What PR Practitioners Need to Know About Google Analytics 4

On July 1st, Universal Analytics will make the daunting switch over to Google Analytics 4 (also known as GA4). This is also the deadline for users to transfer their preexisting data over to GA4. While this change may seem intimidating, GA4 will offer new resources and information that public relations practitioners can use. Before the switch, it’s important to understand what GA4 is, how it functions, and how you can benefit from it. 


So, what is Google Analytics 4? 

Google Analytics 4 is an analytics platform that allows you to measure traffic and engagement across your company or client’s websites and apps. Essentially, GA4 allows public relations professionals to show their contribution to a client’s bottom line. GA4 will prioritize conversions, which is any user action that is valuable to a company. For example, when a user subscribes to a newsletter, that is a valuable conversion. To track conversions, you must log actions as “events.” In GA4, an event allows you to measure user interaction on an organization’s website. GA4 has automatic events that it tracks such as page scrolls, a file download, and the first time a user visits a page. 


PR practitioners will gain four valuable insights from GA4: 

  • Acquisition: Where a website’s traffic has come from 
  • Behavior: The content that users interacted with the most and what pages they most frequently visit 
  • Conversion: Any user action that a company deems as valuable towards a goal 
  • Attribution: Assign credit to PR in users’ conversions 


*Key insight:* The organic conversion rate is highest when a lot of content is posted to a website, so do your best to produce content on a consistent basis that is authentic to the brand. 


What to do before you begin using GA4: 

  • Get consensus on what senior leadership expects you to do with this feature 
  • Know if you want to measure contribution or attribution 
  • Agree on acceptable pixies (retention rate, efficiency, awareness, preferences, perceptions) 
  • Know what output you want (increase in followers, PR-driven event attendance, etc.) 
  • Make sure to set the right data retention, otherwise, the data will disappear after two months 
  • Use GA4’s feature “Setup Assistant” to help you migrate from Universal Analytics to GA4 


GA4 has the ability to track information from a variety of channels to tell you where website traffic is coming from. Those channels include: 

  • Referral: the user arrives at your site through other sites (news source, exterior blog) 
  • Organic social media (including video platforms such as YouTube and TikTok) 
  • Other: user finds your site through another source such as a Press Release 


The Metrics: What they tell you 

  • Increase in visitor count (and their demographics) 
  • Engagement rate (formally known as bounce rate), which is the % of sessions that lasted longer than 10 seconds, have at least 2 page views, or have a conversion event 
  • The percentage of content created that was placed in media 
  • Predictive insights (who will become customers based from their number of visits) 


You don’t need to be a tech-expert to navigate GA4. If you know what you want to get out of the platform and take the time to successfully set it up, GA4 will make it easy to measure ROI for PR outputs.  

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