New GA4 Features: UTM Parameters, Home Page, Predict Top Spender and Adv tracking App

March 05, 2022 - Written by

This week Google released a lot of news related to Google Analytics 4.

Some of these features unhinge, for better, even some habits we have lived with so far while others are just new and allow an improvement in the tracking and user interface of GA4.

Going in order we will therefore see:

  • The modification of the UTM parameters for tracking advertising campaigns
  • The new Home interface of GA4
  • The new “Predict Top Spender” report in the explore section
  • The new Gbraid / Wbraid parameters for App campaign tracking

Are you ready? Let’s go!

New UTM Parameters in GA4

After about fifteen years (15 years!) with the advent of GA4 we can take advantage of new UTM parameters to improve tracking and data analysis.

For who don’t know, the UTM parameters are entered in the querystring of the URLs and allow you to identify the source, medium and campaign of the marketing activities undertaken by the business. For example, via the parameters we how many users arrive from our newsletter or dem, through the related email channel, perhaps, to the SummerDiscount2022 campaign: in Analytics we find this information both in the Default Channel Groups and in the source / medium report and also under the campaign voice.

The creation of the UTMs was necessary in order to distinguish and analyze in detail all the traffic coming from the marketing campaigns set up by companies or external suppliers.

Usually for the part of the Google circuit (for example Google Ads) these parameters were recoded in automatic mode, while for everything outside the Google ecosystem it was tagged in manual mode.

The table below shows both the current and new UTM parameters, in bold and yellow background, that can be used and displayed in GA4:

First user source
Session source
Identify the traffic source (e.g. bing)
First user medium
Session medium
Identifies the means by which the user arrived at the site (e.g. organic, email, etc.)
First user campaign
Session campaign
Identifies the campaign associated with the source and medium (eg CollezioneEstate22, NotizieGA4, etc.
utm_termManual term
Session manual term
First user manual term
Identify the keywords used in paid campaigns in non-Google circuits
utm_contentManual ad content
Session manual ad content
First user manual ad content
Identify the content of the campaign (e.g. bannerXYZ, bannersite_30x30, herosection, etc.)
utm_source_platformSource platform
Session source platform
First user source platform
Identify the platform where the marketing activity was undertaken. By default this parameter, present both in Explore and as a secondary dimension, collects Google Ads or Manual (screenshot below)
utm_creative_formatCreative format
Session creative format
First user creative format
Identify the creative used (e.g. skyscraper). It is currently not available in either the reports or in Explore
utm_marketing_tacticMarketing tactic
Session marketing tactic
First user marketing tactic
Identify the tactic used (e.g. onboarding vs retention). It is not currently available in reports or in Explore.

The screenshot shows the breakdown of the tracking related to the utm_source_platform parameter: we detect Google Ads, Manual and Shopping Free Listings

New Home Page in GA4

Another important novelty is the new GA4 Home Page’s UI:

As shown in the screenshot, the new GA4 Home can be divided into 3 macro areas:

  • Overview Section: Shows the relevant metrics for the user. GA4 updates the metrics on the overview tab based on what is displayed in Analytics. For example, if the user frequently views the Total Revenue metric, Analytics adds the KPI to the Overview tab with the revenue data for the last 7 days. It is possible to change the time interval of 7 days by clicking on the item Last 7 days: the calendar opens and the user can choose the date of greatest interest for the analysis
  • Recentely Viewed: Provides links to recently viewed GA4 reports. For example, the user views the Admin section, the home page includes a link to the Admin page, and the last viewed date
  • Because you view frequently: Shows which tabs the user views most frequently, even if they haven’t been viewed recently

Predict Top Spender’s Report

This new report can be found in the GA4 Template Gallery:

This report allows you to view, by default, which traffic channels convey top spenders to the site. Obviously it is possible to cross the dimensions with other events or parameters / user properties in order to generate hyper-focused targeting activities.

GBRAID & WBRAID parameters

And here we come to the point of the tracking app in relation to Ads campaigns.

In fact, with the introduction of ATT, iOS14 and later and the adaptation of Google Play to ATT from April 1st and moreover in general the changes to user privacy, the campaigns’ tracking had become almost impossible regarding the applications.

Google Ads has therefore introduced two new metrics to comply with Apple’s policies and measure ad results on iOS. For app-to-app measurement, the parameter introduced is GBRAID and for app-to-web measurement, the parameter used will be WBRAID.

Especially for the WBRAID relating to Google Ads connected to Google Analytics, it will generate a new first-party cookie on the reference domain. Therefore the conversions will be attributed again to the ads subject to the rules related to the ATT.

Obviously these activities will have repercussions in GA4 as the affected conversions will be retrieved via modeled conversions.

Comments 2 Replies to “New GA4 Features: UTM Parameters, Home Page, Predict Top Spender and Adv tracking App”
  1. Google’s developer page says that some of these new UTMs parameters are not yet available in the GA4 interface. It would be nice to learn what the plans are for that, or if a custom dimension is needed to be able to access these values in the GA4 exploration reports.

  2. Hi Enrico,

    Thanks for the post.

    Do these second dimensions only populate when they are passed through? Right now, I do not see dimensions like session term, first user source platform, etc.. in the acquisition reports.

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