What is GA4 and How Does It Impact Google Analytics?

A woman in a pink sweater standing in front of bushes.

What is GA4?

Since the summer of 2022, I’ve heard this question over and over again. GA4 Is Google’s newest analytics platform. It is replacing the current version of Google Analytics, which is often references as Universal Analytics. And before you zone out at the idea of a data overload, I really encourage you to tune in to this specific episode.

Google Analytics 4 is coming for everyone in 2023.

Yes, you. You’re going to lose out on a lot of valuable data if you don’t have it set up correctly. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but if you view year-over-year data in Google Analytics…you’re already too late. But that doesn’t mean you should bury your head in the sand. If anything, now — before the year ends — is the perfect time to get your analytics accounts set up correctly.

I invited Dina Pruitt on the podcast to explain what GA4 is, as well as how to get it set up and use it in your business.

Copy says: Listen in to this episode of the Talk Copy to Me podcast

What is GA4? Here’s what Dina and Erin want you to know

  • Why Google is changing from Google Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4, also known as GA4
  • How the focus on on privacy influences how marketers will collect and use data in the future
  • The improved measurement capabilities baked into GA4
  • The deadline for installing the GA4 tracking code on your website and how to do it
  • Why setting time zones within Google Analytics and on your website is so important
  • How to use data to make decisions within your business
  • Determining what questions to ask within your business and then figuring out how to get the answers within your GA4 dashboard
  • How to configure GA4 to work best for your own business
quotes from this episode of the Talk Copy to Me copywriting podcast

Quotes about the transition from Google Analytics to GA4 from Dina and Erin

  • “We really are getting a different type of information that is just as quality. It’s just that we have to learn how to analyze that data. We have to learn what it means to us.” — Erin Ollila
  • “Beginning July one of 2023, your current version of Google Analytics will no longer be tracking data. Even if you still leave the code on your site, it’s going to stop collecting information.” — Dina Pruitt
  • “If you want to really if you have a measurement strategy, and you’re wanting to really make the most out of this tool, you will need to configure it.” — Dina Pruitt
  • “Google likes it when you’re linking out to other websites as well. And it also gives Google an indicator that like what you’re talking about still fits in this little bubble that they’ve put you in and why they send search traffic your way.” — Erin Ollila

Dina actually has three homework assignments for you. First, make sure to set up Google Analytics 4 and get that tracking code on your website. Next, go in and look at your acquisition support. And finally, make a list of 2-3 questions you’d like answers to…and then…determining what it is you’d like to do with that data.

Meet this episodes guest expert on Talk Coy to Me

After more than two decades in the online world, Dina Pruitt uses her love for numbers and marketing strategy to help businesses uncover actionable data inside their often overlooked Google Analytics account.

Dina’s past work includes building websites before transitioning to marketing and project management, and she was part of the team to launch Arkansas.com, one of the first state tourism sites in the country. She’s worked with destinations like Elvis Presley Enterprises, Kentucky and Utah tourism departments, and many others to use analytics to make data-driven business and marketing decisions.

Dina’s on a mission to make sure all business owners get the new version of Google Analytics (GA4) installed on their websites by the end of 2022 to avoid data gaps and the inability to see trends and patterns with year-over-year comparisons.

In addition to done-for-you services, she hosts live workshops to teach business owners how to get the most out of their Google Analytics.

Dina would love to meet:

Laura Belgray from Talking Shrimp

Get to Know the Host of the Talk Copy to Me Podcast Erin Ollila

Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.

When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.

Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:

  • Learn more about Erin’s VIP Day options if you’d like to learn more about how you can hire her to write emails for you or audit your overall marketing
  • Reach out her on InstagramTwitterFacebook or on LinkedIn to talk more about how to grow an email list

Still wondering, “Wait, what is GA4?” Dina and Erin have you covered — here’s the transcript

NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors. SPEAKERS Dina Pruitt, Erin Ollila Erin Ollila 00:04 Hey friends. Welcome to the Talk Copy to Me podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee. Hello friends today I am here to talk to you about the big change from Google Analytics to Google Analytics for the guest expert we have here today is DITA Pruitt, and she is a measurement marketer, and also a self proclaimed data nerd. But she’s going to really help us understand why we need to make this shift in our business, as well as how to make the shift in our business. But what you may not know about Dina is that she is actually known by her family and friends, as the person who always wins things. It could be as small as a candy guessing game to radio contest to drop your name in the jar type of drawings, she has won dozens of prizes in her life. What makes you so lucky? Dina? Dina Pruitt 01:12 I don’t know. I think that just because I believe that I can win. Like I just go into it believing I can win. And sometimes I actually can feel when I enter a contest that I’m going to win it and then I do so. Erin Ollila 01:25 I love that. And do they tease you about this? Are they are they all jealous that you’re the winner? Dina Pruitt 01:30 When they’re like competing against me for competition that everyone’s like, Well, don’t Dana’s gonna win. So why even bother trying? Erin Ollila 01:38 Oh, my gosh, I love that so much. So thank you so much for being here to talk about this with my audience. I know that a lot of my clients or even listeners that I’ve had conversations with have acknowledged the fact that they can they know that Google Analytics is changing how it processes and prepares data for us. But they really don’t know what it means when it’s going to happen, or really why it’s important that they take action now. So do you think we can maybe start our conversation talking about why Google Analytics is changing from its previous platform of you know, just the standard one that we see right now to this new GA for analytics. Dina Pruitt 02:22 So the current version of Google Analytics, which most people have on their website is, is usually known as Universal Analytics. And it’s to be honest, it’s an old platform, Google actually bought it from a, from another company called urchin when they implemented it many, many years ago. You know, it was created before pre mobile world, you know, pre privacy concerns, all of that. So they had to start over Google had to start over with this platform, they couldn’t, they weren’t gonna be able to make this old platform work. So they built something new from the ground up, and they’re focused on, you know, privacy. So this, this new platform is, you know, GDPR compliant, it’s got a lot more data privacy layers and features built in, it is cross device and mobile focused. So you know, the way people use the internet now going from an even a, sometimes in one session, they might be on their phone, and then they like realize they want to switch to their laptop or something to make a purchase. And in the previous version, those would be seen as two separate sessions to separate users with the new GA for, they could track that, in some situations, not all situations. Also, there’s just improved measurement capabilities, because of the way it’s set up. And this will get a little bit technical, I won’t go in, but everything in GA four is event based, whereas the old platform was more session based. So we might have an opportunity to talk a little bit about what I mean. But that’s a really key important thing. And it’s really helpful to business owners because of that. And then also, machine learning. So as we know, as you know, privacy concerns and data is less available, the world is having to adjust and marketers, especially business owners to live without cookies, you know, without being able to track everything. So the new platform is designed to use machine learning and AI and statistical modeling to really fill in the gaps because we’re not getting all the data that we used to get, but they can use that to kind of help even that out. Erin Ollila 04:32 Yeah, that was a really great overview. I think that what I hear a lot is people have a lot of fear that they’re losing access to quality data. And they’re feeling frustrated that they’re not going to get the data that they want. And this isn’t I will say this is not just Google Analytics. This is you know, after Google and Apple started changing how it shares information about people for email list for a readability all these type of things? And, sure, I mean, absolutely do I understand it? Yes, it’s, it’s scary to work in one way in your business and look for data in one way to be able to make decisions in your business to all of a sudden changing how you look at how you look at data and how you start to make business and marketing decisions based on that. But I always try to encourage people when I’m having this conversation with them. And again, I’m not an animal, like a Google Analytics Master, I use it I like, it helps me with things like SEO. But remember that when we are adjusting our approach to data everywhere, that we really are getting a different type of information that is just as quality, it’s just that we have to learn how to analyze that data, right, we have to learn what it means to us, like I know, you mentioned, you know, it’s event based versus session based. And we can talk about that later in the conversation. But that’s, that’s an example of what I’m saying. Like, we have to stop thinking about sessions and start thinking about events. And then in some ways, I think we’re gonna have access to even better data to help us start making these business and marketing decisions. So I would say like, the first thing to do if you’re listening to this episode, and you’re hoping it will give you information about how to make the switch, and all of that is literally just put the fear aside, right? Listen with open ears of all right, they’re gonna get, they’re gonna tell me why this is happening. They’re gonna tell me what to do. And maybe some like, pro tips on how to like, use the next Google Analytics for but I don’t have to worry like, I don’t have to make like worry yet. Once I get in there, once I get it set up correctly, start collecting data, I will learn how to, to use that data to my best advantage. But you know, I’m glad that I just said that right there. Because I want to talk about before we move away from this, why it’s important to change right now, like this episode will be coming out in the beginning of December 2022. And we were notified probably what May of 2022, that this was going to happen, or you know, between like May and July, I would say because they gave us about a year and my MO right with that. Dina Pruitt 07:03 That’s right. Now, now the tool has been in beta and been out there and available for for a couple of years. The new one, the new version. But yes, they Google notified and started putting put a message at the top of everyone’s you know, when they log into their analytics analytics account, you can’t miss it. That beginning July, one of 2023, your current version of Google Analytics will no longer be tracking data. Even if you still leave the code on your site, it’s going to stop collecting information. And so that’s that’s kind of the deadline. Now, there wasn’t you know, if you if you’re the type of person that likes to analyze year over year data, while you’re, it’s too late, you should have had it on your website before July would have this Yeah, love that too. Erin Ollila 07:48 Sorry, friends. Dina Pruitt 07:50 But you know, it’s not too late to like, still look back, like, let’s say if you get it on there, now, you’ll at least be able to look back six months, right when the change happens. So the sooner the better. That’s, that’s why that’s really important. And you can run both, you don’t like have to turn one off and turn the other one on, you know, you they can run in parallel right now. So I’m really encouraging, like, I’m on a mission to get people to just put, just get the code turned on and on your website, start there, really. And then you can continue looking at your Universal Analytics if you’re not quite ready to make the switch. But it’s important to get it on there. And if you’d like I can kind of tell you a little bit about how they might do that, if this kind of maybe remove some of the fear. Erin Ollila 08:37 Yeah, no, I’d love that. And obviously, friends, we know, this is mostly an audio only podcast. And I think that one great way to be able to see it happen is visually. So we’re going to do as best as we can right now. But if you do want to access any of Dina’s courses, she does have a 20% off coupon code that is going to be in the show notes and everything so that you can get that discount and really just get in there and do the work. I think it’s really valuable to kind of also, if you’re nervous, see how someone else is doing it and kind of walk through it that way. But yeah, let’s just jump right in there. Like one thing I want to say is, a lot of the listeners who may have the the old, the universal Google Analytics set up correctly, they may go in there once a year, maybe a couple of times a year, but they don’t really know where to like poke around and prod. So if that is you, and you’re listening, just sign on. And I mean, Dean, I’ll let you take it from here. But here are the steps on how to go from the old analytics and quote unquote, turn on the new analytics. I’m Dina Pruitt 09:38 going to take you through it kind of broadly. But if you are logging in and look at your, at some point, you’d listen to this or write these notes down and go to your Google Analytics account. I think this will make sense. So once you log into your Google Analytics, and if you don’t know what that is, it’s analytics.google.com I don’t usually type that because I just have a link that goes straight to it. But I’m pretty sure that’s what it is. And so then in the bottom lower left corner, there’s a gear. So and that is your admin link. So you want to click that. And that’s going to take you to your admin page. From there, kind of right in the middle is you’ll see a blue button that says Create property, you’re going to click that button, and you’re just going to follow the prompts. There’s one thing there that I’m going to kind of like a pro tip I’m going to tell you is one of the things that has you do is set your time zone. And I would encourage you to match your analytics timezone to your website, timezone, that way the data is in sync, because like, imagine that your website has, you know, you know, Eastern and you set your and by the way, analytics, I think by default is set on Pacific Time, you’re going to be three hours off, and so that could cross every day. So once you’ve created the property, you just go through the steps, then the next thing that’s going to pop up, it’s going to say create data stream. So it’s really there’s there’s really just kind of three steps, creating the property. The next thing I’ll show you is create data stream, you just fill in, you know, some simple blanks, you’ll select website for most people, you can also create data streams for apps if you have happen to have that. But most people listening here are probably just going to create a stream for their website. And then that’s it, you’re done with that, it’ll bring you finally to a page that says, you know, place the code on the site. So once you do that, once you go to place the code on the site, there’s instructions, they actually have instructions now and things keep changing. But four common platforms. So like right there that you can click, and it’ll like, tell you like if you’ve got you know, WordPress or you have Squarespace or Wix or some things like that, it’ll give you that help. So I think that that’s nice. But essentially, at that point, if you just need to get the code snippet, put on your website, so whether that’s taking it to your developer, or you have a tool that, you know, some some plugins will do that. And the key piece of information you’re going to use there is called you’ll see it call them your measurement ID, or tag ID, and that begins with A, G, it would be like G dash something. So that if you if you have that little number, and actually it’s usually numbers and letters, that will be what you’re going to drop into some, like some of the platforms. So it’ll either be a little snippet of code, or it’ll be that measurement ID, and then you add it and you’re done. You can both both pieces can run on your website, it will take 24 hours before you’re gonna see any data at all. So you might think it’s not working, give it 24 hours, maybe 36, log back in, and you will actually see that there’s numbers coming through the reports. Erin Ollila 12:48 And I’m really glad you said that, you know, it’s funny, because I didn’t think about this. But about a week ago, I was doing an SEO VIP day with one of my clients. And we were looking at our analytics kind of just poking around. And she had said, Oh, I don’t think I actually installed anything on my website. And I said to her, Well, I don’t really know if that’s possible, because you know, like, I can see it partially set up at least. But she’s like, I don’t remember putting anything on the site. So we get in this like long drawn out conversation that I won’t really go into here. But the point of it was, is there a checkpoint where people can say things are correct, like it is correctly set up? And if you I guess the backup to that question, just based on what you just said is if you see that measurement, or measurement ID or tag ID, if you see that all set up in your Google Analytics, the new one GA four, and you can click on it and see data does that mean you are correctly set up? That That means Dina Pruitt 13:43 that you that it’s activated? So you know, I mean, there’s kind of two things, there’s activation, you you’ve got the basic code on your site, that doesn’t mean it’s configured. There are configuration steps within GA four that will help you, it will just help you get the most out of it. Can you use it without doing it changing any configuration? You can, if you want to really if you have a measurement strategy, and you’re wanting to really make the most out of this tool, you will need to configure it. And there’s a lot of you know, there are several things that go into that. Erin Ollila 14:17 Yeah, that was a good answer. Because I you know, that really, I mean, honestly, that summed up our personal conversation that I had with my client. But it is really important to note that you can gather information, you can get a lot of information, but boy, oh boy, can google analytics work so well for you. If you actually start to configure it, the information it’ll be it’ll flow easier, you’ll know where to look, you’ll have like the data that you can actually use to make decisions versus just go in there and be like, Huh, look at the acquisition information, huh? Look at the audience information right like a one of my clients who was just so lovely. I worked with them for a long time. They would always be like but look at all the information and I like, cool, what does that information tell you? Like, tell me, what does that information tell you? Because I don’t, I think you’re just like looking at information right now. Like, it’s not giving you any good information about how people are converting how people are actually accessing the different pages on your site, because you’re looking in the wrong places. So is there a way to have a conversation? I could be wrong here? Is there a way to come have a conversation about GA for that maybe we could give some quick tips on where to look to get good information without having to go into all of the configurations? Dina Pruitt 15:32 Yes. And actually, I want to step back just a minute. Because I think that what you were talking about, like the information and all that is really key. When I work with my clients, one of the first things we do is we’re doing a measurement strategy. I’m starting with the questions before we even go in and look in analytics. It’s like we start with the questions. These are like, what? And how questions. So think about that. Think about a question you might want to know about your website. And again, you’re measuring your customer journey. That’s essentially what you’re doing. And your website is, you know, for most people, online business owners, or even people that offline, that there’s a customer journey that happens there. And so this is what Analytics lets you do. So you start with the question, but then the really important thing, and then you gather the information. But the important piece of this is, you need to say, what action am I going to take when I get this information? For example, say you want to know, what are the most popular blog posts on your website? Okay, you can find that information. But what are you going to do with that, like, ask yourself? Well, when I see that this blog post is the most popular one, I will maybe decide I’m going to run ads to it, because maybe it’s the one that’s generating more leads than anything else on my website, maybe I see that people that come to my website, from this blog post, spend a lot more time. In fact, I had just this with one of my clients, they, I was looking through their data kind of again, sometimes they’ll look for patterns and trends. And this was an E commerce business. They have one blog post that was responsible for 10% of the traffic on their website. They didn’t even know that. And the interesting thing was, you know, this was a great blog post, it was, you know, obviously well placed in search engines. But they had no links to products on that at all. And so the recommendation was, hey, this, you’re leaving money on the table. This is an opportunity, Lincoln your products here on this page, and you’re going to be able to take better advantage of that traffic. Erin Ollila 17:45 Yeah, everything you just said there are so important, like, you know, it is kind of a sidestep to what we’re talking about. But just to preach here, data can help you make better decisions, right? A lot of the times people think copywriters just sit down and write all day. But honestly, we want data to know how to drive what we’re writing, right? And if you’re doing it yourself, absolutely, you want to know, like, look at the case that she just mentioned with that blog post, what an immense amount of traffic is going to somewhere on your website that can tell you how to replicate the same type of future blog posts, it can give you information on how to adjust the other blog posts that you have, so that you can get you know the same type of results. And absolutely with the exact example you had definitely, namely to add some calls to actions, you can increase how that does by like adding inter links to different things within your own website, adding stats data to other websites, because Google likes it when you’re linking out to other websites as well. And it also gives Google an indicator that like what you’re talking about still fits in this little bubble that they’ve put you in and why they send search traffic your way. So when you when you make this change, when you get GA for all set up, look at the data that you’re getting, and use it to make determinations on how you’ll spend your time because I think a lot of people do a lot of wasted time on content creation, not everything. We don’t need to start from scratch. We don’t need to create a million pieces of content. But we need to make sure what we are creating is quality. And it’s working for us. And tools like Google Analytics is what helps us determine if it’s working or what needs to be adjusted. I know this is kind of a sidestep. And it’s not something we talked about discussing on this episode. But I think it could be helpful because something I find my clients by feeling a lot more comfortable using is Google Search Console. And that’s because they get the key words or phrases they’re already ranking for. And they get a little data on why people are maybe like viewing it or like versus not like clicking over. So I think it’s just easier to view as an average consumer. Do you think you could talk about maybe why they’re both important or what you should focus on in Google Analytics. Like for example, if someone takes Google Search Search Console and they see these keywords and phrases. And they’re like, Okay, I feel good about this. This is what my business is attracting, well, what would they then look for in Google Analytics to pay attention in that spot. Dina Pruitt 20:11 So you can pull your Google Search Console data into Google Analytics. One of the cool things about GA for which is a new piece of measurement, relating back to the events is there’s an engagement rate. This is people used to use on the old one, you would hear people talk about bounce rate, maybe someone may be familiar with that. That’s no more. But engagement rate is really cool. But what Google is doing with engagement, right, is they’re saying they consider an engagement. If someone has spent 10 seconds on the website, viewed two or more pages, or had a conversion event. So they did something that was that you had identified as a conversion event, like signed up for something or made a purchase. So that’s considered engagement. And you can then look at, well, what’s happening to this traffic, when it comes in to these different keywords? What’s happening on these different landing pages, you may notice that your search traffic to a particular landing page is more engaged on your website than something else. So those are those are some of the ways you can use that Erin Ollila 21:14 quick question here. Because it’s kind of again, talking about what we’re doing in the past or what we’re doing in the future. Before we talk about some of the ways you can use the new Google Analytics for let’s I’m gonna hypothetical situation, let’s say someone tracks their marketing efforts from January to December. And what they’re tracking right now is maybe just some of the very basics they have in the current universal Google Analytics, like pageviews, like you said, bounce rate, time on page. And every month, you know, let’s say the first of the month, they’re putting that data on a spreadsheet, kind of just following it to see how it’s working. Come January, which will be next month, by the time you know, we’re posting this episode, should they adjust what they determine they want to look at, based on because since the transitions happening in July? And if so do you have any suggestions? I’m assuming engagement might be one. But do you have any suggestions of like just the few things they could track? If that’s how they were previously approaching it? Dina Pruitt 22:11 Yeah, that’s a really good point. Well, some of the things I’m telling my clients now is when you if you can make the change, if you have GA four on your website, and you’re tracking certain things like pageviews, or visits or something like that, go ahead January one and begin using the data out of GA for so that you’re not making the switch of pulling it from Universal half, you know, half of the year, and then, you know, from GA for the second half, because they’re theirs, they they track information differently. And so they they’re never going to line up. So that’s really important. So, you know, if you can go ahead and get it on your site, and then things like that switch over. But I will say it really comes down to the business, like it really is like, what, what do you need to know? I mean, in general, you’re looking for patterns and trends. But again, if you’re just looking at pageviews, my question would be, what are you doing with that information? You know, really anyway? I mean, I guess the big one might be just making sure your traffic is, you know, going down, and it’s good to pay attention to that. But yeah, I would start with instead of, here’s some good pieces of information to track, I would start with ask some questions. And I And if you want, I could share with you a few questions just to kind of get people thinking about that. Please do. Yeah. So like something might be what is the conversion rate for my, my freebie or my opt in? That’s a good question. We can we can find that. What do people search for on my website, you talked about search, we can actually, this is a cool thing about the new version. It by default, if you have a search, like a site search on your website, it will pull that in by default. And I think that is a good report to look at. For people, you know, just say, Oh, what are people searching for that can give you a lot of information about content, you know, things maybe that you hadn’t thought of maybe things that are hard for people to find. So and that is that’s in place by default. So I think that’s a really positive change. Another questions might be, you know, how is my funnel performing? Like really like? What’s happening? When do people have become aware of this particular product or service? You know, how are they aware? When do they engage with it? How do they complete it? How are people finding me, you know, the source, you talked about traffic acquisition, that’s really, you know, a good one. So, you know, understanding your traffic sources, I guess. I would be paying attention to that. If you see something drop off. That’s a key idea. Like there’s something wrong. You could also track your email performance, and see what’s going going on with your email traffic to the website, you can do things like, you know, what devices are people using what? Browser. So there’s information that might help you and your email marketing to. Erin Ollila 25:10 Yeah, I love that. And I love that you mentioned reports. And you also mentioned some of the configurations. maybe now’s a good time to kind of differentiate between the two, what should people be focusing on when it comes to the reports that are already built in? And then while I know this next question is a whopper you can definitely take your time getting there. What type of configurations should an average business owner start to think about that they may want to have on their own website. And I know it depends on the business. But just some general ideas. What one Dina Pruitt 25:43 thing I think that’s good to know is built in by default, these are the things that GA for will audit as automatically tracking your pageviews. Of course, site searches, if you have a site search how many scrolls to the bottom of the page. So that’s a really interesting one. Because if you have some key information, a lot of times, you know, sales pages will have that buy button down at the bottom, well, you will be able to see are people even making it to the bottom, but one of the configurations you can do is actually set benchmarks. So you can see scroll at 10% 2550 75. But that’s not going to be by default, what what it tracks by default is just 90%. bottom of the page, they also track outbound clicks. So if you are linking to other websites, it will track that a configuration piece is you can track clicks within your website. So if you want to see our people linking from one page to another, it will by default track video engagement. So if you have that only if you have embedded YouTube videos, if you have other types of videos like Demio, or something else, you’ll need to customize that to for it to track that. And then it tracks file downloads. So that’s a good amount of information that’s being tracked. And the cool thing is, unlike the current Universal Analytics, we’re setting up goals. And all of that is sort of can be complicated, and you’ve got to really dig in, they’ve made it a lot easier. Once you have something defined as an event. And you know what you want to mark it as a conversion is like simply toggling it on I think that’s really helpful. Erin Ollila 27:19 Yeah, no, that is super helpful. If people are thinking about customizing and configuring their Google Analytics, maybe what are the questions they should be asking themselves? Or what are the things that they should be looking for, as they make that determining factor of what what they want to do? Dina Pruitt 27:33 I would say honestly, I would start with, you know, kind of the big drivers of your website. Now obviously, if you are an E commerce business, you want to get that turned on that you want to be able to track your purchases. So if they’re if they’re if you’re collecting money, anything even if you’re not ecommerce, you know, if you collect money through courses or programs or anything like that, you want to get that E commerce piece turned on. And that’s not going to happen by default. But then I would say think about, you know, your leads, what’s what, what is your what do you want your website to do for you like, what is it doing for you, and then that’s the thing you want to set up to track. So if it’s, you know, you have a freebie a free offer an opt in, you want to track that as a conversion. Because once you have that setup to be tracked as a conversion, you then have a lot of a lot of ways you can use that because then you can begin to slice and dice that to see different things about which traffic sources are doing the best, you know, which keywords are doing the best with that? Maybe you might need to know what platform, you know, is it mobile or desktop, you know that that might make, you know, differences in how you look at your, you know, changes that you make on your on your sales page. So I would say start with those things like start with kind of the key pieces of information. And don’t don’t overcomplicate it, like just you do good enough to get going like you can always refine it later. Don’t worry about having everything, pick one thing and get started with Erin Ollila 29:03 that. Yeah, absolutely. And I’m all for baby steps, right? Like, I think what holds people back in so many different places in their business, not just marketing is that and I’ll say it holds me back a lot is the need to do everything, right? Like we have all these things we think we need to do. But if we just take a tiny step and do one tiny thing, even if it’s a piece of a bigger business task, eventually the things will get done, right. So like instead of like worrying about the overall set, like you said, set up that one conversion. And what I really wanted to point out here is I loved how you kind of introduced the topic of conversion, one as a conversion copywriter. I think a lot of the times we talk about conversions as sales, right? And it’s definitely not the only way to think of conversions. But especially from the analytics standpoint, I love that you said that. What do you want your website to do? Right because I like to encourage my clients to do Think of one to a few main goals of the website because it does change based on the pages and the need for how they talk to their clients. Is it book a call? Is it down, like you said, like you said, download a freebie, take a quiz, make an actual purchase. So once you can determine that and look at those as being conversions, like I know, I mentioned purchases, and all of those are conversion events, take a lead and move them either into a warmer lead, or move them into an actual paying client. Those are all conversion events. And I don’t think people necessarily think that, which is why they get so confused being in Google Analytics, because they just assume conversion equals like, you know, dollars and cents. So I love that I think that was a great addition to this conversation. Yeah. Dina Pruitt 30:49 Yeah. And I’ll say, I mean, you’re exactly right. And the thing that’s really cool, and again, I think this is a big plus of this GTA four, and the fact that it’s event based, is really anything. So maybe you you could decide, and you could have even temporary events, maybe you’re running, you know, a sale and you decide you want to track did people even see this page, so you could have a particular page landing on a particular page and scrolling 50% of the way down could be an event that you mark as a conversion, because you want to track it in a certain way. So you really have a particular button, click like the sky’s kind of the limit, in terms of I mean, and I wouldn’t go overboard again, I would say always have in the back of my mind. What am I doing? Just because you could track everything doesn’t mean that you should, you know, so what am I going to do with this information once I know it, and if you have an action, and you know, your action that you’re going to take, then move forward? Erin Ollila 31:46 Yeah, and we all know, on this podcast, I am a big fan of the DI wires as well as the people who hire these type of things out. But just to put a quick plug here. Do I think that you can change your Google Analytics to your Google Analytics for on your own? Sure. Do I think that you should be doing all of these reports and configurations on your own? Not necessarily, like I really in this is one of the instances that I really want to encourage people to think about hiring things out in their business. And you could probably speak on this better than I and I can Dina. But there are certain ways you could work with Dina or someone like Dina to get these things set up, and then take it from there on your own, if that’s where you are on your business, right, like, but I do think there’s a huge value in getting this done correctly getting it set up correctly, whether you’re taking on a Dina’s courses, or you’re hiring her to do it for you. Because you want to make sure the data is correct. You never want to look at data that is slightly skewed, like your point of making sure the timezones matched. Honestly, never ever thought of that. And let me tell you, I spend a heck of a lot of times inside of Google Analytics in the past, let’s say nine years, oh, I’ve spent my time there never thought he made sure that those two match, but look at how important that is, especially when you’re considering things like sales launches, right cart closes, and then you when you have big launches, you always want to analyze it and make decisions for next time. But if the data is not exactly what you’re looking at, the decisions could end up not working out well. So again, this just a plug that you know, make some make whatever decision is right in your business. But you really might want to actually work with someone to get your Google Analytics for set up well for you, so you get the good quality data that really can help you. Before we move on. Dina, is there anything else that you don’t think that we’ve covered here, that that could help our listeners understand the change better, or maybe how to use the new tool? Dina Pruitt 33:41 Well, in terms of the use of the tool, like, I can talk a little bit about, you know, one of the reports, go into the report section, and go to the traffic acquisition report. And this is something new you talk about, a lot of people are familiar with that and Universal Analytics. But this is a really good starting point. Because there’s a lot of information here that can you can kind of glean just from this one report. So it’s why I you know, someone that’s new, someone that’s not sure is kind of feeling a little bit overwhelmed by all the things, I recommend that they start here with this report. Because it can show you where your visitors are coming from, how much time they’re spending on your site, how engaged they are, again, what events are happening, and what conversions are happening by the traffic source. So I think that can be valuable. For example, if you’re spending an hour a day on threat coming up with social media posts, and you go in and see that you aren’t getting traffic from social media, it’s all coming from organic search. I would you know, should you really be doing that shit, you know, maybe there’s a better place for you to spend your time. Erin Ollila 34:48 That’s why even if you don’t want to really invest so much into Google Analytics, you at least understand where to take quick peaks. Because I’ve had clients do huge, huge Huge, huge, huge social campaigns financially huge time huge emotional investment in social, only to come on and find out the absolute biggest source of traffic to their website was Pinterest. And they had not even paid attention to Pinterest. And oh my gosh, is it such a letdown to know that like a baby that you’ve created, the social media baby is really doing almost nothing for you, that’s frustrating, especially when if you could have changed gears and use some of that finances and time and energy on a Pinterest campaign. Right? Like, we have to separate what we might like doing for our business, we’re based on what is the most strategic for our business. So I just want to echo that, because I’ve seen this, and I’ve seen it on many occasion, not just on one occasion, on many occasions where people put so much invest so much of themselves into a platform and that platform isn’t serving them. So yeah, 100% there. Dina Pruitt 35:57 Yeah. And I would just say, you know, what, as you move along in your business, you know, if you have a marketing strategy, I would really encourage everyone to think if you’ve got a marketing strategy, you should also have a measurement strategy. Like, I think a lot of people don’t really haven’t really thought about that. But they they go hand in hand, and they complement and they work with each with each other. So yeah, that would be like a next step. Erin Ollila 36:20 I think that’s it, I think that’s great. Because again, you don’t know if you’re marketing successful if you’re not one testing it, which I think still lives on the marketing side, but then to analyzing the data that you get from testing it. So that is a huge asset to this conversation. All right. So before we end our episode, I always end the episodes with a few of important questions for our guests. And the first one is based on our conversation that we’ve had today. If you could give a quick homework exercise to our listeners, what would you tell them to do? You know, based on everything we’ve talked about? Dina Pruitt 36:56 Okay, so some of this is going to be repeat, but absolutely, number one, add GA four to your website. If you do nothing else, if you take nothing else away from this, go ahead and get that added, if you think you’re ever going to want to look at your analytics, go ahead and do that. But assuming you’ve done that, then number two would be, you know, I would say go ahead and go in and look at that report I just talked about like, that’s a good starting place, look at the acquisition report, because it can just give you a way to kind of start looking at some data. And then number three, actually, I’m going to bring it all the way back to make a list of two or three questions, things that you would like to learn about your website, visitors. Think about what or how questions, and then what actions you’re going to take when you get that information. You know, actions is key, when I find out this, I’m going to write more content. When I find out this piece, I’m going to move this button up. Because people aren’t scrolling down that far. That’s part of like building that strategy. Think about those questions. And then from there, you can like figure out how you’re going to make that happen. But that would be the advanced level of homework. Erin Ollila 38:07 Yeah, no, that’s great. And I like that, like we talked about taking small steps before, right? Like there’s three segmented different homework assignments there that if they’re up to it, maybe they could plow through one and two, like right away and one sitting. And maybe three is something they want to like sit on and think about journal about even let’s say before they like move forward actually getting those configuration set up. So I love that it’s multi piece, and it’s something that they can actually like move through on their own. Next question for you. If you could meet anyone in the online business world, whether it’s a specific person, a type of person, a type of company, even who would it be and why Dina Pruitt 38:44 there is a woman named Laura Bell Gray, and she is a copywriter who teaches people how to write non sucky copy. And I have actually been on her list for probably at least five years, I think that she has really this fun, irreverent kind of sense of humor. I read her emails, like when they come in, I’m like, yes, it’s not delete. And I just think it would be fun to hang out with her for a day. Plus, she lives in New York City. And I really think New York City is a great place to visit. So choose my choice. Erin Ollila 39:15 Final question. This is the one I always come up with on the cuff and boy do I put the pressure on myself. One thing I liked that you had said in your bio, is you call yourself a measurement marketer and a data nerd. So let’s put Google Analytics completely aside for a second. What type of information have you like, Have you enjoyed measuring and analyzing whether it’s your personal life or in your professional business that isn’t necessarily like website related? Dina Pruitt 39:46 Wow, what sort of information have I enjoyed analyzing? I’ll be honest, I think that in my journey as a business owner, like having left the marketing world working in an agency for 1520 Plus yours and coming out on my own, I have enjoyed really paying attention and analyzing the flow of that business like what I’ve pivoted my business a lot. And part of it’s because I’m looking at what is bringing me happiness and connecting me into that part of my life, which is the reason that I became my own business owner to begin with. So I really do think that that may be part of it. It’s like, paying attention and measuring. It certainly sounds silly, like my happiness level or my satisfaction with my business. And making sure that I really love getting up every day and doing what I’m doing. Because I think that’s just so important. Erin Ollila 40:39 I 100% agree with you there. And, you know, I’m gonna be corny here and return this to a complete data measurement thing. If, you know I talk to my clients again, and like, I don’t think I give this example on this episode. But I have in different episodes, like a client has said, like, I hate being on video, yet they just invested financially in a video team. They invested in, you know, hair and makeup, people to help them speak to make a campaign for their business. And that didn’t, let’s say, pan out? Well, here’s the thing, I think we need to like use the information we have on what’s being successful, or what we’re doing so much of that’s not working to make these decisions, right. Like, because there’s so much noise in this online world of do this do that you must show up here, you must show up there. Well, guess what, guys? If you don’t like it, you do not have to do it. Like I don’t know, if you’re looking for permission. There are things in my life that I look for permission on, this is your permission for me to just legitimately not do it if you don’t like it, because there are so many different options for for growing your business for for learning for getting clients that maybe are not the one that’s not working for you right now. So I love that you said that, that you’re actually measuring your like energy and happiness level. I don’t hear a lot of people doing it. And I think that could be a secondary takeaway that was totally unexpected is look at look at how we’re spending our time and see what lights us up to make our determinations on what we keep doing. Absolutely. All right, Dana, I will throw the the coupon code for people to get the 20% off of the working with the Dina’s and the products that she has, as well as all the information on how you can find her website. Get Working with her in the show notes and the description. But I just want to thank you again, Dina, it was wonderful talking to you. And I’m just so appreciative of your time today. Dina Pruitt 42:27 Sure. Thank you so much, Erin. I really love being here. Erin Ollila 42:33 Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me at Erin Ollila. Until next time friends
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