GA4 Metrics Tutorial with Free Google Analytics 4 Ebook

Table of Contents for GA4 Metrics Tutorial

  1. The key difference between dimensions and metrics in GA4
  2. Types of metrics in GA4
  3. Introduction to default metrics in GA4
  4. Acquisition metrics
  5. Engagement metrics
  6. Monetization metrics
  7. Retention metrics
  8. Demographics metrics
  9. Tech metrics
  10. Custom metrics in GA4

GA4 usually displays data in its reports in the form of a data table. Each row of the table represents the value of a dimension and each column represents the value of a metric.

A metric is a number that is used to measure one of the characteristics of a dimension.

A dimension can have one or more characteristics. For example, the following are the characteristics of the dimension called ‘Session source / medium’:

  1. Users
  2. Sessions
  3. Engaged sessions
  4. Average engagement time per session
  5. Engaged sessions per user

Here ‘Users‘, ‘Sessions‘, ‘Engaged sessions‘, ‘Average engagement time per session‘, ‘Engaged sessions per user‘, etc are all reported as metrics in GA4 because they are the characteristics of the dimension called ‘Session source / medium‘.

Consider another example:

Here ‘Item Views‘, ‘Add-to-carts‘, ‘cart-to-view rate‘, ‘Ecommerce purchases‘, ‘purchase-to-view rate‘, etc are all reported as metrics in GA4 because they are the characteristics of the dimension called ‘Item name‘.

 
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The key difference between dimensions and metrics in GA4

Following are the key differences between dimensions and metrics in GA4:

#1. A dimension provides context to a metric. Consequently, a standalone metric is meaningless to analyze and report. For example, the metric ‘Users’ is meaningless on its own and makes sense only when used together with a dimension like ‘Session source/medium’, ‘Session default channel grouping’, etc.

#2. In GA4, a metric can have only one scope and that is the ‘event’ scope. Whereas, a dimension can have either ‘event’ scope or ‘user’ scope. 

#3. The value of a dimension is (and should be) of type ‘text’. Whereas, the value of a metric is (and should be) of type ‘integer’. 

#4. While creating a custom dimension, you cannot specify a unit of measurement. But while creating a custom metric, you are required to specify a unit of measurement:

The following are the various unit of measurements for a custom metric in GA4:

  • Standard
  • Currency
  • Feet
  • Miles
  • Meters
  • Kilometres
  • Milliseconds
  • Seconds
  • Minutes
  • Hours

Note: A custom metric can have only one unit of measurement at a time. So for example, if you create a custom metric from the automatically collected event parameter ‘video_duration’ with ‘seconds’ as a unit of measurement then you can not create another custom metric from the same event parameter ‘video_duration’ but with ‘minutes’ as a unit of measurement.

Types of metrics in GA4

The metrics in GA4 can be broadly classified into two categories:

  1. Default metrics
  2. Custom metrics

The default metrics can be further categorized into the following sub-categories:

  1. Acquisition metrics
  2. Engagement metrics
  3. Monetization metrics
  4. Retention metrics
  5. Demographics metrics
  6. Tech metrics

Introduction to default metrics in GA4

The default metrics are the metrics that are already available in GA4 reports. They are ready to use metrics.

The following are examples of the default metrics:

  • Average session duration
  • Conversions
  • Engagement rate
  • Engaged sessions
  • Event count
  • Lifetime value
  • Total revenue

Following are the various subcategories of default metrics: 

  1. Acquisition metrics
  2. Engagement metrics
  3. Monetization metrics
  4. Retention metrics
  5. Demographics metrics
  6. Tech metrics

Acquisition metrics

The acquisition metrics are the metrics that are used to measure the characteristics of an acquisition dimension.

Following are the examples of various acquisition metrics:

#1 New users – Total number of users who interacted with your website/app for the first time.

#2 Engaged sessions – Total number of GA4 sessions that lasted at least ten seconds or had at least one conversion event or at least two page views.

#3 Engagement rate – It is the percentage of engaged sessions. It is calculated as engaged sessions/sessions.

#4 Engaged sessions per user – It is the average number of engaged sessions per user. It is calculated as engaged sessions/users.

#5 Average engagement time – It is the average length of time that the website/app had focus in the browser.

#6 Event count – It is the total number of times an event(s) was triggered.

Check out this help documentation to see the complete list of acquisition metrics: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/9143382?#zippy=%2Cacquisition 

You can see the acquisition metrics in the following GA4 reports:

  1. Acquisition overview report
  2. User acquisition report
  3. Traffic acquisition report

Engagement metrics

The engagement metrics are the metrics that are used to measure the characteristics of an engagement dimension.

Following are the examples of various engagement metrics:

#1 Views – The total number of times a webpage or an app screen was viewed by users. This metric does not report on unique views. This metric is calculated by adding screen_view events and page_view events. 

#2 Users – The total number of unique users who interacted with your website/app for any non-zero amount of time. This metric is calculated as: Count distinct users where engagement_time_msec parameter > 0

#3 New users –  The total number of users who interacted with your website/app for the first time. This metric is calculated as Count distinct users where event name = first_open or first_visit

#4 Views per user – It is the average number of screens viewed by each user. This metric is calculated as engaged sessions/users. 

#5 Average engagement time – It is the average length of time that the website/app had focus in the browser.

Check out this help documentation to see the complete list of engagement metrics:

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/9143382#zippy=%2Cengagement

You can see the engagement metrics in the following GA4 reports:

  1. Engagement overview report
  2. Engagement events report
  3. Pages and screens report

Monetization metrics

The monetization metrics are the metrics that are used to measure the characteristics of a monetization dimension.

Following are examples of various monetization metrics:

#1 Item views – It is the total number of times the item list was viewed.

#2 Add to carts – It is the total number of times users added items to their shopping carts.

#3 Cart-to-view rate – It is the ratio of ‘add to carts’ to ‘product views’.

#4 Ecommerce purchases– It is the total number of times users completed a purchase.

#5 Purchase-to-view rate – It is the ratio of ‘ecommerce purchases’ to ‘item views’.

Check out this help documentation to see the complete list of monetization metrics: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/9143382#zippy=%2Cmonetization 

You can see the monetization metrics in the following GA4 reports:

  1. Monetization overview report
  2. Ecommerce purchases report
  3. In-app purchases report
  4. Publisher ads report

Retention metrics

The retention metrics gives insight related to user retention from the perspective of new and returning users, user retention by cohort, user engagement by cohort and lifetime value.

Following are examples of various retention metrics:

#1 New users – The total number of users who interacted with your website/app for the first time.

#2 Returning users – The total number of users who have started at least one previous session.

#3 User retention by cohort – It is the percentage of the new-user cohort on charted date who return each day.

Check out this help documentation to see the complete list of retention metrics: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/9143382#zippy=%2Cretention 

You can see the retention metrics in the following GA4 report:

  1. Retention overview report

Demographics metrics

The demographics metrics are the metrics that are used to measure the characteristics of a demographics dimension.

Following are the examples of various demographics metrics:

Check out this help documentation to see the complete list of demographics metrics: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/9143382#zippy=%2Cdemographics 

You can see the demographics metrics in the following GA4 reports:

  1. Demographics overview report
  2. Demographic details report

Tech metrics

The tech metrics are the metrics that are used to measure the characteristics of a tech dimension.

Following are the examples of various tech metrics:

Check out this help documentation to see the complete list of the tech metrics: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/9143382#zippy=%2Ctech 

You can see the tech metrics in the following GA4 reports:

  1. Tech overview report
  2. Tech details report

Custom metrics in GA4

Custom metrics are user-defined metrics. If you want to measure the characteristics of a GA4 dimension that cannot be measured by any default metric, then create and use the custom metric. You can create up to 50 custom metrics per property.

To learn more about GA4 Custom metrics, check out this article: GA4 Custom Metrics Tutorial

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