How to Set Up And Use Google Analytics 4 With Your Zendesk Help Center
Investing in your self-serve support channels has no downsides.
No matter how awesome your support team is, research shows that a tremendous 69% of customers try to solve their issues using self-service channels before reaching out to your team.
Why? Because customers want to get help fast.
Your Zendesk help center is always available to them. When you’ve built out a great customer knowledge base, it’s a powerful resource for empowering users to find answers swiftly and to save money on your support team’s operating costs.
But how do you know if your Zendesk help center is actually serving your customers well?
You need to watch how they interact with it.
Data is the key to improving your help center
It’s a given that your help center content has to be up-to-date, useful, and easy to navigate.
But how are you supposed to understand how users are interacting with your content?
Understanding user behavior and engagement is vital for optimizing your content and self-service experience over the long haul. There are three common ways support leaders seek to understand customer engagement with their knowledge base:
Native Zendesk Guide reports. These can be a great place to start, but they’re fairly limited in their scope.
Google Analytics (GA). Google Analytics has the benefit of being free and available to anyone, but it’s also complicated and comes with a steep learning curve (we’ll unpack this more below).
Dedicated tools like Help Center Analytics. A dedicated help center analytics tool can be transformative, but they do bring an additional investment cost.
Using Google Analytics to analyze your Zendesk Help Center
Google Analytics can provide more advanced insights to boost your customer support strategy and drive meaningful improvements. In some cases, Google Analytics has more reliable data too, which is exactly what we want!
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest and the most powerful version of Google Analytics that you can use to gain detailed help center insights and improve self-serve rates.
So how do you set up GA4 for your Zendesk Guide pages?
Integrate Google Analytics 4 with Zendesk Guide
There are just four simple steps to success.
1. Set up a Google Analytics property
You probably already use Google products on a daily basis. You can use the same Google account for Google Analytics.
With your Google account, you can access or create a Google Analytics account.
When your GA4 property is ready, create a web data stream to generate a tracking ID.
And, done! Once you have the GA4 property ready to go, integrating it with your Zendesk Guide is just a breeze.
2. Grab your tracking ID
Start with locating your Google tracking ID. Here’s how you can find it!
In your Google Analytics account, click Admin at the bottom left.
In the Property column choose Zendesk Guide and click on Data Streams.
Choose your data stream and open the Configure tag settings page.
Here we are! Copy the ID that starts with "G-" from Your Google tag section.
3. Add the GA4 tracking ID to your Zendesk Guide settings
Once you’ve copied the tracking ID from your Google Analytics account, head to Zendesk Guide settings and enable the integration.
From your Guide admin, click the Settings icon on the left-side menu.
Scroll the page down to the Integrations section and enable the Google Analytics setting.
Enter your GA4 tracking ID in the Google Analytics 4 Tracking ID field.
This will allow you to gather new data via Google Analytics 4 and have access to the historical data at the same time.
4. Save the changes
Once done, scroll the page up and click the Update button at the top right to save the changes.
Voilà! Google Analytics will now start tracking your help center's traffic from that hour onwards.
Note that some jurisdictions require user consent for tracking cookies. You can implement a cookie consent for Zendesk Guide pages via a third party cookie consent service or with a universal opt-out mechanism to comply with local regulations.
5 best practices to up your help center game with GA4
There are many ways to optimize your Zendesk help center with advanced analytics. Let’s look at the top five ideas to make the most out of your GA4 integration and bring your help center to the next level.
1. Choose your KPIs wisely
How do you know if your help center content is good?
You’ll first need to define key performance indicators that align with your customer support strategy.
The number of Users in GA4 Reports snapshot is one key metric to track. It shows how many unique customers actually visit your help center and take advantage of your self-service offerings.
But you can take it a step further and calculate your self-service score too.
To assess your content’s performance, look at the ratio of Users compared to the number of customers that open a support ticket during the same date range.
For example, if you had 1500 users in GA4 and 300 tickets opened, then your self-service score would be: 1500 / 300.
You can divide both of those numbers by 300 to get a 5:1 ratio—meaning for every 5 visitors to your help center, 1 user creates a ticket.
The score will give you an idea of how many customers were able to find answers via self-service channels and didn't have to contact your support team directly. Pulling this historical data can give you a good benchmark to improve upon.
Zendesk’s Benchmark Report says 4:1 is the average score for companies using Zendesk across all industries. If you’re just getting started with your help center, this is a a good target to aim for.
2. Optimize your content for a better user experience (and SEO!)
It's important to keep your help center clutter-free. With GA4, you can analyze your articles' traffic and detect pages that no longer receive any views.
If they aren’t relevant anymore, it’s best to cut them out of your help center. And if they are still relevant, it might mean users are struggling to find them. The good news is you can fix this!
You can optimize your articles for search engines to make the content more accessible and easy to find.
3. Keep your users engaged
Time on page and bounce rate metrics are useful to ensure that you're providing easy-to-follow instructions to users.
The last thing you want is for customers to get overwhelmed by your content and leave.
Bounce rate shows how often customers leave your help center after only viewing one page. This might be a warning signal: they may have been frustrated and abandoned their search.
On the flip side, a high bounce rate might also mean that they quickly found the answer and didn’t need to explore any further.
High bounce rate can be normal for help centers, especially if most of your articles are on the shorter side. With that said, if you find that users spend less than 30 seconds on articles you think require more time to understand, you should look for ways to improve the language and structure.
4. Improve your help center’s search results
If customers can’t find the answers they need in your help center, it will be of little help to them.
GA4 enables you to track user searches within your Zendesk Guide instance. This can give you clear insights into popular search terms and instances where users couldn't find anything. You’ll want to look at that data to optimize your search functionality, identify content gaps, and enhance the search experience for your users.
Create content to cover queries with no results and add search keywords into existing articles to help users find the information easier.
Look at the searches with no results and no clicks and ensure that you and your customers use the same terms to describe product features.
Review searches with no clicks and revise the article titles to give customers a better understanding of each article’s content.
5. Dig into device analytics
With GA4’s Tech Overview report you can get detailed information on what devices your customers use when they visit your help center. This data is crucial to optimize your help center's responsiveness for the most popular devices.
For example, if you find that most users browse your Guide pages from mobile, you may want to invest into a better mobile experience. You’ll also want to keep your articles on the shorter side so they are easier to consume from mobile devices.
Google Analytics 4 can uncover help center improvements, but it comes with a learning curve
Google Analytics comes with many benefits, but you have to review your data regularly to continuously improve your help center content.
And let’s face it, GA4 can be quite complex to use and incorporate into your routine.
That’s why most support leaders prefer out-of-the box solutions that are more intuitive and easier to customize.
At SwiftEQ, we’ve built Help Center Analytics designed specifically for Zendesk Guide. It allows support teams like yours to pull advanced insights and discover improvement opportunities for the help center content in a matter of a couple of clicks.
Book a free demo with us today to see how it works!
Written by Maryna Paryvai
Maryna is a results-driven CX executive on a mission to champion efficient and human-centric customer support. With a deep-rooted passion for well-structured documentation, she firmly believes that exceptional customer experiences lie at the heart of every successful business.