Google Analytics Introduces Product Release Notes

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 | 10:40 AM


Ever feel like you just can’t keep up with all the new features in Google Analytics? We hear you! To help you keep track of everything that’s going on, we’ve started publishing Release Notes in our product Help Center.

Release notes will be updated periodically and will have the most comprehensive list of new features or changes to the Google Analytics product. So, if you see something new in your account and have questions, we recommend starting here. We’ll point you to the relevant documentation to get you up to speed on everything you need to know.

We're happy to be adding another resources to keep our users informed. Check it out today!

Posted by Louis Gray, Analytics Advocate

Solutions Guide for Implementing Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager

Thursday, March 26, 2015 | 11:22 AM

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Marketers, developers, and practitioners of analytics depend on having the right data at the right time - but implementing analytics code or AdWords pixels can be a less than fun (or easy) experience. Google Tag Manager makes tagging simple and fast by letting you add tags with a simple UI instead of code, while also offering advanced tracking features used by some of the web’s top sites.

Today we’re excited to announce the launch of the Solutions Guide section on the Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager Help Centers. The Solutions Guide area is focused on providing actionable, hands on, step-by-step instructions for implementing Google Analytics, AdWords, DoubleClick, and other third party tags via Google Tag Manager. 

In this guide, you’ll learn:
  • When and why to use Google Tag Manager
  • Best practices for naming conventions and setup tips
  • When to choose the Data Layer or the Tag Manager UI
  • How to implement GA event tracking, custom dimensions & cross-domain tracking
  • How to setup AdWords, Doubleclick, and Dynamic Remarketing tags in GTM
We’re thrilled to share this with you and hope you find it helpful as you implement Google Tag Manager.

Check out the new GTM Solutions Guide today!

Happy Tagging.

Posted by Krista Seiden, Analytics Advocate

Evolving Beyond The Conversion With Neil Hoyne

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 | 4:44 PM


Measurement is constantly evolving, and while metrics by themselves each tell us something interesting, they do not necessarily tell the whole story or equally important, what to do next. In essence, our tools provide the what, but not always the why. As marketers and analysts, we need to put in the work and be able to take the next steps with our data: tell the whole story to our teams and stakeholders and be consultative in decision making and direction.

This is really important to get right, because use of data for companies is still new territory for many (frequently, decisions are still just based on how marketers feel). And while this may have been fine in a pre-digital age, the future of your company may very well depend on embracing analytics. With fragmentation of users and channels, there’s just too much for anyone to do. So it comes down to knowing what really works and why - these are the modern modern keys to success.

In this recent talk, Googler Neil Hoyne, Global Program Manager Customer Analytics shares how to embrace the above as well as take the next steps with your measurement.

A few key takeaways:
  • You need to evolve your measurement plan to better fit the state of the web & complex customer journey (see our recent measurement guide to help).
  • Question if you have the right goals or you need to adjust, and don’t be afraid to change goals if need be. Really make sure you have the right macro & micro conversions.
  • Build an attribution model (also see our guide) that works for your brand, considering the unique factors that make up your business and what messages make sense in each different context (for example, mobile, social, email, etc). 
  • Measure your customers in a user-centric way, move beyond the old session-based world.
Watch the whole talk embedded below:
And be sure and connect with Neil on Twitter and Google+

Posted by the Google Analytics Team

Build a loyal user base with three new Mobile App Analytics reports

Thursday, March 05, 2015 | 10:59 AM


Successful developers understand that in order to have a popular app, focusing on retaining a loyal user base is just as important as driving new installs. Today at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, we introduced new reports that will help you measure how to do this in two meaningful ways. We’re happy to announce that Mobile App Analytics will now let you understand how users come back to your app day after day, and provide the rich insights you need in order to measure their value over time. Let’s take a look at how these new reports can help make your app a hit.

Active Users
The active user report displays your 1-day, 7-day, 14-day and 30-day trailing active users next to each other in one, easy-to-view dashboard. The new overview gives immediate insights into how users interact with your app over time, along with dropoff rate comparisons. With this report, an app download is only the beginning of a potentially valuable relationship with your new users.

Benchmark active users at 1-7-14-30 days by selecting the segments you want. (Click to enlarge image)
While these metrics help you monitor your active user trends, when put into context they can answer important questions about your user acquisition strategies. For example, if you are investing in different campaigns, you can compare the cost of retaining users acquired via paid traffic versus organic to understand if you are attracting the right type of users. Not only can you measure your cost effectiveness, but you can also continue to monitor whether or not the users you paid for are still coming back after the campaign is over. This is particularly important when trying to keep your loyal user base engaged and happy with your app.

Lior Romano, Founder and CEO of Gentoo Labs (the makers of  Contacts+ for iOS and Android), was one of the first customers to try out this new report during our beta test period. He found the Active Users report especially useful when managing and organizing all their information at-a-glance: “We love the new Google Analytics Active Users feature -- it's a real time-saver! We get a quick overview of the 1/7/14/30-day active user trends side by side in a snap, which helps us to easily track our main metrics.”

Cohort Analysis
After learning how many users have opened your app, the next step in driving engagement is understanding when they come back. Cohort Analysis is a user analysis technique that allows you to analyze and compare your users by looking at their customer journey. Using Cohort Analysis, you can see when users are coming back to your app and their behavior over time after the day of the first session, and lets you further filter the information by day, week or month. We’ve also added the ability to compare different segments of users based on the day of the first install. 

In order to validate your user acquisition strategies, Cohort analysis lets you compare different periods or campaigns. For example, you can compare different weeks or months to measure the retention effectiveness of a single channel to see if you continue to attract valuable users throughout a campaign. The flexibility of the report also allows you to see how much time users are spending in an app as they come back day after day. With these valuable insights, Mobile App Analytics users can tailor their acquisition campaigns or app experience, just as our partner E-Nor did: “Cohort analysis in GA made it easy for E-Nor to gauge the effectiveness of lead nurturing efforts during an app free-trial promotion campaign. The analysis clearly showed that many users responded well to email and in-app reminders, resulting in over 50% retention between the 3rd and 5th day post sign-up as opposed to 30% in the first and 2nd day.

See at a glimpse when users are coming back to your app. (Click to enlarge image)

Lifetime Value
Analyzing retention is a great way to ensure users stick with your app and come back day after day. With Lifetime Value reporting, you’ll get a full picture of these users’ value over time. To get the most out of this report, it’s important to start with a clear definition of what a user’s value means to you based on your business objectives. Once you’ve defined the value, you can access the report to measure certain variables such as revenue per user and number of screen views per user over a period of 90 days. For example, if the goal of your app is to get users to purchase virtual or material goods, you’ll want to use this report to get a clear view of when they make a purchase and how much they are spending in your app over time.

Lifetime Value is a key metric to use to measure the effectiveness of your acquisition campaigns. If your cost to acquire a new user is higher than the average value over time, you might want to optimize your campaigns to meet the lifetime revenue they generate. Lifetime Value is particularly valuable if you offer in-app purchases, but it can be applied to discovering many other useful insights, such as number of times they open your app, total number of screens and goal completions.

Session duration per users compared to goal completion over a 60 day window. (Click to enlarge image)

How to get started
Cohort Analysis report can be found under the ‘Audience’ section in your Google Analytics account, and is now available in beta. Lifetime Value and Active Users reports are coming soon to all Analytics accounts.

To get started login into your Analytics account and look for the new reports under the Audience section. 

Posted by Gene Chan and Rahul Oak on behalf of the Google Analytics Team

Safe Browsing and Google Analytics: Keeping More Users Safe, Together

Thursday, February 26, 2015 | 10:23 AM


The following was originally posted on the Google Online Security Blog.

If you run a web site, you may already be familiar with Google Webmaster Tools and how it lets you know if Safe Browsing finds something problematic on your site. For example, we’ll notify you if your site is delivering malware, which is usually a sign that it’s been hacked. We’re extending our Safe Browsing protections to automatically display notifications to all Google Analytics users via familiar Google Analytics Notifications.

Google Safe Browsing has been protecting people across the Internet for over eight years and we're always looking for ways to extend that protection even further. Notifications like these help webmasters like you act quickly to respond to any issues. Fast response helps keep your site—and your visitors—safe.

Posted by: Stephan Somogyi, Product Manager, Security and Privacy

Best Practices: Combine AdWords with Google Analytics for Better Insights, Bidding and Results

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 | 10:15 AM


Like sunshine and the beach, or dogs and tennis balls, Google AdWords and Google Analytics are great by themselves but even better together. You'll get high-performance insights into your ads and your website when you link your AdWords and Analytics accounts. Google Analytics does a vital job in this pairing: it shows you what happened after users clicked on your AdWords ads.

We’ve put together a new Best Practices guide, Better Together: AdWords and Google Analytics, to help you get deep insight into your performance. When you analyze performance with the combination of GA and AdWords you can find all sorts of actionable info:
  • Which parts of your account drive actual on-site engagement
  • Which keywords attract new users to your site
  • What messaging and landing pages connect with the different users on your site
  • How your business compares across your entire industry
To whet your appetite, here’s a rundown of ten useful GA reports included in the guide (with links that lead you directly to these reports in your own GA account).  Like what you see here?  Download the full version and the condensed one-page checklist to view our complete coverage of GA + AW goodness.

Love Analytics and AdWords being paired together?  Please take our survey about your past success and what else we can do to improve the experience.

Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing

Start Remarketing with Google Analytics Instant Activation

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 | 2:10 PM

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For many advertisers, remarketing is an essential tactic. But remarketing can be a difficult journey, even for the savviest digital marketer. We repeatedly see marketers struggle with tagging hurdles and complex implementation challenges, with the result that only 1 in 5 remarketers successfully completes their setup.

To help make it easier for advertisers to reach their most qualified customers, we’ve enabled remarketing with a single toggle. Instead of manually updating all of your site tags, simply use Instant Activation and get started with remarketing in four easy steps.

Identifying quality visitors and maximizing conversions is a producer of LED lighting. Thanks to Instant Activation, John Burns, Director of Marketing, was able to start remarketing quickly. Without waiting for IT to re-tag his site, John successfully launched Global Tech LED’s first remarketing campaign and saw fast results by reaching their highest potential customers.

After enabling remarketing, Global Tech LED leveraged Google’s powerful machine-learning technology in two ways for their online campaigns: Smart Lists for remarketing automatically created lists of visitors who were most likely to engage in a subsequent session on Then, Conversion Optimizer instantly adjusted the campaigns’ bids get more conversions at a lower cost, eventually freeing up more time and resources for the company.

As a result, is currently reaching their performance and outreach goals. To date they’ve doubled their display campaigns’ CTRs and have almost five times more clicks on their remarketing campaign compared to their other campaigns. Website traffic increased by over 100% in the first 30 days of the campaign, and international traffic skyrocketed. They’ve also seen a 75% decrease in CPA for their campaigns.

These kind of results were exactly what the company was looking for. According to John, "We’ve been trying to hit these specific numbers in the account for a couple of months, and Google Analytics Remarketing helped us achieve these in only a couple of days." Read the full case study here.

Four easy steps to get started

Ready to get started with remarketing? You can, with just four steps.

1. In your Google Analytics Property’s settings, choose ‘Audiences’ under the ‘Remarketing’ section.

2. Choose the AdWords account where you’d like to share your Audience and click ‘Next Step’.

3. Click “Enable” to create your first audience of All Users.  You can also come back later and create more complex audiences, like ‘visitors who have spent more than six minutes on site’, ‘visitors who visited more than five pages’, or ‘abandoned cart’.

This step automatically activates Advertiser Features if you haven’t done so already, which also enables Audience Demographics and Interests Reporting. You can manage this setting at any time in the Admin tab, under the ‘Advertiser Features’ section in your Property Settings.

4. Click ‘Create Campaign’ and complete the remarketing campaign creation process in AdWords. Congratulations, you are now a Remarketer!

We’re really excited to make Advertiser Features in Google Analytics simpler and enable all Google Analytics users to be more successful across all their marketing channels. Stay tuned for future improvements!

Happy Analyzing!

Posted by Avi Mehta and Rosanne Borja, Google Analytics Team