So you’ve created your Google Analytics 4 (GA4) properties, created your data stream(s), and followed all the necessary steps to configure your property. Now what? Well, the next step here is to determine what type of data you would like to report on. This can be an overwhelming task depending on the website’s structure because you want to make sure you are collecting enough data to be useful but not so much that it becomes counterproductive and messy.
Most of your data collection will consist of actions users perform on your website, and these actions translate into “events” in Google Analytics. So, every action you want to track will be classified as an event and every event will contain event parameters, which are details about the event. As an example, if a user clicks on one of your products, you want to track this as a “select_item” event and add relevant parameters, such as the item name, the list this item belonged to when the user clicked on it (if applicable), and the item’s category, among others.
We have listed out some key events to help you get started on tracking important user actions on your site.
Purchases and Checkout Flow
The most important actions to track as events on an e-commerce website are the checkout flow and purchases. The checkout flow refers to the steps users take from viewing their cart down to the purchase confirmation page. It is highly recommended to track the steps in between to make use of the Checkout and Shopping Behavior reports, as well as understanding where users tend to exit your site during the checkout process.
However, the most important actions to track here are purchases. Not only are they crucial to a well-rounded implementation, but it must also be carefully implemented to ensure you are properly tracking key metrics like revenue, product data, and transaction ID.
Product Views and Add to Carts
To understand which products or services users are visiting most (or least) on your site, we recommend tracking product views. This information can help you make decisions about product placement, campaigns, and aid in other marketing efforts.
In addition to product views, tracking when users add products to their cart enables you to leverage the data on users who showed some intent to purchase to optimize your marketing and retargeting goals.
Newsletter Subscriptions and Account Registrations
Whether websites are e-commerce or content-only sites, if there is an option to subscribe to a newsletter, the newsletter subscription event will uncover data about your subscriptions, like how many users registered for your newsletter and what position on your site tends to drive the most subscriptions (ex. signing up via the checkout process, pop-up banner, or the page footer).
Similarly, understanding account registration performance plays an integral part in user engagement and can aid in your efforts to create loyal and long-term customers. As an example, you can compare users who create an account with those that do not create an account and determine what similarities or differences they have so that you can use this knowledge to customize how you incentivize those users to register.
If your website contains articles or blogs for users to read, then these can be considered an important service to track in order to understand if the level of time and effort required to write and publish these articles is paying off. With GA4, you can track article clicks, the time spent on an article page, clicks to links within your blog, and any other user action you use to measure content engagement.
Search Terms and Filters
Although miniscule, understanding how users are using your search and filter features can help you uncover key information about your audience. For example, if users are frequently searching for a specific product, service, or category, then it may indicate that the item in question is trending among your target audience, which will then allow you to use this information when formulating your product placement and advertising strategies.
After Determining Key Events
There are many events that can be tracked on a website, but it is important to understand that not all of these user interactions should be reported on. Instead, focus on the actions that, if tracked, will benefit your business and your goals.
So what comes after you determine what key events to track? After planning out your implementation structure, you can begin configuring your GA and/or your Tag Management System accounts to see this data flow into your reports. To learn more about how to configure events in GA4, visit Event Tracking in Google Analytics 4: How to Set Up & Optimize Your Data.