Using Google Analytics 4 for Effective Content Performance Measurement
A few of our previous blog posts focused on some Google Analytics 4 (GA4) set up best practices. Now that we have successfully installed it and set up a staging environment, let’s talk about content creators and analyzing content performance. Here are a few ways we can check our content’s health and how our users are engaging with it.
GA4 employs an event-based methodology, turning traditional metrics like 'page-view' into events. This shift offers a more granular view of user interactions, allowing content creators to discern precisely how their audience interacts with their work. This change in perspective can prove invaluable in refining content strategies and ensuring each piece resonates with the target audience.
GA4 Key Metrics for Content Performance
Many metrics from Universal Analytics weren't entirely fit for content performance evaluation. However, GA4 steps up to the challenge, offering refined metrics designed explicitly for this purpose.
- Active users: For instance, instead of the broad "total users" we were accustomed to in Universal Analytics, GA4 shifts the spotlight to 'active users.' This provides a clearer view of readers who are genuinely engaged with your content.
- Average engagement time: GA4 uses "average engagement time," which replaces the older "average session duration" to provide insights into the amount of time users spend actively engaging with your content, such as scrolling and reading.
- Engagement rate: A good replacement for the often misunderstood "bounce rate" is the "engagement rate." This metric reflects the number of engaged sessions relative to the total number of sessions, giving content creators an idea of how appealing or compelling their content is to their audience.
- Unique user scrolls: Another gem in GA4's suite of metrics is the "unique user scrolls." With the platform's automatic 90 percent scroll depth calculation, determining the commitment of readers—from start to finish—becomes straightforward and intuitive.
And, of course, "conversions" remain pivotal. These metrics allow content creators to link their work directly to tangible business outcomes. By setting up relevant conversion metrics, such as form-fills or sign-ups, you can measure the real-world impact of your content in driving desired actions.
Measuring a Blog Post Using GA4's Key Metrics
To put these metrics into perspective, imagine you've just published a blog post titled "The Future of Sustainable Energy." A week later, you dive into GA4 to assess its performance. You find that 1,000 active users were genuinely engaged with your post. The data also reveals an average engagement time of five minutes, indicating that users are investing a substantial amount of their time. With an engagement rate of 80 percent, it's clear that the vast majority of your audience is deeply interacting with your content, rather than just skimming through.
Furthermore, if 700 out of these 1,000 readers scrolled through almost the entirety of your article, it's a strong sign of the content's captivating nature. Lastly, if a call-to-action within your post prompted 150 users to sign up for a related webinar, you've achieved a 15 percent conversion rate from this single piece of content.
While the transition to GA4 may initially seem daunting, especially with the departure of the familiar Universal Analytics metrics, it is a forward-thinking step. GA4 equips content creators with the precise tools they need to measure and improve the impact of their content. By understanding and leveraging GA4's advanced metrics, creators can ensure that their work is not only voluminous but also influential and relevant to their audience.