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4 Improvements To Google Analytics Real-Time Reports

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Real-time reports provide useful insights for businesses that help them understand how their systems are reacting, instantly, such as when you send out an email campaign or engage in marketing that has a temporal nature. It provides alerting / intelligence, giving insight into things that are new or different such as a sudden increase in site traffic. Real-time also lets you win social by capitalizing on trending topics. For example, if you noticed a blog post you published previously is suddenly gaining attention due to something happening in the news, you could highlight it on the front page of your site to draw additional attention and ‘pour fuel’ on the social fire. 

Today, we're announcing 4 improvements to real-time reports. You can now:
  1. Analyze Events in real-time
  2. Breakdown real-time by Desktop/Tablet/Mobile traffic
  3. Create shortcuts to your favorite real-time segments
  4. Compare real-time filtered data against overall real-time data
Let’s go through the changes in more detail:

1. Realtime Events Report
With the real-time events report, you can now not only see the top events as they occur but also filter on particular event categories (and actions). Additionally, you can see whether particular segments of visitors trigger different events and debug your events deployment in real time.

To access this report, navigate to the real-time section of Google Analytics and click on the Events section. You should see a report similar to this:

Clicking on any of the Event Category will drill down and show all the Event Actions and Event Labels for that particular category.

If you are trying to see what events a particular segment of visitors generate, that is easy as well. Any filters you set up in any part of real-time are preserved in the Events report. For example, in the above screengrab we have set up a filter here to see what events are triggered from visitors coming via organic search.

2. Content Breakdown by Desktop/Tablet/Mobile
We live in an increasingly multi-screen world, and now you can see in real-time the type of device that visitors are using to visit your web site (desktop, tablet and mobile). This is available in the content report as shown below:

As with real-time reports, you can easily see your visitors filtered by the device type (by clicking on either of “Desktop” “Tablet” “Mobile”).

3. Shortcuts for your important real-time segments
We’ve heard from users that you like to look at certain segments of visitors in real-time, but dislike setting up the filters each time. Now, you can use the “Create Shortcut” feature to store your favorite segments. 

Now all you need to do is open up Shortcuts from the left navigation menu and click to any of your shortcuts.

4. Comparison real-time to overall data
Finally, you can compare the pageviews of your segmented visitors to overall traffic as shown below. This is nifty if you want to see quick comparison trends. For example, many times, after a G+ post, I create a filter by device type of “Mobile” and can see that the mobile traffic picks up much faster and also contributes more to the initial increase in pageviews.

Stay tuned for continued improvements to real-time, a growing area of importance for your digital marketing.

Posted by the Google Analytics Real-Time team

Improving The Activity Stream In Social Reports

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

We’ve redesigned the Google Analytics Social Reports to make it easier to see the conversations and activity happening surrounding your content on our Social Data Hub Partners. We’re introducing 2 new reports that make it easier to consume this data:
  • Data Hub Activity
  • Trackbacks
The activity stream was previously available via drill down from the Network Referrals or Landing Pages reports. We have now made it a standalone report. By navigating to the Data Hub Activity report you’ll see a timeline of the number of activities that have occurred in the Social Data Hub and the raw activities in a list below. You can also filter this list by any specific networks you choose. 

We’re also excited to announce that Trackbacks are now available in a standalone report. Trackbacks are all of your inbound links across the web, so you’ll be informed if anyone from a small to blog to the New York Times posts a link to your site. Additionally, we are providing context for the significance of each of these trackbacks by displaying the number of visits that were driven by each endorsing URL during the reporting period. You’ll see this number presented alongside the trackback. 
Image via Google’s Analytics Advocate, Justin Cutroni 
Give them a try and happy analyzing!

Posted by Linus Chou, Product Manager, Google Analytics

Expanding Universal Analytics into Public Beta

Friday, 22 March 2013

A typical consumer today uses multiple devices to surf the web and interact in many ways with your business. For most large businesses, already swimming in many sources of data, it’s an enormous challenge, but also an incredible opportunity. 

Back in October, we announced the limited beta release of Universal Analytics as a way for businesses to understand the changing, multi-device customer journey. Today, we’re excited to welcome and invite all Google Analytics customers to try Universal Analytics.

The benefits of using Universal Analytics to businesses are: 
  • Understanding how customers interact with your businesses across many devices and touch-points, 
  • Insights into the performance of your mobile apps
  • Improvements of lead generation and ROI by incorporating offline and online interactions so you can understand which channels drive the best results,
  • Improved latency on your site by reducing client-side demands.
Testimonials from the initial beta release
Our initial beta customers using Universal Analytics and are pleased with their results. Rojeh Avanesian, VP of Marketing at PriceGrabber.com reports:

"At PriceGrabber, we know it’s important to understand consumer shopping behavior so we can provide a more customized experience to our users. Google’s Universal Analytics will solve this problem for us and many sites that are facing this challenge and help us serve our users better by providing them with more relevant content and shopping results. We can use Google Analytics metrics to segment our users in a way that improves and simplifies the shopping experience for consumers. That’s what we strive for at PriceGrabber, to make shopping and saving money as easy as possible."

How to get started using Universal Analytics
If you’re new to Google Analytics, you can choose Universal Analytics when you setup your account. Already using Google Analytics? Create a new web property in your Google Analytics account to set up Universal Analytics and explore the new features. 

Here’s what you’ll see when you create a new web property. Select the Universal Analytics column to get the new analytics.js code snippet you can implement on your website:

You can implement Universal Analytics with the new analytics.js JavaScript for websites, our iOS and Android SDKs for apps, and the new Measurement Protocol for all other platforms. 

Find more details on how to set up using our help center or developer guide. (Migration guides for properties using ga.js coming soon. Until then, set up a new property in your account for Universal Analytics).

To tag in the most flexible way possible, you can also take advantage of the Universal Analytics template available in Google Tag Manager, which allows you to make additional changes and enable new features to your analytics setup without changing the hard-coded tags on your website. Learn more about how to implement Universal Analytics through Google Tag Manager

For more information on Universal Analytics, visit our help center and developer guides

Happy analyzing - in the new and innovative ways you can with Universal Analytics!

Posted by JiaJing Wang, Product Manager, Google Analytics

Learn from Google at #SESNY 2013

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

SES New York (#SESNY) is coming up next week, and just like last year, we hope you’ll join us again in the Big Apple.

During day 1 of SES New York, we’ll be on the expo floor with a custom-built Google classroom as well as part of the main conference sessions. Join us where you’ll learn about the newest need-to-know tools, features, and solutions from Google Analytics, AdWords, Mobile, GDN and DoubleClick Search to help you win in a constantly connected world. Following is a listing of our sessions to help you plan your SES experience. 

Google Solutions for a Constantalny Connected World
Day 1 - Tuesday, March 26th all day in the Expo Hall

10:30-11:30am: Reaching customers whenever, wherever, across any device. Surojit Chatterjee, Lead Product Manager for Enhanced Campaigns
11:45-12:45pm: Understanding the Full Value of Mobile. Brendon Kraham, Director, Global Mobile Solutions
2:00-3:00pm: Engaging with your audience in a multi-screen world. 
3:30-4:30pm: Using DoubleClick Search to manage campaigns across channels and devices. Anthony Chavez, Product Manager for DoubleClick Search

Don’t have a pass yet? Don’t worry. Expo Only passes are free and get you access to our Google classroom. You can also use the code NYGOOGLE which is redeemable for up to $700.00 off a full conference pass.

For attendees of the main conference, Google Analytics team members will be participating in the following sessions:

Landing Page Optimization
Day 1: Tuesday, March 26 from 11:45-12:45pm

Are your search landing pages working hard or hardly working? Landing pages can be the hardest-working part of your search campaigns, or they can kill your lead generation and sales conversion rates. Testing insignificant details such as button colour and headline size won't lead to real lift in your conversion rates. This session will show you what to test, how to analyse your landing pages, and how to get significant revenue lift quickly.

Andrew Goodman, SES Advisory Board; President, Page Zero Media

Justin Cutroni, Analytics Advocate, Google
Angie Schottmuller, Director of Interactive Strategic Planning & Optimization, Three Deep Marketing

The Dawn of Convergence Analytics
Day 1: Tuesday, March 26 from 3:30-4:30pm

The combination of "big data," access to cloud computing, powerful algorithms, and unprecedented visualization capabilities has created an emerging new class of analytics tools for the marketer. It's being called "Convergence Analytics". It's the marketing equivalent of "one ring to rule them all." Though still in its infancy as a discipline, there are many vendors in the market, and their goal is to pull together data sources from multiple touch points from the web and beyond. They're also using advanced data gathering and data regularization strategies to create a correlative dashboard-like experience for the marketer.

Adam Singer, Product Marketing Manager, Google Analytics

Andrew Edwards, Managing Partner, Efectyv Marketing
Rand Schulman, Managing Partner, Efectyv Marketing

We hope to see you out at the event, you can find out more details on the conference site

Can’t make it to NY? Be sure and follow Google Analytics on Twitter and Google+ for real-time updates on sessions throughout the day sharing interesting bits from the conference.

Posted by the Google Analytics team

Google Analytics Premium expands to Japan

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Good news, or 良いニュース as they say in Japanese. We’re excited to announce that Google Analytics Premium is now available in Japan.


Google Analytics Premium offers all the power and ease you expect from the standard version of Google Analytics plus extras that make it great for large businesses. With more processing strength for granular insights, a dedicated services and support team, service guarantees and up to 1 billion hits per month, all for one flat fee. It provides access to more data, flexibility, and 24/7 support to help power the analytics of world-class brands including Travelocity, Gilt, TransUnion, Zillow, Papa Johns, & IGN.

Over the last year we’ve launched Google Analytics Premium in the US, UK, & Canada and our customers have been doing some really cool stuff, for example:
  • Glit was able to gain a more holistic view of their customers by using the increased number of custom variables to power their predictive modeling 
  • They found that access to unsampled data helped them to remove uncertainty and enabled them to act on test and campaign results with confidence
  • Travelocity was able to provided greater access to data across their company, enabling agile, data driven decision making 
For more details check out the full case studies from Gilt and Travelocity.

We’re excited to learn how the data driven marketers in Japan will use Google Analytics Premium to find insights that help them to grow their businesses online.

Partner network provides expert support & customizable service 
We’re also pleased to have an international network of Google Analytics Authorized Resellers that have been quality checked to ensure they are best in class analytics consultants. They have highly trained analysis teams and can perform deep analysis projects to reveal valuable insights. Below is the select group of companies that we have partnered with in Japan:

          IMJ Ayudante
          e-Agency NRI Netcom
          Dentsu eMarketing One transcosmos

We plan to make Premium available to even more countries in 2013. 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.

Posted by Clancy Childs, Google Analytics Premium Team

Get Useful Insights Easier: Automate Cohort Analysis with Analytics & Tableau

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The following is a guest post by Shiraz Asif, Analytics Solutions Architect at E-Nor, a Google Analytics Certified Partner.

Cohort analysis provides marketers with visibility into the behavior of a “class” of visitors, typically segmented by an action on a specific date range. There are many applications and businesses that would benefit tremendously from cohort analysis, including the following sample use cases:
  • What traffic channel yields the most valuable customers (not just valuable one time conversions)
  • Customer life time volume based on their first bought item (or category)
  • Methods for gaining and retaining customers and which groups of customers to focus on
  • For content and media sites, understanding frequency, repeat visitors and content consumption after sign up or other key events
  • Repeat Purchase Probability 
If you read E-Nor President and Principal consultant Feras Alhlou’s latest post on cohort analysis in a cross-platform environment, and read until the very end, you saw a note about a follow up post on how to automate cohort reporting from Google Analytics in Tableau. This is what I'll outline in today’s post. Why the emphasis on automation, you might ask? Without automation, we end up spending more time than necessary on exporting/copying/pasting/massaging data which can eat up resources better used analyzing and optimizing. 

In addition to report automation, data visualization is also key. Google Analytics offers amazing visualization, including the recently announced dashboard enhancements, but at times you also want to view the data and trend it or merge with other sources. For this, its best to use tools available in the Google Analytics Application Gallery or a BI platform like Tableau.

With the introduction out of the way, following is a step-by-step guide to automated, cohort analysis with Google Analytics and Tableau:

1. Cohort Data Elements in Google Analytics

If you have your cohort data elements already captured in Google Analytics, then skip this step, otherwise, this post is on setting up cohort data in by Google’s Analytics Advocate Justin Cutroni is a must.

2. Tableau version 8 (Google Analytics connectors)

In order to automate reports, you need to have Tableau version 8, since this is the version that has a Google Analytics connector (works well, although still in beta).

3. Data Import from Google Analytics Into Tableau
  • From the Tableau home screen, select Connect to Data, and then pick the Google Analytics connector. After authenticating to Google Analytics, you'll be prompted to select your Account, Property and Profile, if you have access to more than one.
  • Set up the data import to get your Custom Variable key (e.g. CV1) and Date as dimensions, and Revenue as a Metric.

4. Tableau Cohort Analysis Configuration
  • Change the format from Google's 20130113 to a Tableau DATE format. Since the date was stored in a custom variable, it was stored as a string. So that Tableau can treat this as a date, we need to convert the string to a date format. This was done by creating a new Calculated field in Tableau. We called the field "Cohort Date". The formula below worked for our purposes but would require some tweaking for larger datasets.
  • Now that we have the date in the format we want, the next step is to subtract the cohort date from the transaction date.  To do this, we created another calculated field called "Days since Signup". The formula for this field was simply:
DATEDIFF('day',[Cohort Date],[Date]). 

Important:  Tableau natively treated this as a "Measure" since it is a number. However since we're going to be graphing this on the X Axis, you should drag it to the Dimensions pane.
  • Drag the Revenue measure to the rows Rows tab. Now drag the Days since Signup to the Columns tab. You should see a long graph similar to:
  • Drag the Cohort date to the Filter pane, and select the cohort dates you'd like to visualize. For ease of use, I suggest, select only a few to begin with. Drag the Cohort to the color shelf to enable color coding of individual cohort dates.
  • Now let's make a couple of adjustments to make the visualization more useful. In the color shelf, click the down arrow next to Cohort Date, and change the default display from Continuous to Discrete. Then, in the same field, select Exact Date instead of Year.
Voila! Your final view should look like this: 

There you have it. With a few steps, we’ve pulled data from Google Analytics via the API using Tableau, massaged the data and then created a very insightful visualization. With this work now done, the graphic can be easily updated/refreshed. This takes the manual and mundane work of setting up the graphic and automates it so we can spend more time analyzing the data and finding hidden insights for our clients.  

Posted by Shiraz Asif, Analytics Solutions Architect at  E-Nor, Google Analytics Certified Partner. Learn more about E-Nor on their website, Google+ or check out their Marketing Optimization blog.

Enhancing Google Analytics Access Controls

Monday, 11 March 2013

Today we’re excited to announce that enhanced user-access control lists are coming to Google Analytics. Google Analytics users have long been requesting more fine-grained control over access to various parts of their accounts. We listened, and we're delivering that control over the coming weeks.

Recap of the current access control system
Previously, user access was controlled with a role-based system. A user could be either a full account administrator, or a simple report viewer on your profiles.

How the new system will work
First, we’re expanding where permissions can be applied.  We’ll allow permissions to be set not only at the Google Analytics account and profile levels, but also at the property level (learn more about these entities). Second, we’re enhancing the permissions any user can have. Instead of offering only two roles, (administrator & report viewer) we’re now allowing every user to have any combination of view, edit, and manage-users access. You can customize permissions for each user at the account, property, and profile level, providing a greater variety of access than was available with the previous role-based system.

For example, one user can have full access to an entire account, another user can have edit and view access to a single property, and a third user could have view only access to a set of profiles.

Properties inherit permissions set on their parent account, and profiles inherit permissions set on their parent properties. For example, a user with view access to an account, also has view access to all of that account's properties and profiles.

We will automatically migrate all accounts over the coming weeks. When your account is migrated, you will notice a new, richer user-management interface that looks like the following:

Click for large-sized preview
The migration will convert account admins to users with full (manage users, edit, and view) access to that entire account; report-viewing users in the current role-based system will remain as users with view access to relevant profiles.

By making these changes Google Analytics users will be able to better meet their access-control needs and have an even better analytics and reporting experience. Enjoy the new controls!

Posted by Tim Thelin & Matt Matyas, Google Analytics Team

Learn About the 7 Factors of Bid Optimization

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A version of the following post originally appeared on from the DoubleClick Search blog.

At DoubleClick Search we know that search marketing has expanded dramatically in scale and complexity over the years, and today, large search campaigns may be difficult to manage using manual methods alone. As such, marketers are relying more and more on automated bid optimization platforms to run larger campaigns -- enabling them to scale up and streamline their operations at the same time.

In a recent blog post series on the DoubleClick Blog, we explored key factors to consider when evaluating a search bid optimization platform, including flexible expression of goals, fresh data, smart algorithms, fast operations, regular software updates, sufficient controls, and dedicated, consultative services. As a wrap up to our bid optimization series, we want to recap the importance of these factors with an infographic:

Click here to view the full infographic
Using the 7 factors as a guideline, you can choose the platform that’s best for your business, to help you save time, get the best results, and make better decisions in your digital marketing efforts.  

Stay tuned to the DoubleClick Search blog to learn more about enhancements, updates, and launches around the Performance Bidding Suite. To learn more about the 7 factors to consider when choosing a bid optimization tool, download our white paper here.

Posted by Kim Doan, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick Search

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