U.S. Cellular reveals true impact of digital media on sales with Google Analytics Premium

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | 10:24 AM

Labels: ,

With 10.6 million cell phone customers and retail stores in 400+ markets, U.S. Cellular needs to reach a lot of people with marketing messages. That's why U.S. Cellular uses many marketing channels -- online, in-store and telesales -- to drive mobile phone activations.


U.S. Cellular was challenged though. They didn’t know how many of their offline sales were driven by their digital marketing. This made it harder to adjust their media mix accordingly and also to forecast sales. To fix that situation, U.S. Cellular and its digital-analytics firm, Cardinal Path, turned to Google Analytics Premium and its integration with BigQuery

Part of Google Cloud Platform, BigQuery allows for highly flexible analysis of large datasets. The U.S. Cellular team used it to integrate and analyze terabytes of data from Google Analytics Premium and other systems. Then they mapped consumer behavior across online and offline marketing channels. Each transaction was attributed to the consumer touchpoints that the buyer had made across various sales channels. 

The result: U.S. Cellular got real insight into digital’s role in their sales. They were surprised to find that they could reclassify nearly half of all their offline activations to online marketing channels.

U.S. Cellular now uses this complete (and fully automatic) analytics framework to really see the consumer journey and forecast sales for each channel. Their team has the data they need to make better business decisions. 

“We’re now in the enviable position of having an accurate view at each stage of our customer journey," says Katie Birmingham, a digital & e-commerce analyst for the company. "The Google Analytics Premium solution not only gives us a business advantage, but helps us shape a great customer experience, and ultimately ties in to our values of industry-leading innovation and world-class customer service.”


Posted by: Suzanne Mumford, Google Analytics Premium Marketing

Rooms To Go Improves the Shopper Experience by Integrating Google Analytics Premium with BigQuery

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 | 10:56 AM

Labels: ,

Rooms To Go, a home furnishing retailer, simplifies the shopping experience by offering completely designed room packages. When the company wanted to better understand how its customers purchase its different furniture and decor variations and add-ons to streamline online customization options, it turned to its agency -  LunaMetrics - who integrated Google Analytics Premium and BigQuery. This approach helped to identify which items customers commonly buy together, leading to smarter and easier customization for its users.

The Google Analytics Premium integration allowed Rooms To Go to:
  • Better understand what their site visitors were purchasing
  • Organize the data and isolate the products that were frequently purchased together in order to discover customer buying patterns
  • Expand functionalities of the website to accommodate these customer patterns—for example, making it easier for users to add extra dining chairs when purchasing a dining room set

Overall, this strategy helped Rooms To Go create a better user experience for its customers, and the company expects an increase in sales because of it. Read the full case study on Think with Google, and learn about being a Google Analytics Premium customer here.

Analytics Pros helps Avvo Gain New Insights with Data Import

Tuesday, July 01, 2014 | 9:00 AM

Labels: , , ,

Companies use many systems to run their business. These may include multiple web advertising networks, CRM and content publishing systems, point of sale systems, inventory databases, etc. Integrating the data from these systems with Google Analytics provides a better understanding for how your customers behave on the web. 

At the 2014 Analytics Summit we announced the new Data Import. Data Import helps unify data from your different business systems, allowing you to organize your data the same way your business is organized. This will allow for more accurate analysis and bringing together previously disparate datasets into one complete picture. Using Data Import, you can upload your brand’s existing data into Google Analytics and join it with GA data for reporting, segmentation and remarketing.

By using the Data Import functionality in Google Analytics Premium and with the help of Analytics Pros, consumer legal services brand Avvo created clear, accurate data, which continues to impact decisions across their organization. While Avvo already had a successful and fast-growing business, the lack of visibility into advertising success made it hard to align key revenue opportunities with actual site usage. Read the full case study here.


“We’ve been very pleased with the results that were realized using Data Import in Google Analytics to analyze client behavior on our website. This exercise has given us better insight into valuable data that will ultimately impact how we segment the market for legal services.” 
- Sendi Widjaja, Co-Founder & CTO, Avvo, Inc.

Data Import also now supports a new Query Time mode that allows you to join your data with historical GA data. With this mode you can:
  • Enhance existing, already processed GA data with imported dimensions and metrics.
  • Upload calculated values after a transaction occurs, like total customer spend, last transaction date, or a loyalty score.
  • Correct any errors in data you have uploaded to GA in the past.
Query Time mode is currently in whitelist release for Premium users. For more information, contact your Premium account manager. You can learn more about Premium here.

Illustration of a new Google Analytics report with data from multiple sources 

We are also introducing a new version of Cost Data import that provides more versatile support for importing historical data. Additionally, cost data  can now be uploaded directly  through the Google Analytics web interface (previously, data import  required using the GA API). Note: Users of the original cost data import  must migrate to the new version. Details can be found in the cost data migration guide.

How to get started using Data Import
For more information, read Data Import on the Google Analytics Help Center. Also check our new developer Data Import guides that will get you up and running in no time. Some features are currently not rolled out to all users. If you’d like to join the beta for full-access, sign-up here.

Posted by Nick Mihailovski, Jieyan Fan, Richard Maher, Rick Elliott and the Google Analytics Team 

Segmenting Brand and Generic Paid Search Traffic in Google Analytics

Thursday, June 26, 2014 | 11:09 AM

Labels: , ,

Many advertisers with paid search campaigns advertise on queries mentioning their brand (e.g., “Motorola smartphone” for Motorola) and also on generic searches (e.g., “smartphone reviews”). Because the performance metrics for ads shown against brand and generic queries can be vastly different, many advertisers prefer to analyze these two groups separately.  For example, all else being equal, searches containing the advertiser’s brand name often have higher clickthrough-rates than those that don’t.

Automatic classification


To make analysis of brand and generic performance as easy as possible, we’re introducing a new feature which automatically identifies brand-aware paid search clicks tracked in Google Analytics. We use a combination of signals (including the clickthrough-rate, text string, domain name and others) to identify query terms which show awareness of your brand.  You can review our suggested brand terms and then accept or decline each of them. It’s also easy to add additional brand terms that we’ve missed. 

With the resulting list of brand terms, we classify your paid search traffic in GA so that you can split your “paid search” channel into two separate channels: “brand paid search” and “generic paid search”. This can be done both for Multi-Channel Funnels (for attribution purposes) and for the main Google Analytics channel grouping. See this straightforward step-by-step guide to get started.

Industry feedback

Back in 2012, George Michie from the Rimm-Kaufmann Group, a leading online marketing agency, called analyzing brand and generic paid search together “the cardinal sin of paid search”. We showed him a preview of our new solution and here’s his reaction:

"I've been arguing for many years that advertisers should look at their brand and generic paid search separately. There are massive differences in overall performance - but also in more specific areas, like attribution and new customer acquisition. 

Google Analytics now makes it a lot easier for advertisers to segment brand and generic paid search into separate channels. I'm sure this feature will help many more advertisers measure these important differences - and more importantly, take action on these new insights."

Getting started

Finally: note that this feature works for all paid search advertising, not just Google AdWords. It will roll out to all users in the coming weeks.

To get started, use the step-by-step guide to set up separate brand paid search and generic paid search channels. We’ve already suggested brand terms for every GA view with sufficient paid search traffic.

Posted by: Frank Uyeda, Software Engineer, Google Analytics

Introducing the new Google Analytics Partner Gallery

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 | 6:58 AM

Labels: ,

Google Analytics has a vibrant ecosystem of analytics practitioners, advocates, and developers that drive great conversations, learnings, and sharing among passionate users. A central part of this ecosystem is partners, which can help users quickly increase the business value of Google Analytics through implementation expertise, analysis, and integrations.

To make it easier to find services and apps that are important to your business, we’ve re-launched the App Gallery as the Partner Gallery, the new destination to find partners and review their offerings. It includes:

Certified Partners are vetted by Google and meet rigorous qualification standards. This includes agencies and consultancies who offer web analytics implementations, analysis services and website testing and optimization services.

Ready-to-use applications that extend Google Analytics in new and exciting ways. This includes solutions that help analysts, marketers, IT teams, and executives get the most out of Google Analytics and complement functionality.



The Partner Gallery includes new features and improvements:
  • A brand new look and layout.
  • A combined view of both services and apps so you don’t need to visit multiple sites to find a solution.
  • New search capabilities and category selection making it easier to filter and find what you’re looking for.
  • Google Analytics Certified Partners are sorted based on your location to find partners that have an office near you.
  • Media assets like screenshots / videos / case studies that highlight customer success stories and illustrate app features.
  • Comments and ratings to review user experiences and provide feedback.
Visit the Partner Gallery to browse partner services and apps. If you’re interested in the Google Analytics Certified Partner or Technology Partner programs, learn how to become a partner.

Pete Frisella, Developer Advocate, Google Analytics Developer Relations team

New Google Analytics Premium Feature: Unsampled Reports in the Management API

Thursday, June 19, 2014 | 2:01 PM

Labels: ,

Today, we are adding Unsampled Reports to the Google Analytics Management API for Google Analytics Premium customers. 

Accurate analysis when you’re not online
Enterprise analytics users need to execute complicated, ad hoc reports and download them into their own systems. The Unsampled Reports feature provides accurate analysis of large unsampled data sets. 

Easily integrate data
This enhancement to our Management API offers a new way to access unsampled data, so you’re free to spend more time on other strategic areas of your business. It also increases the integrity of the data in your internal systems and provides the flexibility to access your data in a way that best fits your business needs. For example, you can integrate the API into your Business Intelligence (BI) system to retrieve unsampled data, and to provide accurate metrics that support your critical business decisions.  

How it works
When you create an Unsampled Report using the API, it is processed in an offline manner. The completed reports are available through the API and under the Customization tab in the Unsampled Reports section. You can define whether you would like the report to be saved in Google Drive or in Google Cloud Storage. Read the Unsampled Reports API documentation for more details.

Posted by Yaniv Yaakubovich, Product Manager, Google Analytics Premium

Moving from Data to Decisions in the next Analytics Academy course

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 | 7:20 AM

Labels: , ,

Today we’re excited to announce our next Analytics Academy course, Ecommerce Analytics: From Data to Decisions. As the name suggests, we’ve designed this course specifically to help marketers and analysts who work in ecommerce understand how Analytics data can be used to make decisions and take actions that improve their ecommerce performance. 

In the course, you’ll join instructor Justin Cutroni to explore topics through the lens of a fictional online retailer, The Great Outdoors. This practical example will help bring common ecommerce questions to life with relevant planning, reporting and analysis examples. 

By participating in the course, you’ll learn how to:
  • select and customize meaningful reports that align with your ecommerce measurement plan
  • use segmentation to compare interesting subsets of your online audience
  • and conduct actionable in-depth analyses in Google Analytics.


In addition to teaching you how to make the most of reporting features like segmentation, the course has a special focus on the new Enhanced Ecommerce for Google Analytics. This set of new features, which was announced in May, helps ecommerce companies understand the customer journey and merchandising tactics at a much deeper level. The course will introduce you to powerful analysis tools, like the Product List Performance report, the Shopping Behavior report and the Checkout Behavior report.

Sign up for the Ecommerce Analytics course now and join us when it opens on July 8, 2014. 

Happy Learning!

Post By: Christina Macholan & The Google Analytics Education Team