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Mission Control / Digital Marketing

7 Google Analytics 4 Features You Should Be Using Right Now

Now that we’ve been using GA4 for a while, here are some of our favorite features to come out of the latest software.

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By Tina Kelly

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has taken some getting used to, for sure. But now, about a year into using it, we can say we’re whole-hearted GA4 converts. That’s because the software has a host of powerful new features and capabilities that provide more granular insights into user behavior.

Whether you’re new to GA4 or are simply still trying to find your footing, here are seven of our favorite new features and how to use them to immediately up your Google Analytics game.

1. Get granular with event-based tracking.

Unlike Universal Analytics, which was based on sessions and pageviews, GA4 was built around events, or any number of more granular user actions, such as button clicks, form submissions and e-commerce transactions. Setting up event-based tracking for the key actions that are important to you on your site or app will give you a more detailed understanding of how users engage with your content.

2. Use data streams for a holistic view of your marketing mix.

GA4 allows you to integrate data from multiple sources, including websites and mobile apps, through data streams. By combining data from various sources, you can get a holistic view of user behavior across all of your touchpoints. This enables you to make more informed decisions and create cohesive marketing strategies that span multiple channels.

3. Enable enhanced measurement to track scrolls, downloads and more.

One of the standout features of GA4 is enhanced measurement, which automatically tracks various user interactions, such as scrolls, outbound clicks, site search, video engagement and file downloads. This feature saves time and effort by eliminating the need for manual event tagging. Make sure to enable enhanced measurement in your GA4 property settings to capture a comprehensive view of user interactions on your site.

With predictive metrics, you can get ahead of potential problems and take advantage of marketing opportunities, helping you keep users engaged and drive more conversions.

4. Set up audiences for targeted marketing.

GA4 offers advanced audience segmentation capabilities, allowing you to create highly targeted audiences based on specific user behaviors and characteristics. By setting up audiences, you can tailor your marketing efforts to different user segments, improving engagement and conversion rates. For example, you can create audiences for users who have viewed a specific landing page but haven’t filled out the form, and then retarget them with personalized ads.

5. Take advantage of predictive metrics.

One of the most exciting features of GA4 is its predictive metrics, powered by machine learning. These metrics, including purchase probability, can help you anticipate future user actions and optimize your marketing efforts accordingly. With predictive metrics, you can get ahead of potential problems and take advantage of marketing opportunities, helping you keep users engaged and drive more conversions.

6. Let GA4 track and investigate trends for you.

With the launch of GA4 came anomaly detection, a feature that uses machine learning to analyze historical data and automatically alert you to unexpected changes. It can help you quickly pinpoint unusual activity, such as sudden traffic spikes or drops, enabling more proactive and informed decision-making. But a recently added feature, called trend detection, takes anomaly detection one step further: It can identify subtler changes over longer periods, giving you more data to make alterations and predictions. We recommend you enable both features.

7. Use the analysis hub for custom reporting.

While this one doesn’t have the same functionality prowess as the other new features, it will help you visualize and communicate your findings in more accessible ways. The new analysis hub allows you to create custom reports using various chart and graph templates, which you can then use to present vital findings to stakeholders or simply report progress to higher-ups. There are many customizations you can make, depending on your needs. Use caution, though. It’s easy to get caught up in making cool graphs when you really should be acting on your actual analytics.

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Tina Kelly
Tina Kelly Chief Marketing Officer

Tina brings more than 10 years of experience to C/A, where she partners with companies to develop digital marketing campaigns that leverage content, encouraging audiences to consume, engage, share and convert. Tina’s experience spans industries, having led digital marketing strategy development and execution for several global and national brands, including The Children’s Place, Nationwide Insurance, Delta Faucet and many more.

Tina has presented at a number of industry conferences and events, including SXSW Interactive and Content Marketing World. Outside of work, Tina and her husband can usually be found on a sports field somewhere, cheering on their two kids.

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