New Navigation & Reports in Google Analytics 4

BIG updates have come to the GA4 user interface! Updates include new navigation, new reports, and report customization. These updates are live now in the GA4 demo account now, and should be rolling out to your properties soon.

In this post, I’ll break down these updates piece by piece.

First, you’ll notice that the left hand navigation section is now structured as a multi-nav setup with a main nav that groups reports and features into sections, and a secondary nav that slides out for each of the main nav sections. 

These new grouped sections are: 

Reports – a collection of all of the reports that previously lived under the Lifecycle and User reporting sections

Explore – FKA “Analysis”, this renamed feature is now featured in the main nav as Explore

Advertising – NEW! This section is net new with this rollout and features some brand new reports to GA4 (that previously existed in GA3). See more in depth details below.

Configure – This section is new, and brings together (preexisting) features that fall under a more administrative structure (but not in the Admin section). These features are Events (the events table), Conversions, Audiences, Custom Definitions, and DebugView. This section in general is on the more advanced side, and you likely won’t spend too much time here unless you are setting up things like conversions and custom definitions or debugging your implementation. 

Advertising

In the new section called “Advertising,” you’ll find new Attribution specific reports. These reports have their roots in GA3, as many were previously available there. 

It starts with an Advertising Snapshot report which has several widgets with details about things like channels driving conversions, conversion paths, & different attribution models. You’ll also see more of your Ads data if you are integrated, or a call to action to “Get started with Advertising”. 

It’s interesting that Google has specifically called out Advertising as a top level section here, and points to the direction they are heading with emphasis on their marketing attribution features tied to advertising integrations.  

Specifically, I love the Model Comparison report. I used this report often in GA3 to help clients understand the differences in models, and the impact of the “Last non-direct” model in particular, since this was the default model in GA3. I’m excited that it’s now available in GA4 so you can see how different attribution models impact your conversion data!

Last in this section, there is a Conversion Paths report. This allows you to easily visualize the paths to conversion if there are multiple. For example, in the screenshot here you can see in rows 4 and 6 that organic search took place more than once to get to a conversion.  

Lastly, with this release, you will also see the ability to completely customize the look and feel of the left hand navigation. You will be able to build custom reports and push them to the nav for your colleagues to see and use. You can even rename the reports and sections to whatever you want. Pretty cool! This section is called the “Library” and I’ll have a follow up blog post and video specifically on this new feature to dive deeper, so stay tuned for that. 

If you want to learn even more about GA4, and see how it compares to GA3 (Universal Analytics) in a side by side comparison, get my free guide here

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