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Transformative Website Style Guide: Google Analytics 4

This guide offers practical advice on creating a transformative library website.

Which Google Analytics?

This page discusses Google Analytics 4. Released October 2020, this is the next generation Google Analytics product that will eventually replace the existing Universal Analytics properties. Universal Analytics are discussed on the "Google Analytics" page.

Setting up Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides important quantitative data to identify users and their behavior on your website. Knowing who your users are and what they are doing on your site is not an ending point, but instead is the first step in developing user personas (see below) and conducting ethnographic research to discover why users behave the way they do.

User

Provides information about who your users are, where they are coming from and what technology they are using.

User information as seen from left navigation bar in Google Analytics

Key elements:

  • Geo: Location of website users. Great for asking if users are using the library website on or off campus.
  • Technology: Device and browser of website users. Great for asking if users are on laptops, tablets, or phones to find materials.

Engagement

Along with Events, provides information about what your users are doing on your website.

Engagement information as seen from left navigation bar in Google Analytics

Key Elements:

  • Events: See details below
  • Page and screens: List of web pages viewed with detailed interaction information.
  • Average engagement time
  • Average user scrolls

Events

Provides the most in-depth information of how users are using your website. Is customizable for any situation, especially in conjunction with Google Tag Manager.

Events information as seen from left navigation bar in Google Analytics

Examples include:

  • Outbound links: How many users are using your website to access subscription resources? By setting up outbound links you can track what databases users are clicking to.
  • Search box usage: How many users use your search box(es)? Do users use search box tabs? If so which ones?
For instructions on how to set up events using Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, visit the Google Analytics for LibGuides page on the PALNI Analytics LibGuide.

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