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17 Top Guides & Educational Resources



17 Top Guides & Educational Resources

Google Analytics (GA4) is a quickly evolving program.

Twenty-five new features have been released in the two years since its announcement.

What makes this a really unique time is that so many of us are starting from a position of discovery.

Whether you’re new to Google Analytics or a seasoned analyst, there is something new to learn.

And one of the best ways to learn is by jumping in and sharing what we discover in the process.

In that spirit, I’ve rounded up seventeen top guides and educational resources to help you learn GA4, including:

  • Setup.
  • Events.
  • Reporting.
  • Training.

Note: This article focuses on resources for lead generating websites.

Tutorials On How To Set Up GA4

How to set up GA4 will depend on where you are starting from.

If you are starting from scratch, a guide about how to migrate from the Universal Analytics (UA) version is going to be pretty confusing.

Because of this, we are sharing a few resources to support wherever you are starting from.

1. GA4 Setup For Beginners

If you’re a complete beginner and do not have a Google Tag Manager (GTM) account or Google Analytics account set up; We’ve got you.

SEJ’s GA4 setup beginner’s guide is a 10-minute read that covers the entire process.

How to create a GTM account, steps to install the tracking code on your website, and how to set up GA4 the right way.

The guide is complete with step-by-step instructions and up-to-date screenshots from start to finish.

Screenshot from GA4, April 2022

For example, how to begin recording basic data collection such as page views, outbound clicks, and video engagement by installing GA4 with GTM.

2. UA To GA4 Migration

For those with more technical knowledge, there is Google Analytics documentation.

This resource maps UA functionality to the corresponding GA4 functionality.

This covers everything from planning (account structure), data collection (events), property setup (goals and audience segments), product linking (Google Ads), and reporting.

Google documentation_migration reference_screenshotScreenshot from GA4, April 2022

For example: To set up cross-domain measurement, you will use the GA4 Admin page instead of needing to code as we did in UA.

3. How To Upgrade To GA4

Visual learners will love this 17-minute video on how to upgrade to GA4 using the setup wizard in UA.

You will learn how to add the tag to your website using Google Tag Manager and how to test your setup using Google Analytics debug view.

Learn How To Track GA4 Events

After you have installed Google Analytics 4 (GA4) on your website, you need to tell the software what you want to know.

You do that by creating events.

Events are user interactions on your website. This becomes the information that you see within your reports.

How to track ga4 events_pageview event screenshotScreenshot from GA4, April 2022

For example, a page_view event is automatically recorded when a user views a page on your site.

There are a lot of different ways to create GA4 events. There are automatic events, enhanced events, modified events, and recommended events.

Here are implementation guides for the different ways to track GA4 events.

4. Enabling Enhanced Events In Google Analytics 4

Because GA4 uses an event-based data collection model several user interactions are automatically collected, like first_session, and others (enhanced events) can be enabled with the flip of a toggle.

GA4 enhanced events include page_views, scrolls (more than 90% of page height), outbound clicks, site search, view engagement, and file downloads.

SEJ’s GA4 Tips to Get You Up & Running is a quick read that covers the entire process.

GA4 Enhanced measurement event settings screenshotScreenshot from GA4, April 2022

5. Modifying Events In Google Analytics 4 Properties

There will be instances where you need to edit an automatic or enhanced event in order to get the information you need.

For example, you may want to track thank you page views, as you did in Universal Analytics, to know when a user completed a contact form.

Pageviews are an automatically tracked event but every page view does not meet our objective.

If we could modify the pageview event to only thank you page views our reports would become a lot more helpful.

Press play below to learn from Matt Matyas, Google Product Manager, how to modify an event tag in GA4.

6. How To Track Events With Google Analytics 4

For many small business owners, enhanced event tracking will cover the user interactions that are needed to inform marketing efforts.

On occasion, you may come across a user interaction that you will need to create a new type of event.

For example, out-of-the-box GA4 does not track membership logins as an automatic or enhanced event.

Tracking membership logins, however, is one of the recommended events by GA4.

A recommended event means that the user interaction requires additional context to be meaningful, so it’s not sent automatically but there are predefined names and parameters.

This advanced event tagging tutorial uses tracking member “logins” as an example for creating recommended events in GA4 using Google Tag Manager.

Watch below to learn how to set up recommended events in GA4.

7. Custom Events In Google Analytics 4

So far, the above event guides have been focused on getting you started with GA4 quickly. But I encourage you to take this opportunity to expand your knowledge base.

Simo Ahava is a Google Developer Expert for Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager and his GA4 events implementation guide covers the structure, composition, implementation, and evaluation of events.

Custom events in GA4_Simo Ahava Implementation guide_screenshotScreenshot from GA4, April 2022

For example, you will learn how to create custom event parameters to pass the readability and reading time into GA4.

This data can be used as a custom metric in your reports.

GA4 Reporting

If you’ve looked under the hood of GA4 and thought, “No, thank you!” This is the section for you.

Google Analytics 4 has such a wide range of reporting options that it can feel dizzying.

Data visualization is one of my favorite pastimes so I am happy to share a collection of video tutorials to help you can get the most out of GA4.

8. How To Use Google Analytics 4

Analytics in Minutes is a YouTube channel where I get straight to the point in videos less than 3-minutes long.

The playlist, “How to Use GA4,” features short-form videos teaching you how to grab essential reports like site traffic, best landing pages, funnel exploration, and goals by channel and page.

Watch this 2-minute video to learn how to pull a basic traffic acquisition report in GA4.

9. Modifying Chart Visuals

Did you know that you can edit the visualization of standard reports in GA4?

You can!

Watch this quick video by former Googler Krista Seiden to learn how to modify GA4 chart visuals.

10. Custom Reports In Google Analytics 4

Aside from the standard reports, you can build custom reports in GA4’s Exploration.

The process of creating custom reports is completely different from Universal Analytics.

If you want to have more control of your data or need to “drill down” and get more granular with your reports you will most likely find yourself in Explorations.

Watch this 21-minute video for a tour of Exploration’s main features and how you can use them.

Training Others In GA4

At one point or another, you’re going to be responsible for getting a team (or clients) up to speed with how to use GA4.

That can be really stressful, especially when you’re not entirely comfortable with the new platform yourself.

It may be helpful to have a person walk you through the steps and troubleshoot.

Or, maybe it makes the most sense to register a few key members on your team to disperse the load.

Check out the section below for GA4 training and workshops from industry leaders and experts.

11. Google Analytics 4 Skillshop

Price: FREE.

Description: GA4’s skill shop has three separate modules that cover how to set up a GA4 property and key measurement features.

Familiarize yourself with a guided tour while exploring the Google Analytics demo account.

12. Google Analytics Demo Account

Price: FREE.

Description: Ok, so not technically training or a course but an essential nonetheless for learning Google Analytics.

This demo account is a fully functional Analytics account. Learn by practicing with real business data.

13. Analytics Mania

Price: $499 for one user.

Description: Analytics Mania has a self-paced course with hands-on modules where you will practice on a sandbox website that the course provides.

Learn how to prepare a measurement plan, migrate from Universal Analytics to GA4, set up event tracking and conversions, integrations, privacy controls, standard reports, custom reports, and more coming in April 2022.

14. Bounteous

Price: $799 for one user.

Description: Learn during a live workshop with Bounteous consultants who work with GA4 every day.

The course covers the basics of setting up a property and also goes into advanced topics like collecting customized data and integrating with Google Ads and BigQuery.

15. Krista Sieden

Price: $1499 for one user.

Description: Krista Seiden is a former Googler who helped build GA4 from the ground up and is now teaching two courses.

One course covers advanced features like integrations and implementation with GTM or Gtag. The other course dives deep into reporting and analysis.

16. Anil Batra

Price: $1497 for one user.

Description: Optizent features self-paced lectures on how to set up GA4, tracking templates, community support, and live training sessions to help you confidently implement GA4.

17. Brie Anderson

Price: $427.

Description: Beast Analytics is a self-paced course with 20 steps, created by my fellow SEJ author Brie Anderson.

You will learn how to set up your account, create custom reports, and tap into Google’s machine learning capabilities.

Final Thoughts

These resources should help you get Google Analytics 4 working on your site, and keep your data organized and clean.

Once you have your data in good shape, you can start diving into reports to help make smart decisions about your marketing efforts.

While there’s a lot more you can learn about the platform these resources will get you moving in the right direction.

More resources:

Featured image: Paulo Bobita

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Why Every Marketer Should Be On Reddit




Why Every Marketer Should Be On Reddit

In its nearly 20 years of existence, Reddit has built a robust, dynamic, and highly engaged community.

It has cemented itself as not only one of the key influencers for the internet culture we have come to know today, but also as one of the top 10 social media sites in the world, with more than 500,000 monthly visitors across more than 100,000 active communities.

Despite its size and influence, marketers have long avoided, overlooked, and failed to establish a presence on what is arguably one of the most influential social media sites today.

To be fair, Reddit has always been known as one of the hardest communities to have marketing success with, requiring months (if not years) of dedicated commitment to actually being a part of the community and engaging with your audience through meaningful, genuine, and honest interactions.

To many, that is just too much risk and too much work, but let’s be honest – most amazing things take risk and hard work. And for all of you who put in that work to be successful on Reddit, you already see the payoff it brings.

Regardless of the reasons, marketers who continue to overlook Reddit’s potential are missing out on an extremely influential community with ideal targeted demographics, where authenticity and genuine connections lead to valuable information, positive branding, and marketing success.

Not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at Reddit!

Reddit Stats You Cannot Ignore

Reddit users are dedicated to their use of the platform, with a reported 82 million (16.4%) of its 500 million users visiting the site daily, sharing over 1 billion posts, with over 16 billion comments across 100,000+ active communities, making it easily one of the top visited and most active sites in the United States today.

The user base is so loyal that they spend, on average, 20 minutes on the platform each day (and over 45 minutes a day for long-time users of more than 7 years) and, in many cases, are inactive on other social platforms.

This makes Reddit one of the only places to actually get in front of this massive audience, with 32% being inactive on Facebook, 37% on Instagram, 41% on TikTok, and 53% on X.

When it comes to demographics, a 2019 survey concluded that the overall Reddit audience was majority male (59%), ranged in age (36% aged 18-29; 25% aged 30-49), and well educated (42% college degree; 31% some college) making them an ideal audience many businesses looking for success.

They also helped Reddit improve revenues by 21% to $804 million in 2023, with a global addressable market for advertising estimated at $1.4 trillion by 2027.

Thought by many to be mostly a North American audience, Reddit claims more than 50% of its traffic comes from international users, a rather impressive climb from its earlier years.

It is important to remember, though, that Reddit is a platform that allows communities to grow and thrive, so those demographics change from subreddit to subreddit.

If that isn’t enough to grab your attention, surveys have found that 75% of users find Reddit a trustworthy source for making purchasing decisions.

For years now, it has been included heavily and prominently in Google search results, which have become even more visible due to reports following their inclusion in SGE results and with Google’s recent $60 million a year deal with Reddit to have real-time access to Reddit content and to use its content to train Google’s future AI models.

Speaking of Reddit’s visibility in Google’s search results, let’s take a closer look at why that deal is so important, especially to search marketers.

Reddit In Google Search, SGE, And Google’s Reddit Deal

For years, Reddit results have been prominently displayed in Google’s search results – so much so that users have even started adding the term “reddit” to the end of their search queries.

So often, you will see Google suggest search lines with the term “reddit” prefilled at the end.

Screenshot by author from search for [are purple mattresses good], Google, May 2024

Even without selecting the query that includes “reddit,” you will notice Reddit’s prominent placement in two places: discussions and forums, and Reddit sitelinks, which are both just below the ads and the first organic result.

Reddit resultsScreenshot by author from search for [are purple mattresses good], Google, May 2024

This was amplified by Google’s recent Helpful Content Update (HCU), which allowed platforms like Reddit and other forums to show up more frequently in search results,

Reddit’s ability to be helpful in satisfying a user’s search for information is so successful – in combination with reported shortages in new content for AI models from all major platforms – it is not surprising Google struck a deal with Reddit to show its content faster in search results and to use the content in training future AI models.

Since news of the deal between Reddit and Google was reported, there has been a lot of additional focus on Reddit’s visibility in Google’s search results.

Experts throughout the search industry report an increase in not only the total visibility of Reddit going up within search but also the speed at which a Reddit post is indexed and shown to users.

Google responded to concerns about Reddit showing up more in search results, saying that “some of the SEO folks who tend to be vocal on this platform (X) really dislike seeing more forum content in our search results. But actual searchers seem to like it. They proactively seek it out. It makes sense for us to be showing it to keep the search results relevant and satisfying for everyone.”

Google responded to concerns of Reddit showing up more in search resultsScreenshot by author from X (Twitter), May 2024

Although disputed by Google, Roger Montii wrote about one report of Reddit content being indexed within five minutes.

ChatGPT to Surface Reddit Content

Adding to the deal Reddit made with Google, it was recently reported that OpenAI has partnered with Reddit to surface their content in ChatGPT, adding to the clear value that both OpenAI and Google see in Reddit’s content today and in the future.

Of course, this has sparked a lot of interest in companies of all sizes. They want to figure out how their brands can participate and succeed on Reddit in hopes of increasing their visibility in Google’s search results, SGE, and ChatGPT and building their brand’s visibility amongst one of the most influential audiences on the internet today.

**Quick warning: Reddit requires genuine, long-term engagement and a strategy for success. So, I would definitely advise individuals and businesses to avoid trying to game, spam, or blindly jump into marketing on Reddit and take the time to really understand the platform, its audience, and your place of value within its communities.

Let’s look at how some major brands have been successful on Reddit in the past.

noosa Yoghurt

Noosa Yoghurt’s 2021 back-to-school campaign on Reddit was a great example of tapping into niche audiences to create engaging, user-driven content.

To capitalize on Reddit’s community of vocal yogurt enthusiasts, noosa launched a Flavor Poll that invited Redditors to upvote their favorite noosa flavors in the comments. This created a sense of community and interactivity around what could have been a standard poll.

Noosa Yoghurt’s 2021 back-to-school campaign on Reddit.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

After tallying the upvotes, noosa published a Promoted Post that showcased the results using a sleek custom infographic, highlighting the community’s favorites while also giving the brand important insight into consumer preferences.

Noosa published a Promoted Post that showcased the results.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

The results:

  • 49% increase in brand recall among Reddit users who were exposed to the campaign.
  • 30% increase in brand favorability.
  • 39% increase in purchase intent (15X the typical lift observed in the food vertical).
  • 50+ billion monthly views.

Sony Pictures Germany

To drum up excitement around the release of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” in Germany, Sony Pictures Germany crafted a Reddit campaign that combined organic and promoted content to engage the platform’s robust fan communities.

The brand created a Reddit account under the protagonist’s name, u/MilesMorales, and used it to share exclusive content directly within Spiderman-related subreddits.

It also organized an AMA with the German voice actor Miles Morales to create a more personal connection with fans and promoted video posts featuring the movie trailer to amplify the excitement.

Sony Pictures Germany crafted a Reddit campaign.Screenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

The results:

  • Sony Pictures Germany achieved a click-through rate (CTR) that was 344% higher than that of its standard paid media.
  • 618,000 impressions.
  • The film remained No. 1 on the German movie charts for three consecutive weeks.

It is important to note that promoting your content and your brand on Reddit is definitely not the only value Reddit can bring you and your business.

Reddit is an amazing place to get honest feedback.

Whether you are trying to figure out what your target audience wants from your brand, test out a new feature or concept before investing and launching it openly, or even just to have continued open communication with your customers to support them and keep them connected to your brand, Reddit can help you succeed in an amazing way.

Transamerica Helping Reddit Make Dollars Make Sense

Transamerica’s campaign on Reddit is a great example of a company identifying an opportunity to connect with its target audience on the subreddit /r/finance.

This allows the company to better understand its customers’ needs and focus on content creation and future marketing plans.

Transamerica’s campaign on RedditScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

Aligning itself with its audience by demonstrating awareness of the topics around personal finance happening in the subreddit, as well as acknowledging the Redditors working at the company, it asked what topics it could create “specifically for the reddit community” around the topic of finance.

It stayed involved and engaged throughout the campaign, responding to threads and maintaining a lighthearted and sometimes humorous tone.

Transamerica’s campaign on RedditScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

After getting all the feedback it needed, it created content around the more popular requests, going as far as branding and designing them similar to Reddit.

IRA vs 401K venn diagramScreenshot by author from Reddit, May 2024

It even took the time to individually comment a link to the published content on its site, bringing attention back to the overall campaign and the content it created.

This campaign was 10 years ago, and it is still referenced as a core example of engaging on Reddit as a brand in a respectful, thoughtful, and meaningful way.

Why You Should Be On Reddit Wrapup

TL;DR: If your brand has something meaningful to say and is interested in truly connecting with your audience, then yes, you should be on Reddit.

These successful brand campaign examples showcase Reddit’s power when used correctly. With research to understand the specific communities you want to reach, Reddit can have exceptional performance compared to other channels.

The stakes are high to get it right because Reddit communities can be highly negative toward self-serving promotion. But if you put in the effort and solve people’s needs and problems, Reddit has the potential to be a high-performance channel.

Edit: Updated daily active users figure based on Reddit’s Q1 Earnings Report

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No Algorithmic Actions For Site Reputation Abuse Yet




Looking up at an angle at the Google sign on the Head Office for Canada

Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, has confirmed that the search engine hasn’t launched algorithmic actions targeting site reputation abuse.

This clarification addresses speculation within the SEO community that recent traffic drops are related to Google’s previously announced policy update.

Sullivan Says No Update Rolled Out

Lily Ray, an SEO professional, shared a screenshot on Twitter showing a significant drop in traffic for the website Groupon starting on May 6.

Ray suggested this was evidence that Google had begun rolling out algorithmic penalties for sites violating the company’s site reputation abuse policy.

However, Sullivan quickly stepped in, stating:

“We have not gone live with algorithmic actions on site reputation abuse. I well imagine when we do, we’ll be very clear about that. Publishers seeing changes and thinking it’s this — it’s not — results change all the time for all types of reasons.”

Sullivan added that when the actions are rolled out, they will only impact specific content, not entire websites.

This is an important distinction, as it suggests that even if a site has some pages manually penalized, the rest of the domain can rank normally.

Background On Google’s Site Reputation Abuse Policy

Earlier this year, Google announced a new policy to combat what it calls “site reputation abuse.”

This refers to situations where third-party content is published on authoritative domains with little oversight or involvement from the host site.

Examples include sponsored posts, advertorials, and partner content that is loosely related to or unrelated to a site’s primary purpose.

Under the new policy, Google is taking manual action against offending pages and plans to incorporate algorithmic detection.

What This Means For Publishers & SEOs

While Google hasn’t launched any algorithmic updates related to site reputation abuse, the manual actions have publishers on high alert.

Those who rely heavily on sponsored content or partner posts to drive traffic should audit their sites and remove any potential policy violations.

Sullivan’s confirmation that algorithmic changes haven’t occurred may provide temporary relief.

Additionally, his statements also serve as a reminder that significant ranking fluctuations can happen at any time due to various factors, not just specific policy rollouts.


Will Google’s future algorithmic actions impact entire websites or specific content?

When Google eventually rolls out algorithmic actions for site reputation abuse, these actions will target specific content rather than the entire website.

This means that if certain pages are found to be in violation, only those pages will be affected, allowing other parts of the site to continue ranking normally.

What should publishers and SEOs do in light of Google’s site reputation abuse policy?

Publishers and SEO professionals should audit their sites to identify and remove any content that may violate Google’s site reputation abuse policy.

This includes sponsored posts and partner content that doesn’t align with the site’s primary purpose. Taking these steps can mitigate the risk of manual penalties from Google.

What is the context of the recent traffic drops seen in the SEO community?

Google claims the recent drops for coupon sites aren’t linked to any algorithmic actions for site reputation abuse. Traffic fluctuations can occur for various reasons and aren’t always linked to a specific algorithm update.

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WP Rocket WordPress Plugin Now Optimizes LCP Core Web Vitals Metric




WP Rocket WordPress Plugin Now Optimizes LCP Core Web Vitals Metric

WP Rocket, the WordPress page speed performance plugin, just announced the release of a new version that will help publishers optimize for Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), an important Core Web Vitals metric.

Large Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP is a page speed metric that’s designed to show how fast it takes for a user to perceive that the page is loaded and read to be interacted with. This metric measures the time it takes for the main content elements has fully loaded. This gives an idea of how usable a webpage is. The faster the LCP the better the user experience will be.

WP Rocket 3.16

WP Rocket is a caching plugin that helps a site perform faster. The way page caching generally works is that the website will store frequently accessed webpages and resources so that when someone visits the page the website doesn’t have to fetch the data from the database, which takes time, but instead will serve the webpage from the cache. This is super important when a website has a lot of site visitors because that can use a lot of server resources to fetch and build the same website over and over for every visitor.

The lastest version of WP Rocket (3.16) now contains Automatic LCP optimization, which means that it will optimize the on-page elements from the main content so that they are served first thereby raising the LCP scores and providing a better user experience.

Because it’s automatic there’s really nothing to fiddle around with or fine tune.

According to WP Rocket:

  • Automatic LCP Optimization: Optimizes the Largest Contentful Paint, a critical metric for website speed, automatically enhancing overall PageSpeed scores.
  • Smart Management of Above-the-Fold Images: Automatically detects and prioritizes critical above-the-fold images, loading them immediately to improve user experience and performance metrics.

All new functionalities operate seamlessly in the background, requiring no direct intervention from the user. Upon installing or upgrading to WP Rocket 3.16, these optimizations are automatically enabled, though customization options remain accessible for those who prefer manual control.”

Read the official announcement:

WP Rocket 3.16: Improving LCP and PageSpeed Score Automatically

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