Google Analytics 4 (GA4) helps businesses obtain critical insights into the customer journey by allowing for precise measurement of traffic across apps and websites. However, when you use the platform's features daily, even the slightest inefficiency can result in hours of lost time. So, is there anything that can make you more efficient?
The good news is that you can take various time-saving measures and spend more time analyzing and interpreting the data the platform produces. In this article, we'll cover three useful tips on saving time when using Google Analytics 4 so you can dedicate more of your day to using GA4 reports and less of it putting them together.
Tip #1 - Making Use of GA4 Keyboard Shortcuts
PPC & SEO Experts know the shortcuts for Microsoft programs like Word, such as Control + C to copy text or Control + Z to undo incorrect typing. These shortcuts can save the user valuable seconds, which can add up over a working week.
Time can be saved in the same way when using Google Analytics 4, as there's a range of shortcuts to streamline the process involved in running those important reporting tasks.
How to Access GA4 Shortcuts
After loading up your Google Analytics 4 property, getting a complete list of shortcuts is as simple as hitting [SHIFT] and [?] simultaneously. Doing so will present you with the currently supported shortcuts whenever you need a reminder.
Business leaders waste approximately 21.8 hours per week on low-importance tasks or unproductive activitiesForbes
Most shortcuts relate to the input of specific date ranges, but not all. At the point of writing, the following are the available options; however, Google adds new ones occasionally, so it's worth checking the shortcut panel for updates.
At present, the list looks like this.
- DC - Toggle date comparison to the previous period
- DX - Toggle date to the previous year of the period
- DW - Set date range to last week
- D30 - Set date range to the last thirty days
- DY - Set date range to yesterday
- D7 - Set date range to last seven days
- DT - Set date range to today
As we can see, it's possible to easily find marketing metrics from today or over the previous weeks, months and years with a few mouse taps. There are also some other general options available to speed up your use of the platform further, and they include:
- H - Open Analytics Support Search Help Center
- SHIFT + D - Open the default dashboard of the current view
- M - Toggle the left-sided navigation menu
- / or S - Look for a report
- A - Open account panel
When you become more familiar with these shortcuts, the time you spend on the basic admin of pulling reports will drop significantly, freeing up valuable minutes each time.
Tip #2 - Creating Additional Reports With the Same Metrics
The process is pretty straightforward when you want to create a standard report with GA4. However, if you're going to conduct a deeper dive with the same metrics and dimensions, replicating that report in the Exploration tab can eat up seconds unnecessarily.
There is a quicker method that goes like this.
- Open up the report with the dimensions you wish to replicate.
- Click 'Edit Comparison', followed by 'Explore'.
This action will trigger GA4 to recreate your chosen report with identical metrics and dimensions. It's important to note that some dimensions and metrics aren't available in the Exploration tab, meaning that when you open reports there, the software won't include them. In most cases, you'll be fine.
Tip #3 - Making Segments Persist Across Multiple Reports
Google Analytics replaced Universal Analytics on July 1 2023, and while there were many new and improved features, the creators removed a helpful function. That function was the ability to select a segment and have it persist across multiple reports, allowing the user to navigate between them quickly.
Users of GA4 shouldn't worry, though, as there's a workaround. The function may no longer be available, but GA4 comparisons achieves the same end, although the process is slightly more indirect.
Bookmarking Your URL For Future Use
The main issue with comparison reports run using metrics like organic or referral traffic is that they disappear when you close the program down at the end of the day. Try and find them again the next day, and you'll see they need to be recreated from scratch - taking up more time.
You can get around the problem by bookmarking the report's URL in your web browser, which, when using Google Chrome or Firefox, is done by clicking the star ✰ symbol at the end of the URL line (varies with other browsers). Just a couple of clicks allows you to store them for later.
They can be kept and organized in an easily accessible way by naming the bookmark file something like ‘GA4 Comparisions'. Note: This type of report retrieval is only possible with standard reports but not exploration reports.
Saving You Time For Other Important Marketing Tasks
More than 4 million websites in the US use Google Analytics, and a further 37.9 million sites worldwide, and that's because of its decision-making advantages. Whether talking about web app tracking or improved audience targeting, it's a marketing tool with broad appeal.
However, as an eCommerce business owner, your most valuable resource is time, so you want to save every second. These easily-implemented tips will ensure that you get to reclaim the time you may not even have been aware you were losing.