Mailbag Monday Metrics we should be using in GA4

Mailbag Monday: What are the top 3-5 metrics we should be using in GA4 that we maybe don’t know about?

Katie and Chris answer your marketing, data, and AI questions every Monday.


This week, Lucas asked, “What are the top 3-5 metrics we should be using in GA4 that we maybe don’t know about?”


Mailbag Monday: What are the top 3-5 metrics we should be using in GA4 ?

Tune in every Monday to get your question answered!

Got a question you want us to answer? Reach out to us at or join our free slack group, at

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to catch past episodes at


AI-generated transcript:

Katie Robbert 0:00
Welcome back to another episode of mailbag Monday where Chris and I are answering your marketing data and AI questions every Monday. This week, Lucas asked, What are the top three to five metrics we should be using in GA for that maybe we don’t know about? Chris, you love a Google Analytics question? And I feel like we get this question a lot is people are always looking for like, what are the hidden features? What are like? What’s the secret that we don’t know about Google Analytics? And I would say the secrets and the things that you don’t know about are more so in the setup, versus the reporting, the reporting, I feel like it’s what you see is what you get. There’s no magic to it. It’s more of if you’re setting it up correctly, then you can do more with your data. But, you know, Chris, what’s your thoughts?

Christopher Penn 0:48
I would agree with that statement, generally that it is. The data you have to work with in Google Analytics is contingent largely on the what you’ve done to set it up properly. Right? So one of the first things you should do, Katie is that your user story,

Katie Robbert 1:07
user story. So a user story is a simple statement comprised of three parts as persona, I want to so that the persona is the stakeholder, the person that cares about the thing, the want to is the intent, the action, and the so that is the outcome, how you’re measuring it. And so start with that user story of as a CEO, I want to know how my marketing is performing, so that I know who to fire. Okay, pretty straightforward. So you can go into Google Analytics and figure out Oh, how’s the marketing performing is the thing that I’m doing working so that I don’t get fired today. If you want to drill down more specific, more useful user story, it could be as a marketing manager, I want to understand which channels are driving conversions, so that I know where to budget appropriately.

Christopher Penn 2:01
Exactly. And here’s the thing about Google Analytics, particularly Google Analytics, 4, which very shortly depending on when you watch this, so it may be already passed after July one, it’s the only game in town. So July 120 23, it is the only game in town for measurement. And so the thing you have to think about with GA four is that it is incredibly flexible. That also means that that flexibility comes at a cost. And the cost is you got to know what you want to measure. Because you can measure anything, just about anything. And it’s this question of how so let’s like put up a example here. When you’re building your conversions in GTA four, you’re basing them on events you programming event in and then once the event comes in, you decide that whether that event, is it a conversion or not? Well, how do you know what events to have? Again, this goes back to its configured in Tag Manager. How do you know what tags to create? It depends on what you want to measure on your site. So let me show you an example of this. Let’s go into our tags here. Let’s go into our GA for Contact Us conversion. Is that? Is that a good one to convert? Let’s do Thank you. Here’s the event. There’s an event names called Thank you, right? It’s any Thank you. If someone goes to a page and fills out a form there, you can then specify parameters. So I’ve specified here there’s a currency, the currency is US dollars, the value is $150. And the page that this event occurred on is set here in page URL that comes from the data layer. That is now a, a dimension of this metric that you can analyze. So if you were to go into explore hub, not only could you see what events, now how many thank you page conversions you have. But now you can see what the exact page was an ad count events per page, which means that you don’t need if you got a standard Thank you form, you don’t need to 10 events for 10 different pages, you can have one event and put the page as a parameter within the event. And so you can have fewer conversions without losing any of the ability to slice and dice. If for example, I had a red button and a blue button on a page for the for conversions, I could specify the Click URL, you know, with red button, and no one with you know, so this would be a button color be red or blue, depending on the conversion event. And then I can pass that in. And then you can slice and dice that and GA for people don’t know how to do this. People don’t know that you can be this granular with events because this is totally different than how we used to do goals and goal completions in GA three. Now, GA four you can put I think it’s 20 parameters per event. So you can get super, super detailed on this. And that means you can then slice and dice. So the top three or five metrics you should be measuring in GA for that you don’t know about other ones that you’re not collecting data on because you didn’t know you could. Anything that can create an event you As data that you can pass into GA for, so it could be, you know, whose picture on the page did you click on? If you’re doing a B testing is the variation of the page, what URL did somebody click on, you can determine if it’s an outbound click, you know, it’s click leaving your site, you name it, if Tag Manager can process it, than GA for can measure it.

Katie Robbert 5:21
I wholeheartedly agree with that. I think that the out of the box metrics if, you know, Lucas, your question are what are the top three to five metrics, if you were hoping for things like bounce rate and engagement rate? That’s not it, it’s really comes down to how you’re setting up your system. And then you know, you getting really specific congruently with how you’re measuring it. And if you want to learn how to do that, we actually have a course you can go to trust, for course, where you can learn how to set up your own Google Analytics 4 system. Or if you want to just reach out to us, we can help you do that at AI slash contact and you’ll get John Wall. John Wall is happy to talk to you all day every day about getting the GA for setup. But I think that that’s really it. There’s no magic secret metrics that people aren’t using, that exist in GA for it’s what you can create is the magic secret secret metrics.

Christopher Penn 6:19
Yeah, the magic is the dimensions, right? Because you really have what, four measures, you have an event, you have a user session, and you have a page view. And those are the four basic metrics. So it’s a question of how granular can you make any one of those metrics? And the answer is based on the dimensions and dimensions are based on the parameters. So if you create a lot of detail, and a lot of refinement and a lot of thought from your user based on your user stories, you can create very granular systems of measurement that give you the answers that you want based on the user story. I agree. All right. Well, if you’ve got some GA for questions or metrics that and parameters and dimensions you created the you want to talk about and share pop on over to our free slack group. Go to trust remarketing is where you have over 3000 other marketers are asking answering each other’s questions every single day. And if you want to catch up on back episodes back issues of mailbag Monday make sure you subscribe to our newsletter, go to trust We’ll share all of our content every single week. Thanks for tuning in. I will talk to you next time

Transcribed by

Need help with your marketing AI and analytics?

You might also enjoy:

Get unique data, analysis, and perspectives on analytics, insights, machine learning, marketing, and AI in the weekly Trust Insights newsletter, INBOX INSIGHTS. Subscribe now for free; new issues every Wednesday!

Click here to subscribe now »

Want to learn more about data, analytics, and insights? Subscribe to In-Ear Insights, the Trust Insights podcast, with new episodes every Wednesday.

One thought on “Mailbag Monday: What are the top 3-5 metrics we should be using in GA4 that we maybe don’t know about?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This