How CHEQ uses its GA4 Connector for Clean Data and Actionable Insights
Website Ops & Security | August 22, 2023
Google Analytics is the most used analytics tool in the world, solidifying its position as the modern-day marketer’s central command post, driving tactical and strategic decisions.
However, the presence of invalid traffic (IVT) can severely compromise the integrity of the data it provides. That’s where CHEQ’s GA4 connector comes into play, providing a much-needed solution for understanding the impact of IVT on-site metrics and performance and leading to better-informed decisions that are based on clean, accurate data.
The Versatility of GA4 and the Power of CHEQ’s GA4 Connector
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is an essential component of most marketers’ tech stacks and measurement capabilities. Its flexibility allows marketers to create reports and explorations as unique as the businesses they represent.
CHEQ’s GA4 integration seamlessly layers the prevalence of IVT across reports and explorations, providing the ability to cleanse reports of IVT or simply display the invalid traffic rates alongside raw data, offering a comprehensive view of your website’s performance. It also allows you to segment IVT into groups of bad bots, good bots, and malicious and suspicious users.
The Pervasive Issue of Invalid Traffic
Invalid traffic (IVT) poses a significant challenge to the integrity of data-driven decision-making. It skews key metrics and can inflate click-through rates (CTRs), flood forms with fake submissions, and worse. One of the biggest issues it presents within site performance data is the skewing of conversion rates. Without visibility into true conversion rates, marketers are left to make important site and optimization decisions based on incomplete or inaccurate data.
The prevalence of IVT isn’t always negative. Good bots exist and can make a positive impact, like search engine crawlers designed to evaluate SEO worthiness. However, good bots, just like all other forms of IVT, do not convert; thus, they should be excluded from site performance data when trying to determine real performance.
It’s important to note that invalid traffic is not a selective issue; it impacts everyone, even CHEQ. Despite our expertise and use of our own technology, we are not immune to IVT; however, we are much better equipped to understand it and prevent it from disrupting our metrics and go-to-market.
Our Solution: CHEQ’s GA4 Connector
Like many other organizations, we recently migrated to GA4, and with that migration came an opportunity to leverage our connector to better understand the prevalence of IVT across a variety of dimensions on our own site. As we rolled out GA4 and a new set of reports and explorations to our own Marketing Team, it was as if we had taken off a blindfold. The team was finally able to clearly see the impact of IVT on each of their priorities and across all GA4 reports.
One of the biggest surprises for the team was the fact that certain channels and certain types of content were more susceptible to invalid traffic than others. We identified that certain content types and topics were attracting more bots than genuine users. This insight was crucial in helping us prioritize our content creation efforts for the next quarter.
In addition, we were also able to identify the channels that were bringing in fake traffic to our site and flag high-IVT landing pages for potential fake leads. The team also discovered that the traffic had a diverse geographical distribution, with a significant portion coming from unexpected regions. In many cases, IVT can come from a disguised source, making identifying and treating it even more challenging.
#Bot activity in orange.
The Results: Clean Data, Informed Decisions
With the help of CHEQ’s GA4 connector, we’re able to understand our true website performance on an ongoing basis. We regularly review the content types and topics that perform well and those that primarily attract bots and other forms of invalid traffic. These insights help us focus our content creation efforts on what is actually working and driving real conversions. Additionally, they help us accurately understand organic content performance, which we then use to determine what to promote in paid campaigns, allowing us to use the budget more effectively.
#Bot activity in orange.
Next Steps: Proactive Maintenance and Continuous Monitoring
We’re fully committed to ensuring our data is both clean and reliable. With our recent integration into GA4, we’ve bolstered our defenses for better data protection. Given the ever-evolving nature of the digital space, as well as our own go-to-market and expansion plans, it’s essential to keep a close eye on our data regularly. Our strategy serves a dual purpose: it guards against harmful bots and users while allowing beneficial bots, vital for SEO, to operate freely. Moving forward, our focus remains clear: maintain strong defenses and consistently monitor our data, ensuring our decisions are based on accurate and genuine insights.
The Takeaway: Make Better Decisions with CHEQ’s GA4 Connector
With CHEQ’s GA4 connector, you can finally see the full picture of your website’s performance, metrics, and traffic. With clarity as to your site’s actual, unskewed performance, you’ll never want to put the blindfold back on. In the world of B2B marketing, where data-driven decisions are paramount to effective and efficient marketing, this value cannot be overstated.