s Google Analytics 4 tutorial, How To Makes Free Form Reports In GA4!

With a variety of Google Analytics 4 training tutorials, Global Reach is here to help you learn how to get the most out of your GA4 account. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel for more information on GA4 and other marketing tools.

Get Expert GA4 Setup, Consulting, & Reporting From Google Analytics Specialists

Global Reach’s Google Analytics specialists can help you with any of your Google tools needs. From setting up your GA4 accounts and Google Analytics 4 training services to supporting digital marketing services, Global Reach has got you covered. Get your business set up for success in GA4 today!

Get a FREE GA4 Setup Consultation Today!

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