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Get ahead with Google Analytics 4

GA4 is packed with new capabilities that help you improve acquisition, engagement, revenue, and retention for your website.

In five hours, we’ll have you confident, capable, and armed with new insights into your business and your website. This course pays back for you real quick.

Online course: Google Analytics 4 for Beginners

By Fred Pike,

Managing Director / COO @ Northwoods Software

Course length: 5h 04min

Sign up now Buy just this program for $299

Updated 05/2023 English subtitles Certificate included

Some of the companies that train their teams at CXL:

From beginner to proficient in 5 hours

Our GA4 for Beginners course covers what you need to know so that you can measure and improve your business performance around:

  • Acquisition
  • Engagement (including conversion)
  • E-commerce
  • Retention

If you’re a Universal Analytics (GA3) user, you’ll find helpful comparisons to help you understand what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and what the new opportunities for insight are.

If you’ve never used Google Analytics before, key concepts are explained from scratch. You’re ready to go.

Get a lesson preview

  • Understand the hidden features inside the new interface.

    In this lesson, you arere going to have a look at some of the hidden features in the UI and own the interface. Learn the basics in this free lesson.

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Find the hidden capabilities of GA4 that too many people miss

GA4 is more customizable than ever, easier to drive insight from, and delivers all the core functionality of UA3. A lot of these capabilities aren’t easy to find, though, until we show you how.

You’ll walk around four real GA properties, and follow along in your own GA to unlock the reports you know you need, and the ones you didn’t know existed.

You will leverage features that were previously only available in Google Analytics 360, and get ahead of the curve with practitioner-level expertise in acquisition and engagement reports.

Introduction video

Understand the new meaning of key metrics in GA4

GA4 redefines bounce rate. It also introduces a new concept of active users. That’s right: some of the basic terms of digital analytics are redefined in GA4 and not understanding them is an easy way to look dumb.

GA4 isn’t an upgrade to UA: it’s a powerful new way of understanding customer behavior using an events-based database.

Own the new UI

GA4 is more customizable than ever. Your homepage is a custom dashboard, with filters that help you look at what is most important without the noise, and comparisons that help you spot trends and anomalies.

If there’s one powerful message in this course it’s this one: own your UI to make important changes in customer behavior immediately obvious. That’s the way to be able to take action more quickly.

Make your GA4 property work for your business

With custom channels and custom measurements, GA4 puts you in control like never before. 

Use the new powers GA4 gives you to track the behaviors that matter to your business. 

Nail the key concepts

What’s the difference between user acquisition and traffic acquisition? And which one should you care about most? How does Google define a user?

Fred Pike takes you through key concepts which should be familiar to strong users of UA3, but which still catch people out.

E-commerce tracking that works

E-commerce tracking is hard. For the non-specialists, this course covers the importance of the items array as the underpinning data structure powering all e-commerce reports and helps you understand how key events in GA4 relate to real customer behavior and real web pages.

Who is this course for:

  • Marketing generalists who need to report on on-site behavior, acquisition, campaign performance, and site revenue
  • PPC specialists who need to ensure that all campaigns are properly tracked and full insight is easy to get
  • Digital analytics specialists who need to understand key capabilities and ensure they’re driving maximum value from new capabilities
  • Anyone still using Universal Analytics (GA3): from July 1, 2023, you won’t even have that option

Above all, anyone who is scared of GA4, or frustrated because “my reports have gone” or “things are missing” or “my data isn’t the same as it was in UA3” will feel more confident, more capable, and more able to identify how to drive real value from GA4 after taking this short course.

Please note that this course focuses on the use of GA4 for websites, not for apps or games.

Take this course and you will…

  • Be able to answer specific business questions using Google Analytics 4
  • Use GA4 data to improve your product, marketing, and strategy decisions
  • Know who your visitors are and where they’re coming from, so you can focus on getting more of them.
  • Navigate the GA4 interface, read data with confidence, and provide meaningful reports.
  • Master the new reports and track acquisition, engagement, and landing page performance to understand how visitors find you and what they do on your website.
  • Learn everything you need to get started with the GA4 event model and the different event types.
  • Customize the GA4 home screen to create a dashboard that fully reflects your key business objectives.

Skills you will master

Google Analytics 4 EventsGoogle Analytics 4 reportsGoogle Analytics 4 SegmentsGoogle Analytics 4 SetupProduct AnalyticsUsing analytics toolsData driven analyticsTracking and reporting

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Your course curriculum

Google Analytics 4 for Beginners

1 Course Introduction

Google Analytics 4

We're going to be going through the interface and explaining some really key terms and metrics and things that show up in the interface and how to understand it well. But we're also going to be focusing on some key business objectives as we go through the class.

2 GA4 Event Types

Google Analytics 4

3 Getting Started

Google Analytics 4

Under this second course objective of Getting started we will review the different GA4 properties we're going to be looking at in this course.

4 GA4 Properties We’ll Use

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson we'll find out and learn about the different websites and properties we'll be using throughout this whole course.

5 Google Merchandise Store

Google Analytics 4

Here we'll be looking at the Google Merchandise Store. We'll be adding that account into your own Google Analytics account. I'll show you where to find the instructions and how to install the Google Merchandise Store into your analytics.

6 Home Screen – a customizable dashboard

Google Analytics 4

The objectives of this lesson is really to understand the components of the GA4 home screen. In particular, we're going to be looking at customizing it at sampling and thresholds.

7 Insights

Google Analytics 4

We'll cover learning and what the insights are, find the two ways to get to insights, and discover one more way

8 Definitions –Sessions and Users

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson, we're going to focus on two key terms, sessions and users, which you may think you understand, but can have some slightly different meanings in GA4

9 Reports Snapshot; Realtime

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson we are going to briefly cover the reports snapshot. We're going to spend more time on the realtime report, particularly diving into the events. We'll also look at the user snapshot and see if there's any great information we can glean from there.

10 Acquisition Reports

Google Analytics 4

In this course objective, we are going to answer one of the key questions that people ask about their website. How did people find us? How did they come to the website?

11 User Acquisition

Google Analytics 4

Our objective in this lesson is to reinforce that first user concept, understand where users came from. We'll show you some examples of some other websites and we'll begin to access a hidden complexity to the reports interface which we will continue in the next lesson

12 Hidden Features in the UI

Google Analytics 4

Our goal here is to own the interface. I've already mentioned a few times that Google's goal with GA4 is to keep a simpler interface, but there is complexity hidden beneath the surface, and we're going to bring that complexity out.

13 Default Channel Group

Google Analytics 4

Here we're going to look at the source medium, define that a little bit further and then look at the official Google documentation on what makes up the default channel group and how those channels are created.

14 Traffic Acquisition

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson, we are going to cover what traffic shows up here in the traffic acquisition report and the differences between the user acquisition report and the traffic acquisition report.

15 More Segmenting Features

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson, we'll learn about date ranges and comparable periods. We're going to talk about some more complex comparisons, where we're putting two or more dimensions together into one comparison. We'll talk about sharing your changes.

16 Acquisition Overview Report

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson, we're going to talk about the components of the Acquisition Overview, where the reports link to, a hidden feature, and customizing, both from what Google does and from what we can do.

17 Customization

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson, we're going to learn what user role you have to be to be able to customize things in the GA4 UI. We'll learn what we can customize. We'll learn how to customize and save. We'll get an introduction to the Library, and finally, we'll talk about some good and bad news about customization.

18 Wrapping Up Acquisition Reports

Google Analytics 4

We've now discovered that there's two ways by which GA4 reports on acquisition, how we can segment and customize the data, ways to customize the user interface in GA4, explored the default channel group , and different ways to own the interface.

19 Engagement Reports

Google Analytics 4

In this section, we're going to look at the landing page and all the different pages that they looked at as well. We'll continue to see in this lesson that the interface changes. We're going to end by taking a deep dive into the events in GA4 and look at conversions.

20 Engagement Overview Report

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson we're going to learn how visitors engaged with your website. We'll talk about some sticky metrics and activity and the DAU/WAU/MAU metrics. We'll also look at some comparisons which you can use to benchmark against your own website.

21 Landing Page Report – Part 1

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson, we're going to define the landing page so we know exactly what we're talking about, and we're going to talk about two dimensions that show up in the report that are really confusing to people.

22 Landing Page Report – Part 2

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson, we're going to dive a bit deeper into the landing page and query string, and find out why it's so important primarily by looking at examples from ads. We'll also go into customizing the interface a bit.

23 Landing Page Report – Part 3

Google Analytics 4

Our lesson objectives this time is a another UI change and a little bit more segmenting.

24 Pages and Screens – Part 1

Google Analytics 4

We're going to start off by discovering what goes into the page view event. We'll talk about title versus page path and customizing our report. We're going to touch on content groups and an ad hoc content group, and then finally, what makes up the app version of the pages and screen report.

25 Pages and Screens – Part 2

Google Analytics 4

Discover events and conversions that have not been formally covered.

26 Events – Part 1

Google Analytics 4

We're going to cover the events report that covers all the events, describe the different types of events and we'll show the benchmark of the other websites we've been looking at throughout the course.

27 Events – Part 2

Google Analytics 4

We'll cover the event detail report, do a quick introduction of Google Signals, talk about custom dimensions and metrics and how they relate to event custom dimensions versus user custom dimensions. We'll also look at a special case, the page_view event ,and some information that gets added just for the page_view event.

28 Conversions

Google Analytics 4

We're going to cover what are conversions, what conversions make sense, and how to set up conversions.

29 Wrapping Up Engagement Reports

Google Analytics 4

As we wrap up engagement reports we discovered how people found your website, what they did on the website, and which conversions they actually performed.

30 Other Reports in GA4

Google Analytics 4

In this section we're going to talk about the monetization or the e-commerce reports and discover that the Google merchandise store is a terrible example of an e-commerce setup.

31 Ecommerce Background

Google Analytics 4

The objectives here are to look at the e-commerce events and a typical e-commerce flow. We'll also look at the e-commerce items array.

32 Monetization Reports

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson we will define what is monetization, see some of the e-commerce events live, the events we just talked about in the last lesson. Review the monetization, or e-commerce, reports.

33 Retention – User Reports

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson we're going to understand this final set of reports and figure out if they're valuable and where they may be missing value.

34 Advertising

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson, the primary objective is really to understand attribution and we'll realize the importance of having conversions.

35 Explorations – Part 1

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson, we're going to do a quick review of some of the templates that are available to play with and to modify, and we're going to build a Custom Freeform Exploration from scratch.

36 Explorations – Part 2

Google Analytics 4

In this lesson we'll learn to build a more complex, custom freeform than the one we just built in the prior lesson, the scroll freeform, and then we'll talk about sharing that report.

37 Course Wrap-up

Google Analytics 4

We looked at all the landing pages, how to customize the UI, how to segment and how to analyze. We looked at how to add secondary dimensions and how to change the primary dimensions, as long as you have editor or administrator rights.

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Fred Pike

Managing Director / COO @ Northwoods Software

Fred is a self-avowed GA & GTM freak.  He is a Managing Director at Northwoods Software and leads their GA/GTM Practice Area.  A sought-after educator, he has spoken multiple times at such events as MeasureSummit, SuperWeek, GA4Ward, MN Search, etc.  “GA4 Intro” is his fourth CXL course. 

At any point in time, you can find Fred digging into the intricacies of GA4, walking his beloved Pekingese Xuxa, or playing mandolin with the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra.

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Google Analytics 4 course: FAQ

How long does it take to complete this course?

This is entirely up to you – it’s how many study hours per week you can put in. This course is 5h 04min long. The majority of people will complete the course in between 5 and 5.5 hours.

Fred references Google support documentation, which you may choose to work through in addition.

You may also wish to pause recordings to apply your learnings in your own GA4 property.

However, Fred suggests in the course that you watch him at 1.5 speed, and there are no set exercises to complete in the course: the focus is on practical know-how.

Do I need previous experience with GA3 or GA4 before taking this course?

You don’t need any previous Google Analytics knowledge before taking this course.

Throughout the course, Fred will make comparisons between features in GA4 and UA (GA3) that may be useful if you’ve used Universal Analytics before, but the lessons assume you start from scratch.

What are some tips to get the most out of the course?

  1. Set up your GA4 property before starting the course, so you can get hands-on to make learning stick and apply your learnings immediately
  1. Open up your GA4 in one tab and the course in another. Fred walks you through step by step so you can follow along, see real data for your own business, and opportunities to customize

Who is this course for?

This course is for you if:

  • You have used Universal Analytics previously, and want to make a switch to GA4… or you haven’t used any Google Analytics product at all before.
  • You will be using GA4 (not implementing it from scratch) and want to fully understand its key terms, metrics, and interface.
  • You want to pull insights that relate GA4 data with your key business objectives.
  • You want to leverage the event-driven data model, the acquisition and engagement reports, and the new segmenting features in GA4.

Some careers that will especially benefit from this course are data analyst, digital marketing specialist, product marketer, SEO specialist, web analytics consultant, ecommerce manager, and digital analytics specialist.

What will you learn?

After taking this course, you will:

  • Understand the basics of GA4 and be able to drive insights for better decision-making.
  • Know who your visitors are and where they’re coming from, so you can focus on getting more of them.
  • Navigate the GA4 interface, read data with confidence, and provide meaningful reports.
  • Master the new reports and track acquisition, engagement, and landing page performance to understand how visitors find you and what they do on your website.
  • Learn everything about the GA4 event model and the different event types.
  • Customize the GA4 home screen to create a dashboard that fully reflects your key business objectives.

What does the course include?

Our Google Analytics 4 training includes 38 lessons, 10 downloadable resources, 5h 04min of video material, several assignments, and a final exam.

Are subtitles available for the lessons?

Lessons have English subtitles and transcriptions available.

Will I receive a certificate of completion?

After taking this course, you will receive the Google Analytics 4 certification from CXL, with credentials that you can add to your LinkedIn profile.

What is the refund policy?

All plans come with a 7-day refund period .