Category Archives: Google Analytics Blog
Turning data into results with data-driven attribution
Turning data into results with data-driven attribution
Turn insights into ROI with Google Analytics
Three years ago, we introduced Google Analytics 4, a re-imagined tool that helps you get a complete view of consumer behavior across web and app by using first-party, modeled data. This is critical in an evolving privacy and technology landscape, where marketers have to rethink their approach to measurement in order to keep getting the insights they rely on. Today we’re introducing new resources to help you make the switch to Google Analytics 4, improved machine learning features, actionable reporting and new integrations.
Make the switch now to Google Analytics 4 with helpful solutions
Earlier this year we shared that we will begin sunsetting standard Universal Analytics properties on July 1, 2023. We recognize that setting up Google Analytics 4 to fit your needs takes time and resources, in particular for large enterprises with complex Analytics 360 setups. To allow enterprise customers more time to have a smoother transition to Google Analytics 4, we’re moving the Universal Analytics 360 properties’ sunset date from October 1, 2023 to July 1, 2024. We're focusing our efforts and investments on Google Analytics 4 to deliver a solution built to adapt to a changing ecosystem. Because of this, throughout 2023 we'll be shifting support away from Universal Analytics 360 and will move our full focus to Google Analytics 4 in 2024. As a result, performance will likely degrade in Universal Analytics 360 up until the new sunset date.
To help everyone make the move, we're launching new resources and tools to help you get started with Google Analytics 4. Our step by step guide helps you complete the entire setup of Google Analytics 4 at your pace and customize it to your needs. Or, if you prefer a more automated experience, you can use the Setup Assistant in the admin section of your Universal Analytics property. Once a Google Analytics 4 property is created and connected, the Setup Assistant can automate some required setup steps and help you track your progress. For example, the Setup Assistant lets you select the goals you want to import to Google Analytics 4, copy desired Google Ads links and audiences, and add users who have access to your current property.
The Setup Assistant tools
The best Google Analytics 4 setup comes from following the steps above to create a customized property tailored to your needs. The earlier you do this, the more historical data and insights you will have in Google Analytics 4. For example, SunCorp, one of Australia's largest financial services brands, prioritized setting up Google Analytics 4 to build a base of historical insights.
When Universal Analytics stops collecting data in 2023, we will have over two years of insights and reporting in Google Analytics 4. This is critical for a business like us to ensure we have a robust foundation of data to inform decision making.
Beginning in early 2023, the Setup Assistant will also create a new Google Analytics 4 property for each standard Universal Analytics property that doesn’t already have one — helping you jumpstart your migration. These new Google Analytics 4 properties will be connected with the corresponding Universal Analytics properties to match your privacy and collection settings. They’ll also enable equivalent basic features such as goals and Google Ads links. If you’d rather begin the switch on your own, you can opt out of having the Setup Assistant do it for you.
Get accurate insights with new machine learning solutions
Behavioral modeling uses machine learning to fill gaps in your understanding of customer behavior when cookies and other identifiers aren’t available. Soon, behavioral modeling will also be available in the real time reporting, giving you a complete view of the consumer journey as it happens. It’s helping marketers like Nestlé get accurate insights from more customer activity.
Behavioral modeling with Consent Mode in Google Analytics 4 drove a 23% increase in the observable traffic in analytics reporting on European and UK websites.
Improve ROI with new actionable reporting and integrations
To get a more accurate picture of your campaigns across all of your marketing touchpoints, we will soon introduce custom channel grouping in Google Analytics 4 to help you see the performance of different channels aggregated. For example, you’ll be able to compare the performance of your paid search brand with your non-brand campaigns. These custom channel groupings work in reporting retroactively, and across the advertising and explore workspaces.
Your insights are only as good as the actions you can take from them. On top of Google Ads, Display & Video 360 and Search Ads 360, we will soon launch an integration with Campaign Manager 360 via Floodlight. This will allow marketers to bid towards Google Analytics 4 conversions in Display & Video 360’s automated bid strategies.
Now is the time to make Google Analytics 4 your cross-platform Analytics solution. Get started with Google Analytics 4 now, complete the setup by following our step by step guide and learn how to get the most out of it with the refreshed Google Analytics 4 certification.
Get privacy-safe customer insights with Google Analytics
At this year’s Google Marketing Livestream, we shared the latest updates coming to the new Google Analytics, the next generation of Analytics designed for the future of measurement.
Get privacy-safe customer insights using machine learning
With new privacy-safe solutions, Google is helping advertisers preserve marketing measurement while respecting user consent choices. This includes using machine learning to model conversions in Google Ads, so you can continue to optimize performance in a privacy-safe way when observed conversion data is not available.
Later this year, we’ll extend our modeling capabilities to certain reports in Google Analytics 4 properties to enhance your understanding of the customer journey when observed behavioral data is not available. If users don’t consent to analytics cookies, you’ll still be able to generate important customer insights while respecting your users’ privacy preferences.
For example, if there is incomplete data in your User Acquisition report, modeled data (in addition to observed data) will offer a more complete picture of the number of new users your campaigns have acquired.
Easily discover relevant insights
We want to make the new Analytics experience as intuitive to navigate as possible, so you can discover key insights with unprecedented speed and ease. In a new modular left navigation, we’ve organized important use cases into workspaces that will guide you to the reports, analyses, or data — like advertising conversions — you’re looking for.
The new Advertising Workspace is designed to quickly address everyday advertiser needs and unlock deeper insights into your campaign performance. In the snapshot, you can see relevant campaign and performance insights at a glance. You’ll get automated insights notifying you of things like performance spikes in your campaigns, where the majority of your customers are converting from, or what channel is performing the best that week.
With an intuitive and easily accessible home for these insights, you’ll be able to quickly improve campaign performance when you want to make real-time optimizations.
Beyond easier navigation, it’s also important to be able to tailor Analytics to the specific needs of your business, and even your role. To allow flexibility, we’re launching an entirely new set of customization options to reporting.
For the first time, within the Reports Workspace, users with admin access will be able to curate the Analytics interface and reports to suit the specific needs of their teams. Admins can make simple edits to existing reports or even create entirely new custom reports. They can also customize the left navigation to group reports into collections, and create custom overviews to highlight information. You can showcase these overviews in the Reports snapshot, the new homepage for the Reports Workspace.
Once admins set up customized reporting preferences for your organization, you can reduce time spent on reporting and surface the most relevant insights faster than ever before.
Better understand the value of your marketing
We know how valuable it is to have attribution reporting for your campaigns directly within Analytics, so we’re bringing new cross-platform attribution capabilities into the Advertising Workspace.
Data-driven attribution models will soon be available in all Google Analytics 4 properties, so you can use Google’s machine learning to understand the contribution of each touchpoint in your marketing funnel, alongside your other customer journey insights. We’ve also introduced two new attribution reports: the Conversion Paths report and Model Comparison report.
Similar to Multi-Channel Funnels in Universal Analytics properties, the Conversion Paths report allows you to view the customer journey by channel, assigning credit to touchpoints from when your customers first arrive to your site or app through conversion, based on a selected attribution model. It also includes a new conversion credit visualization that helps you understand your ROI by channel.
The Model Comparison report allows you to assess campaign performance using various attribution models, and compare how each affects the value of your marketing channels so you can determine which model best suits the needs of your business.
Prepare your measurement foundation for the future
The new Google Analytics will help ensure your measurement foundation is reliable and ready to meet the demands of an evolving ecosystem.
Get started with Google Analytics 4 properties today, and stay tuned for more enhancements coming soon.
A nonprofit finds volunteers with the new Google Analytics
In the United States, almost half of our food supply is wasted. That’s enough to feed everyone who experiences food insecurity four times over. “In a lot of ways hunger is not a supply problem, it’s a distribution problem,” says Leah Lizarondo, cofounder and CEO of 412 Food Rescue, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization seeking to close the gap between food surplus and food scarcity.
In order to successfully achieve their mission to reduce hunger by redirecting surplus food to people experiencing food insecurity, Leah and her team need to recruit volunteers to download the Food Rescue Hero app and complete a local food pickup and delivery, becoming what they call “Food Rescue Heroes.” As a growing nonprofit organization, 412 Food Rescue has limited resources, though, and relies on technology to save time and invest in the right places.
A cross-platform understanding of volunteers
Historically, measurement across 412 Food Rescue’s digital touchpoints had been a challenge for the nonprofit. Key data was siloed between their website and app, making it time intensive to get a complete understanding of how people were engaging with the organization online. With help from their digital analytics partner Bounteous, 412 Food Rescue turned to the new Google Analytics.
The new Google Analytics allows us to look at our data across platforms — web and app — to understand the full journey of our users. We’ve been able to cut our reporting time by 50%.
With that time savings, the team at 412 Food Rescue has been able to improve their marketing and focus on engaging more volunteers in the community.
“In order to recruit more volunteers, we needed to know where people were learning about 412 Food Rescue,” Swaney says. With a view of user engagement across platforms and devices, 412 Food Rescue was able to easily discern where the majority of its volunteers discover the organization, and what their typical journey is to get started. The team was able to see that new users are most likely to accept a Food Rescue and become volunteers within 48 hours of downloading the app. As a result, they adjusted their social media campaigns to drive app downloads on Mondays and Tuesdays, when most Food Rescues are typically posted in the app. By facilitating Food Rescues that users can immediately act on upon downloading the app, 412 Food Rescue was able to improve the user journey and convert more users to volunteers.
Automated insights introduce a new set of learnings
With automated insights generated through machine learning, 412 Food Rescue has been able to save time analyzing data and spend more time taking action. They learned, for example, that there was a dip in volunteer engagement on weekends, an insight that had gone unnoticed. Because they had been proactively alerted to the change in Analytics, they were able to quickly respond by increasing their marketing efforts on weekends to boost engagement and address the demand for local deliveries on those days.
Greater impact despite limited resources
Even without a dedicated analytics team, 412 Food Rescue is able to easily get a deep understanding of their data and use it to shift their marketing strategy, grow their network of Food Rescue Heroes, and secure further investment to ultimately expand to more cities and achieve their mission to end food waste and hunger.
Get started with the new Google Analytics today.
Get insights and take action on changing customer behavior
With free measurement tools from Google, you can get insights into how customer behavior has changed due to COVID-19 and then take action to update your marketing strategy. Read more to learn about how to get started, and for specific tips to help your business navigate the coming months.
Understand the impact of your Google mediaIf you’re running marketing campaigns to drive visits to your website or app, it’s important for these visits to turn into sales. Attribution in Google Ads helps you understand the paths people take to complete a conversion, and then award credit for that conversion to different ads, clicks, and factors along the way.
We recently launched a new look for attribution reports in Google Ads that helps you quickly see how customers interact with your marketing throughout the purchase cycle. This makes it easier for you to then take action in the areas that are driving results.
Attribution models give you a deeper understanding of how your ads perform to help you decide where to allocate your marketing investment. One model, data-driven attribution, uses machine learning to determine how much credit to assign to each click on the customer journey, helping it better account for changes in customer behavior during turbulent times. For example, if you're working on behalf of a grocery store experiencing an increase in online orders from mobile devices, data-driven attribution may indicate that your mobile ads are having a greater impact on driving conversions than you realized, giving you the insight you need to optimize your campaign performance. If you’d like to learn which attribution model is right for your business, check out our official guide to attribution modeling.
We’ve put together a guide that lists a few reporting shortcuts in Analytics that can help you easily get useful insights. For example, if your business has shifted to online only, you need to make sure you’re converting as many site or app visits into sales as possible. You can use a shortcut to see your weekly conversion rate for the last 60 days and identify areas you might be able to improve upon – without digging through multiple reports in your account.
Visualize trends about your businessWith so much changing so rapidly, you’ll want to understand how your business has been impacted. You can use Google Data Studio to help you create a report and visualize the changes that have happened over the past few months. Data Studio is easy to use, anyone on your team can quickly start using it.
If you’ve connected Data Studio to your marketing campaigns, you can use these curated marketing templates to monitor the performance of those campaigns. Let’s say you need to create a report that shows daily online sales from each of your Google Ads campaigns over the last 60 days. You can use one of those templates to quickly build the report and then identify which campaigns are performing best so you can re-allocate your marketing budget to those campaigns.
Keep your website updatedDuring this time, you might have different business hours or shipping policies. Instead of having to invest in an additional resource to update your website, you can do it for free with Google Optimize. When you log into your account, you can use a new feature to easily add a message for your customers to the top of your homepage. Either use our templated banner or customize the message by editing the color, size or text.
And if you need to make other changes throughout your site, you can still continue to use Optimize to create site personalizations. Optimize users would normally be limited to running 10 site personalizations at once, but we’ve removed that restriction for the next 90 days, until July 31.
All of these products and features are available for free today. We hope they are helpful as you navigate your business through changing times.
A new Optimize feature to keep your website updated through COVID-19
As communities around the world respond to COVID-19, we know this time presents unique challenges to your business. We’d like to share a few ways Google Optimize can help you keep your website updated with the latest information.
Last week we introduceda new way for you to quickly post an informational banner at the top of your website. This means you can easily let your customers know if your business hours or services have changed – or even just reinforce that you are still open to serve them – and where they can find more information.
And of course you can still use Optimize to help you update any page of your site, so we’ve included some tips and best practices below to get you started.
Quickly add a message on your website
Once you log into your Optimize account you can add a message to the top of your site by clicking “Add a banner.” You can use our templated banner or customize it by editing the color, size, and text. We recommend you use a color that stands out from the other content on the page. You can also select on which pages of your site the banner should be shown, for example only the homepage or on every page of your site.
You can also tailor your message by location. Let’s say you’re a clothing retailer based in San Francisco and are offering expedited shipping to customers located within the city. Optimize can help you display a customized banner that highlights faster shipping just to users located in San Francisco.
Temporarily update your site
You may have updated store hours or services available at this time. Use Optimize to create a personalization to temporarily display a different version of your site to people when they visit. You can end the personalization whenever you like and your site will go back to displaying its original version.
This is helpful if you want to let your customers know about new ways they can purchase from your business. For example, if you’re a restaurant that is now accepting to-go orders over the phone, you can add your phone number to your home page or make it more visible on your site. Or, if you’re a clothing retailer that is now only accepting online orders, you can update your FAQs page to include your new shipping and return policy.
Consider website best practices
We’ve also put together some additional recommendations to consider while updating your website during this time:
Reduce distraction on your site. Avoid automatic product carousels or animation on your site. If you have information about how customers can order from you on the same page, the carousel or animation could draw attention away from that message.
Adjust your FAQs page. Your frequently asked questions might be different than what they were last year. Make sure this page highlights what is currently top of mind for your customers. If you need to reduce your customer support load, place your contact information below all other sections to allow users to read your FAQs first.
Change your message for mobile devices. Adding longer messages to your customers may display fine on desktop but they probably will be too long on mobile devices. Limit your messages on your mobile site to less than 50 characters. And allow users to close the message if they wish.
Normally Optimize users would only be able to run 10 personalizations on their site at the same time. We have temporarily removed this restriction for the next 90 days so that you can make as many updates to your site as you need until July 31, 2020. If you don’t already have an Optimize account, you can create one for free here.
New Enterprise IT Controls for Data Studio
As people use Data Studio throughout their organizations, IT administrators have asked to manage how Data Studio can be used. Today, we’re launching three free enterprise features providing IT administrators new visibility and control over Data Studio in their organization.
Organization management through Cloud Identity integration
Data Studio now integrates with Google Cloud Identity to provide organization-wide administrative capabilities. With this integration, Cloud Identity admins can manage who can use Data Studio and how they can use it. Existing G Suite and Cloud Identity customers get Data Studio integration out of the box, and can start using the new Data Studio administration features today. Customers using other identity providers, such as Active Directory, can synchronize their users with Google Cloud Identity, so that creating, suspending, and deleting users happens in one place.
Enterprise audit logging
Data Studio now offers audit logging, providing IT admins organization-wide visibility into Data Studio usage, similar to that available for apps like Drive and Calendar. For example, admins can understand which users are creating Data Studio reports, and who they are sharing those reports with. Admins can also identify which reports have the most engagement, to scale successful reports across the organization. With custom alerts, you can monitor potentially risky activity like external sharing of data sources, and can export audit logs to BigQuery and use Data Studio to drill into the details. Learn more.
Organization sharing policies
New Data Studio sharing policies allow you to reduce the risk of data exfiltration. You can set limits to prevent users from sharing reports outside of your organization, or make sure they don’t expose company data by disabling public link sharing.
Sharing policies offer you the flexibility to define sharing permissions that meet your business needs. You can give certain users the ability to share reports externally, while allowing other users to share only within the organization. Learn more.
There’s no charge for audit logging or sharing controls — they’re included with every edition of G Suite and Cloud Identity, including Cloud Identity Free. We’re committed to making Data Studio a solution that works for businesses of all sizes, and we’ll continue to build on this foundation. That way, everyone in your organization can uncover insights that matter, and you can rest assured knowing that your valuable business data is safe.
Do more with Data Studio Community Visualizations
New galleries for Data Studio Community Visualizations
Showcase gallery for Community Visualization reports
The Data Studio team recently launched the Community Visualization Report Gallery.
There, you can explore how others in the community have leveraged Community Visualizations to make the most of their data and dashboards.
Public Partner Visualization GalleryAdditionally, we’ve added a new gallery of Partner Community Visualizations that we’ve made available. Browse them in the new Data Studio Visualizations gallery.
Click-to-add Partner Visualizations
To add these Partner Visualizations to a report, click “Explore more” in the Community Visualizations drop down. There, you can browse and install a variety of partner-built charts, including funnel visualizations and Gantt charts.
Community Visualizations can add to a Data Studio dashboard in different ways - from providing custom charts and styling to integrating calculations with reporting.
Statistical analysis with Community Visualizations
Anvil Analytics + Insights works to bring data-driven decision making to all of their work, including optimized paid media campaigns. They used Community Visualizations to build their own Chi-Square statistical analyzer.
Several Anvil customers noticed that channels in Google Ads and Analytics converted at different rates, and wanted to know if the variance in conversion rates was statistically significant.
Prior to using Community Visualizations, the Anvil Insights team manually exported the data out of Google Analytics into a separate tool, then ran the statistical analysis. Depending on where Anvil ran the analysis, the results were either stored separately from their reports, or not stored at all. Every time they wanted to test a different hypothesis or run a different variation of the test, they had to repeat the same time-intensive process.
In order to speed up hypothesis testing and integrate the tests and results into Data Studio reports, Anvil used Data Studio Community Visualizations and built a Chi-Square calculator within a week.
Anvil’s calculator takes in data, just like any Data Studio chart. Once the calculation is complete, the analyzer presents the statistical significance, and either calls the viewer’s attention to a relationship in the data, or comments that there was nothing of note in the data. Now, all it takes to test new hypotheses is switching out the data for the component, just like you would for any other Data Studio chart. See it live.
“This has been a much faster way to find statistical significance in our campaigns and in other hypotheses we want to test. Anvil’s Director of Analytics and Decision Science, Brett Lohmeyer says, “The best part is that it gives us an easy way for our team to better communicate the value of using statistical significance to our clients.”