Google Analytics 4: No More Views

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google’s analytics platform. It offers a number of new features and improvements over its predecessor, Universal Analytics (UA). One of the most significant changes in GA4 is the removal of views.

In UA, views were used to create different versions of your data. For example, you could create a view to exclude internal traffic or to focus on a specific subset of your users. In GA4, there is no need for views. Instead, you use data filters to customize your data. Data filters are similar to views in UA, but they are applied at the property level instead of the view level. This means that they affect all of the data in your property, not just a single view.

To create a data filter, go to the Admin tab and click on Data streams. Then, click on the name of the data stream that you want to filter and click on the Filters tab. To create a new filter, click on the + button and select the type of filter that you want to create. There are a number of different types of filters available, including filters for traffic sources, user demographics, and device types. Once you have created your filter, click on the Save button. Your filter will then be applied to all of the data in your property.

The removal of views in GA4 can be a bit of a challenge for users who are used to working with UA. However, data filters provide a powerful way to customize your data and create different versions of your reports.

Benefits of No Views in GA4

There are a number of benefits to having no views in GA4. Here are a few of the most important ones:

  • Simplicity: GA4 is designed to be simpler and easier to use than UA. The removal of views contributes to this simplicity by reducing the number of concepts that users need to understand.
  • Flexibility: Data filters give users more flexibility in how they can customize their data. This can be helpful for users who need to create different versions of their reports for different purposes.
  • Scalability: GA4 is designed to scale to larger datasets than UA. The removal of views helps to improve scalability by reducing the amount of data that needs to be processed.


The removal of views in GA4 is a significant change, but it can also be a positive one. By reducing the number of concepts that users need to understand, GA4 can be simpler and easier to use. Data filters also give users more flexibility in how they can customize their data. This can be helpful for users who need to create different versions of their reports for different purposes.

Use Google Tag Manager with Analytics

There are two different ways you can include Google Analytics tracking code in your website. The first is the easiest and most straight-forward. Google Analytics gives you a block of code to insert into the heading of your website. If you include it in your theme or template, it will be included on every page and work great.

The Cons

The drawback to doing it this way is that it becomes difficult to manage or adjust. Big deal, right? Once you set your Analytics code in place how often does it really change? Well, in a situation like the one we’re in right now (Switch to Google Analytics GA4 before July 2023), it can be a little difficult. Especially if you wan to run multiple instances of analytics simultaneously.

The Solution

The solution is to instead use Google Tag Manager. Instead of injecting the analytics code directly into your website, you insert a container. That container can then have multiple tags included from a third party interface. That allows you to have multiple tags. Google Analytics UA and GA4 instances are just the beginning of the tags you can include in your Tag Manager container. Additional tags could be everything from a Facebook verification code to a timer tracking how often paid search visitors spend more than 5 minutes on your landing page. The possibilities are truly endless!

The next time you need to change or set up Analytics, take a minute to learn what Google Tag Manager can do for you.

Switch to Google Analytics GA4 before July 2023

In this blog, I will try to explain what is happening with Google Analytics in layman’s terms. A lot has been going on for the past few years, but most websites could safely ignore it … until now.

There is an “old way” of capturing data on a website called Universal Analytics, or UA. UA properties were based on the way the internet first came to be. It was mostly a desktop – not mobile – way of browsing. It relied on cookies and IP addresses and a lot of things that have since fallen out of favor for various reasons, mostly privacy concerns. As the internet matured and changed, Google found new and improved ways of tracking users all while respecting privacy laws and best practices.

In October of 2020, they announced a “new way” of implementing analytics called GA4. In reality, UA and its first predecessor were GAs 1-3. This fourth way is the biggest leap or departure from the old. As such, it required a whole new analytics property to be set up and embedded in your website. Some jumped at the chance and ran both analytics simultaneously. Others have dragged their feet on making the migration. If it ain’t broke ….

Then Google announced that in July of 2023, the UA “old way” would stop working. It will no longer collect any data, and if you haven’t implemented GA4, you will have no analytics on your website. Suddenly, a lot of people sat up and paid attention to what was happening.

Implementing GA4 is easy. Implementing GA4 to its fullest potential is difficult. That’s why I’ve partnered with Daylight Strategy to map out the best possible tracking for events and conversions for all of my clients. If you need a boost on getting your website updated, they are a great technology partner specializing in this space.

URL Shorteners and a free alternative

URL shorteners like Bitly are useful for a couple of reasons. The first is the most obvious. You can take a very long URL, and replace it with a much shorter one. You might need to do this in order to fit better into something like a tweet.

Another good thing about shortened URLs is that you can embed your tracking in a “wrapped” URL that might otherwise look ugly, but is hidden within the shortened URL right along with the destination URL. This can help you track which of your links or social networks are driving the most traffic to your site, and ultimately the most conversions to see which tactics are working the best.

If you swing for a custom URL shortener, then you don’t sacrifice being able to brand your shortened URLS. The downside is that those cost money. If you don’t have a branded shortener, you could also create your own shorter URLs using 301 redirects on your side. This allows you to have attractive, easy-to-remember URLs that are good for print ads or posters for people to remember later. Think something like


that redirects the user to


Acronym Check! Helpful Marketing terms and descriptions

In digital marketing, as with any industry, a certain jargon gets entrenched in every day conversations. You may find yourself nodding along wishing there was a dictionary you could reference not only to know what the many, many acronyms stand for – but what they mean. Well look no further!

  • AWQL – Adwords Query Language – Within Google Ads (previously Adwords) there is a proprietary set of function calls riding on top of traditional SQL (Structured Query Language) that allows you to perform some pretty cool and powerful reporting actions.
  • CPC – Cost Per Click – this describes the amount of money you pay each time your advertisement is clicked on a search engine results page.
  • CSS – Cascading Style Sheet – this is a file format for setting styles on a website. Everything from the page layout to the font, sizes, and colors, can be controlled centrally from the CSS file. Different styles can “cascade” down to members and children of different classes or identifiers.
  • CTA – Call To Action – once someone arrives on your site either from an organic listing or a paid ad, there’s usually something you want them to do. Either purchase an item, make a donation, download a whitepaper. A call to action is typically a big, bold, brightly colored button with command language directing your visitor to perform the desired action.
  • CTR – Click Through Ratio – for search marketing ads, there are a lot of different metrics to consider, but how often that ad generates a click through to your website is one of the main ones to monitor. This ratio is typically reporting on clicks divided by impressions (or how many times your ad was seen).
  • DNS – Domain Name System – when you typed dijonmarketing.com into your websites address bar, it was a DNS server that returned the actual IP address of my website’s server. DNS translates human-friendly names into computer-friendly addresses. DNS can also host text records for things like verifying Google Search Console or Facebook page ownership.
  • PPC – Pay Per Click – This describes one specific advertising payment format, though sometimes industry professionals will refer to the entire practice of search engine paid advertising as PPC ads. Strictly speaking, this is only applicable if you pay per click and not per impression, for example.
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization – this refers specifically to the best practices employed by website owners and marketers to indirectly influence your sites rank on search engines like Google or Bing. Ranking higher on the search results page means lots more clicks which can lead to more sales or conversions.
  • SERP – Search Engine Results Page – after you’ve entered your search query on Google or Bing, the list of top results is sometimes referred to as a SERP. The SERP can also contain ads, local results, images, videos, etc. Owning more of the SERP helps you get more eyeballs onto your site.
  • TLD – Top Level Domain – some discussion of domains and URL structure will refer to the Top Level Domain. Examples are .com, .org, .net. There are also country code TLDs called ccTLD like .fr (France), .co.uk (United Kingdom).
  • UI/UX – User Interface/User Experience – these are often used together but can also stand alone as separate practices. The User Interface typically describes how your website looks. The User Experience is how a visitor interacts. Creating an attractive and frictionless experience will greatly increase your conversion rates.

What are render-blocking resources?

If you’ve run a speed test on your website, you may find that one of the biggest contributors to slow load speed are render-blocking resources. But what are render-blocking resources? And more importantly, how can you minimize them to help speed up your website’s load times?

Which resources block rendering?

Any file that needs to load, but does so before the page has finished rendering is render-blocking. Rendering just means that the page becomes visible and is ready for interaction with menus and links. If the site is busy downloading a file before it begins to paint the picture of the final website, then that produces a poor user experience. Our attention span has become so short that even a load time of a few seconds can feel like an eternity.

Imagine you are preparing to bake a pie using a recipe. If the first step of that recipe says, “Refer to Chapter 2 for a basic pie crust,” then you must leave the recipe to go read the reference. While you are doing that, the recipe will not progress. But it may be a critical step to the finished product. If you skip the step you’ll have a pie tin full of filling. If you wait until the end of the recipe, you’ll have the crust sitting on top of the filling. So it’s not always guaranteed that render-blocking resources are unnecessary.

What can you do to mitigate the impact?

Evaluate each file that is being loaded. In many cases, the render-blocking files are not even used by the finished page. In this case, it’s an obvious benefit to remove the files. If you’re using WordPress, a lot of plugins will come with their own CSS style sheets or JavaScript files. Even if you deactivate a plugin, it may not remove all of the files from the page load. Determine which plugins can be removed, and deactivate and delete them.

In some cases, render-blocking content is absolutely necessary. In that case, all you can do is try to keep the number o files to a minimum. You can also “minimize” the files, which removes all white space, comments, and makes certain functions and loops use fewer characters. Reducing the kB size of the file will make it download faster.

You can also keep the files just as they are, but load them last. Moving certain file references from the header to the footer means the whole page will load first, and only after it is almost entirely finished will it load the footer. Depending on the file, this may be perfectly acceptable. Your page could take 20 seconds to fully load, but if all of the visual and interactive elements are available after 1 second, then your load speeds are good.

Check out the blog on Measuring load speeds with Google PageSpeed Insights to see if render-blocking resources are a problem for your site. Faster load speeds can not only delight your users, but can have indirect benefits like better SEO ranking.

5 Mobile Apps to help monitor your digital marketing

Gone are the days of being chained to your desk in order to run effective social media and digital marketing campaigns. Almost everything can be done from your phone on the go! Below are five mobile apps that will assist you in staying up to date on your success.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics App Icon

If your tracking parameters are all set up properly, then monitoring multiple campaign sources can be done from a single analytics platform. Google Analytics is free and the most common. The app has all of the data easily accessible in a mobile format as well as fantastic features like plain English querying of data.

Google My Business

Google My Business App Icon

Easily update your operating hours or any other information on the fly. Get notified in real time whenever someone leaves a review of your business. You should respond to every review, but especially negative reviews. Enable messenger and respond with anyone who might be trying to locate or contact you directly from Google search results.

Google Ads

Google Ads App Icon

All of your Google Ads campaigns are easily accessible from this mobile app. Switch between campaigns, Ad Groups, and individual ads to see their performance over time Add new keyword ideas or edit headlines and descriptions.


HootSuite App Icon

In Benefits of a Social Media Management Tool, I talked about HootSuite being a good aggregator for social media management. Their mobile app can be used in conjunction with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so you can make edits to your scheduled posts and see what campaigns are active without having to open multiple apps. You can easily create new posts too if inspiration hits you while on the go.

Facebook Business Suite

Facebook Business Suite App Icon

If you are running social media advertising campaigns across Facebook and Instagram (or just looking to boost a few posts) then Facebook Business Suite will give you access to all of your campaign data. You can create new campaigns and track information like impressions and clicks from your mobile device. You can also enable or disable certain campaigns if you need to make a quick change due to overspending or other urgent reason.

Facebook UTM Parameters

UTM Parameters for Facebook Ads

If you run Facebook Ads, metrics like impressions, clicks, and landing page views interest you. Each metric, available inside Facebook Ads Manager console, contributes to evaluating the effectiveness of your campaign. That information drives future optimizations to make the best use of your advertising dollars. However, there is one question those metrics cannot answer:

Once the user arrived on your site – what did they do next?

Tracking User Behavior on your Website

Just because you drove 100 people to your landing page does not mean you made 100 sales. What’s more important is how many people engaged with your site, clicked to read more, or completed a goal defined inside Google Analytics. It’s entirely possible that while one campaign seemingly outperformed another in Facebook metrics, the less-clicked ad brought more conversions. No one metric tells the entire story, so it’s important to evaluate all metrics together for the entire length of the customer journey.

Luckily, there is a way to link the two systems so you can follow users from click to session. Look for UTM Parameters – or URL Parameters in Facebook. Each campaign provides an option at the bottom marked “optional.” However, to do things right, this is absolutely mandatory. Click on Build a URL Parameter and you’ll get a window like this:

UTM Parameters in Facebook

Facebook UTM Parameters

You can customize each of the fields for tracking in Google Analytics. Recommended values are:

  1. Tell where the user came from with Campaign Source.
    Example: facebook
  2. Tell what form of content brought them with Campaign Medium.
    Example: ads
  3. Separate out individual campaigns with Campaign Name.
    Example: spring-2020-promotion
  4. Designate multiple variants with Campaign Content.
    Example: red-background

Save yourself a headache in the future, and force everything to lowercase with dashes in place of spaces. Google Analytics tracks any variation in UTM Parameters separately (including capitalized letters). Then, set up a segment inside Google Analytics for these users. Track the behavior of anyone who clicked your ad on your website and determine the true effectiveness of a campaign from start to finish! If you need help setting up campaign tracking in Facebook, contact us today.

Google Analytics destination goals

Set Destination Goals in Google Analytics

Google Analytics Goals

Google Analytics comes with many features out of the box that will give you added insight into your website performance, visitor profiles, and campaign effectiveness. You may find that over time, there are limits to what the built in metrics can tell you and you’re ready to do some configurations of your own. Knowing how many people come to your site is the first step. The next is knowing what they do. The way to monitor this is through conversion goals.

The simplest goal to set up is around a destination – how many of your users visited a specific page … like a donation page, or a donation thank-you page.

To set up a new destination goal, you must first be an admin of your Google Analytics account. Go to the admin view by clicking the gear icon in the lower left of your analytics view. This brings up a menu about Accounts, Properties, and Views. Goals are specific to a single view. Ensure you use your master data view if multiple views exist. Click on the “Goals” icon with the flag in the menu.

Steps to Set Up a New Goal

  1. Choose “New Goal.”
  2. Use a template to set up the new goal
  3. Name the goal something easy to identify, “User visited Donate Page” for example
  4. Choose Destination for the Type
  5. Choose “Equals to” and paste in the URL of the destination page to track
  6. If each visit contributes a monetary value, enter it, otherwise leave the value blank
  7. If your goal includes visiting several pages in order, define them in the funnel interface. Then monitor drop-off points in your conversion goals.
  8. Click Verify Goal to test to see how many visitors in the past 7 days would have been considered a successful conversion.
  9. Save the goal to begin tracking your users.

Keep in mind that goals are not backwards compatible, meaning they will only start logging conversions upon creation. They will not look back at past visits to retroactively inform you of which visitors would have completed this goal had it existed. Let it run for a few days and then check back to see your success rates.

Once you have some goals set up you can start to trace it back to individual visits to see if certain types of traffic convert better than others. Maybe one campaign gets 10X as much traffic, but 1/10th of the conversions. You’d benefit putting more attention to the campaign you previously thought under-performed the others. Goal conversion tracking is the natural next step in analytics tracking and will give you more mature insights into your visitors, website performance, and campaign effectiveness.