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ELI5: Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Explore Report

Read an ELI5 (Explain Like I'm 5) rundown of GA4 measurement and explore tab reports. How does GA4 compare to playing a board game?

ELI5 (Explain Like I'm 5): Reports of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Explore Tab

GA4 measures website and app data to better understand the customer journey. Experiences that happen on your website and app can be tracked using event-based data.

What does that really mean though?

Pretend you're playing a board game and you make a few moves - imagine if those moves were tracked. You now know how long each move took, what moves you made and what moves lead to other moves. That is the collection of data. Next, think about what you could do if you could review that data? You now have intel into what moves lead the winning move. If you reviewed that data, you could learn a lot, such as:

  • Why did you win or lose?
  • Why did someone else win?
  • How long did the game take you?
  • What were the most popular moves during the game?
  • What is the shortest path to winning?

Now, consider your website is the game. Your website is the playing field. People visit your site and the more people that win (make a purchase or submit a lead form) the better. How can you get them to come play more often? Win more often? How can you get them to win (convert) faster/easier? With GA4 you can track the moves on your playing field (your website). And then use that data to learn, and get a better understanding of the fastest ways people are winning (Funnels). You'll be able to make decisions to optimize and make it easy to play & convert. Giving you the power to make smarter decisions and understand the customer journey at a much higher level.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) website tracking and a board game experience can be compared in several ways, as both involve tracking progress, making strategic decisions, and measuring success. To better explain GA4, let's see how it compares to playing and tracking a board game:

  1. Goal setting: In both GA4 tracking and board games, players set goals to achieve. For instance, in GA4, website owners may set goals such as increasing website traffic, improving engagement, or boosting conversions. Similarly, in a board game, players set goals such as collecting resources, building structures, or winning battles.
  2. Measurement: GA4 tracking and board games both involve measuring progress towards goals. In GA4, website owners can measure metrics such as pageviews, bounce rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to evaluate the success of their website. In a board game, players can measure their progress by tracking their points, resources, or territories controlled.
  3. Decision-making: Both GA4 tracking and board games require strategic decision-making to achieve goals. In GA4, website owners may need to decide which marketing channels to invest in, which pages to optimize, or which products to feature. Similarly, in a board game, players must decide which actions to take, which risks to take, and which opponents to challenge.
  4. Feedback loops: GA4 tracking and board games both involve feedback loops that help players adjust their strategies. In GA4, website owners can use feedback from user behavior to refine their marketing campaigns, improve their website design, or adjust their pricing strategy. In a board game, players can use feedback from the game mechanics to adjust their strategies, learn from their mistakes, and improve their chances of winning.
  5. Competition: Finally, both GA4 tracking and board games involve competition, either against other players or against oneself. In GA4, website owners may compete with other websites in their niche, try to outperform their own previous results, or aim to meet industry benchmarks. In a board game, players may compete against each other to win the game, achieve the highest score, or complete specific objectives.

Overall, GA4 website tracking and board game experiences share many similarities in terms of goal setting, measurement, decision-making, feedback loops, and competition. By applying the strategic thinking and analytical skills required in board games to website tracking, website owners can improve their online performance and achieve their goals more effectively.

All that data that's being tracked on a website is stored in GA4 and you can access the power of the explore reports to make smarter business decisions. Below the value, benefits and different types of the explore reports are explained below:

Google Analytics Explore Reports

To access the Google Analytics Explore Reports, go into GA4 -> Explore. You’ll see different types of reports. You can click on Template Gallery to explore set reports or create your own blank report from scratch. Explore Reports provide a wide range of data and metrics, allowing website owners to analyze user behavior in great detail and gain insights that can help optimize the user experience, improve engagement, and increase conversions.

Key benefits and values of GA4 Explore Reports:

  1. Customizable Reports: GA4 Explore Reports are customizable, allowing website owners to create custom reports based on their specific business needs. This enables website owners to focus on specific metrics and data points that are relevant to their business and better understand user behavior.
  2. Deeper Insights: GA4 Explore Reports provide deeper insights into user behavior, allowing website owners to analyze data at a more granular level. By examining specific user interactions, website owners can identify patterns and trends in user behavior and make more informed business decisions.
  3. Advanced Analysis: GA4 Explore Reports provide advanced analysis capabilities, such as cohort analysis, funnel analysis, path analysis, and more. This allows website owners to examine user behavior over time, understand the user journey, and identify areas for optimization.
  4. Personalization: GA4 Explore Reports enable website owners to personalize the user experience based on user behavior. By analyzing user behavior, website owners can tailor the user experience to better meet user needs, increase engagement, and drive conversions.
  5. Cross-Platform Insights: GA4 Explore Reports provide cross-platform insights, allowing website owners to analyze user behavior across multiple channels, including web, mobile apps, and offline interactions. This enables website owners to better understand user behavior and optimize the user experience across all channels.

GA4 Explore Reports Explained

Funnel Exploration Report

What user journeys can you analyze, segment, and breakdown with multi-step funnels?

The Funnel Exploration report allows website owners to visualize and analyze the steps visitors take as they move through a specific conversion process on their website. The report is designed to help website owners understand the behavior of their users, identify any potential bottlenecks in the conversion process, and optimize the user experience to improve conversion rates. The report can show visual representations of your conversion funnels, with each step displayed as a bar that represents the number of users who completed that step.

Path Exploration Report

The Path Exploration report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a tool that helps website owners analyze the sequence of pages and screens that visitors navigate through on their website or app. The report provides a visual representation of the most common paths visitors take through the website or app, and allows website owners to identify the most popular content and potential drop-off points in the user journey.

Segment Overlap Report

The Segment Overlap report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a tool that helps website owners analyze the overlap between different user segments on their website. The report allows website owners to compare different segments and identify the commonalities between them, which can help in developing targeted marketing campaigns or optimizing website content. First, you have to define different user segments based on their behavior or characteristics using the "Audiences" feature in GA4 and then in the Segment Overlap report it shows a visual representation of the overlap between segments.

User Explorer Report

The User Explorer Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) helps website owners analyze the behavior of individual users on their website. The report allows website owners to view the interactions and activities of specific users, including their demographics, behavior, and conversions. This can help website owners gain insights into user behavior, identify opportunities for optimization, and personalize the user experience. The report displays a list of users, along with their unique ID and a timeline of their activity on the website. By analyzing the behavior of specific users, website owners can gain insights into user behavior, preferences, and pain points.

Cohort Exploration Report

The Cohort Exploration report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a tool that helps website owners analyze the behavior of groups of users over time. The report allows website owners to create cohorts based on specific criteria, such as the date of first visit or the acquisition channel, and track how those cohorts perform over time in terms of engagement, retention, and conversions.

User Lifetime Report

The User Lifetime report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a tool that helps website owners analyze the behavior of users over the entire duration of their relationship with the website or app. The report allows website owners to track the activities of users over time, from their initial visit to their most recent activity, and to identify trends and patterns in user behavior. By analyzing the data in the User Lifetime report, website owners can identify trends and patterns in user behavior over time, such as changes in retention rates, revenue generated, or engagement levels

Free Form Report

The Free Form Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a tool that allows website owners to create custom reports based on their specific business needs. The Free Form Report provides a flexible reporting option that allows website owners to analyze data in any way they choose, without being restricted by the pre-defined reports available in GA4. The report structure can include various dimensions, metrics, and filters that are relevant to the specific business needs.

In Conclusion

Overall, GA4 Explore Reports provide valuable insights and analysis capabilities that can help website owners better understand user behavior and make more informed business decisions. Your marketing analytics data is extremely valuable. By analyzing user behavior at a more granular level, website owners can identify areas for optimization, tailor the user experience to better meet user needs, and increase engagement and conversions.

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Jenna has over 9+ years of experience in the marketing space with an expertise in search marketing.