Thursday, February 14, 2013

Upgrade To The Next Generation Mobile App Analytics Platform

Spring is coming right around the corner and it's never a bad idea to get a head start on your spring cleaning! The same goes for your mobile app analytics solution. Have you switched over to our new Mobile App Analytics Platform (v2) yet? The benefits are numerous:

A more powerful mobile SDK

  • We are providing a new mobile app analytics solution, solving the problem that there is currently no single repository to understand end-to-end value of mobile app users. This is supported by a more powerful mobile SDK (v2.0) that is easy to implement.

“One stop shop” for app measurement

  • Understanding app performance holistically through acquisition, engagement and outcome is critical to improve mobile app results, optimize user engagement and increase revenue generated. Our new reports show the entire lifecycle. 

Improve ROI and engagement

  • App developers and brands can make better, more comprehensive data-driven decisions for mobile investments with better reports. For example, marketers can optimize their mobile programs to improve ROI and app developers can improve in-app engagement.  

Though we call it “Version 2,” the truth is that we didn’t just “upgrade” our original platform. We decided to rebuild the whole thing from scratch. Our team at Google Analytics has reimagined mobile app analytics and have created a brand new experience tailored specifically for mobile app developers, providing reports on the data you care most about, in the language you understand. In addition, we also completely rebuilt our Android and iOS SDKs to be even more lightweight, efficient, and faster.

We’re continuing to build and add features to this platform all the time. So if you haven’t migrated yet, now is the perfect time to do it and find out exactly what you're missing out on. 

To make it easy to migrate, we’ve put together a Migration Guide for Android and iOS to help you make the move.

And if you’re new to Mobile App Analytics, check out the Getting Started Guide for Android or iOS to get your app up and running with Google Analytics in minutes.

Posted by Calvin Lee, Google Analytics Team

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Multi-Currency E-Commerce Support In Google Analytics

We’ve listened to your feedback and have heard the requests loud and clear: E-Commerce should support multiple currencies. We’re pleased to announce the launch of this feature which will be rolling out to all users over the next few weeks. 

Multi-Currency support for eCommerce provides Google Analytics users with the ability to track transaction metrics (total revenue, tax, and shipping & handling) in multiple local currencies within a single web property. And Google Analytics will convert them into the one currency based on your profile setting. This provides key benefits for e-commerce brands looking to conduct analysis across an international customer base and helps make some previously complex reporting easier.

New metrics supported in multi-currency

Multi-Currency tracking code implementation:

Multi-currency is supported by web tracking and Android SDK (iOS SDK support is coming soon).

The ‘currency code’ is a global setting that can be set via tracker ‘_set()’. It only need to be set once, unless the page is sending multiple transactions in separate currencies.

Here are a few other things we think you’ll want to know:

How the conversion rate is decided?

The conversion rate is pulled from currency server which is serving Google Billing. The value is the daily exchange rate of the day before hit date. See a technical overview for additional information.

Which currency does GA support?

We support currencies which are available in GA profile currency dropdown menu. Right now, 31 currencies altogether are supported.

Currency dropdown menu

Which currency code shall I use?

A full version of currency codes shared across Google products is available on the Google Developers site.

Can I retro-process my history transaction data?

Only from the day you started using multi-currency support, you can get both local and global value. 

Several companies have already started using Multi-Currency in Google Analytics and are seeing great results. One of our Certified Partners, Blast Analytics & Marketing, helped their client implement this feature. David Tjen, Director of Analytics at reports:

"Google Analytics' new multi-currency feature increases sales metric accuracy for As an international brand, the AllPosters family of sites supports 20 currencies across 25 countries. Previously, manual adjustments were required before we could read sales metrics in Google Analytics when we had transactions with large currency conversion ratios to the US dollar, such as the Mexican Peso and Japanese Yen. The simple code update solves the issue by automatically converting all transactions to the primary currency on each site, providing sales metrics that allow us to make faster decisions with our web analytics data.”

To get started today, view our help center page with detailed instructions on how to begin.

Posted by Wayne Xu, Google Analytics team

Monday, February 11, 2013

Verify Your Measurement Setup With Tag Assistant

Google Analytics is, at its core, a simple and powerful tool. But once you start to customize the code to take advantage of all the flexibility available you may find yourself needing some help troubleshooting a nagging issue. 

A new Chrome Extension created by engineers here at Google hopes to make troubleshooting tag installs much easier. Tag Assistant aims to highlight errors, warnings, and provide useful suggestions for Google's most widely adopted tags including Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Adwords Conversion Tracking, the new Remarketing Tag, Trusted Stores and Floodlight. 

After installing the extension, Tag Assistant will alert you if tags are found on any page you are currently browsing. For each tag we will tell you if it appears to be working or if we notice any problems with your implementation. Tag Assistant will even make recommendations on how to improve your installation if we notice any optimizations. For example, if you have 2 or more tags implemented separately we might suggest that you migrate to use Google Tag Manager instead. 

How does it work? Tag Assistant looks for errors in two different ways. First, we check the source code to look for common errors like forgetting to include a closing </script> tag. We also review the HTTP headers to ensure that we are getting expected responses. 

Since launching in October of 2012 we have collected a lot of your feedback and have added dozens of new checks. Over the course of the year we will be adding more checks that will make the Tag Assistant more accurate and helpful. 

We encourage you to try it out for yourself by installing it via the Chrome Web Store. If you have feedback on new checks to add or if you have questions about the tool, join our Google+ community where our team and users can help you out.

Posted by Geoff Pitchford, Google Tag Assistant PM

Friday, February 8, 2013

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:

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!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Win moments that matter in 2013 with Learn with Google webinars

A version of the following post originally appeared on the Inside AdWords Blog.

What was your business’ New Year’s resolution, and how do you plan to keep it? At Google, ours is to help make the web work for you. Our new series of Learn with Google webinars will teach you how to use digital to build brand awareness and give you the tools you need to drive sales. By tapping into technology that works together across your business needs, you can resolve to win moments that matter in 2013.

Check out our upcoming live webinars:

Build Awareness

02/12 [Multiscreen] Brand Building in a Multiscreen World

02/20 [YouTube] How to Build your Business with YouTube Video Ads

03/05 [Social] How to Use Google+ and Make Social Work for You

03/12 [Mobile] Understanding Mobile Ads Across Marketing Objectives

03/27 [Wildfire by Google] The Call for Converged Media

Drive Sales

02/07 [Search] Your Shelf Space on Google: Get Started with Google Shopping

02/26 [YouTube] From Awareness to Sales: Making the Most of Video Remarketing

02/27 [Search] What's New and Next in AdWords

03/06 [Display] Biggest Loser: Digital Ad Spend Edition

03/13 [Mobile] The Full Value of Mobile

03/20 [Display] Getting Started with Dynamic Remarketing

Visit our webinar site to register for any of the sessions and to access past webinars on-demand. You can also stay up-to-date on the schedule by adding our Learn with Google Webinar calendar to your own Google calendar to automatically see upcoming webinars.

During our last series of webinars, attendees had the chance to win a Nexus 7. Our lucky winner was Donella Cohen, who is happily enjoying her new tablet. Check out our upcoming webinars for another chance to win!

Learn with Google is a program to help businesses succeed through winning moments that matter, enabling better decisions and constantly innovating. We hope that you’ll use these best practices and how-to’s to maximize the impact of digital and grow your business. We’re looking forward to seeing you at an upcoming session!

Posted by Erin Molnar, Learn With Google

Friday, February 1, 2013

Optimize Your Website with SiteApps and GA

Google Analytics excels at collecting an incredible amount of information about how visitors interact with the web and mobile properties of its users. This data provides marketers and analysts who know what they’re looking for with with an incredibly powerful platform to understand what’s working and what’s not. To those who aren’t sure what they’re looking for though, all of this information can be overwhelming and make it easy to take no action at all.

SiteApps enables businesses to get instantaneous, free recommendations on how to optimize their website based on their Google Analytics data. SiteApps’ technology runs hundreds of automated analyses on its customers’ web data to identify opportunities for improvement. Based on these tailored recommendations, SiteApps then enables businesses to install apps from their marketplace to help solve these problems.

One of SiteApps’ customers is a family-owned home furnishings designer that was having difficulty maintaining their eCommerce presence while still focusing on the day-to-day operations of their brick and mortar retail store.  Within minutes of signing up for SiteApps, they were able to identify dozens of opportunities for site optimization. By installing the apps that were recommended to them, they were able to create a compelling web presence that increased their conversion rate by 108% and led to 65% more time spent on site by its visitors.  This led to a substantial increase in revenue for the business simply by unlocking the power of their web analytics data.

Our business is completely based on data. It’s incredibly important to us that customers know - or learn - just how valuable their data is,” says Phillip Klien, co-founder of SiteApps. “We consider Google Analytics the foundation for our platform and use the results to help customers make the most of the data their website produces.”

SiteApps is free to try and takes a matter of minutes to set-up.  Give it a try today to see what you can uncover from your web analytics.

Posted by the Google Analytics team

Monday, January 28, 2013

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