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Understanding GA4: Google Analytics Audience

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Last Updated on June 14, 2023

In GA4, audiences refer to website or app visitors grouped based on their behavior, providing insights into specific user groups and facilitating targeted marketing.

A Google Analytics audience can range from broad categories like all purchasers to more detailed ones, such as purchasers from Florida who bought yellow fishing rods in the last 7 days. This article will explore examples, creation, and analysis of GA4 audiences to enhance your business.

Before we dive in, it is important to already have a Google Analytics 4 property setup. If you need help with this, we’ve created a FREE GA4 Migration Checklist or you can schedule a FREE consultation with our team at no obligation.

What Are Google Analytics Audiences

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In Google Analytics 4, audiences are a cluster of users who exhibit shared characteristics relevant to the website/app owner.

Examples of commonly shared attributes include:

  • Acquisition channels: social media, paid ads, podcasts, campaigns, etc.
  • Purchasing behavior: purchase, add to cart, cart abandonment, etc.
  • Demographics: age, gender, geo-location, interests, etc.
  • Other behavioral data: user interactions such as scroll tracking, etc.

Important Context Regarding Google Analytics 4 Audiences:

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  • A minimum of 30 days of data is required to initiate audience creation. GA4 will scan for users who fit the audience criteria in the previous 30 days once an audience is established.
  • It may take 1 to 2 days for a user to be included in a new audience after it has been created.
  • Audiences are not retroactive, and users are only added to an audience from the time it was created onwards.
  • Audience size might differ from remarketing list size, mainly if your Google Ads account is not connected. This disparity is due to the absence of tracking IDs transmitted to Google Ads remarketing lists.

How Many Audiences Can You Have in GA4

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In GA4, there is a cap of 100 audiences, which covers all personalized and custom audiences. Additionally, there are roughly 25 pre-built audiences available in GA4.

There are two classifications of Google Analytics audiences:

Custom Audiences include:

  • Audiences that you created.

Prebuilt Audiences include:

  • Predictive audiences (suggested predictive audiences)
  • Suggested audiences
  • Predefined audiences

To better understand, see the definitions below from Google:

Predefined Audiences:

  • All users: Users who have ever launched your app or visited your website
  • Purchasers: Users who have completed a purchase

Predictive Audiences:

  • Likely 7-day churning purchasers
  • Likely 7-day churning users
  • Likely 7-day purchasers
  • Likely first-time 7-day purchasers
  • Predicted 28-day top spenders

Suggested Audiences:

  • 7-day unnotified users
  • Achievers
  • Billable users
  • Cart abandoners
  • Checkout starters
  • Item searchers
  • Item viewers
  • Leads
  • Registered users
  • Searchers
  • Streamers
  • Top players
  • Top scorers
  • Tutorial abandoners
  • Tutorial finishers
  • Video completed
  • Video start
  • Wishlist users

Understanding Predefined Audiences

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As stated above in terms of predefined audiences, Google Analytics 4 accounts come with two audiences: All Users and Purchasers.

Understanding Suggested Audiences

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Each GA4 property will suggest 18 different audiences called Suggested Audiences.

18 suggested audience names are as mentioned above:

  • 7-day unnotified users
  • Achievers
  • Billable users
  • Cart abandoners
  • Checkout starters
  • Item searchers
  • Item viewers
  • Leads
  • Registered users
  • Searchers
  • Streamers
  • Top players
  • Top scorers
  • Tutorial abandoners
  • Tutorial finishers
  • Video completed
  • Video start
  • Wishlist users

*Important to mention that not all 18 of these will be available when creating a new audience. This is due to the fact that GA4 only selects and shows you audiences that Google Analytics deems relevant to your Industry Category.

In order to see the specific ones that are for your industry you’ll have to set up your Industry Category.

You can set up the Industry Category by doing the following:

Admin > Property Settings > Industry Category.

Then click the Industry Category from the presented dropdown menu.

Understanding Predictive Audiences

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GA4 creates a predictive Google Analytics audience by using machine learning to predict their behaviors.

An audience must check off particular conditions to be considered predictive, including being based on at least one predictive metric and meeting the associated criteria. The audience can have any setup as long as these requirements are met.

To illustrate, imagine creating an audience that exclusively consists of shoppers from Chicago by utilizing the Geography dimension and the City as User-scoped.

If you want to predict whether this audience will churn in 7 days, you can transform it into a predictive audience by utilizing a Predictive metric.

Note that Predictive metrics are automatically provided by GA4 when the conditions are met, but the status is not permanent as it is subject to specific criteria.

Understanding Suggested Predictive Audiences

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GA4 can identify users with a high likelihood of churning or making a purchase, ranking above the 90th percentile. Additionally, GA4 can predict behaviors to identify the top 10% of purchasers and those who lose interest in your business.

Keep in mind that users in the top 10% can be excluded from the Suggested Predictive Audience when additional conditions like age, region, or event count are applied.

The following is the list of suggested predictive audiences:

Likely 7-day churning purchasers:

Purchasing users who are likely to not visit your property in the next 7 days.

Likely 7-day churning users:

Users who are likely to not visit your property in the next 7 days.

Likely 7-day purchasers:

Users who are likely to purchase in the next 7 days.

Likely first-time 7-day purchasers:

Users who are likely to make their first purchase in the next 7 days.

Predicted 28-day top spenders:

Users who are predicted to generate the most revenue in the next 28 days.

You can read more about this in this documentation from Google.

Digging Deeper: Predictive Metrics

GA4 provides three types of predictive metrics that enable Predictive audiences, as mentioned earlier:

Purchase Probability: The probability that a user who was active in the last 28 days will log a specific conversion event within the next 7 days.

Criteria: For Purchase and Churn probability eligibility, a minimum of 1000 returning users who made a purchase and 1000 returning users who stopped using your products (churn) are required within either a 7-day or 28-day period.

Predicted Revenue: The revenue from all purchase conversions within the next 28 days from a user who was active in the last 28 days.

Criteria: For the purchase probability and predicted revenue metrics to be available, your property needs to send the purchase event and/or the in_app_purchase event. When sending the purchase event, make sure to include the value and currency parameters.

Churn Probability: The probability that a user who was active on your app or site within the last 7 days will not be active within the next 7 days.

Criteria: Your property must maintain the quality of its model for a specified period to remain eligible for predictive metrics. To enhance the model’s quality, you can activate the “Modeling contributions & business insights” settings and use as many recommended GA4 events as possible. Failure to meet the thresholds for predictive metrics can disqualify your property from eligibility. Learn more about this from this Google documentation.

Understanding Where/How Google Analytics Audiences Are Used

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The three places specifically where you can use audiences in Google Analytics 4 are:

  • GA4 Reports and Explorations
  • Marketing Campaigns
  • Google Optimize Experiments

Differences Between Segments and Audiences in Google Analytics 4

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While reading this, some may have wondered if audiences are the same as segments.

The fundamental distinction is that audiences can be used for targeted ads across Google’s advertising products, while segments cannot.

This distinction is primarily focused on the ad’s aspect.

Audiences have a membership duration, which indicates how long a user may or may not be included in that audience, unlike segments.

This feature is usually associated with sales cycles, allowing for the delivery of relevant advertisements to users during the appropriate time.

For instance, concert ticket sales typically occur in shorter intervals (about 4 days), so there is no point in displaying an ad for a concert that is no longer happening. However, if you sell fishing rods, your ads may have a more extended duration.

Additionally, in the Audience Builder, you can view the Membership Duration, whereas it is not visible in the Segment Builder.

Audiences in Google Analytics 4 are not retroactive.

Lifetime Value (LTV) data is exclusively accessible in the Audience Builder.

The Google Analytics Audience Builder and Segment Builder (in Explorations) appear similar in terms of their features. When constructing a new Segment in GA4, you’ll be greeted with a nearly identical building page to that of an Audience.

It takes 1 to 2 days for users who meet the criteria to be included in your audience.

Segments can be created on the spot.

Conclusion: GA4 Audiences

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In conclusion, understanding Google Analytics audiences is crucial for businesses to effectively analyze and target their audience. With the ability to create predictive audiences, businesses can gain insights into their audience’s behavior and make informed decisions based on those predictions. By meeting the criteria for predictive metrics and maintaining model quality, businesses can remain eligible for these powerful tools. With the information gathered from a Google Analytics audience, businesses can optimize their marketing strategies and ultimately improve their bottom line. It is important to continually educate oneself on the latest features and updates of GA4 to fully take advantage of its capabilities and stay ahead in the competitive digital landscape.

If you need help setting up your GA4 property or optimizing your current setup, schedule a FREE consultation with our team today.

For more information on Google Analytics 4, you can visit our insights page.

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