Webinar Video: Combined Power of AdWords and Analytics

Last Tuesday, Rachel Witalec and Simon Rosen, Global Sales Strategy Leads, shared tips for getting more out of your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts by using them together. During the webinar, they showed why it’s important to link your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts (which is now even easier to do) and how to see Google Analytics data in AdWords as well as AdWords data in Google Analytics. They also presented a live demo of the reports and how to use them.

If you missed the webinar, you can check it out here:

Read on below for answers to some of the top questions we received during the webinar:

Why should I link my AdWords and Google Analytics accounts?
Linking your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts is an important practice to ensure the two measurement tools can work together to help you get the most from your advertising. The bottom line is that linking Analytics and AdWords gives you powerful information that can tell you where you should be spending more or less based on real ROI data. When you link accounts, the data can flow both ways - from Google Analytics to AdWords (for example, engagement metrics or remarketing lists), and from AdWords to Google Analytics (for example your AdWords cost data). In particular, you can take advantage of powerful features such as:
We covered this topic in detail during the webinar, so watch the video above to learn more.
    Could you share the list of resources that were provided during the webinar?
    Of course! Here are the links and resources we shared:
    What are the best practices around importing Google Analytics Goals? If i’m using AdWords Conversion Tracking should I also import goals?
    If you’re currently using AdWords Conversion Tracking, there are still benefits to also importing some of your goals from Google Analytics. In particular, some goals (such as engagement goals) can’t be tracked with AdWords Conversion Tracking, so importing these into AdWords can complement your Conversion Tracking data. However, it’s important not to import any goals that you are already tracking through AdWords Conversion Tracking as this can create double-counting and duplication, which would make your conversion data hard to interpret.

    Is it possible to link a My Client Center (MCC) account to Google Analytics?
    At this time it’s not possible to link an MCC to Google Analytics. Each individual AdWords account within an MCC needs to be linked to the appropriate Google Analytics property. Learn more here.

    How do I import Google Analytics engagement metrics into AdWords?
    The process for importing the metrics is straightforward, but it’s important to note that there are a couple of additional steps needed beyond linking the AdWords and Analytics account. The full set of instructions can be found here.

    I have noticed discrepancies between the data in my AdWords and Google Analytics accounts, do you know why?
    AdWords and Google Analytics differ in some very important ways regarding how they measure and report on data. It’s important to understand these key differences, which are outlined here. Additionally, there are key differences between AdWords Conversion Tracking and Google Analytics, which are covered in detail here.

    Can someone help me get more support with AdWords and Google Analytics?
    Yes, Google partners with a global network of certified partners to help. For AdWords, you can get support directly from Google or you can work with a Google Certified Partner to help with your AdWords management. You can learn more about both of those options here. If you’re looking for help with Google Analytics, you can tap into our global network of Google Analytics Certified Partners, who offer paid services for anything from Google Analytics tag implementation to product training to more strategic support. Learn more here.

    What is a tag?
    Tags are tiny bits of website code that let you measure traffic and visitor behavior, understand the impact of online advertising and social channels, use remarketing and audience-based marketing, test and improve your site, and more. The tags we mentioned in the webinar are AdWords Conversion Tracking and Google Analytics. These both help you understand the performance of your digital campaigns. While AdWords tracks the performance of your Google AdWords campaigns, Google Analytics tracks the performance of any traffic to your website -- such as from email marketing campaigns or social media. You can learn more about how they’re different here and through some of the content in the webinar.

    What is a conversion?
    A conversion is an action that a customer takes on your website that has value to your business, such as a purchase, a sign-up, or a view of a key page. These actions are called conversions because a customer's click translated -- or converted -- to business. Think of it as the cha-ching! from your cash register. A conversion happens when someone clicks your ad and then does something that’s valuable to your business, such as an online purchase or a call to your business from a mobile phone. Conversions help you understand how much value your ads bring to your business. You can read more here

    Webinar Next Tuesday 6/18: Unleashing the Combined Power of Google Analytics and AdWords

    Register for next week’s webinar: Register here

    In many ways, Google Analytics and AdWords were made for each other. AdWords helps advertisers reach an audience and reports on advertising performance, and Google Analytics can tell you what actions your users take when they actually get to your site. You may have a high clickthrough rate (CTR) in AdWords, but what if you could see that 70% of those users left immediately after arriving on your landing page? While understanding the conversion rate of AdWords ads is critical, it’s also important to understand what happened to the users that did not convert or complete the action you wanted them to. For example, did users ‘bounce’ after landing on your site or did they view a few other pages and then leave? How much time did they spend on your site? Which keywords drive the majority of your Ecommerce revenue?

    Thanks to built-in Google product integrations that provide unique insights into your data, you can view reporting and data in Google Analytics that directly relates back to your advertising in AdWords. Understanding how to use both of them together will help you refine your AdWords campaigns and improve the performance of your business.

    Next Tuesday, join Rachel Witalec and Simon Rosen, Global Sales Strategy Leads, for a detailed look at how to use Google Analytics and AdWords together. In this webinar, we'll show you why it's important to link your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts, how to see both Google Analytics data in AdWords and AdWords data in Google Analytics, and walk through a live demo of the reports and how to use them. You'll learn how to make your marketing more effective by analyzing Google Analytics data, such as bounce rate, pages per visit, conversion rate, and Ecommerce revenue in conjunction with AdWords factors, such as keyword performance, ad copy, ad groups, and more. The webinar will also include a live Q&A section.

    Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
    Time: 10am PDT / 1pm EDT/ 6pm GMT
    Duration: 1 hr
    Level: 101 / Beginner
    Register: Register here

    Getting Started with Analytics Measurement for Marketing Campaigns: A Brief Guide

    As an analytics practitioner, one of the most important things I try to teach marketers is how to properly tag their campaigns so we can report on the success of their efforts. To do this, I've created a guide for them to follow to make it easy to choose the proper UTM codes to have consistent campaign tagging across the business. This allows us to begin to assign source and medium values to finance channels and usage metrics to really understand how each campaign performs in terms of our bottom line business metrics. 

    Setting up tracking and reporting on your marketing campaigns is simple and fun. This guide will walk you through the process and demonstrate with a real-life example.

    Part A: Set up UTM tracking code

    1. Below are all the elements you’ll need. If you set these up correctly, you’ll be able to report on multiple elements of your campaign:
    • Campaign -name of your overarching campaign - e.g. spring-2013-collection or summer-2013-announcements. Be sure to follow a consistent campaign naming structure.
    • Medium - the medium used to send your campaign. Include “email” for an email campaign, “cpc” for ads, “social” for a social network or “landing-page” if you’re tracking button clicks from a landing page. 
    • Source - used to differentiate the type of medium. If medium = cpc, then source may be google, bing, or yahoo. If utm medium = email, source can be used to call out the action (try, buy, coupon, awareness, etc).
    • Content - this is essentially a bonus field - it can be used to track many differentiating factors for your campaign. For example, you can use this field to track different versions of your email or landing page - e.g. “60-dollars-off” or “15-percent-off”.
    2. Make a copy of this template and update it with your campaign’s values.  You’ll likely end up with several tracking links for your campaign.

    3. Tag each version of your campaign creative with the matching link. After updating the values, your tracking link should something like this:


    Part B: Testing reporting

    1. Before launching your campaign, verify that your tags are working correctly. Open an incognito window and click on one of the links you set up to track your campaign. If your campaign’s objective is trial signup, try completing the trial sign up form. If your objective is redeeming a coupon, try redeeming the coupon. Try this with each tag created for your campaign (best practice is to clear your cookies in the incognito window before clicking each tag). For landing pages - make sure to go all the way through to your main site or objective.
    • Recommended best practice is to try each link multiple times, dropping off at various points to ensure you can track a funnel flow. 
    2. Wait 24 hours (in a crunch data should populate in analytics within 4-6 hours but depends on volume).

    3.  Go to google.com/analytics and click Sign in.

    4. After signing into analytics you will be on the “Audience Overview” page. Click on “Traffic sources” - > “sources” - > “campaigns”.

    5. Type the name of your campaign into the search box in the middle of the page and click on the search icon.

    You should now see an overview of all clicks on your campaign. However, since you are in a non-standard report in GA sampling will likely occur (you may not see all - or even any of the test clicks on your campaign). Given sampling,  you may need to export an unsampled report after all filters/segments are applied to your test - see step 9.

    Click into this overview.

    7. A screen similar to the below should appear, breaking out your campaign performance into different source/medium.

    8. To drill down into the different elements of your campaign, click on the “secondary dimension” tab and type in the element - this could be “content” (shown below) or “medium” or “source”.

    You will then see your Source/Medium broken down by content. In this example utm_content was used for ad creative, so the Ad Content secondary dimension breaks each Source/Medium down by which creative was clicked.

    9. If all of your test campaign metrics are coming up in GA reporting you are ready to launch (be sure to keep track of # of links clicked/steps completed for each test link to match back data). Good luck! And come back to GA to see reports on your live campaign.

    Part C: Advanced Reporting

    A few more notes on nifty things you can do with GA reporting.
    1. Advanced segments enable you to view all data in GA for a target segment in your campaign. 
    • Click on “Advanced Segments” at the top of your GA window.  
    • Click the button “+new custom segment”
    • Using “and” or “or” statements, define the segment of your campaign you want to see GA data for:
    • Save the segment. You can now browse through your Analytics reports, viewing data only for this segment 
    2. Set up a dashboard. Under “MY STUFF” on the left-hand navigation. Click “Dashboards”. Here you can customize a dashboard for external stakeholders looking to monitor the performance of your campaign.

    Happy tagging and analyzing!

    Posted by Krista Seiden, Product Marketing Manager, Google Enterprise

    Webinar Next Thursday 5/30: Measuring Success in a Multi-Device World

    The digital journey has grown more complex, giving customers the option to move seamlessly across media and devices. This shift in technology can make it challenging to get a complete picture of customers’ interactions.  As a marketer, your success depends on gaining visibility into your customers’ preferences and behaviors.

    Next Thursday, join Sara Jablon Moked, Product Marketing Manager for Google Analytics, for a detailed look at effective measurement for today's multi-device world. We will discuss strategies and best practices for measuring customer behavior, and we’ll look at how Google Analytics and other Google tools can help you measure and respond to the evolving customer journey.

    The webinar will include live Q&A.

    Date: Thursday, May 30, 2013
    Time: 10am PST / 1pm EST/ 6PM GMT
    Duration: 1 hr
    Level: 100 / Beginner
    Register: Register here

    Making it easier to measure your Goals

    Just as physical stores need to keep track of their sales and in-store visits, businesses with an online presence need to understand how visitors are interacting with their site. Google Analytics provides tools to help understand and evaluate these interactions. For example, if purchases are your key objective, Ecommerce tracking allows you to measure sales performance. Yet sales are just one possible goal—there are many other important interactions that may be valuable to your business, such as media plays, social connections, newsletter sign-ups, a minimum purchase value, or the amount of time spent on a screen. Using Goals, you can measure these types of engagement activities and track how these interactions help you to meet your larger business objectives.

    Today, we’re announcing several updates to Goals in Google Analytics—including a new set-up flow, new templates, and new verification capabilities—to make it easier for you to measure customer behavior and evaluate your performance. These updates are now live in Google Analytics.*

    How to get started with Goals
    Goals are set at the profile level. To find a profile in your Google Analytics account, click the Admin tab, then navigate to the account, property, and profile you want. Click Goals, then Create a Goal. Follow the flow to set up and start measuring your Goals. For guidance as you set up Goals, visit our help center.

    Introducing templates: An easier way to set up Goals
    We’ve redesigned and added new templates to the Goals set-up flow so you can add meaningful and actionable Goals to your Analytics account quickly.

    When you use a template, the Goal setup flow is prefilled with suggested values (based on your industry) that you can either keep or change as you walk through the process. The templates are organized into four business objectives (Revenue, Acquisition, Inquiry, Engagement) to help you think about the purpose of each Goal, plus you can still create custom goals. Note that “revenue” goals don’t necessarily imply a direct sale -- these goals are user activities which have a strong impact on your desired business outcomes. Depending on your business model, a Revenue Goal could be a purchase, such as a completed checkout; or it could also be a successful lead submission, such as a scheduled appointment. Some Revenue Goals might lend themselves to Ecommerce tracking as well.

    The templates you see are based on the Industry Category selected in your property settings, so you only see templates that are relevant to your business. We also added a set of 20 new industry categories to Google Analytics. This classification is now aligned with Google’s web standard for industry vertical classification. Please edit your property settings to make sure you’re using the one that best describes your business.

    Verify each Goal before you save
    In addition to the templates, we’ve added a way for you to check your setup before you save. You’ll find a verify option at the end of the setup flow that lets you see what the conversion rate would have been for the past seven days had this Goal been setup. Using the verify option gives you immediate feedback, so you can decide to save or modify the Goal configuration you’re working on.

    Analyze how different Goals perform and relate to each other
    Use the Goals Overview report under the Conversions section to see how your goal completions happen over time. Develop a sense how often a Goal conversion happens, and look to identify relationships between different Goals.

    In the Goals Overview report you can use the metric selector to choose the relevant metric.

    Example: Goal performance over time
    Select a single Goal and observe the performance over time. Use the date range selector and compare the Goal performance month on month, or quarter on quarter. This way you can compare seasonal trends, and the growth rate of your goal over time.

    Example: Discover relationships between goals
    Selecting two Goal completion metrics next to each other will allow you to see correlational effects over time. A Goal measuring site engagement, like a media interaction, or a social share, could be indicative of a rise in sales.

    Ultimately, understanding how your users interact with your site allows you to make important decisions about site content and effective use of your marketing and advertising resources. In addition to the Goals overview report, you can look at the reports in Multi-Channel Funnels. These reports focus on your visitors’ entire path to conversion — including the different off-site interactions they had before making a purchase or completing a goal. See if you can discover new insights and additional opportunity through Goals.

    3 Key Google Analytics Features In-House Practitioners Should Be Using

    Working as a practitioner in house at a technology company, one of my jobs is to teach my team members how to fish with Google Analytics. What should they be looking for in GA? Where do they start? What is meaningful? Are the campaigns being measured? Are the microsites tagged? These are the types of questions I get everyday, and very likely, you do too. 

    I've narrowed down my tips to 3 key things I try to get people comfortable with first (bite sized bits to get them hooked). 

    1. Event Tracking
    Most of the things that people are interested in are actions on a page. Did a visitor click on button X? Did they complete form Y? Watch video Z? These are all questions we can answer with event tracking. 

    Because event tracking in Google Analytics is a blank slate in terms of setup and use, there is no one right answer for how to set it up and use. Given that most of my account was setup before I arrived in this position, I too have had to get used to a new architecture. The way I do this, and the way I explain it to my colleagues, is by investigating the event hierarchy. What are the categories, actions, and labels? How is data organized into these three tiers? 

    While there is no one 'best way' of organizing an event tagging hierarchy, and while it will vary site to site, I like to set mine up like this:
    • Category: location of event (Homepage, About Us page, Resources page, etc)
    • Action: action the user took (Video, Whitepaper download, Start Trial, etc)
    • Label: specifics about action (Video name, Whitepaper name, detail of linked clicked if there are multiple with same action (ex. Learn more - product A, learn more - product B, etc) 
    2. Advanced Segments
    Advanced segments are a great way to filter data to be more specific to the question you are trying to ask. For example, you can create a segment for a region (North America = US + Canada), or you can create a segment for a set of pages (meaning visit applies to homepage and/or about us page). To evangelize and teach this, I've created a Google doc that I've shared with my team with step by step instructions and links to some pre-built regional segments. 

    As an account admin, it's great to share out globally the segments you make that may apply to multiple consumers. And you can easily share links to segments for users to apply to their own account.

    Regional Segment example:

    3. Shortcuts
    Normally when an internal user asks for GA training and/or help pulling a report, it's for something they plan to look at on more than one occasion. Depending on how complex the report is, it may be useful to create a shortcut.

    Ex. Your account has 5000 uniques pages tracked in the pages report. You are interested in 4 pages that all share the same sub-domain (they may be steps in flow - example: www.myshoppingsite.com/women, www.myshoppingsite.com/accessories, www.myshoppingsite.com/handbags, www.myshoppingsite.com/gucci). 

    You can filter the pages report (using advanced filters) to show only these 4 pages. Then you want to know how many visits to those pages had a checkout, so you apply a checkout segment onto the report. Then you also want to define that group one more step by only looking at North America traffic, so you apply a second advanced segment for North America. Then, just for kicks (or analysis) you want to know what the landing page was for this subset of purchasers, so you apply a secondary dimension for landing page. 

    Now that's a fairly complicated report that took several steps to build. Your may not want to go through all those steps the next time you need this report (nor as an admin/power user do you want to have to show them again), so you can create a shortcut for this report. The shortcut link is a new beta feature located on the top nav bar that allows you to save a report as is and provides a shortcut link on the left hand nav to get back to it quickly. Pretty handy.

    As an admin or power user: Once your users have these three functions handled they will a) be able to pull a lot of their own data, freeing up your time, and b) feel more confident and excited about using Google Analytics to make data driven decisions. Win-win.

    Posted by Krista Seiden, Product Marketing Manager, Google Enterprise

    Dashboards, Advanced Segments, And Custom Reports For Your Business Needs

    We’ve heard you loud and clear that getting started on Google Analytics can be challenging. It’s such a robust tool with a variety of reports, filters, and customizations that for a new user it can be overwhelming to figure out where to look first for the data and insights that will enable you to make better decisions. For more advanced users it can be time consuming to build out different variations of reports and dashboards to get the clearest snapshot of your performance. That is why we’ve created the Google Analytics Solution Gallery.

    The Google Analytics Solution Gallery hosts the top Dashboards, Advanced Segments and Custom Reports which you can quickly and easily import into your own account to see how your website is performing on key metrics. It helps you to filter through the noise to see the metrics that matter for your type of business: Ecommerce, Brand, Content Publishers. If you're not familiar with DashboardsAdvanced Segments and Custom Reports, check out these links to our help center for detailed descriptions on how they work and the insights they can help provide.

    Solution examples
    Here are a few examples of the solutions that you can download into your account to see how the analysis works with your data.
    • Social sharing report - Content is king, but only if you know what it's up to. Learn what content from your website visitors are sharing and how they're sharing it. 
    • Publisher dashboard - Bloggers can use this dashboard to see where readers come from and what they do on your site.
    • Engaged traffic advanced segment - Measure traffic from high-value visitors who view at least three pages AND spend more than three minutes on your site. Why do these people love your site? Find out!

    How do I add these to my account?
    We’ve designed it so it’s easy to get started. Simply go to the Google Analytics Solution Gallery, pick from the drop drown menu the solutions that will be most helpful for your business. Select from Publisher, Ecommerce, Social, Mobile, Brand, etc.. . Hit “Download” for the solution you want to see in your account. If you are not already logged into Google Analytics we’ll ask you to sign in. Then you’ll be asked if you want to accept this solution into your account and what Web Profile do you want to apply it to. After you select that it will be in your account and your own data will populate the report.

    We’re planning on expanding on this list of top solutions throughout the year so be sure to check back and see what we’ve added. A big thank you to Justin Cutroni & Avinash Kaushik for supplying many of the solutions currently available.

    Posted by Ian Myszenski, Google Analytics team

    Analytics Advocate Justin Cutroni Answers Your Burning Questions (Part 2)

    A version of the following post originally appeared on Justin Cutroni’s Analytics Talk blog.

    It’s that time again! Time to take your analytics questions (via Google+) and provide a useful answer.

    This edition includes information about such topics as:
    • Tracking across an iFrame
    • A bug with the Ad Content secondary dimension
    • Integrating Google Analytics and Google AdSense
    • Ecommerce reporting based on item category/group
    Your Analytics Questions, answered:
    Cross-Domain iFrame Question from Michael Walker:

    Implementation Question – I have 2x domains lets call them dom1.comand dom2.com – each have a their own Google Analytics (GA) account.

    The problem I am having though is that is as follows – we have a form on dom1.com that is pulled in from dom2 via an i-frame. the code within the form fires off 2x custom variables to its dom2 GA account. The outer frame on dom1 fires off all the incoming traffic sources and more importantly the campaign data.

    Now what I need to do is I need to have the dom2′s GA account filled with the same campaign values – so that I can tie the campaign names to the 2x custom variables. Now I do have some restrictions that forbid me to set the custom variables to dom1′s GA account as even though this would be the simplest way.

    So which of the following options should I go down.

    1) Set up on the master frame – a second tracker that fires off the campaign data to dom2′s GA account. Leaving dom1′s GA code in place. Also leaving the code in the dom2s frame as is and hope that the custom variables get set as they are ?

    2) Attempt when calling the i-frame page to pass all the campaign data in the URL string and hope that the GA code within dom2 recognises it and passes the campaign data?
    I have tried using the GA help + forums to no avail and am really stumped on this one.

    Please help Justin… even if its the worst set up ever I have to get it working :-(

    Justin’s Answer:

    Thanks for the question Michael.

    So it sounds like you need to have the campaign data and the custom variable data together, in one account. I’m assuming that the custom variables are visitor level custom variables and are stored in a cookie (which makes it hard to combine them with the other GA data).

    The problem with option #1 is that you’ll start to inflate the data in the dom2.com GA account. You’ll have 2 sets of cookies for dom2, thus doubling your visits and visitors.

    You could go with option #2: cross domain tracking through an iFrame. But it can be very hard to do because you need to P3P header.

    What about an alternate solution? Kind of a “hybrid” solution. Why not pass some special query parameters in the iFrame URL for dom2 and then tweak the GA tracking code on dom2.com to use those parameters?

    You can create three query parameters that represent the campaign information in Google Analytics. You can name the parameters anything you want, maybe camp, med and source. You’ll have to populate the variables dynamically. You can mine the data from the the __utmz tracking cookie.

    This method will help you avoid cross domain tracking via an iFrame and the overcounting issue.
    Canonical URL Tracking Question from Alex Rapp:

    What is the best method to track canonical URLs through GA? Utilizing the (opt_pageURL) function or _gaq.push(['_trackPageview', canonical_link]);?

    I feel as though they may accomplish the same end result, but seem to go about it in a different manner.

    Thanks for your help.

    Justin’s Answer:

    Thanks for the question Alex.

    For those that don’t know what a canonical URL is the one true URL for a piece of content. Many times large sites might have multiple versions of a URL for the same content. Sometimes this can be caused by tracking parameters or other query parameters.

    Alex, your idea of passing a URI into the _trackPageview method is a very good one. And it’s a solution that people use all the time. One way that I’ve seen it done is that people will include the URI value in a data layer, then pull that value into the _trackPageview call. It’s a scalable solution that normalizes data.

    I’ve also seen people use an Advanced Filter to capture the canonical parts of a URL and re-write the data in Google Analytics. For example, if you’ve got a lot of query parameters, and this causes a lot of duplicate URLs, then you can use an advanced filter, like the one in the image below, to normalize your URLs.

    Google Analytics Advanced Filter for normalizing a URL
    I personally like the data layer/code approach. It’s more scalable and less susceptible to breaking. But ultimately you’ll need to pick the solution that you can implement.
    Ecommerce Tracking Question from Alex Rapp:

    I’m having an issue with an ecommerce implementation. During the test phase, I am able to pass through values from the “add_trans” portion of the code, such as: order id & total.

    However, I am not seeing anything populate from the “add_item” portion, mainly SKU & quantity.

    What am I doing wrong?
    Justin’s Answer:

    Thanks for the question Alex.

    The _addItem code should send back gif requests, one for each item. I would first check the actual gif requests using some type of tool, like Charles, or a browser extension, like the developer tools in Chrome.

    Look for GIF requests with utmt=item, this is the item data being sent to Google Analytics.

    If you’re not seeing the correct GIF requests sent to the Google Analytics servers then check for syntax errors in the JavaScript. I’ve seen code where a missing comma or some other character will break the JavaScript.
    Also make sure that you’re not calling the _trackTrans method before the _addItem method.
    Content Grouping Question from Christopher Johnson:

    We would like to track page views for individual meta tags on the page, for example, we have a index.html page tagged with Corn, Soybeans and Wheat. What’s the best way to run a report showing all page views for pages tagged with Corn?

    We have looked at custom variables but might have pages with 5-10 tags per page.
    Justin’s Answer:

    Thanks for the question Christopher.

    One answer would be to take a look at Google Analytics Premium which provides 50 custom variables.

    Another way is, if you need to attach more information to a page, and custom variables are not scaling, you could try to use events or you could add more information into the URL.

    I like the event option. You’ve got almost a limitless number of events available and you can create a custom hierarchy that will help you segment the data in different ways. Look to use the Category, Action and Label attributes in creative ways to group your data logically.

    I also want to mention that this is a very common request. There are a lot of users, some ecommerce, some publishers, that need to ability to group their content together. And while Custom Vars exist you are limited to 5 per page. The 
    Google Analytics team is looking at ways to make this type of functionality better in Google Analytics.

    Filtering Question from Eric Bryant:

    Is there a glitch in the new Analytics that throws that error when you try to filter by Ad Content? It happens especially when the Primary Dimension is a City or Landing Page, I think.

    Justin’s Answer:

    Thank for the question Eric.

    YES, looks like this is be a bug. Hopefully it will be resolved ASAP.

    “Resource Not Available” Question from Dean Shaw:

    Justin -
    We have been seeing increasing incidences of GA not being available. The exact language is “Resource is not available. Please try again later”.

    Related, we have also seen that time out messages when we try and pull data for time-lines longer than a few months.
    Finally, when we drill-down on reports we will encounter a flat-line.

    This is all in the new interface and cannot be replicated in the old interface where we don’t encounter any of these issues.

    Justin’s Answer:

    Thanks for the question Dean.

    Whenever you query a large date range, and you have a very high volume of data, you might see some of the effects that you’ve mentioned. The Resource not Available message, while delightfully vague, usually indicates that you’re requesting a HUGE volume of data and that the query is taking a long time to retrieve that information.

    I should note that there are a lot of improvements that are happening at Google Analytics right now, many of them have to do with the processing of the data and report generation. Hopefully Resource Not Found will begin to appear less frequently.

    (not set) Question from Alaa Batayneh:

    I have 2 questions.

    1) Why do I very often see (not set) whether in traffic sources or any other sections.

    2) Is it true that Google Analytics does not record 40% of traffic coming to a site, since it consists of hackers, comment spammers, page scrapper …etc ?


    Justin’s Answer:

    Thanks for the question Alaa.

    Question #1: The value (not set) indicates that a certain dimension of data, like keyword, city, region, etc. can not be identified. For example, if Google Analytics tries to identify a city based on the visitor’s IP address, but the lookup fails, the report will contain a line item for (not set).

    Here’s a quick, partial, list of where you might see (not set) and what it means:
    • Geographic reports: (not set) indicates that Google Analytics could not identify the visitor’s geographic location
    • All Traffic Sources: (not set) may indicate that some link tagging parameters are not present. For example, Feedburner often automatically tags links with a source of Feedburner but often omits a medium, thus causing (not set)
    • Page Titles Report: (not set) indicates that the document.title DOM object is not set. This means that GA can not collect the title for the page
    • Devices: (not set) indicates that there is no User Agent that GA can use to identify the device
    In addition to “missing” data, (not set) can also indicate that you are trying to combine two dimensions that don’t have any true relationship.

    For example, if you are looking at the All Traffic report, and you try to set a secondary Dimension of Keyword, you’ll get (not set) for all of those rows that are not search related (ie referrals, direct, etc.)

    Question #2: No, that is not correct. Google Analytics will track the traffic to your site as long as it executes JavaScript tracking code. There are some sampling limits that are imposed on large sites. For example, you are limited to 10M hits/month in the free version of Google Analytics). But Google Analytics does not “pre-qualify” the traffic and drop 40%.

    0 Result Searches Question from José Dávila:

    Hi Justin,
    I hope you are doing well and enjoying your time at Google. I have a couple of questions:

    1) Do you know if GA regular expressions support negative look ahead? I am talking about something such as: ^(?!.*string-here)

    When I tested it you get an alert. However some forums mention it is possible.

    2) How would you track “zero results” searches when you use Google Site Search, given that the CSE results are loaded on an iframe with content from a different domain, so not accessible by traversing the DOM. I have an idea for a solution, however I wanted to know if there is an easier way to do it.


    Justin's Answer:

    Thanks for the question Jose.

    Question #1: Unfortunately this is not fully supported in the entire Google Analytics interface. And things that are not fully supportedI’d avoid it and look for an alternate solution.

    Question #2: This is a hard one. I’m going to assume you’re using a fairly standard implementation of theGoogle Custom Search Engine and that you’re also using the automatic Google Analytics integration.

    I believe the Google Custom Search engine uses a dynamically generated DIV, not an iFrame.

    When you use the Google CSE and Google Analytics integration the CSE code will generate a virtual pageview for the current page. This virtual pageview will include a query parameter for the search term. You could try to untangle all of the CSE JavaScript code and look for the line that generates the virtual pageview. Unfortunately wading through all the CSE code can be a lot of work!

    Another option would be to parse the DOM when a search happens on your site.

    When the Google CSE returns zero results there is normally an HTML DIV tag that looks something like this:
    No Results

    You need to dynamically parse the DOM when someone submits a search and identify the above DIV. You can probably simplify this by using JQuery. If you find the above code then you can send off some data to Google Analytics and record the zero-result search.

    In this case, I would probably create an Event rather than use the zero-result tracking technique. The reason is that sending a virtual pageview, with a parameter for the zero-result search, will generate an additional search in the Google Analytics reports. You’ll be double-counting some searches.
    Sorry I don’t have the exact code for you. I’d love to hear your solution as well!

    Product Reporting Question from Steven Domingue:

    I have a question about regular expressions in the Product Performance Report in GA. Is there a character limit in the field where you place the RegEx? I am attempting to do some reporting on product sales associated with emails, banners on my site, etc., and some of the product groupings we feature are basically mini catalogs with 200+ SKUs. I wanted to make sure that if I dump a list of 300 SKUs (between 2500 and 3000 characters) it will capture them all in the report.

    Justin’s Answer:

    Well, that’s actually a hard question to answer. The standard table filter will not take a regular expression. So you need to use the Advanced filter. This field will take a max of 20 characters. But you can add up to 50 conditions to your filter.
    To be honest, creating large, complicated regular expressions in Google Analytics is not scalable. While you can use it for a quick ad-hoc analysis, I would look for a more permanent solution.

    What about using the Product Category dimensions rather than the product ID? It obviously depends on if you are setting the product category, but it would totally work.

    Google Analytics Product Performance By Category with a Source/Medium secondary Dimension.
    Another option might be using a page level custom variable to group your products together into groups? Then use the custom variable in the Product Performance report. It will require some coding, but if you are looking to do this type of analysis a lot it may be worthwhile.

    Cross Domain Tracking Question from Rasmus Sellberg:

    We’re about to cross-domain track a very short and good domain name with multiple subdomains, e.g. www.xx.yy, forum.xx.yy, and so on.

    We use _setDomainName(“xx.yy”), and it works like a charm on all browsers but IE.

    Unfortunately, IE does not allow cookies on short domains on the form xx.yy (to avoid security issues on all .co.uk sites, for instance). No data at all is recorded for IE browsers…

    If we use _setDomainName(“www.xx.yy”), the cookies aren’t available on forum.xx.yy, and vice versa.

    What should we do, given that neither using _link everywhere nor changing the domain name is an option? Any best practices for really short domain names?


    Justin’s Answer:

    Thanks for the question Rasmus.

    Yes, this is a known issue and unfortunately there is no good solution. It’s a limitation of Internet Explorer…. insert snarky comment here.

    Unfortunately you don’t have many options. You can use _link on all of the URLs. And if it’s a big site you may want to use some type of JQuery auto tagging script. Or the other solution is to move the sub-domain content to subdirectories on the main domain. This may be very hard to do, but at least you avoid all the JavaScript coding.

    I also want to mention that the Google Analytics team is working on a new solution to cross domain tracking that will solve this problem. It will also make cross-domain tracking better for the entire world :)

    AdWords Metrics Question from Ties.com:

    When viewing our adwords campaign data in Google analytics our Advertising Cost metric is reporting correctly, but when we try to create a custom keyword level report in GA the cost metric is all zeros? Are we unable to track adwords cost data at the keyword level in GA? 

    Justin’s Answer:

    Thanks for the question.

    You should be able to use AdWords metrics, like cost, CTR and CPC, in GA custom reports. I’ve done it as recently as today.

    BUT, cost metrics can only work with a few dimensions, mostly the AdWords related dimensions. If you are trying to use any dimensions that are NOT AdWords dimensions you might get all zeros.

    AdSense Question from Reid Simonton:

    I may be a bit late, but have to ask as this is an issue I’ve been struggling with for 2+ years – linking our AdSense account to our Analytics account. I understand the process, however here’s what I actually see:

    1. Go to Content > AdSense > Overview in GA, see “This report requires AdSense to be enabled for this profile”. Hmm, I’ve already done that.

    2. But I’ll try again – click the link provided there for the instructions. Instructions state, “Open either the Overview or Advanced Reports page, and find the link that invites you to integrate your accounts”, but there is no such link in the AdSense panel (presumably because I’ve previously gone through this step). Instead I see a link in the upper right corner of AdSense stating, ” View performance in Google Analytics”. Would seem to indicate the accounts are linked, right?

    3. Click that link, it takes me to my Analytics home page (showing my two profiles). I go into the one I’ve attempted previously tried to link w/ AdSense, and (repeat step 1, above).
    Something’s clearly broken. Been trying to resolve this for years, have posted bunches of forum posts, etc., but no luck. Incredibly frustrating! Any assistance would be enormously appreciated.

    Justin’s Answer:

    Thanks for the question Reid.

    I’ve seen that problem before. An infinite loop and it can be frustrating!

    1. Log into GA. Make sure you log in with the same account that you use to access AdSense.
    2. Go to the Admin section
    3. Click on the Data Sources tab for your account and look for the AdSense section.
    4. Click on the Link Account button. You should get a little window that asks which account and profiles you want to apply your AdSense data to.

    Connecting Google AdSense and Google Analytics
    The AdSense code and Analytics code MUST be installed on all the same pages. If you do not have the Google Analytics Tracking code on all pages that have the Adsense code, page impressions and clicks cannot be accurately recorded.

    AdWords Auto Tagging Question from Steven Nguyen:


    I have 2 questions on about Analytics.

    1. I have autotagging set up and someone wants to add parameters to the ad as well. Would the new parameters override the autotagging or mess up the reporting in anyway?

    2. I want to track lead submissions, sign ups, etc…but it does not redirect you to a “thank you” page after you complete the action, a dialog box pops up. I want to use a destination goal but the dialog box does not change URLs. Is there a way to track it as a goal without adding a “thank you” page?
    If you could help, that would be great. Thanks.


    Justin’s Answer:

    Thanks for the questions Steven.

    Question #1. No, AdWords auto-tagging will work with your existing parameters. The Google Analytics auto-tagging parameter, named gclid, will play nice with your existing query parameters :)

    Question #2. Yes, there are ways to work around a thank-you page that does not have a unique URL.

    I’m going to make the assumption that when someone submits a form the page does change. It’s just the URL that stays the same. In this scenario you have a couple of options. Choose the one that works best for you.

    You can use an Event to track this new window, and then set that event up as a goal. An event is a way to track visitor interactions with your site.

    You’ll need to add some additional JavaScript to track when the window pops open. It might look something like this:
    _gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘Goals’, ‘Submit Form’, ‘Lead Form’, 100]);

    In the above code the value of 100 is the value of the lead form. That’s something that I arbitrarily chose. But if you can do some lead scoring, and enter that data into the code, then you’ll get some AMAZING revenue metrics in Google Analytics.

    Once you have the code on your site you can use the Event data to your goal. For the above event, the goal settings would be something like this:
    Setting up an Event as a Google Analytics Goal
    Thanks everyone! Those were great. What a variety of questions. Stay tuned, we’ll do this again next month -- be sure to circle Google Analytics on Google+ to find out when you can ask a question.

    Posted by Google Analytics Advocate Justin Cutroni