Safe Browsing and Google Analytics: Keeping More Users Safe, Together

Thursday, February 26, 2015 | 10:23 AM

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The following was originally posted on the Google Online Security Blog.

If you run a web site, you may already be familiar with Google Webmaster Tools and how it lets you know if Safe Browsing finds something problematic on your site. For example, we’ll notify you if your site is delivering malware, which is usually a sign that it’s been hacked. We’re extending our Safe Browsing protections to automatically display notifications to all Google Analytics users via familiar Google Analytics Notifications.


Google Safe Browsing has been protecting people across the Internet for over eight years and we're always looking for ways to extend that protection even further. Notifications like these help webmasters like you act quickly to respond to any issues. Fast response helps keep your site—and your visitors—safe.

Posted by: Stephan Somogyi, Product Manager, Security and Privacy

Best Practices: Combine AdWords with Google Analytics for Better Insights, Bidding and Results

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 | 10:15 AM

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Like sunshine and the beach, or dogs and tennis balls, Google AdWords and Google Analytics are great by themselves but even better together. You'll get high-performance insights into your ads and your website when you link your AdWords and Analytics accounts. Google Analytics does a vital job in this pairing: it shows you what happened after users clicked on your AdWords ads.

We’ve put together a new Best Practices guide, Better Together: AdWords and Google Analytics, to help you get deep insight into your performance. When you analyze performance with the combination of GA and AdWords you can find all sorts of actionable info:
  • Which parts of your account drive actual on-site engagement
  • Which keywords attract new users to your site
  • What messaging and landing pages connect with the different users on your site
  • How your business compares across your entire industry
To whet your appetite, here’s a rundown of ten useful GA reports included in the guide (with links that lead you directly to these reports in your own GA account).  Like what you see here?  Download the full version and the condensed one-page checklist to view our complete coverage of GA + AW goodness.



Love Analytics and AdWords being paired together?  Please take our survey about your past success and what else we can do to improve the experience.


Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing

Start Remarketing with Google Analytics Instant Activation

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 | 2:10 PM

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For many advertisers, remarketing is an essential tactic. But remarketing can be a difficult journey, even for the savviest digital marketer. We repeatedly see marketers struggle with tagging hurdles and complex implementation challenges, with the result that only 1 in 5 remarketers successfully completes their setup.

To help make it easier for advertisers to reach their most qualified customers, we’ve enabled remarketing with a single toggle. Instead of manually updating all of your site tags, simply use Instant Activation and get started with remarketing in four easy steps.

Identifying quality visitors and maximizing conversions

GlobalTechLED.com is a producer of LED lighting. Thanks to Instant Activation, John Burns, Director of Marketing, was able to start remarketing quickly. Without waiting for IT to re-tag his site, John successfully launched Global Tech LED’s first remarketing campaign and saw fast results by reaching their highest potential customers.

After enabling remarketing, Global Tech LED leveraged Google’s powerful machine-learning technology in two ways for their online campaigns: Smart Lists for remarketing automatically created lists of visitors who were most likely to engage in a subsequent session on GlobalTechLED.com. Then, Conversion Optimizer instantly adjusted the campaigns’ bids get more conversions at a lower cost, eventually freeing up more time and resources for the company.

As a result, GlobalTechLED.com is currently reaching their performance and outreach goals. To date they’ve doubled their display campaigns’ CTRs and have almost five times more clicks on their remarketing campaign compared to their other campaigns. Website traffic increased by over 100% in the first 30 days of the campaign, and international traffic skyrocketed. They’ve also seen a 75% decrease in CPA for their campaigns.

These kind of results were exactly what the company was looking for. According to John, "We’ve been trying to hit these specific numbers in the account for a couple of months, and Google Analytics Remarketing helped us achieve these in only a couple of days." Read the full case study here.

Four easy steps to get started

Ready to get started with remarketing? You can, with just four steps.

1. In your Google Analytics Property’s settings, choose ‘Audiences’ under the ‘Remarketing’ section.


2. Choose the AdWords account where you’d like to share your Audience and click ‘Next Step’.


3. Click “Enable” to create your first audience of All Users.  You can also come back later and create more complex audiences, like ‘visitors who have spent more than six minutes on site’, ‘visitors who visited more than five pages’, or ‘abandoned cart’.

This step automatically activates Advertiser Features if you haven’t done so already, which also enables Audience Demographics and Interests Reporting. You can manage this setting at any time in the Admin tab, under the ‘Advertiser Features’ section in your Property Settings.


4. Click ‘Create Campaign’ and complete the remarketing campaign creation process in AdWords. Congratulations, you are now a Remarketer!


We’re really excited to make Advertiser Features in Google Analytics simpler and enable all Google Analytics users to be more successful across all their marketing channels. Stay tuned for future improvements!

Happy Analyzing!

Posted by Avi Mehta and Rosanne Borja, Google Analytics Team

Introducing Trash Can: Data Recovery in Google Analytics

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 | 7:00 AM

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We all make mistakes, but the damage might seem irrevocable when accidentally deleting crucial reporting information from Google Analytics. Thanks to feedback from our users, we’re pleased to introduce a new feature to provide a safety net each time you delete a view, property or account from your Google Analytics account: the Trash Can.

To get started, navigate to the Administration tab, select an account, and click the Trash Can feature on the left-hand panel. Check off what you want to reclaim, click “Restore,” and voilĂ ! Your view, property or account is now just as it was before you deleted it. Once 35 days pass from the day you originally trashed it, however, you’ll have to say a final goodbye as the data will be removed from the Trash Can and will no longer appear there. 


This feature will be rolling out to all Google Analytics accounts in the coming weeks, but don’t worry–anything you’ve deleted starting today will still show up in the Trash Can once you get the feature update in your account. 

Many people rely on Google Analytics to collect, analyze, and report on data in order to make good business decisions. We hope that the Trash Can is just one more way to ensure that you have all the information you need when you need it. To learn more details about the Trash Can feature, please read this Help Center article.

Posted by Chris Cahill, Michael Masukawa, and Dan Morenus

Retailers: Three Insights to Drive Q1 Results

Monday, January 26, 2015 | 1:36 PM

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Now that we’ve survived the holiday season, it’s time to get the year started with some Q1 insights from Google Analytics!  Over the holiday season, retailers are inundated with data about the best shopping days, when to start their sales, and predictions about which items will be popular.  But what to do once the furor dies down?  How can retailers make the most of Q1?  

Here at Google Analytics, we delved into our Q1 data from 2013 and 2014 in the US to provide some insights to guide you in the first quarter of 2015.  In particular, the weeks around Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl provided some notable trends.  Our analysis encompasses millions of businesses large and small who are using Google Analytics.  See the end of this article for more about our dataset.

The Day of the Big Game:  A Low Point for Online Shopping
We took a look at the first big marketing event of Q1:  Super Bowl Sunday.  The day of the big game, we saw lower numbers across the board.  Sessions were down 11% compared to the average for the quarter.  Similarly, transactions and conversion rates were down on average 16% and 5% respectively.  In both 2013 and 2014, the sessions and transaction numbers for the day of the Super Bowl fall into the bottom quartile for the quarter.

Clearly, on the day of the game, online purchasing is not a priority.  However, as we see later on in this post, this period of time serves as the turning point for transactions and conversion rates in the quarter.  The brand advertising that is such a big part of Super Bowl Sunday may help businesses capitalize on increased consumer buying behavior later in the quarter.

Best Romantic Shopping Day:  The Sunday before Valentine’s Day
We also delved into the second big marketing event of Q1:  Valentine’s Day.  In particular, we evaluated the week preceding the big day to find any pre-holiday patterns.  It turns out that in both 2013 and 2014, the Sunday before Valentine’s Day sees the biggest spike in week-over-week transactions with an average bump of 10%.  The same holds true for conversion rates and sessions, with an average increase of 6% and 4% respectively.  Besides a week-over-week increase, we also see that transactions are 5% higher on that day than for the average Sunday in the quarter.  The bump in transactions could indicate that consumers are using that Sunday to find and purchase their gifts, making it a good opportunity to invest in getting consumers to your site for some Valentine’s Day shopping.  If you plan to invest in advertising for this holiday, one way to prepare for Valentine’s Day is to adjust your bids.

Between the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day:  The Q1 Turning Point
Unless you’re lucky enough to sell items for diet, exercise, or other big new year’s resolutions, retailers often see sales slow in Q1 as consumers reduce gift-buying.  The chart below shows that for most of January, transactions are indeed below the average for the quarter.  

When should retailers spend marketing dollars to bounce back from this holiday hangover?  We see that transactions in both 2013 and 2014 start to ramp up as the key marketing dates approach: Valentine’s Day and Super Bowl Sunday.  In particular, the week of February 5th (also known as the week after the Super Bowl and the week before Valentine’s Day) marks the first time that transactions hit the average or above for the quarter.  

The graph below shows that in 2013 the week after the Super Bowl was above the average, whereas in 2014 that week was at the quarterly average.  In both years, this week has the highest week over week growth in transactions and conversions rates for Q1 at 6% for both metrics.  Sessions, however, display only a 0.4% increase week-over-week, not even close to being the highest for the quarter.  Based on this information about sessions, it’s clear that the uptick in buying behavior is not simply a function of consumers spending more time online, it’s an indication of increased intent to purchase during the time they do spend online.  If we look at average conversion rates before that week compared to the average conversion rates for that week and the rest of the quarter, we see a 6% increase.


So, as you plan your budgets, promotions, and campaigns in Q1, keep in mind that consumer activity will tend to increase throughout the quarter.  In particular, transactions tend to get a big bump during the week between Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine’s Day.  We know it’s hard to get back in gear after the holidays, but we hope our insights will help you think clearly and creatively about your marketing plans in the first quarter.

About the Data & Charts 
In order to perform this analysis, we looked at billions of sessions from authorized Google Analytics clients who have shared their website data anonymously (read more).



AccuWeather Unlocks Cross-Channel Impact Using Google Analytics Premium

Friday, January 16, 2015 | 9:30 AM

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“The ability to overlay our own data on top of traditional dimensions and metrics has provided valuable insights into the kind of information our consumers are looking for.” 

-- Steve Mummey, Director of Browser Products at AccuWeather

AccuWeather is the world’s largest weather media company with over 1 billion people a day relying on AccuWeather’s suite of products to give them real-time weather information. Today we wanted to highlight AccuWeather’s success with the Measurement Protocol in Google Analytics Premium. The Measurement Protocol is a feature where businesses can send requests to Google Analytics from countless customer touchpoints. 

Measuring the complete customer journey
AccuWeather needed to find a way to increase the impact of digital across all its channels and products. They were determined to find a robust solution that collected data from each customer touchpoint to give a comprehensive analysis to make better business decisions.

The team wanted to sought out accomplish four goals: 1) analyze the effectiveness of weather forecast emails 2) attribute credit to campaigns that drove users to app store pages, 3) better understand their mobile audience, and 4) collect this new data without compromising AccuWeather’s fast and simple user experience.

Google Analytics Premium solves the challenge
Using Google Analytics Premium, plus the Measurement Protocol, allowed AccuWeather to report on a variety of the company’s services simultaneously from one source. AccuWeather was able to have information from emails, mobile devices, and QR codes sent through the Measurement Protocol. This feature provided the AccuWeather team with a complete picture in the Google Analytics reporting interface alongside their other metrics.

Data-driven decisions that drive action
As a result of the sophisticated and comprehensive set of Google Analytics Premium features, AccuWeather has been able to more accurately identify the source of app downloads to track application traffic from QR codes and other offline campaigns to the app stores.

The team’s analysis revealed that 10% of the brand’s mobile traffic came from devices that either did not support JavaScript or had the feature disabled. Without using the Measurement Protocol in Google Analytics Premium, they would never have been able to account for this portion of its audience. The team can now include this audience in its product and monetization decisions.

Pleased with the success of this solution, AccuWeather now plans to apply it to other parts of its business to uncover new insights, new leads, and, of course, new customers. 

You can read AccuWeather’s full story and dive deeper into the results here. To learn more on the Measurement Protocol, check out this video.

Posted by: the Google Analytics Premium team

Simplify your Google Analytics Reporting with Add-ons for Google Sheets

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 | 9:59 AM

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It's common for Google Analytics users to use spreadsheets to analyze their Google Analytics data or combine it with another data source. But exporting your data from Google Analytics to Google Sheets is a manual process, and it can be tedious if you run reports frequently or manage multiple accounts. With the release of Add-ons for Google Sheets, getting your Google Analytics data into Google Sheets has never been easier!

Add-ons allow you to extend the power of Google Sheets by automating common tasks and integrating with external services. The Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-on allows you to access your Google Analytics data, right from within a spreadsheet!



The Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-on
The Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-on combines the power of the Google Analytics API with the rich feature set of Google Sheets, making it easier for Google Analytics users to access, visualize, share, and manage their data. With this add-on you can:
  • Query and report data from multiple views.
  • Compute and display custom calculations.
  • Create visualizations and embed those visualizations on third-party websites.
  • Schedule your reports to run and update automatically.
  • Control who can see your data and visualizations by using Google Sheets' sharing and privacy features.
But perhaps the best way to find out what the Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-on can do is to see it in action. In this short video I introduce the add-on, show you how to install it, and walk you through creating your first report.


If you want to go deeper, you can watch this more advanced video where I explain in detail the process of building a complete dashboard that automatically updates and can be embedded on a third-party website.


If you have more questions about how to use the add-on, check out the documentation. It explains each of its features and configuration options in much more detail.

Supermetrics and Analytics Canvas add-ons
The Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-on gives users a powerful yet user-friendly way to access their Google Analytics data, but it doesn't solve all business integration needs.

For more advanced business and data-integration solutions, I strongly recommend trying out these two excellent Google Sheets add-ons created by our technology partners:
Both of these add-ons integrate with Google Analytics as well as a variety of other platforms and services such as Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft Office, and many more. Free and premium versions are available. 

Feedback and Support
Add-ons are a great way to automate the process of getting your Google Analytics data into Google Sheets. We hope you take the time to try out these add-ons and see how they can improve your workflow.

If you use the Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-on, we'd love to know what you think. You can leave a review in the Chrome Web Store, ask any questions you have in the add-on discussion group, or submit feedback directly from within Google Sheets.

Any and all feedback is welcome!

By: Philip Walton, Developer Programs Engineer, Google Analytics