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 Video & Recap: Measuring Success in a Multi-Device World

    Last Thursday, we held a webinar discussing how to effectively measure the customer’s journey in a multi-device world. We focused on high-level best practices and strategies, as well as how Google Analytics and other Google tools can help you measure and respond to the evolving customer journey.

    Watch the webinar video here to learn more about:
    • Holistic, full-credit, and active measurement
    • Everyday strategies to improve your measurement and marketing performance
    • Basic techniques for marketing attribution
    • Google Analytics features and tools for measuring the full customer journey

    During the webinar, we received dozens of great questions from viewers. Read on below for responses to some of the most common questions we received.

    Questions and Answers

    What other blogs would you recommend for advice on measurement best practices?
    Avinash Kaushik is the author of Web Analytics 2.0 and Web Analytics: An hour a day. On his blog, he discusses how to use digital marketing and measurement to focus on the customer while maintaining your ROI.

    Justin Cutroni is the author of Google Analytics, Performancing Remarketing with Google Analytics, and Google Analytics Shortcut. He uses his experience as a consultant to guide his blog topics. His blog provides readers with techniques for using Google Analytics to maximize their marketing strategies.

    Where can I find the “Think Insights” website referenced during the webinar?
    Visit www.google.com/think for access to all sorts of statistics and articles about the latest trends in customer behavior. To learn more about the customer journey to online purchase, view the interactive benchmarking tool here.

    How does marketing attribution help with intra-channel optimization?
    Marketing attribution can help you to optimize intra-channel campaigns by allowing you to see value for each of the specific moments in the customer journey that you may be addressing within that single channel. For example, if you are running a search campaign, you may think about the role that different types of keywords play at different moments to help generate awareness for your brand, move the customer to consider your product, or to help close the deal. Using tools such as AdWords Search Funnels, you can determine where in the customer path those keywords had an impact, and this can help you optimize your keyword mix.

    What are first-click and last-click attribution models?
    The first and last clicks are important parts of two  commonly used attribution models, the “first interaction” attribution model and the “last interaction” attribution model. Depending on which model you use, all credit for the sale (or conversion) is attributed to either the first or last click. In the “first interaction” model, the first touch point would receive 100% of the credit for the sale. In the “last interaction” model, the last touch point receives 100% of the credit. Historically, many businesses have relied on the last-click model alone, but since this model (like the first-click model) only addresses a single touch-point along the customer journey, it may miss other important marketing interactions.

    There is no one specific model that will work for every business or every program within your business. Rather, you should explore different models and experiment to see which model or combination of models best fits your needs. Check out Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels and Attribution Modeling to get started.

    What are some tips for measuring the customer journey with Universal Analytics?
    Consider integrating Universal Analytics with all of your digital touchpoints (see some examples in this post). Here are a few use cases that our Certified Partners are already implementing to measure the customer journey beyond web:

    • Integrated measurement and analysis of in-store POS systems along with desktop and mobile e-commerce platforms.
    • Measuring offline macro and micro conversions through physical buttons or integration with CRMs.
    • Measuring physical interactions -- for example at display booths at conventions or artworks at major exhibitions -- through to online engagement with associated websites.
    Posted by Sara Jablon Moked & Adam Singer, Google Analytics Team

    Google Tag Manager: Implementation webinar video, cheat-sheet, and Q&A

    Last Tuesday, we held a webinar on the technical implementation of Google Tag Manager, a free tool that makes it easy for marketers to add and update website tags, freeing up webmaster time while providing users with more reliable data and insights. This technical session includes a more in-depth look than our introductory webinar, illustrating how the product operates in a live environment and showing how flexible Google Tag Manager is for enterprise systems.

    Watch the webinar video here for:
    • Step-by-step implementation process + live product demo
    • Advanced use cases, including the Data Layer API
    • Best practices and common pitfalls

    And don’t forget to download our handy implementation Cheat-Sheet, which outlines each of the steps involved in migrating onto Google Tag Manager.

    Click here to download the Implementation Cheat-Sheet: http://goo.gl/5GJyA

    And as usual, we like to provide a recap of some of the top questions we received during the webinar. Please note that this webinar is intended for technical audiences, so some of the Q&A below gets into the nitty-gritty technical details. If you’re less experienced technically, we invite you to check out our forum or reach out to one of our certified partners for implementation assistance.

    Questions and Answers

    Where can I find more detailed information about all of this stuff?
    In addition to the walkthrough we provide in the webinar and our Cheat-Sheet, you can find a detailed description of the implementation process in the Google Developer docs, and helpful articles about how to use the Google Tag Manager user interface in our Help Center, including some notes about what to think about before you begin implementing. And as noted above, if you still have questions, check out our forum or reach out to one of our certified partners for implementation assistance.

    Where can I place the GTM snippet? Can I put it in <head>? Does placing it in the footer have any adverse effects? Can I place the data layer in <head>?
    The recommended location for the GTM snippet is just after the opening <body> tag. The only exception to this would be in the case where you want to declare page-level metadata by declaring the data layer immediately above the GTM snippet.

    The GTM snippet can be deployed later in the page, like the footer, but doing so increases the time before the snippet loads. This can cause incremental amounts of data loss, since the user could navigate away before all your tags finish loading.

    We do not recommend placing the GTM snippet in head, because the GTM snippet contains an <iframe> for the <noscript> case. Iframes are not officially supported by any browsers in <head> and might cause unexpected behavior.

    What should I do about collecting macros and tagging events if I don’t have access to my client’s site or if IT is too busy?
    If you can’t access values on the page via the data layer, there are several different Macro types to help you capture data without needing a code change. These include DOM element, DOM attribute, and JS variable macros. Simply input the ID or variable names, and the macro will pull out the data for you. NOTE: If you go this route, you may want to accompany the tag being fired with an “{{event}} equals gtm.dom” rule. This makes sure the element has loaded in the page before you request it, so you don’t get an undefined macro value.

    If you're trying to add events to the page, currently this requires code changes. We're working on a solution that doesn't need code changes, but in the meantime we've heard of a couple of folks using the Custom HTML template to inject the dataLayer.push() API into relevant parts of the page. We can’t guarantee this as a solution due to the asynchronous nature of tag loading in Google Tag Manager, but we have heard some success stories.

    How do I do cross-domain tracking in Google Analytics using Google Tag Manager?
    It's now possible to do cross-domain tracking in GA using the custom HTML template and a new track type within the Google Analytics tag template. We've got some exciting things in the works here to make cross-domain tracking even easier; stay tuned for more soon.

    Do you have any account and container setup best practices? What if I’m an agency? What if I have separate sites for mobile and desktop?
    In general, an account should be owned by a single advertiser or publisher. Within each account, there can be multiple containers, and containers should be split according to how the site or sites are managed. For instance, if there’s a separate marketing team managing different countries and therefore probably different tag vendors, then there should be a separate container per country. If you have a mobile site and a desktop site that use the same tags across both subdomains, then you should probably only use a single container. We have found that one container per domain is pretty standard, but there are always different situations that call for a different setup.

    If you’re an agency, we strongly recommend that your client creates the initial Google Tag Manager account and container, and then have your client add you to the container. Google Tag Manager includes user permissions controls as well as multi-account access to make it easier for agencies and clients to work together.

    Are all tags with document.write off limits? Are there any workarounds?
    Most tags that utilize document.write are just trying to construct an image pixel with dynamic parameters using JavaScript. Luckily, our Custom Image Tag allows you to construct an image pixel with dynamic parameters. Look at the tag you’re trying to add, pick out the URL, paste it into the Image URL field, and then add any dynamic variables by using the {{macro}} syntax. See the live demo in the webinar video above for an example of how to do this.

    Do not add tags that contain document.write in either the initial snippet or in any linked JavaScript. Doing so will cause undesirable effects.

    How do Google Analytics events differ from Google Tag Manager events?
    Events in Google Tag Manager are basically an indication that this is an event where other tags could fire. It does not collect any data. GTM events are used in tag firing rules to initiate the placement of other tags.

    Google Analytics events are actually data events, and can be set up in Google Tag Manager via the Google Analytics template, tracking type “Event”. This tag sends data to Google Analytics to be reported on within the Google Analytics interface.


    We hope the webinar and Q&A will help you implement Google Tag Manager smoothly and easily -- many business, including GoPro, are already enjoying easier tagging. Keep watching this blog for more tips and tricks!

    Your favorite apps, with Google Drive (Holiday Edition)

    For the second installment of our Apps in Google Drive series, we’re giving things a holiday twist with apps that can help you out with some (last-minute) personalized gifts. Once you install one of the third-party Drive apps below, you can use them to create a variety of one-of-a-kind gifts: your pug on a mug, your very own holiday song, or a video of this year’s biggest moments.

    CafePress: Create a personalized gift using pictures stored in Google Drive. 
    Use photos you keep in Drive to add a personal touch to hundreds of potential gifts. Just select a photo in your Drive open it with the CafePress app. Get the app
    WeVideo: Make a video (fancy editing skills not required). 
    Make a recap video of the highlights of 2012 with the photos, videos, and other files that you keep in Drive. Then add a personal touch with text, effects, music, and voiceovers. Get the app

    UJam: Create new holiday tunes. 
    Grab some sleigh bells and write your own full track with a variety of backing instruments, beats, and styles from scratch, or start with a song template. Get the app

    Check out many more apps that work with Google Drive to spread some of your own holiday cheer. 

    Posted by Google Drive Elf #12

    Video: Remarketing Webinar and Q&A

    Last Wednesday we held a webinar on Remarketing with Google Analytics. We launched this feature earlier this year to help you reconnect with your site visitors in relevant ways. Remarketing with Google Analytics lets you show ads to website visitors who have shown an interest in your site as they browse other sites on the Google Display Network (GDN). So you can reach the right audience with the right message at the right time.

    Watch the webinar video here to learn more about:
    • The overall benefits of Remarketing with Google Analytics
    • See a live demo of the product
    • Understand how to set this up for your business
    • And see some key examples of what’s possible

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

    Any quick tips for getting started?
    Yes, our help center includes a great guide with everything you need to know to get started.

    Is there a limit on the number of lists that you can create in your Google Analytics account?
    No! We want to encourage you to create as many lists as you need to run an effective remarketing campaign.

    How should I set “membership duration” for my lists?
    The default membership duration is 30 days, but we recommend choosing a duration related to the length of time you expect your ad to be relevant to the user. Learn more about membership duration in this article in the AdWords Help Center.

    How can remarketing lists in Google Analytics be edited or deleted?
    It’s easy to edit existing lists by clicking on the name of the list in the main table. Visitors who have already been added to the list will be removed from the list when the list duration for those visitors expires.

    Both AdWords and Analytics save lists for historical campaign reporting purposes, so it’s not currently possible to delete lists -- but often you can simply edit your old lists so they continue to be useful. That said, we are looking into ways to provide better controls for managing lists that are no longer in use such as providing ways to hide or archive old or unused lists.

    Can you use Google Tag Manager with Remarketing with Google Analytics?
    Yes! Google Tag Manager fully supports Remarketing with Google Analytics. When you are setting up your “Google Analytics” tag templates in the Google Tag Manager User Interface, you can choose to enable the “Add Display Advertiser Support” check box-- this will make all the tagging changes necessary to use Remarketing with Google Analytics.

    Can you share lists between Google Analytics profiles? What about across different AdWords accounts?
    When you create a remarketing list in Google Analytics, you must choose to base it off of a single, specific Profile (a Google Analytics Profile determines which data from your site appears in the reports; it may, for example, include filters to eliminate traffic from internal users). If you want to create a list that’s based off of two profiles, you must create that list twice -- once for each Profile. Similarly for AdWords accounts, if you want to share a list with more than one account, you must create the list once for each account you want to share it with.

    Do you have examples of remarketing lists I might consider creating with Google Analytics?
    Yes, you can find some examples in the webinar video and in on our product fact sheet, and we’re working on providing more examples and tips. Stay tuned!

    We hope you found this webinar useful -- and that you go start creating your first remarketing lists using Google Analytics now.

    Google Analytics in Real Life: What would your customer experience look like?

    With the holiday shopping season in full swing, it’s important to ensure your website and digital marketing are running on all cylinders. Your potential customers should be able to find what they need on the digital shelf as easily as in real life. Sadly, many sites leave visitors frustrated - losing potential customers. However, the advantage of your online storefront is that you can understand where you’re losing customers and work to improve your shopping experience.

    For the holiday season, our team at Google Analytics thought it would be helpful (and fun) to demonstrate how missteps on the digital shelf play out in real life.

    What’s distracting your customers?
    Have you accidently placed obstacles directly in the path of your customers buying what they really want on your site? Watch Nick's journey to finding what he wants. Play Video
    Improvement Tip: 
    Always make sure your landing pages meet your users' expectations. Be sure your ad text leads visitors to a page that matches what was featured in the ad. Here is a helpful article on ways to improve the performance of your landing pages.

    How can it be so challenging to find your favorite type of milk?  
    Are you making it difficult for users to browse or search your site by the way you categorize your products? Watch as Oli struggles to find his breakfast essentials. Play Video 
    Improvement Tip:  
    A search box can be a goldmine of information because each time visitors search your site, they tell you in their own words what they are looking for. Here is an article on insights available from your Google Analytics Site Search reports to learn what your visitors want so you can improve your website to better meet those needs.

    When do visitors check out from your online buying process? 
    We shared this last year, but it’s too much fun not to share again. Great example of the importance of having a simple easy to use checkout process on your website. Watch for the humor, stay for the insights.  Play Video
    Improvement Tip: 
    Are there some product pages that consistently send higher traffic through your shopping cart than others? See if there are differences between the page designs that might be driving the difference in traffic volume. Do the better performing pages offer more information about their products, more customer reviews, explain shipping options or provide more options for visualizing the products before adding them to the shopping cart? The Google Analytics goal flow visualization can help to identify these better performing pages to repeat their success.

    Ready to learn more about how to improve your online customer experiences? Check out these Google Analytics resources:
     - Article: Improve the performance of your landing pages
     - 5 questions to ask of your Site Search data
     - Understand the path or missteps visitors take to completing your goals with flow analysis

    We hope this helps you to find more way to use Google Analytics to make your customers' lives easier, and generate more happy and loyal customers for you - now that’s a holiday present worth giving.

    Posted by Clancy Childs, Google Analytics Product Manager
    & Jon Day, Google Product Marketing Manager

    Google Tag Manager: Video and Q&A

    Have you ever struggled with implementing new marketing and measurement tools on your website? For many people, deploying data collection “tags” (like conversion tracking, remarketing, audience reporting and analytics) can take weeks or months. Worse, the tag implementation is often incorrect, meaning you’re missing out on valuable information about your site and its users.

    It doesn’t need to be difficult. We recently held a webinar to introduce users to Google Tag Manager, a free tool that helps marketers and IT departments manage their marketing and measurement tags quickly and easily. Watch the video here to learn more about:
    • Overall benefits and features of using Google Tag Manager
    • A quick demonstration of how to deploy a new tracking tag
    • Tips for getting your company started with Google Tag Manager

    In addition to this webinar, we’ll be hosting a technical webinar in January to help new users through the nuts and bolts of installing Google Tag Manager (with lots of concrete examples). Stay tuned -- we’ll share registration information in a future blog post, or you can check back on the Learn with Google webinar site.

    Read on for responses to some of the top questions we received during the webinar.

    Questions and Answers

    Where can I find out more about the core concepts described in the webinar?
    To learn more about the Google Tag Manager management interface, please visit our Help Center -- you may want to start with our Before you Begin article. There you can find more information about key concepts like Tags, Rules, and Macros. For developers interested in how to implement Google Tag Manager, please visit our developer documentation. Or if you’d like help with implementation, you can contact one of our Partners. You can also ask questions (and find responses to questions from others) on the Google Tag Manager product forum.

    What happens to historical data if we move to Google Tag Manager?
    All of your historical data should be preserved when you move to Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager only changes the way that tags are deployed and managed on your site, it does not change the way data is collected.

    How would you migrate a tag?
    Follow these steps to migrate tags -- whether it’s a single tag or all the tags on your site. If you’re just getting started, take a look at our Before you Begin article.
    • Create a Google Tag Manager Account and a Container associated with that account.
    • Install that Container code snippet on every page of your website (so that it appears immediately after the opening <body> tag). The container should be empty.
    • Map your site - thinking about what data you want to collect, what events you want to track, and which tags you want to use to track that data. You should think about where your current tags are implemented, but now is a great time to rethink your overall data collection goals and start fresh.
    • (Optional) If you would like to make use of the Data Layer functionality, create a data layer on the pages where you wish to pass information or fire tags
    • Create Tags, Rules and Macros within the Google Tag Manager interface according to the map you just created. Make sure to apply the correct Rules to your Tags to make sure they fire in the right place.
    • Test the changes you’ve made in Google Tag Manager using debug and preview mode.
    • Then push a version of your site live that has removed the hard-coded tags from within the page. At this time, also Publish your changes using the Publishing feature of Google Tag Manager, which pushes the changes live to the site.
    For more precise details on these steps, read our developer documents about migration.

    Can you add tags to events or buttons?
    Definitely! In order to use Google Tag Manager to fire tags on events and buttons, follow these steps (for more detail, read our developer document on event handlers):
    • On your page, proactively add the dataLayer.push({ ‘event’: ‘myEventName’}) to the event handlers for all events and buttons you might want to track.
    • Create a new rule where “event equals myEventName”.
    • Associate this rule with any tag you’d like to fire when the specified event happens.
    Can hard-coded tags and tag manager co-exist? Do I have to remove my other tracking tags?
    We strongly recommend that you completely migrate all your tags, so you can take advantage of the benefits of managing and updating those tags within Google Tag Manager. However, if a full migration seems too hard, you can use Google Tag Manager in parallel with hard-coded tags. Some of our users use Google Tag Manager to only manage adding new tags.

    If you choose to do a partial migration to Google Tag Manager, you need to be very careful to make sure you don’t accidentally start double-counting your tags. If you decided to deploy a tag via Google Tag Manager, make sure that you don’t have a version of the same tag firing on the same page.

    Can you build your own custom tag templates? And how do I become a recognized Tag Vendor within Google Tag Manager?
    Custom Tag templates within Google Tag Manager allow you to copy/paste any HTML or Image tags directly into Google Tag Manager and fire it based on your predefined rules and macros. To turn it into a template, use the {{macro_name}} syntax to populate the tag code with dynamic values. We will also do a syntax check to ensure that when you copy your 3rd party tag, it will fire as intended.

    If you’re interested in having your tag added to the list of predefined templates, apply to become a Tag Vendor within Google Tag Manager by completing this interest form.

    How does this work with Google Analytics? How do you do things like track pageview and track event within Google Analytics?
    Google Tag Manager is a convenient way to correctly deploy Google Analytics across your site. To use Google Analytics within Google Tag Manager, simply create a Tag with the Google Analytics tag template. You can select the “Track Type” as either a pageview, an event, or a transaction.

    Make sure you have some version of the Google Analytics tag firing across all pages on your site. A good way to do this would be to have a basic tag firing on all pages, but blocking on pages where your more customized tags are firing (like the thank you page where you’d be firing a specialized transaction tag type).

    Can the Google Tag Manager snippet be placed in <head>? How about in my footer?
    The recommended best practice is to have the Google Tag Manager snippet at the top of the <body> to maximize data collection, but some clients may find it easier to implement the Container snippet elsewhere in the in the page, like the footer.

    Do not place the Google Tag Manager snippet in <head> (for the IT folks: this is because there is an iframe in the <noscript> case, which can have unpredictable results in some browsers).

    No matter where you install the container snippet, you will need to make sure that this snippet of code is on every page of their site. Google Tag Manager will still work if you only deploy it on part of your site, but Google Tag Manager’s rule based system will only work on pages where the snippet is deployed. For more details, read our developer documents.

    Does Google Tag Manager replace Doubleclick Floodlight?
    No, Google Tag Manager does not replace Floodlight -- they are complementary. Floodlight is a conversion pixel for DoubleClick products (Floodlight tags can now be deployed within Google Tag Manager), and Google Tag Manager is a tag management system or “container tag” for multiple tagging technologies. Floodlight has previously been used by some users as a container tag as well, but moving forward, Google Tag Manager is a way to deploy all tracking technology.

    You also have the ability to pass custom floodlight variables through Google Tag Manager into Floodlight, through the Data Layer. For more information, please review the material in the Developers Guide.

    We hope this webinar and this blog post will help you as you get started with Google Tag Manager, and we look forward to seeing you at our technical webinar in January. (Registration details coming soon).

    Attribution Webinar Recap: Making Attribution work for Your Business

    On Friday, November 2, following our public whitelist of the Attribution Modeling Tool, Bill Kee (Product Manager, Google Analytics) and Neil Hoyne (Global Program Manager, Attribution), came together to lead the 5th and final webinar in our series on marketing attribution. They identified opportunities in the customer’s journey from introduction to conversion, including:
    • Google’s recommendations for how companies should structure their own attribution programs.
    • Basics on the methodology and configuration of the Attribution Modeling Tool, and how to create custom models that can improve your business’ performance.
    • Identifying specific opportunities in attribution from brand-to-generic trends to position-based weighting.
    If you weren’t able to attend the live webinar, Attribution for Digital Success, you can view a recording here:

    You can also catch up with our entire attribution webinar series, which included:
    1. an overview of our research on how the industry approaches attribution (watch here),
    2. the foundational steps for attribution using Google’s tools (watch here),
    3. intra-channel attribution with Search Funnels in Google AdWords (watch here),
    4. cross-channel measurement with Multi-Channel Funnels (watch here),
    5. and finally, our most recent webinar on strategies for the Attribution Modeling Tool (watch here).
    We’d like to thank all of our users who have joined us for some or all of these attribution webinars. You have provided invaluable questions, ideas and feedback to help shape the next generation of our product. Some of these requests have already been addressed, including the public availability of the Attribution Modeling Tool (now available via whitelist), longer lookback windows, and cost-data import, and others are sure to come in the future. Stay tuned and stay in touch!

    As has been our tradition throughout this webinar series, we’d also like to provide responses to some of the most common and most interesting questions we received during the webinar.


    What business variables influence the decision on an Attribution Model?
    Any factor that could influence your business or marketing efforts, including weather, pricing and competitive behavior, could have an impact your attribution decisions. Still, we suggest that advertisers focus on those efforts that could have the largest effect on their business, usually by conversion volume as well as those that they can more easily control (paid search vs. organic search or direct traffic) for the basis of experimentation.

    How is the social engagement metric calculated?
    Social engagement is measured any time a user clicks from a known social network, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or over 400 others, to the advertiser’s website. At this time, no interactions that occur within the networks themselves, such as a “like” are presented within the Attribution Modeling Tool.

    Could you further elaborate on how conversion paths are presented when a user converts multiple times within the 30-day lookback window?
    Each conversion has a unique path, which includes all of the interactions the converting user had in the 30 days leading up to the conversion. When the same user converts multiple times, the conversions are treated separately. For example, is a user clicked through from Display, and completed conversion #1, this conversion would have a path length of one from the channel “Display.” If the same user subsequently clicked through from Paid Search, and completed conversion #2, assuming the original Display interaction occurred within 30 days prior to conversion #2, a second conversion path would be recorded with a path length of two: Display, followed by Paid Search.

    If we submitted our account to the Attribution Modeling Tool whitelist, how long will it take until we begin to see this feature available in our Google Analytics account?
    We understand how important attribution is to your business, and are incredibly grateful for all of the interest that has been shown in the modeling tool since the announcement of the public whitelist. As such, we are working as quickly as we can to add new customers to the tool and will continue to post any available updates directly on the signup form. Once your account has been whitelisted, you’ll see the Attribution Modeling Tool listed within the Multi-Channel Funnels reports, under Conversions.

    Could you provide step-by-step details on how to build the models Bill described during the webinar?
    We created two custom models to show examples of the types of weighting you can apply using the model builder. The first model, called “Upper Funnel” emphasizes interactions earlier in the path, from channels that are focused on introducing and informing customers, and discounts channels that may be more navigational, like branded search. The second model, called “Lower Funnel” gives more weight to marketing interactions at the end of the conversion path, but does not solely give credit to the last interaction, and excludes direct interactions that are last in the path, giving credit instead to other marketing touch points toward the end. By comparing both models to the Last Interaction model, you’re able to see the contrasts in credit given to channels, and see whether marketing efforts play the roles you think they do or not.

    Here are the rules for the “Upper Funnel” model.

    Upper Funnel Model, step 1: Click on the model selector then “create new custom model” to open the custom model builder, and enter details as pictured (click to enlarge the image):

    Upper Funnel Model, step 2: Turn on “apply custom credit rules” in the custom model builder, then enter model details as pictured (click to enlarge the image):

    And here are rules for the "Lower Funnel" model.

    Lower Funnel Model, step 1: Click on the model selector then “create new custom model” to open the custom model builder, and enter details as pictured (click to enlarge the image):

    Lower Funnel Model, step 2: Turn on “apply custom credit rules” in the custom model builder, then enter model details as pictured (click to enlarge the image):

    Marketing attribution is a challenging yet worthwhile pursuit. Our hope is that this webinar series will help you as you begin (or continue) your attribution journey. For more information on the Attribution Modeling Tool, please visit our website and the Google Analytics help center.

    Happy analyzing!

    Sara Jablon Moked, Product Marketing Manager for Conversion and Attribution

    Multi-Channel Funnels: Webinar, Checklist, Tips & Tricks

    Understanding the customer journey, from consideration to conversion, is no easy feat. But with tools like Multi-Channel Funnels (MCF) in Google Analytics, we’re working to make it easier to uncover new insights and opportunities to improve marketing performance. As Google’s Global Program Manager for Attribution, I recently led a webinar that highlighted opportunities to:
    • Improve keyword coverage to reach customers at all stages of the conversion path.
    • Identify those channels that directly contribute to the growth of your business.
    • Learn how metrics like average order value can be influenced by early-stage marketing.
    This webinar is the 4th in Google’s ongoing series on attribution and is designed for newcomers and seasoned veterans of Google Analytics alike. If you’re just starting with the tool, we do recommend that you take a look at our MCF Implementation Checklist below as well as our earlier webinar, Building Blocks of Digital Attribution to ensure you are capturing all the data to maximize these analyses. And please read on for answers to some interesting questions that came up during the webinar.


    What do I need to use Multi-Channel Funnels properly?

    MCF Implementation Checklist:
    1. Install Google Analytics! Make sure that all of your webpages are tagged, and if you happen to have more than one website (yoursite1.com and yoursite.2com) or multiple domains (red.mysite1.com and blue.mysite1.com) that you are set up to use Multi-Domain tracking. This last step will ensure that you are tracking all interactions across your sites into a single customer path.
    2. Set up E-Commerce Tracking or Goals. MCF needs to know what action represents the very end of the customer path - the conversion. The conversion may be a sale, or it could be another action that’s valuable for your business, like filling out a lead form or downloading a brochure. For businesses selling products online, you can measure conversions (sales) through e-commerce tracking. If you’re measuring visitors that take a specific action, such as completing a form, setting up goals will suffice. 
    3. Get your tags in order. For AdWords customers, make sure that your advertising account is linked to your Google Analytics profile and that auto-tagging is enabled. For other channels, such as e-mail or advertising run on other networks, our custom URL builder will help you build the tags necessary for each campaign. If you’re new, be sure to learn more about channels and channel grouping.
    4. Start using the MCF reports. Once you’ve followed the steps above, you can find the Multi-Channel Funnels reports in the Standard Reporting tab of Google Analytics: click on “Conversions” at the left-hand side of the user interface, then click “Multi-Channel Funnels.”

    Is it possible to integrate the data from Multi-Channel Funnels directly into our own systems?
    Absolutely. Not only are all of these data points available for export from the Google Analytics interface in commonly-used formats, we also just announced the release of the Multi-Channel Funnels API so that developers can tap directly into this incredibly powerful data source. See our recent blog post for more information.

    How do we ensure we are tracking all our channels in a way that is optimal for these reports?
    By default, all inbound clicks that are part of a conversion path are captured by Multi-Channel Funnels. The default channel groupings that we provide then make a series of fairly reasonable assumptions to group traffic into their respective buckets. As a user, you have two approaches to ensure that all traffic is ending up in the right place:
    1. The first option is tag all of your marketing activities in a way that matches the logic of the default channel groupings. You can find the rules behind the groups in this help center article. There is also a simple URL builder so that you can append the proper tags to your other campaigns.
    2. The second option is to create channel groupings that match the way you are currently naming and tagging your campaigns. This approach tends to be favored by those companies that want to utilize all of their historical data in MCF right away, or have technical limitations preventing them from changing the actual campaign tags. Implementation details for this approach can be found on the Analytics Help section, in this article on channel groupings.

    Does MCF have to be a true purchase or it will it work for a Business-to-business company looking for qualified leads?
    Companies that are pursuing leads tend to have much shorter conversion paths than those that are tracking purchases. It's not entirely uncommon to see lower assist / last ratios and, equally, to have the perception of less opportunity when reviewing the MCF reports around a single goal. As a better practice, we suggest that advertisers implement multiple goals to measure customer activities along a wider path.

    For instance, goals could be set up at points before filling out a lead form but after becoming a slightly more qualified customer, either by increasing time or page depth on your website, reviewing a whitepaper or looking at cost information. These would help to measure performance even if there is a more significant lag before becoming a lead, lending insight to the very early parts of the journey.

    After the lead form is filled out, any unique action that you could encourage to bring the now qualified customer back to the site again, such as completing a signup process, reviewing a contract or qualifying for a promotional offer, can then be used to go all the way back through to the beginning of the journey to find that initial contact point.

    Why is (not set) so high for AdWords Keyword?
    When you select a primary dimension in the Assisted Conversions report of Multi-Channel Funnels, it is not filtering the information as much as it is adding a different view to it. As such, when I move from that basic channel grouping view to AdWords Keyword, the report still shows 100% of the data but now groups each interaction by its respective keyword. However, since not all interactions have AdWords Keyword data associated with them, including Direct, E-Mail and Social Network visits, they are grouped into their own (not set) bucket.

    During the webinar, my colleague responded to this question by saying that “not set” may also appear due to broken AdWords tags. This response is also technically correct as broken AdWords tags can also prevent keyword information from being passed through, but in many cases it’s more likely that it’s just because the visits don’t have keyword data associated as described above, and AdWords tags are probably OK -- so consider this first before trying to troubleshoot.

    What devices are in place to prevent Spiders and Bots from inflating data and thus causing a possible "bad" business decision?
    Multi-Channel Funnels measure specific goal or conversion actions that are hopefully beyond the grasp of bots or spiders that are just mining content. For instance, it probably wouldn't be likely to find one that tries to fake e-commerce orders.

    If you have found bots coming through these conversions on your website (i.e. Store Locator), it may be practical to filter those visits out at the profile level in Google Analytics to make sure that they are not impacting any of your resulting analyses. Although we don’t recommend a specific set of criteria for limiting bots, there are dozens of articles online that you should be able to find with individual opinions on what is best.

    Web Analytics TV #25 - The Silver Anniversary Show!

    Welcome to the analysis ninja show, aka Web Analytics TV! Web Analytics TV, as you well know by now, is powered by your amazing questions. In this awesome episode we had questions from Dubai, India, Germany, Sweden, France, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the US.

    If you’re new to this show, our process is simple.

    Step 1: You ask, or vote on, your favorite web analytics questions. Vote on next week’s questions using this Web Analytics TV Google Moderator site.

    Step 2: From a secret undisclosed location at the Googleplex Avinash Kaushik & Nick Mihailovski answer them. :-)

    In this episode we award the “Ninja of the Episode” and award it to Eric from Ontario for a great question about calculating the economic value of conversions in Google Analytics. Eric, just email us and we’ll send you a signed copy of Web Analytics 2.0.

    OK. Here is the list of last episodes questions.

    In this action packed episode we discuss:

    • (2:42) Reasons for self referrals on mobile websites
    • (5:13) Where to find keywords for (not provided)
    • (7:14) Reporting when the same user completes a sequence of tasks
    • (8:38) How is social media determined in social reports
    • (10:18) What happens when you send more data than the monthly cap
    • (12:24) How paths show up when opening up new tabs or windows
    • (13:23) How converting on multiple goals are reported in goal funnels
    • (15:12) Why sampling occurs on profiles that filter out lots of traffic
    • (16:50) Tracking purchases across domains
    • (19:46) Can social referrals be tracked using campaign tracking parameters
    • (20:53) How advanced segments work when applied to landing pages
    • (23:00) The difference between the visitor and unique visitor metric
    • (24:50) When will the mobile SDK be updated to have non-interaction events
    • (25:50) The difference between product revenue and revenue
    • (27:52) What are good tactics to find the economic value of goal conversions

    Here are the links to the topics we discuss:

    As always, if you need help setting up Google Analytics or leveraging the advanced configuration options, we recommend hiring a Google Analytics Certified Partner.

    If you found this post or video helpful, we'd love to hear your comments. Please share them via the comment form below.

    This series would not be possible without your awesome questions. Please submit them on our public Google Moderator site, and while you’re there don’t forget to vote for your favorite questions.  Avinash and I will answer them in a couple of weeks with yet another entertaining video.