GA4 Glossary of Terms: What you need to know to get started

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Google Analytics 4 can be a little overwhelming for first-time users.

The wealth of data and insights it provides can feel second to the wealth of new terms and acronyms you’ll encounter when using it. We understand GA4 can seem confusing and difficult to navigate at first. That’s why this post will offer you a glossary of some of the most common terms and acronyms used in GA4, to help you make sense of it all.

With a little knowledge under your belt, you’ll be able to start using this powerful tool like a pro!

Note: You need to set up GA4 before July 1, 2023. Make the switch to GA4 today by following our migration checklist.

Terms in Google Analytics 4

Bounce rate

Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site without taking action, like clicking a link or making a purchase. Users who bounce from your site only view a single page and do not convert. In GA4, bounce rate has been replaced by engagement metrics known as “Engaged Sessions.”

Engaged Sessions

Engaged Sessions describe the percentage of sessions where users are actively engaged with your website. A session is considered “engaged” if users meet any of the following criteria:

  • On a page for at least 10 seconds
  • Had one or more conversion events
  • Viewed two or more pages

Engagement Rate

Engagement Rate is the percentage of sessions that were engaged sessions. In a way, engagement rate is the exact opposite of bounce rate.

Custom Audiences

Custom Audiences in GA4 come equipped with two audience types out-of-the-box — All Users and Purchasers. Building custom audiences allows you to group users based on similar actions or dimensions. Custom audiences can be used for retargeting campaigns and comparisons in GA4 reports.

In addition to building custom audiences of your own, GA4 offers a range of suggested audiences, including templates and predictive capabilities. 


Events describe any interaction on your website or app. Unlike Universal Analytics, which tracked users by sessions, Google Analytics 4 tracks users by events, connecting the user journey across multiple sessions.

Types of events include:

  • Automatically collected events, or any basic interaction with your website.
  • Enhanced measurement events, or interactions with content on your website.
  • Recommended events, or events that you implement. 
  • Custom events, or self-defined events. Custom events don’t show up in most built-in reports and instead require custom-built reports.

GA4 Acquisition Reports

Monetization Reports

Monetization Reports are similar to Ecommerce Reports in Universal Analytics in that they provide deeper insights into your store’s revenue, including revenue generated from items, ads, and subscriptions. You can use these reports to understand which products are your top performers and compare revenue with different dimensions (i.e. city, age, gender, etc.)

Ecommerce Purchase Report

  • GA4’s Ecommerce Purchase Report is equivalent to Universal Analytics’ Product Performance Report, allowing you to see the product name, item views, and purchases by item name.
  • The Retention Report reveals how long users engage with your website.

Source/Medium Reports

Source/Medium Report are based on the Traffic Acquisition Report, which comes built into Google Analytics 4. The Source/Medium Report identifies the origin of your traffic and the general category of that source.

GA4 Exploration Reports

Exploration reports custom-built reports and funnels in your GA4 property, found within the ‘Explore’ section.

Checkout Behavior Report

Checkout Behavior Reports are funnel reports that demonstrate how users move from one step of your checkout to the next, and at what points users are dropping off during the checkout process.

Google Ads Report

Google Ads Reports are customizable reports that allow you to take a deeper look at your Google Ad performance, revealing the post-click performance metrics for users who clicked on your Google Ads campaigns.

Tip: Google Ads traffic can also be viewed by going to Reports > Acquisition > Overview > Sessions by session campaign.

Google Ads Keywords and Queries Report

The Google Ads Keywords and Queries Report shows the search terms that led to a display of your Google Ads.

Please note that both Google Ads Report and Keywords and Queries Report will only populate with data once you’ve linked your Google Ads account.

Landing Pages Report

The Landing Pages Report Identifies which pages on your site are the highest trafficked and top-performing. Like all explorations in GA4, the Landing Page Report is easily customizable. Adjust the metrics in this report based on what’s important to your business—engagement rate, total revenue, conversions, and more.

Sales Performance Report

The Sales Performance Report evaluates revenue and sales within a defined period of time at a glance.

Shopping Behavior Report

The Shopping Behavior Report is a funnel report that shows users’ flow through different steps of your site’s shopping experience. Use this report to understand where customers are dropping off during the purchase funnel.

Social Media Traffic Report

The Social Media Traffic Report provides insights into traffic generated by social media. This information helps to understand which platforms bring the most traffic to your site, what types of content perform the best, and add clarity to the ROI of social media campaigns.

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