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Why do you need Google Analytics, GA4, and other site tracking?

Everyone talks about Google Analytics, and businesses know it’s an important digital marketing tool, but what makes it so powerful? Well, not only can you view website traffic, but you can optimize your website’s performance and gather data to inform business decisions. In a nutshell, businesses can use that data to improve customers’ experience (which drives more sales) and analyze the value of marketing efforts.

If you think you don’t need website tracking because you might say, “most of our customers come from word of mouth,” think again. Statistics say 62% of consumers will disregard a business if they can’t find them online. Additionally, a whopping 70% of consumers will visit a store because of online information! Long story short, your online presence matters. And if you’re trying to garner local business, keeping track of your website traffic is essential. After all, 46% of all searches on Google include local intent, meaning someone is trying to find a product or service near them. A purchase follows 28% of all local searches, so it’s beneficial for your business to monitor website traffic.

We understand that there are legitimate reasons you might be skeptical about trying website tracking like Google Analytics:

  • You don’t understand it. That’s okay! A good marketing team behind you will help you know what’s vital to your business.
  • You don’t have anyone to manage the website. Site tracking is a one-time deal. You set it up, set your goals, and then look at the data.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics (also known as Universal Analytics) is a website tracking tool that can tell you about your site visitors. Without sounding too creepy, it shows you what people are doing on your site and where they’re coming from.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will eventually replace Universal Analytics. GA4 has many of the same functionalities as Universal Analytics but gathers data differently. It’s possible to deduplicate data from across devices with GA4, unlike Universal Analytics. GA4 also uses machine learning to improve insights, and it can understand cross-platform journeys. For example, GA4 can track one person who might visit your site on their phone and then visit your site on their desktop computer at home.

Google Analytics and GA4 aren’t the only players in the website tracking game. HubSpot, Adobe Analytics, Hotjar, Cloudflare, and other systems are out there too. This guide is here to help you identify why your business needs site tracking and how to implement it.

We’re data geeks and not ashamed of it!

At Data Driven Marketers, we love parsing through data and analytics dashboards to understand the lay of the land and strategize solutions. Web analytics and data allow us to determine what site improvements/marketing campaigns would drive traffic and sales and what changes will optimize a marketing budget. Digital marketing without data is like driving blindfolded—you need to see what’s in front of you to make the right judgments. We pair digital marketing with web analytics to make the right decisions when it comes to your marketing plans or your clients’ plans.

For us, Google Analytics works in several ways:

  • Data from the platform drives our strategy! We analyze data sets weekly, monthly, and quarterly.
  • We use Google Analytics to track specific sales and marketing goals for small and growing businesses.
  • We discuss data from Google Analytics to showcase progress and demonstrate value to the agencies we’re partnered with.

Why your business needs site tracking

Let’s say you want to update your content calendar, but you don’t know what blogs are performing well on your website. To get a clear picture, you need site tracking! When enabled, site tracking will show you your top engaging blogs. Site tracking provides other insights as well, such as:

  • Finding what pages are driving sales. You can view events by page to see top-performing content and content that drives form submissions or phone calls.
  • Evaluating whether or not your site needs a redesign. GA4’s tech report will tell you how many people are from mobile or desktop and which pages are not optimized for mobile. This data will inform you whether or not it’s a good idea to move forward with a redesign.
  • Seeing where your customers are from. Site tracking allows you to filter users by country and city as well as by the way they found your site.
  • Seeing how well a product or service is performing in a specific market. Narrow down your data by filtering events by country and city.
  • Seeing how a marketing campaign or message is performing. View traffic over a specific time frame.
  • Exploring what content your users are interested in. View which content is getting the most traffic over a specific time.
  • Determining if your marketing efforts are working. View and compare traffic and events over a specific time.
  • And it can give you other insights!

What reports matter in GA4?

Traffic acquisition

To see where your customers are coming from or to evaluate what marketing channels need some love, look in GA4 > Life cycle > Acquisition > Traffic acquisition. You can alter your strategy to boost sales in certain locations or reevaluate your strategy with this information.


To see what actions are happening on the site and if your website is performing well, go to GA4 > Engagement > Events. This view will help you determine if your site acts as a sales tool by showing you revenue and sales data.

Ecommerce purchases

GA4 > Life cycle > Monetization > Ecommerce purchases is a great report to use if you’re selling products online. The ecommerce purchases report lets you see each product view and the number of times each item gets added to someone’s cart. You can also see the total purchases and revenue made from each product.

Tech overview

If you’re curious to see what devices your users are browsing on, check out GA4 > User > Tech > Tech overview. Not only can you see information about users’ devices, but you can also see their operating system, browser, and more.

How to implement Google Analytics & Google Analytics 4

  1. First, create a Google Analytics account if you don’t already have one. If you already have an account, log in to get started.
  2. In Admin, in the Account column, click Create Account.
  3. Create an account name and configure the data sharing settings to control what you share with Google.
  4. Then click Next to set up a property for the account.
  5. Enter a name for the property (e.g., “Data Driven Marketers website”) and select the reporting time zone and currency.
    1. If you choose a time zone that observes Daylight Savings Time, Analytics automatically adjusts for time changes. If you don’t want to adjust for Daylight Savings Time, choose Greenwich Mean Time.
    2. Changing the time zone only affects data going forward. If you change the time zone for an existing property, you may see a flat spot or a spike in your data, which are caused by the time shift forwards or backwards, respectively.
  6. In Universal Analytics: You’ll want to set up a filtered view within your property to filter out data you don’t need. For example, you might want to collect all data except data from your company’s IP address. This way, you won’t have data skewed by employees visiting your site.
  7. Lastly, in Universal Analytics, add the tracking code to your website so Google Analytics can start tracking your site or app data. For more control over your data, you can also configure the account, properties, and views.
  8. In Google Analytics 4: The next step after setting up a property is to click Next. Select your industry category and business size. Click Create and accept the Analytics Terms of Service and the Data Processing Amendment. Learn more about setting up Google Analytics 4 for a CMS-hosted website.
  9. Finally, add a data stream in Google Analytics 4. After you’ve set up your property, go to the property column, click Data Streams, then Add Stream. Click iOS app, Android app, or Web.
    1. For iOS app or Android app: Register the app by entering the iOS bundle ID or Android package name, the app name, and for iOS, the App Store ID.
      1. Click Next and follow the instructions to download the config file for your app.
      2. Click Next and follow the instructions to add the Firebase SDK to your app.
      3. Click Next.
      4. Run your app to verify installation of the SDK and that the app is communicating with Google servers.
      5. Click Finish.
    2. For Web: Enter the URL of your primary website (e.g.,
      1. Choose to enable or disable enhanced measurement. Enhanced measurement automatically collects data like page views and events. We recommend enabling it.
      2. Click Create Stream.

If you’re having trouble with these steps, reach out to us! Data Driven Marketers offers expert data management services, and we’re happy to set up Google Analytics for you.

Final thoughts & notes

Site tracking tools like Google Analytics or GA4 are essential for businesses. Using a site tracking tool, you can develop a marketing strategy, evaluate pain points in your process or website, and determine how to optimize your site. You’ll be able to see what pages are driving sales, how many people are purchasing your products or services, and where your customers are coming from, helping your leadership team make business decisions.

If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry! Reach out to Data Driven Marketers for help analyzing your data. Understanding data is what we do best.

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