The sales funnel is an analogy for potential customers’ journey from initial awareness of your product or service to the final purchase. Usually, it’s divided into several levels: awareness, interest, decision, and action. With Google Universal coming to an end and migration to GA4 underway, now is an ideal opportunity to familiarize oneself with GA4 and ensure a correct setup. To effectively use Google Analytics 4 for each stage, it is vital to identify the key steps that indicate a prospect’s movement through the funnel. Let’s take a look!

Configuring Google Analytics 4

Effectively configuring GA4 to align with your sales funnel will enhance your business strategy and performance. You will acquire valuable insights into your customer’s journey, enabling you to make data-driven decisions that maximize conversions. Here’s what you need to know for every stage:

Awareness Stage

Awareness is the first level of the funnel. The goal is to reach a broad audience and identify those interested. Therefore, the metrics to track are related to traffic, such as sessions, users, and events count. These metrics are easily found by going to the “Traffic Acquisition Report” in the “Acquisition” section on the GA4 reports. You will find it sorted by Google Analytics 4’s default channel grouping. You can add secondary dimensions to this report for more detailed information, such as cities and sources. These elements provide a deeper understanding of where your traffic is coming from.

To have it all on the same page and explore a little further, you can create a custom report with all metrics related to the awareness level. Go to “Explore Mode” and create a custom report. Choose a report template and add the metrics mentioned previously. Then name it an awareness-level report.

Interest Stage

The interest stage involves nurturing the potential customers who showed curiosity about your brand during the awareness stage.

It translates to GA4 language as engagement. Page views, bounce rate or engagement rate, engaged sessions, user interests, and engaging events are outstanding metrics and dimensions to follow at this stage.

To follow page views, you can go to the “Pages and Screens” report in the “Engagement” section on the GA4 reports and review the number of page views per page and other default metrics this report includes. 

You may have observed that GA4 lacks some essential metrics on the “Pages and Screens” report that were readily available on GA Universal, such as bounce rate and entrances to the website from another page. To locate them in GA4, generate a “Custom Page Views Report” in the “Explore” section. Include a table with the Page Titles as the primary dimension and metrics such as bounce rate, views, entrances, and engaged sessions. This process will enable you to track the crucial metrics across your pages.

The users’ interest is one of the most essential elements in this stage. It’s a dimension you can find by clicking on “User Attributes,” then on the “Overview” section, and finally choosing  “View interests.” If you don’t see anything, you must ensure to activate Google Signals by clicking on “Data Collection” in the “Data Settings” over the “Admin” section and waiting for Google to process all the data. This information is crucial to understanding who are your engaged users.

There are also several activities the platform calls Events, which support following engagement activities. The “Event Reports” are also in the “Engagement” section. Google Analytics 4 automatically tracks various valuable events for this stage, including scrolling, clicking, and user engagement.

Decision stage

In the decision stage, potential customers compare your products or services with competitors. They are close to making a purchase, and this is your opportunity to sway them in your favor.

Tracking events is the primary focus here. As mentioned before, Google Analytics 4 tracks several events by default. However, the events may not be aligned with what you want your users to do due to a lack of information or a missing key event. If that is the case, you can create your customized events by going to “All Events” under the “Events” tab on the “Admin” section and clicking “New Conversion Event.” Then, you can use Google Analytics 4 variables to create custom events.

Another way to do it is by using one of the most valuable tools of Google, which is Google Tag Manager. Once installed, Google Tag Manager gives you a bunch of variables to create customized events, which means plenty of possibilities to create custom events.

It’s essential to follow the Google Analytics 4 events guide to create custom events, especially for an e-commerce site. In this guide, you can find out how to write the events and the event parameters that need to be added.

Action Stage

The final stage is where the customer makes a purchase. It’s crucial to analyze this stage to understand what led to the conversion, how to replicate it, and how to optimize conversions.

In GA4, you can track successful conversions by defining an event or a couple of them as conversions. In the e-commerce case, this event should be “purchase.” Then, you can follow where those purchases are coming from, the amount of revenue per purchase, best sellers, etc.

If it is a different type of business, you can create a custom event to check all the diverse parameters GA4 has for conversions, aside from “purchase.” It will still give you a lot of information regarding demographics, the channels that brought conversion, and so on.

Final Thoughts

Aligning your sales funnel with Google Analytics 4 can significantly enhance your marketing strategy. By tracking the user’s journey through each stage, you gain insights that allow you to refine your approach, ultimately leading to more conversions by replicating what works.

The optimization of GA4 is not a one-time process. It requires continuous monitoring and tweaking. With consistent efforts, GA4 can become a powerful tool in turning prospects into customers, enhancing your business’s growth.

Are you prepared to synchronize your GA4 with your sales funnel and business objectives? Schedule a call with our team today and get ready to optimize your analytics!