The Most Important Metrics to Keep Track of in GA4Read Time: 8 minutes

most important google analytics metrics

There’s almost no end to the metrics you can track using Google Analytics (GA4). However, you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to track and improve all of them. For the best results, you’ll need to focus on the most important ones for your business. If you’re new to GA4 (like many), you’re probably wondering which ones really matter. This guide will go over which metrics you should focus on and why. 

Types of Metrics in GA4

While there are many different individual metrics, they can be grouped into one of the following four categories.

Acquisition

Before you can make a sale, attract a reader, or interact with your audience, you must first attract users to your site. Acquisition metrics in Google Analytics help you understand and analyze how users discover and engage with your website or app. 

These metrics map the user journey from the moment they first encounter your site. Acquisition metrics evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing channels and strategies. Whether you’re using organic search, paid advertisements, social media, email campaigns, or direct visits, you can determine which channels are most successful at attracting new users.

Engagement

You don’t just want to attract people to your site — you want them to stay and engage with your content or products. Engagement metrics indicate how users interact with your website once they visit. This data provides insights into how engaging and compelling your content and user interface are.

By examining engagement, you can gauge the success of your user experience (UX) design and content strategy. High engagement levels demonstrate your site is meeting or exceeding user expectations, so your users will likely be more satisfied and loyal. Lower means they are not finding what they initially came looking for.

acquisition metrics google analytics

Monetization

The goal of tracking almost all metrics is to improve your bottom line. Monetization metrics tell you how well you’re succeeding. They help you understand how your digital platforms generate income or leads and contribute to your business goals. They track different revenue streams, such as product sales, subscriptions, ad revenue, and other monetized user interactions. This information highlights which aspects of your business are most lucrative and which might need adjustment to improve profitability.

User Behavior

Understanding what users do when they visit your site can give you insight into their preferences. These metrics analyze how users navigate your site and their actions during their visits, which indicates their overall engagement and loyalty.

You can mine this data to optimize user experience (UX) and pinpoint areas where users might drop off. If many users abandon a process at a specific step, it might indicate a design flaw or confusion you should address.

GA4

11 Metrics Should You Monitor in GA4

The following are the most important Google Analytics metrics. They provide a good cross-section of each category above and will give you an overview of your site’s performance. 

Key Events (previously called Conversions)

Every site has different goals. Key Events are customized user interactions with significant value for your business. You can define these based on specific objectives, such as purchases, signups, or lead submissions. 

By marking these interactions as Key Events, you can prioritize and monitor them to gauge the effectiveness of your UX and marketing efforts separate from other events you may be tracking. Tracking Key Events lets you optimize strategies and improve user pathways to boost these high-value actions.

Event Counts

You can tell a lot about your website’s health by measuring specific interactions. Event Counts measure user interactions or events on your website or app. Event Counts include actions such as page views, button clicks, file downloads, or video plays. 

When you track Event Counts, you can quantify user engagement and interaction with your content and features. This data helps you understand how you can refine user experience and optimize site performance to improve user engagement.

user behavior

Total Users

The more people you attract to your website, the better. Total Users is the number of unique visitors interacting with your website within a specific timeframe. This metric counts each user only once, regardless of how many sessions they initiate during the time period. It gives you a clear picture of your audience size so you can monitor growth over time. 

New Users

While you appreciate your repeat users, you also want to attract new users who have never been to your site before. New Users indicate the number of visitors who come to your site for the first time during the specified time frame. Bringing in a steady stream of new users allows you to turn them into satisfied customers and, eventually, loyal fans. With this metric, you can decide if your marketing strategies are doing enough to appeal to people unfamiliar with your brand or if adjustments are needed. 

Views Per User

Ideally, your users won’t just hop on and hop off your site — they’ll stay to explore, read, or purchase something. Views Per User quantifies each visitor’s average number of page views or screen views. 

You can use this data to assess how engaging and compelling your content is to your audience. A higher average suggests that users find the content interesting enough to explore multiple pages or screens. This is a good sign your content is engaging and your site is easy to navigate. 

Sessions

A session starts when a user arrives and continues until they leave or aren’t active for an extended period. Each session includes the user’s interactions during their visit, such as reading an article or making a transaction. 

Sessions and Views Per User are good for measuring engagement from different angles. One engaged user might spend a lot of time on one page, while another may visit multiple pages in the same amount of time. 

engagement metrics

Engagement Rate

Many different metrics cover different aspects of engagement. These are helpful, but seeing only one piece of the puzzle can make it hard to see the whole picture. 

Engagement Rate measures the percentage of sessions that qualify as engaged based on specific criteria such as duration, event interactions, or page views. It’s a good indicator of how compelling and relevant users find your website. However, most reports don’t include it by default. You’ll need to create a customized report to view it.  A good Average Engagement Rate is 60-75%, depending on your industry and the focus of your site. 

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is the opposite of engagement rate. It’s the percentage of sessions where users leave your website from the entry page without interacting further, such as clicking a link, filling out a form, or viewing another page. If a user lands on your page accidentally or sees no reason to stick around, they’ll quickly click away. A high Bounce Rate can indicate your landing page needs some work in terms of content, design, usability, or load times to draw your users in.  It can also signify that the content does not match the searcher’s intent.

Average Engagement Time

Average Engagement Time tells you, on average, how long users spent clicking links, scrolling pages, watching videos, or otherwise interacting with your site. As with the Engagement Rate, the higher, the better for this metric.  

Total Revenue (If E-Commerce)

If you’re making money directly off your site, the Total Revenue gives you the cumulative income generated from all sources within your website. This can include product sales, subscriptions, and advertising revenue. From here you get an overall picture of financial performance to assess your monetization strategies and track economic growth.

User Lifetime (CLV)

GA4 includes a User Lifetime report about Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). This metric estimates the total revenue you can expect from a single customer throughout their relationship with you. This is a predictive analytic based on machine learning and historical data. This information lets you focus your marketing efforts on the customers who provide the most value. 

how is ga4 different from universal analytics

Why These Metrics Matter

In today’s “chronically online” society, we have more data about people’s habits and preferences than ever. Tracking metrics gives you information you can use to make data-driven decisions that will benefit your business. Metrics provide a precise, quantifiable measure of your site’s performance. 

With accurate data, you can make strategic decisions to further your goals. You can use metrics to allocate resources and devise effective marketing plans. With them, you can focus your efforts where they’ll generate the most impact.

How should you invest in your SEO for the highest ROI?

Join thousands of marketing insiders and get exclusive strategies and insights to grow your business

Related Blog Posts

Digital PR strategies

Digital PR Strategies for 2024

Public relations (PR) is the key to nurturing strong connections with businesses, and it is an essential component of effective marketing. Yet, as technology has

Join thousands of marketing insiders and get exclusive strategies and insights to grow your business

How should you invest in SEO for the highest ROI?

Read our eBook to find out now. Learn how long-term SEO marketing can yield BIG returns.