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Video: Remarketing Webinar and Q&A

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Last Wednesday we held a webinar on Remarketing with Google Analytics. We launched this feature earlier this year to help you reconnect with your site visitors in relevant ways. Remarketing with Google Analytics lets you show ads to website visitors who have shown an interest in your site as they browse other sites on the Google Display Network (GDN). So you can reach the right audience with the right message at the right time.

Watch the webinar video here to learn more about:
  • The overall benefits of Remarketing with Google Analytics
  • See a live demo of the product
  • Understand how to set this up for your business
  • And see some key examples of what’s possible



Read on for responses to some of the top questions we received during the webinar:

Any quick tips for getting started?
Yes, our help center includes a great guide with everything you need to know to get started.

Is there a limit on the number of lists that you can create in your Google Analytics account?
No! We want to encourage you to create as many lists as you need to run an effective remarketing campaign.

How should I set “membership duration” for my lists?
The default membership duration is 30 days, but we recommend choosing a duration related to the length of time you expect your ad to be relevant to the user. Learn more about membership duration in this article in the AdWords Help Center.

How can remarketing lists in Google Analytics be edited or deleted?
It’s easy to edit existing lists by clicking on the name of the list in the main table. Visitors who have already been added to the list will be removed from the list when the list duration for those visitors expires.

Both AdWords and Analytics save lists for historical campaign reporting purposes, so it’s not currently possible to delete lists -- but often you can simply edit your old lists so they continue to be useful. That said, we are looking into ways to provide better controls for managing lists that are no longer in use such as providing ways to hide or archive old or unused lists.

Can you use Google Tag Manager with Remarketing with Google Analytics?
Yes! Google Tag Manager fully supports Remarketing with Google Analytics. When you are setting up your “Google Analytics” tag templates in the Google Tag Manager User Interface, you can choose to enable the “Add Display Advertiser Support” check box-- this will make all the tagging changes necessary to use Remarketing with Google Analytics.

Can you share lists between Google Analytics profiles? What about across different AdWords accounts?
When you create a remarketing list in Google Analytics, you must choose to base it off of a single, specific Profile (a Google Analytics Profile determines which data from your site appears in the reports; it may, for example, include filters to eliminate traffic from internal users). If you want to create a list that’s based off of two profiles, you must create that list twice -- once for each Profile. Similarly for AdWords accounts, if you want to share a list with more than one account, you must create the list once for each account you want to share it with.

Do you have examples of remarketing lists I might consider creating with Google Analytics?
Yes, you can find some examples in the webinar video and in on our product fact sheet, and we’re working on providing more examples and tips. Stay tuned!

We hope you found this webinar useful -- and that you go start creating your first remarketing lists using Google Analytics now.

Extract Insights Across Datasets with SumAll

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Businesses collect and rely on data that exists in silos across the web - from site analytics to inventory numbers, social media to sales data, there’s more important data available today than most are able to aggregate and analyze themselves.

SumAll is a connected data platform that enables business operators from companies of all sizes to visualize their mission-critical data through one centralized location.  Users of SumAll can extract insights across datasets by combining and analyzing the metrics that matter most to them.  “Put simply, our vision is to democratize information by making it beautiful, affordable and accessible to all.  In doing so, the visibility and insights that SumAll brings enables business operators to turn data into dollars,” says Catherine Gluckstein, President of SumAll.


One of SumAll’s customers was having a very difficult time making sense of his eCommerce, Google Analytics and social media data.  He knew there was a story to be told about how each was influencing the other, but being a small business owner, he lacked the resources to dive too far into them himself.  He decided to give SumAll a try and within a few minutes and even fewer clicks, was able to integrate all of his key data and view it in one uniform dashboard without having to work with his developers.

For the first time, he was able to see what was happening across his business and understand the relationship between his social media posts, web traffic and transactions.  This made him more comfortable continuing to invest his limited resources in social media because, for the first time, he could see that it was working.

SumAll integrates with all major components of the eCommerce ecosystem including payment processors, social platforms, shopping carts, online marketplaces and, of course, Google Analytics.  “It only took us about 6 weeks to complete our integration with Google Analytics, from concept to go live,” according to Catherine.  “After our customer completes the authentication and authorization process, we ingest their data into SumAll and normalize it to make it available to all SumAll applications across web, mobile and email.”

SumAll is free to try and is incredibly intuitive and straightforward to set-up.  Sign-Up today to break down the silos around your data and empower your business’ data-driven decisions today.


Posted by John Milinovich

John is a Developer Program Manager working to build the ecosystem around the Google Analytics APIs. In his spare time he likes to explore San Francisco and cheer loudly during UCLA games.

Google Analytics in Real Life: What would your customer experience look like?

Thursday, 13 December 2012


With the holiday shopping season in full swing, it’s important to ensure your website and digital marketing are running on all cylinders. Your potential customers should be able to find what they need on the digital shelf as easily as in real life. Sadly, many sites leave visitors frustrated - losing potential customers. However, the advantage of your online storefront is that you can understand where you’re losing customers and work to improve your shopping experience.

For the holiday season, our team at Google Analytics thought it would be helpful (and fun) to demonstrate how missteps on the digital shelf play out in real life.

What’s distracting your customers?
Have you accidently placed obstacles directly in the path of your customers buying what they really want on your site? Watch Nick's journey to finding what he wants. Play Video
Improvement Tip: 
Always make sure your landing pages meet your users' expectations. Be sure your ad text leads visitors to a page that matches what was featured in the ad. Here is a helpful article on ways to improve the performance of your landing pages.

How can it be so challenging to find your favorite type of milk?  
Are you making it difficult for users to browse or search your site by the way you categorize your products? Watch as Oli struggles to find his breakfast essentials. Play Video 
Improvement Tip:  
A search box can be a goldmine of information because each time visitors search your site, they tell you in their own words what they are looking for. Here is an article on insights available from your Google Analytics Site Search reports to learn what your visitors want so you can improve your website to better meet those needs.

When do visitors check out from your online buying process? 
We shared this last year, but it’s too much fun not to share again. Great example of the importance of having a simple easy to use checkout process on your website. Watch for the humor, stay for the insights.  Play Video
Improvement Tip: 
Are there some product pages that consistently send higher traffic through your shopping cart than others? See if there are differences between the page designs that might be driving the difference in traffic volume. Do the better performing pages offer more information about their products, more customer reviews, explain shipping options or provide more options for visualizing the products before adding them to the shopping cart? The Google Analytics goal flow visualization can help to identify these better performing pages to repeat their success.

Ready to learn more about how to improve your online customer experiences? Check out these Google Analytics resources:
 - Article: Improve the performance of your landing pages
 - 5 questions to ask of your Site Search data
 - Understand the path or missteps visitors take to completing your goals with flow analysis

We hope this helps you to find more way to use Google Analytics to make your customers' lives easier, and generate more happy and loyal customers for you - now that’s a holiday present worth giving.

Posted by Clancy Childs, Google Analytics Product Manager
& Jon Day, Google Product Marketing Manager

Pull Analytics Data Into Tableau With New Connector

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The following is a guest post from Ellie Fields. Ellie is the Director of Product Marketing at Tableau Software, responsible for new product launch, industry solutions and Tableau's community. Her data geek credentials come from time served in technology and finance companies. She works with people from all over the world who are trying to tell stories with data, from journalists to hospitals to high tech companies. 

Over at Tableau Software we’re big Google Analytics users. That’s why we got so excited for Tableau’s new Google Analytics connector, which uses the GA API to pull data right into Tableau. 
If you don’t know Tableau, consider checking it out today. It’s a useful, new way of working with data: you simply drag & drop to create sophisticated analyses. Anyone can create powerful dashboards without needing to know programming or be a specialist. Tableau was spun out of Stanford about 8 years ago, and it’s the technology developed there—a visual interface into data—that makes Tableau different. 
So what can you do with GA data and Tableau? Well, for one thing you can connect directly to GA to get your data. You can create custom dashboards. And you can extend GA data with new calculations. Here’s a video of how we used the Tableau GA connector along with some Excel data to understand our own website better:

You might have noticed one special feature in there: the ability to blend Google Analytics data with other data, like data in Excel or a database. This opens up a whole new world of insight. Your website is a great asset, and of course it doesn’t work alone. Mashing up web data with offline data, demographics and more tells you more about what’s working and what’s not. 
This is just a preview of the Google Analytics connector. It’ll be in beta very soon. If you’re a customer you can join the v8 beta when it comes out. If you’re not yet using Tableau, try it out (for free). 
Posted by Ellie Fields, Director of Product Marketing at Tableau Software

Segment Your GA Data by Demographics with UserReport

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

One of the most complex challenges that marketers face is managing the effective segmentation of their user base. Each of their target audiences has a different set of preferences and the process of creating campaigns based on intuition just isn't effective.

UserReport is an on-site survey tool that integrates with Google Analytics and tackles this problem head-on. The product providing the ability to use demographic information and traditional research data to optimize acquisition, content and conversions when working with websites.

UserReport helps its users collect information about their website’s visitors with a free online survey tool that measures usability and key demographics of the site’s users. The product integrates harmoniously with Google Analytics to turn the survey data they collect into actionable insights by merging it with the behavioral data already stored in Google Analytics.



SAXO.com is one of the largest online book stores in Denmark and utilizes UserReport to identify their highest value demographic segments, create more targeted advertising material and to better understand which online advertising networks they should use for targeting specific groups of customers. By using UserReport, SAXO.com was able to uncover some surprising insights about their customers, including:
  • Men and women have about the same conversion rate, but the average basket size for women is almost $20 higher than it is for men. This made SAXO.com feel more comfortable in supporting a higher CPM/CPC to advertise to niche female audiences. 
  • SAXO.com’s older book buyers have a higher conversion rate than their younger counterparts but the younger buyers’ average basket size is about $40 more than the older users’. A closer investigation revealed that most of these young customers were students purchasing books for classes. This led SAXO.com to focus on targeting the university student market to bring more young buyers into the mix.
The findings made by SAXO.com through integrating their Google Analytics data with their UserReport survey data has enabled them to create online campaigns focused on bundling unique, focused products and target them at the right customers on the right channels to drive conversions.

UserReport is free to use and takes minutes to set up. Give it a try to see what you can uncover about your own online audience!


Posted by John Milinovich

John is a Developer Program Manager working to build the ecosystem around the Google Analytics APIs. In his spare time he likes to explore San Francisco and cheer loudly during UCLA games.

Gilt embraces insights from Analytics at an enterprise level

Friday, 7 December 2012

A little over a year ago we launched Google Analytics Premium to help better meet the needs of our enterprise users. In that time we’ve been happily surprised by the warm reception and how companies have been using Google Analytics Premium to look at data in a new way. Below is a case study from Gilt, on how Google Analytics Premium has spread the love of data across their company, they leveraged the increased number of custom variables to power their predictive modeling, and used unsampled data to remove uncertainty from test results.

Gilt Groupe is an innovative online shopping destination offering its members special access to the most inspiring merchandise and experiences available. Gilt provides instant insider access to top designer brands at up to 60% off retail. Products span fashion, decor, artisanal ingredients, travel experiences, and unique activities in a growing list of cities. The bottom line for Gilt is that Google Analytics Premium has provided the ability to make better, faster data-driven decisions at every single level of the organization. Read the full case study.



“Google Analytics Premium has given everyone at Gilt quick, easy access to insights about our business. It has enabled true ‘self-service’ data across the company.”  
  - Ana Kravitz, Web Analytics Senior Manager
    Gilt Groupe



Google Analytics Premium provides enterprise level analytics with access to more data, flexibility and 24/7 support. The benefits of Premium are guaranteed SLA’s on data collection, reporting and processing times. Premium accounts also get an increase in the number of hits per month, an additional 50 custom variables, and access to unsampled data. Premium accounts also gain access to customer support including an implementation review, quality assurance, training, and a dedicated account manager.

Google Analytics Premium is currently available in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Looking towards 2013 Google Analytics Premium will continue to expand our product and services to meet the variety of Analytics enterprise customer needs. We’ll soon be popping up in 7 more countries: Japan, Brazil, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

If you would like to learn more about Google Analytics Premium and how it can help your business, contact the Google Analytics sales team or one of our Google Analytics Premium Authorized Resellers.

Clancy Childs
Google Analytics Premium Team

Tagging just got easier: Built-in templates for popular tags in Google Tag Manager

Thursday, 6 December 2012

One of our favorite features of Google Tag Manager is the ability to add new tags to your site using a tag template instead of copying-and-pasting code — and we’ve just made tagging even easier with several new built-in tag templates. Just add a few key details to the template, and Google Tag Manager will automatically generate the correct code.

We’ve teamed up with a variety of companies to provide our first wave of Tag Vendor templates, including:

This is just the first wave of supported tags, and you can look forward to many more coming soon. If you have specific requests, we’d love to hear them in our Google Tag Manager Forum in the Feature Requests section.

If you’re a tag vendor, and you’d like to get your tag supported in Google Tag Manager through the Tag Vendor Program, follow the instructions here to get started. And thanks to all of our partners for your support and involvement with Google Tag Manager!

Analytics reporting with Google Apps Script at the UK Cabinet Office


Guest author Ashraf Chohan works at the Government Digital Service (GDS), part of the UK Cabinet Office. Originally posted on the Google Apps Developer Blog by Arun Nagarajan.

Recently, when we were preparing the launch of GOV.UK, my team was tasked with creating a series of high-level metrics reports which could be quickly compiled and presented to managers without technical or analytical backgrounds. These reports would be sent daily to ministers and senior civil servants of several government departments, with the data customised for each department.

We decided to use Adobe InDesign to manage the visual appearance of the reports. InDesign’s data-merge functionality, which can automatically import external data into the layout, made it easy to create custom departmental reports. The challenge was to automate the data collection using the Google Analytics API, then organize the data in an appropriate format for InDesign’s importer.

In a previous post on this blog, Nick Mihailovski introduced a tool which allows automation of Google Analytics Reporting using Google Apps Script. This seemed an ideal solution because the team only had basic developer knowledge, much of the data we needed was not accessible from the Google Analytics UI, and some of the data required specific formatting prior to being exported.

We started by building the core reports in a Google spreadsheet that pulls in all of the required raw data. Because we wanted to create daily reports, the start and end dates for our queries referenced a cell which defaulted to yesterday’s date [=(TODAY())-1].


These queries were dynamically fed into the Google Analytics API through Apps Script:
// All variables read from each of the “query” cells  
var optArgs = {
'dimensions': dimensions,
'sort': sort
'segment': segment
'filters': filters,
'start-index': '1',
'max-results': '250'
};

// Make a request to the API.
var results = Analytics.Data.Ga.get(
tableId
, // Table id (format ga:xxxxxx).
startDate
, // Start-date (format yyyy-MM-dd).
endDate
, // End-date (format yyyy-MM-dd).
endDate
, // Comma seperated list of metrics.
optArgs
);
Next, we created additional worksheets that referenced the raw data so that we could apply the first stage of formatting. This is where storing the data in a spreadsheet really helps, as data formatting is not really possible in the Google Analytics UI.

For example, the final report had a 47-character limit for page titles, so we restricted the cells in the spreadsheet to 44 characters and automatically truncated long URLs by appending “...”.


Once the initial formatting was complete, we used formulas to copy the data into a summary sheet specially laid out so it could be exported as a CSV file that merges seamlessly into InDesign.


Below is an example of how a report looks on publication. Nearly everything on the page was extracted from the API tool, including the department name and the day number. Because most of the data was automated, it required minimal effort on our part to assemble these reports each morning.


We discovered that an added bonus of pulling data into a Google spreadsheet was that it also allowed us to publish the data to a Google site. This helped us display data to stakeholders without adding lots of users to our Google Analytics account.


The tools let us present Google Analytics data in deeper, more creative ways. That’s really important as we share information with more and more non-technical people, whether they’re inside GDS or beyond.

Posted by John Milinovich, Google Analytics team

Webinar Dec 12: Remarketing with Google Analytics

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

This summer, we launched Remarketing with Google Analytics, a new way to take advantage of the data you have in Google Analytics and use it to improve your campaign performance. Remarketing lets you reconnect with site visitors and show them ads that are tailored to their interests across the Google Display Network. This makes ads on the web more relevant for consumers while helping to improve your advertising ROI.

Join us next Wednesday, December 12, for an introductory webinar hosted by Product Manager Jesse Savage and Global Solutions Lead Rachel Witalec. This webinar is part of our recent Learn with Google series on Remarketing. We’ll cover the benefits of remarketing for your business, unique advantages of Remarketing with Google Analytics, sample use cases, and the key steps for getting started.

Webinar: Remarketing with Google Analytics
Date: December 12, 2013
Time: 10 am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm GMT
Register here: http://goo.gl/B49ma

Hope to see you at the webinar!

5 Ways To Ensure Google Analytics Is Running Perfectly

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The following is a guest post contributed by Daniel Waisberg, Owner of Conversion Journey, a Google Analytics Certified Partner, and Founder of Online Behavior, a Marketing Measurement and Optimization portal.

Abraham Lincoln once said: "If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my axe." The same is true for measurement: it is of extreme importance to spend the necessary time thinking through which data should be collected and whether the collection works as planned (once implemented). Very often, the implementation model and quality assurance do not receive the proper attention.

I recently wrote a short eBook named Google Analytics Implementation Best Practices that covers some of the most important configurations you should setup. But in this post I will go through some techniques that will help you to make sure your Google Analytics implementation is working as you expect.

1. Create a "Raw Data" profile

The best way to check configuration errors is to have a profile that does not use any filters, this way you will be able to quickly learn if you have a misplaced or problematic filter. Here is a quick guide explaining how to create profiles.
Once you create this profile, I do recommend you create the same goals you have in your main profile, this will make the data more relevant in case you need to use it. For example, if you find out that your main profile have a filter that affected your past data, you might want to use the Raw Data profile for a while. To copy and paste a goal between profiles you can use the Chrome extension GA Copy and Paste.

2. Use Real Time Reports

In October 2012 Real Time reports started supporting profile filters. This means that "the data you see in real time is profile specific and obeys the filtering you set up for that profile. And this means any user with access to a profile can view the associated real time reports." This enables many interesting analysis opportunities like seeing real traffic for only small pre-defined segments.

In order to use Real Time to check your Google Analytics implementation, you should first create a new profile (see link above). Then, add a filter that includes the IP address of your company; learn how to do it in this help article, but make sure to change the filter from "exclude" to "include". Now you will be able to look at the Real Time reports of this profile and see what you are doing in real time, which makes code checks much easier and faster.

3. Keep Track Of Configuration Changes

One of the common configuration problems is a lack of communication, especially for large companies. From a few people to a few dozen people will have Admin access to Google Analytics, which means they can change the settings of any profile. This can lead to unwanted or misunderstood changes in the account.
By "changes" I mean goal refinements, filter improvements, new features, and so forth. Every change may impact data in several ways, and for this reason it is essential to have a system in place to keep track of code and profile changes. In order to facilitate/centralize the collection and sharing of the changes made to a Google Analytics account, I propose two different methods: using a Google Docs form & taking advantage of the Annotations feature. Please note that each company should find the optimal mix between these methods.
Using a Google Docs Form
The big advantage of Google Docs is that it can be shared with as many people as needed and everyone has access to the most updated version of the document. I recommend creating a Google Form (learn how) that will output its data into a spreadsheet. The form should be created so that all interested parties can be aware of all changes. These will then be aggregated for historical knowledge that can be used by the whole team (and future teams members). See one sample form that can be used by Analytics teams in this article.
Google Analytics Annotations
This feature allows website managers, marketers and developers to provide context directly from inside the graphs on the interface, allowing for richer analyses. Here are some important occasions when you should use this feature:
  • Offline marketing campaigns (e.g. radio, TV, billboards.)
  • Major changes to the website (e.g. design, structure, content.)
  • Changes to tracking (e.g. changing the tracking code, adding events.)
  • Changes to goals or filters.
While annotations can (and should) be used for technical changes in the website, it is important to keep them at a high level. You shouldn't add detailed information about your changes or annotate relatively minor changes; otherwise the annotations will become too crowded to convey meaningful information to readers.

4. Know What Your Site Sends To Google Analytics

The Google Analytics team built a Chrome extension that is intended to help you debug your implementation. Here is what you will be able to do using the extension and a screenshot of how you will see the data:
This extension loads the debug version of the Google Analytics Javascript for all sites you browse using Google Chrome. It prints useful information to the Javascript console. These messages include error messages and warnings which can tell you when your analytics tracking code is set up incorrectly. In addition, it provides a detailed breakdown of each tracking beacon sent to Google Analytics.


Important tip: this extension can also be used for competitive analysis. If you use it while browsing your competitors' websites you will learn how they are tracking their customers.

5. [E-commerce sites] Compare Google Analytics to Database

The most important feature on Google Analytics for Ecommerce websites is the Ecommerce Tracking. It allows the marketer and website owner to understand what and who is driving online sales. But it is essential that the numbers on Google Analytics approximately match the database of the company, otherwise they won't be trusted.
In order to make sure the numbers match, ask from your Database administrator to retrieve the daily Ecommerce revenue for a month, and extract the same information from Google Analytics. Plot the numbers on your preferred spreadsheet tool and check if the numbers and the trends match. If they do not match, here is a quick list of things to check:
  • When 2 or more of the same item are purchased, does Google Analytics trigger _addItem more than once? (it should)
  • How does Google Analytics record transactions that use promotional coupons and how the database reports it?
  • Be careful with apostrophes! If you use apostrophes in your product names you should be careful not to pass them to Google Analytics on the _addItem, they can break your code.
Closing Thoughts
As we saw above, there are several tools that can help you understand why the data you are getting might not be what you expected. But if you still can't find a solution to your issue, try asking a question at the User Forum. I also highly recommend you read this code website article: Troubleshooting the Tracking Code.
Happy analyzing!
Posted by Daniel Waisberg 

Getting The Most Out Of Google Analytics For Lead Generation

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The following is a guest post from Jeff Sauer, Vice President at Three Deep Marketing, a Google Analytics Certified Partner. Jeff recently started a website dedicated to advancing digital marketing knowledge called Jeffalytics

Lead generators know that the combination of Google AdWords + Google Analytics is a winning combination for generating an inflow of high quality leads. They are like peanut butter and jelly, Forrest Gump and Jennay, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. 
What many users may not realize is that there are many features that they can unlock in Google Analytics to make their lead generation campaigns perform better while becoming more transparent and accountable. What follows is a series of tips, trips and hacks that you can use to make your lead generation campaigns work even better. I have broken this down into three sections: ConfigurationIntegration, Analysis.

Configuring Analytics for Lead Generation Websites

Set Up Goals in Google Analytics
Yes, this is a very elementary step in your Google Analytics evolution. You surely configured goals on your site years ago, right? Well, let's make sure you didn't miss anything: 
  1. Navigate to the URL of your 'thank you' page shown after a lead is generated. Make note of the URL of this page.
  2. Make your best guess as to the value of each lead that you generate (note: you can have multiple lead values, and multiple goals).
  3. Configure your goals in Google Analytics, assigning the proper goal value for each lead you generate.
  4. Unlock a new world of reports in Google Analytics and see the real value of your lead generation efforts.

Bonus tip: There's absolutely nothing wrong with measuring micro conversions on your lead generation site. Have a PDF that someone can download freely? Set a goal and assign it a modest value (even if it's $5, the impact can be huge). Have a 2 minute video? Give it a value as well, even if it's just a dollar or two. Both PDF downloads and video plays can be tracked using GA event tracking - and you can configure goals around events.  
Track Visitors Across Domains
Many lead generation sites use third party forms and services to capture leads, whether as part of an affiliate program or a third party CRM site. While this acts as an excellent conduit to lead delivery, it can often result in missing data in Google Analytics reports. Depending on the services used, there is still a way to retain this data in Google Analytics by tracking your visitors across domains. Here's how this is done: 
  1. On your primary website, add the _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', 'PRIMARY DOMAIN']); and _gaq.push(['_setAllowLinker', true]); methods.
  2. When linking to your external domain, add an onclick element as follows: onclick="_gaq.push(['_link', 'THE LINK']); where THE LINK is your external page
  3. Add the GA Tracking Code to your third party hosted page, being sure to use the _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', 'PRIMARY DOMAIN']); and _gaq.push(['_setAllowLinker', true]); methods on this page as well. It is important to make sure you are setting your primary domain here as well. 
  4. Configure your goals to match the thank you page URL on the third party domain (or on your own site if you can redirect visitors back to your domain)
By linking visits across domains, your reports will accurately attribute visitors and goals to their proper source and medium instead of treating them as direct visitors.  
Integrate with Google AdWords Both Ways
Most of us know to share data between AdWords and Analytics and enable the Google AdWords report in Analytics, but many times this is not done properly. In addition, not enough marketers seem to take advantage of Google Analytics' ability to push conversion data back into AdWords. You really have nothing to lose when you integrate these two Google products both ways, but you have many insights to gain. Start off by making sure you configure these integrations properly: 
  1. Share Google AdWords data with Google Analytics. This may seem easy, but is often incomplete when implemented. Make sure that you 1) Turn on Auto Tagging in AdWords, 2) Enable Data Sharing and 3) Apply Cost Data into Google Analytics
  2. Configure your goals in Google Analytics as outlined above
  3. As soon as data starts to collect for these goals, you will see the option in AdWords to import your goals from Google Analytics
  4. Enjoy consistent conversion data between both products and ensure that leads are being properly attributed
Using your goals in Google Analytics for your Google AdWords campaigns can come in handy when you don't have the ability to add a traditional JavaScript based conversion code onto your thank you page. In addition, importing goals from Google Analytics allows you to track some of the advanced conversions mentioned below in Google AdWords. The result? Better analysis capabilities, more advanced conversion rate optimization strategy and more credit for the leads you generate! 

Integrating Analytics into Lead Generation Efforts

Phone Call Tracking
One thing that marketers may not realize is that for many industries, the majority of leads will come in through the phone instead of through a web form. Google AdWords understands this and now offers a robust system for tracking phone leads generated by AdWords. But how do you properly track and attribute phone calls generated from your site to a particular traffic source? You integrate Google Analytics with your call tracking provider.


This sounds complicated, but it really is not too bad. In fact, many phone tracking vendors offer a Google Analytics integration option as part of their service. For example, this works well with products like Marchex Voicestar and Mongoose Metrics among others.  
Here are the basics of how this process works: 
  1. Sign up with a phone call tracking service, create tracking numbers and appropriate campaigns
  2. Place tracking phone numbers on your website
  3. Specify a post-back URL to be visited when a successful phone call occurs
  4. Your phone tracking system will send a visit to the post back URL, complete with all Google Analytics cookie values for the visitor who saw that exact tracking number on your lead generation site

Please note that if you drive a lot of traffic to your website, it can take a lot of phone numbers and extensions to fully attribute phone calls to users. As such, you may want to start implementing this method for a small segment of your traffic and then building up to all visitors when this data proves useful. 

Also note that even if you don't link calls back to Google Analytics, phone call tracking is still an imperative part of any lead generation campaign, because it's common for 30-70% of the leads you generate to come from the phone in certain industries. 
Offline Marketing
Believe it or not, in many industries leads are still generated offline. Examples include trade shows, neighborhood canvassing (going door to door promoting a product or service), print and television advertising. These are activities that companies have been doing for years, but the problem that they run into when using these mediums to drive traffic to their website is that they don't register the traffic source properly in Google Analytics. The result: many direct visitors without proper attribution. 


How do we fix this? By following this simple process: 
  1. Create a vanity URL that is unique to your campaign (can be a sub folder or new domain)
  2. Create a tracking URL for your website using the Google Analytics URL Builder 
  3. 301 redirect your vanity URL to the tracking URL (this preserves your campaign attributes)
  4. Learn about how each traffic source performed by viewing your favorite reports in Google Analytics and paying attention to the source/medium/campaign 
Now you can put your offline and online leads on a level playing field and compare the effectiveness of both side by side. 
CRM Integration
For companies that are generating several leads a day, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system becomes imperative for keeping up with the leads coming in the door. Unfortunately, most CRM implementations are not integrated fully with the website and useful data is not shared between the two systems. This can create friction between sales and marketing, while making it nearly impossible to close the loop on what lead generation efforts are working the best.

Fortunately, people smarter than myself have found a way to solve this problem, and this solution for CRM integration by Justin Cutroni has become my gold standard for how to pull information out of Google Analytics cookies and attach to the lead record you enter into your CRM system. 

While Justin's post goes into great detail, the basic premise is this: 
  1. A visitor comes to your website and has source/medium/campaign/keyword information assigned to them in their Google Analytics cookie
  2. This information is accessible to your website by pulling cookie values out of Google Analytics using JavaScript
  3. Once this information is pulled out, you enter the values into hidden form fields underneath where your lead enters their contact information
  4. The vital information (source/medium/campaign/keyword term) is passed into your CRM system alongside the lead record
  5. Your sales team can now have deeper understanding of what type of traffic generates the best leads, all the way down to a keyword level
  6. You can use this information to refine your marketing efforts and campaigns to focus on your top performers
Sharing information between your website and your CRM system is an imperative step for making your marketing data actionable to the rest of the business. Without integrating, decisions are made based on faith and HIPPOs, instead of actionable data. As a note, with the advent of Universal Analytics this is likely to get even easier.  

Analyze the Results and Make Your Site Even Better

How you analyze your site is a very personal thing, and your mileage may vary, so there isn't a magic bullet to ongoing success with your lead generation programs.

With that said, there are several reports that can be extremely useful in Google Analytics for lead generation campaigns. I would start by paying attention to the following: 
  • Use an advanced segment of paid search traffic and then navigate to the Conversions > Goals report. Compare the goal values you created recently with a similar time period in the past. Are your results improving? 
  • Navigate to the Multi Channel Funnels report and either use standard or custom channels. What is the most common first click channel? Are you giving it enough credit in your reporting?
  • Compare direct traffic before and after implementing the integrations suggested above. Do you start to see more activity with proper attribution? Are you more confident analyzing with less of a grey area?
  • Have you been receiving all of the credit you deserve for leads you generate over the phone?
  • When a salesperson tells you that the leads you generate "suck" are you able to match their lead close rate to the source/medium/keyword that generated the lead?
  • Instead of presenting raw lead numbers in a vacuum are you starting to factor in appointments issued, quotes given and sales made? Can you calculate the true cost of sale from keyword to purchase?
When configured properly, you can use Google Analytics and residual data from GA to perform some in depth closed loop analysis on how your lead generation campaigns are performing. Savvy lead generation experts have figured out how to deliver maximum value to their clients and constituents using the capabilities built into Google Analytics. Now it's your turn. 
There you have it, the three pillars to getting the most out of Google Analytics for your lead generation website. Have any cool integrations yourself? Let's talk in the comments below.
Jeff Sauer 

Google Tag Manager: Video and Q&A

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Have you ever struggled with implementing new marketing and measurement tools on your website? For many people, deploying data collection “tags” (like conversion tracking, remarketing, audience reporting and analytics) can take weeks or months. Worse, the tag implementation is often incorrect, meaning you’re missing out on valuable information about your site and its users.

It doesn’t need to be difficult. We recently held a webinar to introduce users to Google Tag Manager, a free tool that helps marketers and IT departments manage their marketing and measurement tags quickly and easily. Watch the video here to learn more about:
  • Overall benefits and features of using Google Tag Manager
  • A quick demonstration of how to deploy a new tracking tag
  • Tips for getting your company started with Google Tag Manager



In addition to this webinar, we’ll be hosting a technical webinar in January to help new users through the nuts and bolts of installing Google Tag Manager (with lots of concrete examples). Stay tuned -- we’ll share registration information in a future blog post, or you can check back on the Learn with Google webinar site.

Read on for responses to some of the top questions we received during the webinar.

Questions and Answers

Where can I find out more about the core concepts described in the webinar?
To learn more about the Google Tag Manager management interface, please visit our Help Center -- you may want to start with our Before you Begin article. There you can find more information about key concepts like Tags, Rules, and Macros. For developers interested in how to implement Google Tag Manager, please visit our developer documentation. Or if you’d like help with implementation, you can contact one of our Partners. You can also ask questions (and find responses to questions from others) on the Google Tag Manager product forum.

What happens to historical data if we move to Google Tag Manager?
All of your historical data should be preserved when you move to Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager only changes the way that tags are deployed and managed on your site, it does not change the way data is collected.

How would you migrate a tag?
Follow these steps to migrate tags -- whether it’s a single tag or all the tags on your site. If you’re just getting started, take a look at our Before you Begin article.
  • Create a Google Tag Manager Account and a Container associated with that account.
  • Install that Container code snippet on every page of your website (so that it appears immediately after the opening <body> tag). The container should be empty.
  • Map your site - thinking about what data you want to collect, what events you want to track, and which tags you want to use to track that data. You should think about where your current tags are implemented, but now is a great time to rethink your overall data collection goals and start fresh.
  • (Optional) If you would like to make use of the Data Layer functionality, create a data layer on the pages where you wish to pass information or fire tags
  • Create Tags, Rules and Macros within the Google Tag Manager interface according to the map you just created. Make sure to apply the correct Rules to your Tags to make sure they fire in the right place.
  • Test the changes you’ve made in Google Tag Manager using debug and preview mode.
  • Then push a version of your site live that has removed the hard-coded tags from within the page. At this time, also Publish your changes using the Publishing feature of Google Tag Manager, which pushes the changes live to the site.
For more precise details on these steps, read our developer documents about migration.

Can you add tags to events or buttons?
Definitely! In order to use Google Tag Manager to fire tags on events and buttons, follow these steps (for more detail, read our developer document on event handlers):
  • On your page, proactively add the dataLayer.push({ ‘event’: ‘myEventName’}) to the event handlers for all events and buttons you might want to track.
  • Create a new rule where “event equals myEventName”.
  • Associate this rule with any tag you’d like to fire when the specified event happens.
Can hard-coded tags and tag manager co-exist? Do I have to remove my other tracking tags?
We strongly recommend that you completely migrate all your tags, so you can take advantage of the benefits of managing and updating those tags within Google Tag Manager. However, if a full migration seems too hard, you can use Google Tag Manager in parallel with hard-coded tags. Some of our users use Google Tag Manager to only manage adding new tags.

If you choose to do a partial migration to Google Tag Manager, you need to be very careful to make sure you don’t accidentally start double-counting your tags. If you decided to deploy a tag via Google Tag Manager, make sure that you don’t have a version of the same tag firing on the same page.

Can you build your own custom tag templates? And how do I become a recognized Tag Vendor within Google Tag Manager?
Custom Tag templates within Google Tag Manager allow you to copy/paste any HTML or Image tags directly into Google Tag Manager and fire it based on your predefined rules and macros. To turn it into a template, use the {{macro_name}} syntax to populate the tag code with dynamic values. We will also do a syntax check to ensure that when you copy your 3rd party tag, it will fire as intended.

If you’re interested in having your tag added to the list of predefined templates, apply to become a Tag Vendor within Google Tag Manager by completing this interest form.

How does this work with Google Analytics? How do you do things like track pageview and track event within Google Analytics?
Google Tag Manager is a convenient way to correctly deploy Google Analytics across your site. To use Google Analytics within Google Tag Manager, simply create a Tag with the Google Analytics tag template. You can select the “Track Type” as either a pageview, an event, or a transaction.

Make sure you have some version of the Google Analytics tag firing across all pages on your site. A good way to do this would be to have a basic tag firing on all pages, but blocking on pages where your more customized tags are firing (like the thank you page where you’d be firing a specialized transaction tag type).

Can the Google Tag Manager snippet be placed in <head>? How about in my footer?
The recommended best practice is to have the Google Tag Manager snippet at the top of the <body> to maximize data collection, but some clients may find it easier to implement the Container snippet elsewhere in the in the page, like the footer.

Do not place the Google Tag Manager snippet in <head> (for the IT folks: this is because there is an iframe in the <noscript> case, which can have unpredictable results in some browsers).

No matter where you install the container snippet, you will need to make sure that this snippet of code is on every page of their site. Google Tag Manager will still work if you only deploy it on part of your site, but Google Tag Manager’s rule based system will only work on pages where the snippet is deployed. For more details, read our developer documents.

Does Google Tag Manager replace Doubleclick Floodlight?
No, Google Tag Manager does not replace Floodlight -- they are complementary. Floodlight is a conversion pixel for DoubleClick products (Floodlight tags can now be deployed within Google Tag Manager), and Google Tag Manager is a tag management system or “container tag” for multiple tagging technologies. Floodlight has previously been used by some users as a container tag as well, but moving forward, Google Tag Manager is a way to deploy all tracking technology.

You also have the ability to pass custom floodlight variables through Google Tag Manager into Floodlight, through the Data Layer. For more information, please review the material in the Developers Guide.

We hope this webinar and this blog post will help you as you get started with Google Tag Manager, and we look forward to seeing you at our technical webinar in January. (Registration details coming soon).

Upcoming Analytics Events You Can't Miss

Monday, 26 November 2012

In the next two weeks members of the Google Analytics team will be hosting Google Developers Live (GDL) live streams about getting started with Cost Data Upload and the story behind the new Mobile SDKs.  Be sure to mark your calendars, share your questions and join us as we dive deep into the world of analytics.

To whet your appetite, check out a 100-second recap of our last GDL event starring Nick Mihailovski and Ikai Lan discussing the Apps Script + Google Analytics Integration:

Off the Charts: Getting Cost Data into Google Analytics (GDL)

With Analytics’ new Cost Data Upload feature, users can measure and analyze non-Google cost data to calculate paid campaign effectiveness.  Developers are able to build solutions to upload exported cost data into Analytics so marketers can have a unified view of their campaign spend - all within the Google Analytics interface.

Join Google Analytics’ Developer Advocate Pete Frisella to dive into the implementation of this new feature through the robust Analytics APIs.


Date: Thursday, November 29 at 1:00pm PST


How to Watch: Visit the Google Developers Live page at the above time or add this event to your calendar.


Get Involved: Ask questions to your heart’s content about Cost Data Upload for a chance to have them answered live.

Behind the Code: The Analytics Mobile SDK (GDL)

The new Google Analytics Mobile SDK empowers Android and iOS developers to effectively collect user engagement data from their applications to measure active user counts, user geography, new feature adoption and many other useful metrics.

Join Analytics Developer Program Engineer Andrew Wales and Analytics Software Engineer Jim Cotugno for an unprecedented look behind the code at the goals, design, and architecture of the new SDK to learn more about what it takes to build world-class technology.


Date: Thursday, December 6 at 2:00pm PST


How to Watch: Visit the Google Developers Live page at the above time or add this event to your calendar.


Get Involved: Ask your burning questions about the Analytics Mobile SDK for a chance to have them answered live.



Posted by John Milinovich, Google Analytics API team

Latin America Tour: Google Analytics User Conference

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Bom dia!

The Google Analytics User Conference takes a trip to Latin America. We held the first conference in Latin America in Mexico back in April and now we will visit Colombia, Argentina and Brazil the last week of November.

•  Monday Nov, 26th in Bogotá, Colombia (gauc.com.co)
•  Wednesday Nov, 28th in Buenos Aires, Argentina (gauc.com.ar)
•  Friday Nov, 30th in São Paulo, Brazil (gauc.com.br)


Digital Marketers and Google Analytics enthusiasts will be able to spend one full day sharing knowledge, hearing about local success stories and discussing the latest feature launches announced during our summit last month.

We have a terrific line up of Google speakers:
•  Justin Cutroni, Google Analytics Advocate
•  Enrique Quevedo, Google Analytics Latam
•  Romina Rodríguez, Google Argentina
•  Gustavo Jeuken, Google Brasil
•  Jorge Quiroga, Google Colombia

As well as thought leaders from our local Certified Partners:
•  Juan Camilo Suárez, Santiago Suárez and Gustavo Parra from Intergrupo Digital
•  Juan Damia and Richard Dawson from Intellignos
•  Ruy Carneiro and Flavio Silveira from WA Consulting
•  Francisco Pellat from Codice
•  Gustavo Bacchin from Cadastra
•  Fabio Serra from DP6

You can see the full event details, agenda and buy your tickets at these country specific sites:
Colombia, Argentina and Brazil.

Nos vemos pronto.

Posted by Enrique Quevedo, Google Analytics Latin America

 

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