Tag Archives: Analytics

Tag Manager: Introducing Custom Templates

Google Tag Manager and Tag Manager 360 help you more easily and safely deploy tags for all your marketing and measurement tools. Security and collaboration features give IT teams more control over the tagging process, while features like auto-event triggers and built-in templates help marketers get the data they need without having to deal with code.


For scenarios where the built-in templates don’t cover your needs, we also offer options to deploy your own custom HTML and JavaScript. To help protect the security of your users and sites, we already scan all custom HTML tags for malware. Developers can also choose to blacklist custom scripts directly on page. But, we want to help make tagging even safer.


Today, we’re introducing Custom Templates—a new set of features in Tag Manager and Tag Manager 360 to give you more transparency and control over the tags on your site.


With Custom Templates, you can use a built-in Template Editor to design tag and variable templates that can be used throughout your container.

custom gtm animation

This means that less technical users can manage instances of your custom tags just like the built-in tags, without messing with code. (Custom Templates will show up alongside the built-in templates when you go to add a new tag or variable.) And, since you can write your template once and reuse it, less code will need to be loaded on your site.

Template permissions


In order to provide a safer execution environment for your tags, Custom Templates use a sandboxed version of JavaScript. With sandboxed JavaScript, certain potentially sensitive operations (e.g. loading external scripts, accessing cookies, sending pixels, etc.) require the use of sandbox APIs:


Custom GTM Code

When you use these APIs, associated template permissions will automatically be surfaced and require that you declare how you’re using them (e.g. where external scripts can be loaded from, which cookies can be accessed, where data can be sent, etc.):

Custom GTM Perms

The behavior of your templates is tightly controlled by these permissions. Other users will be able to see exactly what your custom tags and variables are permitted to do. And, developers can write on-page policies to govern their behavior.


Starting today, you’ll see a new Templates section in the left sidebar of your containers. Whether you’re a marketer wanting to do more in Tag Manager without code or a developer wanting more control over third-party tags on your site, Custom Templates will improve your tagging capabilities.


Visit our developer documentationto learn more about Custom Templates, sandboxed Javascript, and permissions.

Gathering insights in Google Analytics can be as easy as A-B-C

Today’s customers are deeply curious, searching high and low for information about a product before making a purchase. And this curiosity applies to purchases big and small—just consider the fact that mobile searches for “best earbuds” have grown by over 130 percent over the last two years. (Google Data, US, Oct 2015 - Sep 2016 vs. Oct 2017 - Sep 2018. ) To keep up with this curious customer, marketers are putting insights at the center of the strategy so that they can understand customers’ intentions and deliver a helpful, timely experience.

In our new guide about linking Google Analytics and Google Ads, we explore the broad range of reports available in Analytics. These reports give you crucial insights about the customer journey that can then be used to inform your campaigns in Google Ads. Here’s what you should know about the A-B-Cs of reporting.


Acquisition reports

How did your customers end up on your site in the first place? Acquisition reports answer this question, offering insights about how effectively your ads drive users to your site, which keywords and search queries are bringing new users to your site, and much more. This video gives you a quick overview of how Acquisition reports work.  


Behavior reports

How do you users engage with your site once they visit? Behavior reports give you valuable insights about how users respond to the content on your site. You can learn how each page is performing, what actions users are taking on your site, and much more about the site experience. Learn more about behavior reporting here.


Conversion reports

What path are users taking towards conversion? Conversion reporting in Analytics gathers valuable insights about those actions that are important to the success of your business—such as a purchase or completed sign-up for your email newsletter. Goal Flow reports help you see how a user engages as they move toward a conversion while Ecommerce reports are specifically designed to deliver insights for sites centered around purchases.


Reports open up a world of actionable insights that help you deeply understand and then quickly enhance a customer journey that is more complex than ever.


Missed the other posts in this series? Catch up now to read how creating effective campaigns for the modern customer journey can be achieved by bringing Google Analytics and Google Ads together.

And, download our new guide and learn how getting started with these reports is easy as A-B-C.

5 steps to improve media performance using Google Analytics

This is the second post in a series about how linking Google Analytics and Google Ads can help marketers gain deeper insights, create smarter campaigns, and drive better business outcomes.


Today’s customers expect the right message at the right time—even as their journeys become more fast-paced and less linear. How are marketers responding? With ad experiences that aim to be assistive and personalized. To create these experiences, marketers are turning to integrated analytics and ads.


In our new guide about linking Google Analytics and Google Ads, we highlight some of the actionable steps you and your team can take to deliver the right ad at the right time.


Step 1: Link your accounts

Linking Google Analytics and Google Ads puts insight-gathering and ad creation side by side—so that you can easily create campaigns that are informed by detailed site metrics and conversion data. And linking your accounts only requires a few easy steps. Here’s how to get started.


Step 2: Activate Cross Device capabilities

Cross Device capabilities in Analytics help you understand how your customers are behaving across their different devices so that you can optimize your strategy. For instance, you might find that, based on cross device insights, you want to increase your mobile ad spend to drive more conversions. Activating Google signals makes Cross Device capabilities available to you.


Step 3: Create an Analytics audience and share with Google Ads

When you create an audience in Analytics then share it with Google Ads, you’re able to create ad campaigns that are specifically tailored to specific segments of your audience. For instance, you can create an audience of all of your returning customers, then create a Google Ads campaign specifically for this audience. Here's how you get started sharing audiences in Google Ads.


Step 4: Create and import Goals

Goals in Google Analytics can represent any site metric you find important—such as time spent on your site, a specific action taken on your site, or a conversion. Importing these Goals into Google Ads enables you to access valuable conversion insights and site engagement metrics right in Google Ads. Here’s how  to create Goals in Analytics and then import them into Google Ads.   


Step 5: Generate and view reports

When you link Google Analytics and Google Ads, you gain access to a variety of reports about your Google Ads campaigns right in your Analytics account — giving you important campaign performance insights that can be used to improve your marketing strategy. Learn more about Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversion reports.


Read our new guide to read about how bringing Google Analytics and Google Ads together can bring your media performance to the next level.


In case you missed how integrating Google Analytics and Google Ads can be a marketer's solution to delivering experiences that meet consumers’ rising expectations, check out our post Google Analytics and Google Ads: A Powerful Pairing. Next up, we'll cover how you can easily gather the insights you need to better understand the customer journey with Google Analytics.

Source: Google Ads


Google Analytics and Google Ads: A Powerful Pairing

Today’s customer journey doesn’t follow a standard path—it’s diverse, non-linear, and always evolving. Consumers conduct research about products across a variety of devices—and marketers are looking for ways to deliver experiences that meet consumers’ rising expectations. For many marketers, the solution lies in gaining a deeper understanding of the customer journey. The integration between Google Analytics and Google Ads helps you accomplish this.


Once linked together, Google Analytics and Google Ads form a powerful partnership—and our new guide explores the ways this integrated solution can help you unlock deeper insights, create smarter marketing, and drive better business outcomes.

Insights-driven marketing

Linking Google Analytics and Google Ads put your insights and ad creation side by side, helping you better understand how effectively your ads are leading to conversions. You can then adjust ad creative based on these insights, delivering informed marketing that leads to more conversions.


Optimized bidding

Once you link Google Analytics and Google Ads, you can access a new set of reports about your Google Ads campaigns right in your Analytics account, helping you better understand what happens after a customer clicks an ad. For instance, you might find that certain keywords are leading to more conversions—and now you can focus your bidding on those high-performing keywords.


Customized messaging

When Google Analytics and Google Ads are working together, you can share Analytics audiences with Google Ads to deliver messaging tailored to different groups of customers. For instance, you can make an audience of users who filled a cart on your website but abandoned their cart before completing a purchase. You can then create a campaign in Google Ads and focus it on these cart abandoners—driving more conversions in the process.


Advanced machine learning

Machine learning-powered capabilities in Analytics answer important questions about your audience. For instance, you can ask Analytics questions in plain language such as “How much time on average are mobile users spending on my site’s homepage?” and get an answer back quickly. You can also use machine learning to find a list of your most valuable customers with Smart Lists—then dynamically adjust your Google Ads campaigns to reach these customers.


Read more about this powerful integration between Google Analytics and Google Ads in our guide. And check back next week when we'll post 5 steps to improve media performance.

Source: Google Ads


Dynamic audiences in Google Analytics for Firebase

For businesses to make the best decisions about where to invest their marketing budget, it’s critical that they understand user behavior on both their web and app properties. And while a website is often the first customer touchpoint, for many businesses, apps are where customers are spending more of their time. As a result, marketers need to capture audience insights from their app analytics that they can then take action on, both within and outside of their apps.

Google Analytics for Firebase, our app analytics solution, has historically given you the ability to organize your audiences around events, device type, and other dimensions. These criteria were not exhaustive, however, or dynamic as user behavior changed over time.

That’s why we’ve made enhancements to the audience builder experience, with a few major updates to help you identify relevant app audiences more easily and with greater precision:

  1. Dynamic audience evaluation: Audiences are now dynamic by default, meaning Analytics will automatically include users as soon as they meet your criteria, and automatically exclude users when they no longer do. This allows you to “set and forget” your audiences while they populate, without the hassle of constantly re-evaluating them.
  2. Audience exclusion: Audiences can be more precisely defined by adding exclusion criteria. For example, you can create a list of users that added an item to a shopping cart and of those users, exclude those who have also made a purchase.
  3. Membership duration: Audiences can now include a membership time frame, such as “users that have converted in the last 30 days,” so your audiences and messaging remain fresh and timely.  

These new tools make audiences more powerful, flexible and actionable than before, so you can be confident that your insights reflect relevant users and activity on your apps. In 2019, we will continue to enhance the Google Analytics for Firebase audience builder, offering even more ways to precisely create audiences.

Take action once you’ve identified relevant audiences

Once you’ve improved your understanding of users, you can also deliver personalized experiences based on varying user needs. For example, through push notifications or Remote Config in Firebase, or customized ads in Google Ads.

Let’s say you have an e-commerce app. Using these advanced audience capabilities, you can build an audience of users that visit your app for the first time and add an item to their cart, but don’t make a purchase — and only include those who do so in a 30 day window.

Build a dynamic audience for first time users that have abandoned their cart.

Build a dynamic audience for first time users that have abandoned their cart.

You can now reach that audience with tailored messaging relevant to their experience with the app, and encourage them to make the purchase through an in-app promotion, email notification, or personalized ad. Once these users have returned to the app, made a purchase, and/or exceeded the 30 day window however, they will no longer meet the criteria for that audience, and you will not adversely affect their experience with marketing that is no longer relevant to them.

With the ability to create dynamic audiences, you are able to understand your users with better precision. A better view into your audiences means more insight into the customer journey, so you can invest in your marketing activities with confidence and see better results — keeping users happy, and your app growing.

Easier Search Console access for Analytics owners

Verifying websites in Search Console can be useful for site owners, giving you access to information about how your site is performing in Google Search. You can also get notified of issues, such as accidental blocking of Googlebot or getting hacked. Over the next few months, if you're a verified owner of a Google Analytics property, we'll now automatically verify you for that same website in Search Console.

Quicker verification, with no extra steps

Now that we're launching auto-verification, you don't have to manually configure Search Console and Analytics. To be eligible for auto-verification, you still need to follow the existing requirements for Search Console ownership. If you don't want to be verified for Search Console, simply delete the property in Search Console.

See how your site is performing on Google Search

Search Console is a free tool that provides website owners with information which can be critical to performance in Google Search. Once verified, Search Console compiles reports on the website's performance in Search, including search queries, the website's rankings, and the number of clicks and impressions. Additionally, there's information about a site's indexing, the status of various implemented features on the website, as well as reports and notifications of critical issues.


We hope this change makes it easier for you to get access to data in Search Console, to be able to discover issues quicker, as well as to learn about opportunities for your website in Google Search. If you have any questions, visit the Webmaster Help Forum.

Source: Search


New Analytics Academy course: Google Analytics for Power Users

Today, we're introducing a new course in Analytics Academy: Google Analytics for Power Users.

Google Analytics for Power Users Video

In this course with instructor Krista Seiden, you will have the opportunity to practice advanced Analytics techniques to  improve website content, optimize your checkout flow, and focus your marketing strategy.

By participating in the course, you’ll learn how to:

  • Analyze converting and non-converting audiences

  • Determine the traffic sources that drive the most value

  • Customize channels for increased actionability

  • Identify top performing content on your site

  • Improve ecommerce performance

Sign up for Google Analytics for Power Users to start learning today.

Google Images data in Google Analytics

A few weeks ago we told you a change is coming to Google Images referral URLs, and that this would have an impact on how this data is surfaced in Google Analytics. Here's more detail on those changes and how you'll be able to use the new level of granularity to improve your marketing efforts.

Previously, all traffic coming from a Google Images search result would be grouped together under ‘google / organic’ in the Acquisition reports in Google Analytics. Soon, when the Google Images team makes their changes to the referral source URL, there will be a new Source line item for image search reflected in Google Analytics which will display as ‘google images’ in the Source report and ‘google images / organic’ in the Source / Medium report within Analytics.

Google Images Organic

You'll still see a line item for images.google.com in the 'Referral' report within Google Analytics. The referral report will continue to show these, and all other sources, as referrals.

Images Referral

This is a change in the way we're processing and reporting this data and will happen automatically for all accounts. If you don't have any filters or custom channel groupings set up based on Google Organic Source or Medium, then no changes are needed and you can continue to report on the data within the Channel, Source and Source / Medium reports as is.

If you do have special filters, custom channel groupings, or reports based on this data, then you will want to make updates as needed to capture the new Source parameter in your custom settings.

Note that when this change launches, you may see a drop in data perceived to be coming from ‘google,’ since it will be reclassified as coming from ‘google images.’ In some cases, you may see an increase in organic traffic as we reclassify some traffic previously classified as ‘referral’ to ‘organic.’ These changes should all balance out and you shouldn't expect an overall drop or increase in total traffic.

Why are we making this update?

We’ve long heard from analysts and webmasters that they want more granularity in their analytics data to help them understand the value of Google Images. With the addition of the ‘google images’ source, you'll soon be able to do just that.

Within your regular analytics reporting, you’ll be able to compare total Google Organic traffic to that of Google Images traffic via any of the acquisition reports, or add more detail to other reports by adding a secondary dimension of Source. These insights could help you determine when and where to allocate your marketing dollars or business resources when it comes to advertising and site optimization.

The ability to segment audiences based on Google Images versus overall Google Search can help you determine which pieces of content are most valuable, allow you to create audiences specific to image search, and use those audiences across the Google Marketing Platform.

Together, we hope these updates give you a new level of understanding of the traffic coming to your site through Google Images.

Simplifying Data Studio embeds and social sharing

Today we are introducing two new features to make sharing your Data Studio visualizations easier, including enhanced support for embedding your reports across the web, and rich snippets of your reports when you share them on social networks.

Embed with Embed.ly

Data Studio now supports embedding interactive reports on Medium, Reddit and hundreds of other sites that use Embed.ly. To embed your report, simply paste the report URL in your article. Simply embed your report and it will sync in real time, making it possible for you to distribute your interactive reports. Learn more.

Here are some examples of embedded reports:

DS Embed 1

Medium article showing Stack Overflow trends. Link

DS Embed 2

Reddit post showing real time departures for BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). Link

Share rich snippets on social

When you share your report link on social platforms or messaging apps, you will now see a rich snippet including the title, thumbnail and description of the report. Your audience will know what to expect from the link and have better visibility to your reports. Rich snippets also help make your content more searchable on social networks.

To generate rich snippets, post the report URL you intend to share.

Here's an example of a rich snippet:

DS Embed 3

Rich snippets work on any social platform or messaging app that supports Open Graph Protocol including Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and apps like Hangouts, iMessage and Slack.

Getting started with Google Analytics for Firebase

With Google Analytics for Firebase, you can understand and measure the impact of your mobile app or apps on your business. And with the Firebase updates announced earlier this year, we’re bringing even more depth and analysis capabilities to Google Analytics for Firebase—including project level reporting and flexible filters.

We continue to build and improve our app measurement solutions, and are showcasing this new feature set with the Firebase Demo Project. If you’ve never played with Firebase before, this is a great place to start in order to get a good idea of what features are available and how they work together.

We’re also releasing our new “Getting Started with Google Analytics for Firebase” mini-course. These videos use the Firebase Demo Project as well as live demos to walk you through getting up and running with Google Analytics for Firebase. We cover everything from creating a Firebase project, to understanding your dashboard metrics and events, to integrating across other areas of Firebase.

Overview of Google Analytics for Firebase
Google Analytics for Firebase Dashboard Walkthrough
Exporting Data to BigQuery and Data Studio

The above videos are just a subset of the content we’re bringing you through this new mini-course. Check out the full playlist—Getting Started with Google Analytics for Firebase—to get a comprehensive overview.