Discover how to create custom reports in Google Analytics 4 using the powerful Explorations feature. In this blog post, we’ll explore the main components of Explorations and provide step-by-step instructions, along with examples, to help you build custom reports with ease. Although Looker Studio is gaining popularity for reporting, this article will focus on leveraging the built-in features of Google Analytics 4.
Table of Contents
Main Components of Explorations:
To begin, access the Explore feature located on the left side of the Google Analytics 4 interface. Explorations consist of three main columns: Variables, Tab settings, and the output report. In this article, we’ll primarily focus on the Free Form Exploration technique.
Free Form Exploration:
The Free Form Exploration technique allows you to create a custom report tailored to your specific needs. Let’s delve into each component of the custom report.
The Variables section is where you select the data you want to include in your report, such as date range, segments, dimensions, and metrics. You can easily modify the date range by clicking on the date field in the top-left corner of the interface.
Include segments to compare different groups of users or visitors. Choose from existing segments or create custom ones. Adding segments can provide valuable insights into user behaviour.
Dimensions and Metrics:
Dimensions are attributes that describe events, products, transactions, or users. Metrics, on the other hand, help measure specific aspects of your data. You must include the dimensions and metrics you intend to use in your report within the Variables column.
In the Tab Settings column, you can configure how your report will be visualized. Choose from various visualization options, such as tables, doughnut charts, line charts, scatterplots, bar charts, or geo maps.
Compare up to four segments in the Segment comparisons section. Drag segments from the Variables tab and specify their placement in the table using the Pivot option.
Decide which dimensions you want to use in the rows of your table. You can include multiple dimensions and even create nested rows for more comprehensive data representation.
Add dimensions as columns to display data in a tabular format. Each dimension will have its own column.
Drag and drop metrics into the Values section to display them as columns in your report. You can choose different cell types, such as bar charts, plain text, or heat maps, to enhance the visual representation.
Use filters to narrow down the data displayed in your report. Exclude or include specific events, dimensions, or metrics using the Filters section.
The Output (Report):
Once you’ve configured the Variables and Tab Settings columns, your custom report will be generated. You can perform various actions within the report, including adding new dimensions or metrics, changing the visualization type, adjusting the sorting, and exporting the report as a PDF or Google Sheets.
Funnel Explorations in Google Analytics 4:
Funnel explorations allow you to analyze and visualize user behaviour through a series of steps. Let’s explore how to set up a funnel exploration in Google Analytics 4.
Visualization in Tab Settings:
Choose the visualization type that best represents your funnel. Line charts or bar charts are commonly used for funnel visualizations.
Make Open Funnel:
Enable the “Make open funnel” option if you want to include users who skip steps in the funnel. This provides a more flexible analysis.
Similar to the Free Form Exploration, you can compare up to four segments in the funnel exploration. This helps you understand how different user groups progress through the funnel.
Specify the steps of your funnel by selecting dimensions or events that represent each stage. You can add multiple steps and rearrange them as needed.
If you want to break down the funnel by a particular dimension, such as traffic source or device type, you can do so in the Breakdown section. This provides deeper insights into user behaviour across different segments.
The Output (Report):
Once you’ve configured the funnel exploration, the report will display a visual representation of your funnel, including conversion rates, drop-off points, and user flow between steps. This information helps you identify areas for improvement and optimize your conversion funnel.
Path Exploration in Google Analytics 4:
Path exploration allows you to analyze the paths users take on your website or app. This can help you understand user journeys and identify popular or problematic paths. Let’s see how to set up a path exploration in Google Analytics 4.
Choose the visualization type that best represents your path exploration. Flowcharts or Sankey diagrams are commonly used for path visualizations.
Include segments to compare different groups of users within the path exploration. This provides insights into how user paths vary across different segments.
Specify the node type for your path exploration, such as page views, screen views, or custom events. This determines the events or actions that are considered as nodes in the user paths.
View Unique Nodes Only:
Enable this option if you want to see only unique nodes in the path exploration. This can help simplify the visualization by removing repetitive nodes.
If you want to break down the paths by a particular dimension, such as traffic source or user type, you can do so in the Breakdown section. This allows you to analyze how different segments interact with your website or app.
Drag and drop metrics into the Values section to display additional insights within the path exploration, such as total events or revenue generated from specific paths.
Use filters to narrow down the paths displayed in your report. You can filter by specific dimensions or events to focus on relevant user paths.
Apply node filters to exclude or include specific nodes in the path exploration. This helps you focus on specific events or actions that are most relevant to your analysis.
The Output (Report):
Once you’ve configured the path exploration, the report will visualize the user paths, including the flow between nodes, the frequency of each path, and any associated metrics. This information helps you understand how users navigate your website or app and identify opportunities for optimizing user journeys.
Navigating the Path Exploration Report:
The path exploration report provides interactive features to explore the data further. You can hover over nodes or links to view detailed information, use the search function to find specific paths, zoom in or out to focus on specific areas, and click on nodes or links to see additional details or drill down into specific paths. These interactive features make it easy to analyze and extract valuable insights from your path exploration report.
Google Analytics 4 offers powerful features for analyzing user behaviour and understanding user journeys on your website or app. By utilizing custom reports, funnel explorations, and path explorations, you can gain valuable insights into user interactions, conversion funnels, and popular or problematic paths.
These insights can help you identify areas for optimization, make data-driven decisions to improve user experience, and ultimately drive better results for your business. Experiment with different configurations, dimensions, metrics, and filters to uncover actionable insights that can fuel your digital strategy.
Remember to regularly analyze and review your reports to track performance, measure the impact of changes, and continuously improve your website or app’s user experience. With Google Analytics 4’s robust capabilities, you have the tools to gain a deeper understanding of your users and make informed decisions to optimize your online presence.