Enhanced Google Analytics Audience Capabilities Come to Apps

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 12:00 PM

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Good news for mobile app developers: Audience Demographics and Interests Reporting and Remarketing are now available for apps in Google Analytics.  Just one of the improvements for audience segmentation and remarketing we're announcing today, these changes should make it even easier for all our advertisers to reach their high-value customer segments. 

In-App Audience Demographics Reporting and Remarketing

Good analytics are especially important to app developers. At Google I/O, Hovhannes Avoyan, the CEO and Founder of PicsArt , had this to say: 

“We need analytics to help us understand who our users are, how they interact with our application, how our application performs. With all that knowledge, we want to apply different monetization strategies to different kinds of users.” 

Now developers can see just how different user segments engage and monetize with In-App Audience Demographics Reporting

And it's more than just data. Analysts and developers can blend audience demographic and behavior data into detailed audience lists to be targeted with in app remarketing campaigns. In short, all the great remarketing capabilities for Google Analytics users on the web are now available for apps as well.

New In-App Audience Demographics Reporting

Segmentation and remarketing lists get an upgrade
Creating remarketing lists for apps and web is now even easier with recent upgrades to both segmentation and audience building. A streamlined creation flow for creating audiences allows users to go from segment to audience within clicks (plus a few bonus admin features like list renaming and automatic list sizing).

New Audience Builder Experience, now supporting App lists
If you prefer to stand on the shoulders of remarketing giants, Analytics power users have developed and shared audience definitions that import via template links or from the solutions gallery. This simplifies things dramatically for new users. A process that could be complicated and time-consuming can now be done with 6 clicks in under 1 minute. Give it a try: import our Engagement Pack of Core Remarketing Lists.

On the segmentation side, users have told us they wanted segments to be more discoverable, easier to manage, and more intuitive to build. We've been listening, and have made interface improvements, adding a simple “Add Segment” button within reports, a new segment-selection interface, hover-over segment definitions, and a 1-click action dialogue to Share, Edit, Copy, Remove, or Remarket to a segment. 

New Segmentation Experience: fewer errors for better analysis

Measure remarketing performance with the new Display Targeting report
Once you’ve found a segment, created an audience, and activated your remarketing campaign, close the loop by measuring the performance of those audiences across all remarketing campaigns . Enter the new Adwords Display Targeting report in the Acquisition section to see all your active remarketing lists, along with impressions, spend, behavior, and conversion rates under the “Interests and Remarketing” tab.

New Remarketing List Performance in Display Targeting Report
You can learn how to update your SDK to enable these features in our Help Center or get started now by creating some remarketing lists. We hope that these improvements make your audience segmentation and remarketing-- in apps and on the web-- more intuitive and more effective. We’d love to hear from you! Please leave questions or feedback in the comments, and stay tuned for more audience-related improvements. 


Posted by Dan Stone, Product Manager, and Kanu Singhal, Technical Lead from the Google Analytics Audience Team

New Benchmarking Reports Help Twiddy Boost Email Open Rates by 500%

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 | 12:00 PM

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If you’ve ever wondered how your website is performing compared to the competition, our new Benchmarking reports in Google Analytics will help you find out.

Analytics users can now compare their results to peers in their industry, choosing from 1600 industry categories, 1250 markets and 7 size buckets. Benchmarking leverages the footprint of Google Analytics and can help you set meaningful targets, spot trends occurring across industries and answer a whole array of questions: Which channels should you be investing more in? How does your mobile engagement compare to your peers? How unique is your audience?

The new Benchmarking reports display acquisition and engagement metrics — like sessions and bounce rate — by Channel, Location, or Device Category dimensions. To ensure total data transparency, the number of properties contributing to the benchmark is displayed once you choose the industry, market and size. A helpful heat map feature makes it easy to see areas of strength and opportunity, and where to devote more resources.

Benchmarking in Action: Twiddy Finds a New Email Marketing Opportunity

Twiddy.com, a vacation rentals company in the Outer Banks-- a popular summer getaway destination-- has been using Benchmarking reports to help focus its marketing resources. A look at their peer benchmarks by channel showed that Twiddy was doing many things well during its peak summer booking season. Still, “it was clear we were missing a huge opportunity in email marketing,” reports CMO Ross Twiddy. His team used Google Analytics data to revamp their email marketing and improve the flow and process.

Email opportunity: Visitors from email spend nearly twice as long on site as the average, but user sessions generated from email are 82% below average and new users from the channel fall 91% below similar sites.

Twiddy even used Google Analytics to choose the best-selling messages for their email campaigns. Their analysis helped them zero in on the factors that were most consistent in repeat bookings: the price range, location, rental type, and even vacation week that would be most likely to convert with for each customer. "We launched an email last week based on our findings, and it shattered our email marketing records: a 48% average open rate and a 40% clickthrough rate,” says Ross.

Twiddy is happy with the new visibility they’ve gained: “The Benchmarking reports were powerful enough for us to reallocate time, budget and resources towards running down the deficiency. We can’t wait to start testing the reports out more broadly during the next peak booking season.”

Get Started with Benchmarking

Benchmarking reports can be found in the “Audience” section of the reporting interface and are rolling out over the next few weeks to all Google Analytics users who have opted in to share their data anonymously. If you want to join in, simply check the “Share anonymously with Google and others” box in the Account Settings tab of your account admin page. This is only the beginning for benchmarking within Google Analytics. We’ll be expanding these capabilities in the coming months, both incorporating conversion metrics and adding support for mobile apps. For more information on Benchmarking reports, check out our Help Center.

Posted by: Nikhil Roy, Product Manager, Google Analytics

U.S. Cellular reveals true impact of digital media on sales with Google Analytics Premium

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 | 10:24 AM

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With 10.6 million cell phone customers and retail stores in 400+ markets, U.S. Cellular needs to reach a lot of people with marketing messages. That's why U.S. Cellular uses many marketing channels -- online, in-store and telesales -- to drive mobile phone activations.


U.S. Cellular was challenged though. They didn’t know how many of their offline sales were driven by their digital marketing. This made it harder to adjust their media mix accordingly and also to forecast sales. To fix that situation, U.S. Cellular and its digital-analytics firm, Cardinal Path, turned to Google Analytics Premium and its integration with BigQuery

Part of Google Cloud Platform, BigQuery allows for highly flexible analysis of large datasets. The U.S. Cellular team used it to integrate and analyze terabytes of data from Google Analytics Premium and other systems. Then they mapped consumer behavior across online and offline marketing channels. Each transaction was attributed to the consumer touchpoints that the buyer had made across various sales channels. 

The result: U.S. Cellular got real insight into digital’s role in their sales. They were surprised to find that they could reclassify nearly half of all their offline activations to online marketing channels.

U.S. Cellular now uses this complete (and fully automatic) analytics framework to really see the consumer journey and forecast sales for each channel. Their team has the data they need to make better business decisions. 

“We’re now in the enviable position of having an accurate view at each stage of our customer journey," says Katie Birmingham, a digital & e-commerce analyst for the company. "The Google Analytics Premium solution not only gives us a business advantage, but helps us shape a great customer experience, and ultimately ties in to our values of industry-leading innovation and world-class customer service.”


Posted by: Suzanne Mumford, Google Analytics Premium Marketing

Rooms To Go Improves the Shopper Experience by Integrating Google Analytics Premium with BigQuery

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 | 10:56 AM

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Rooms To Go, a home furnishing retailer, simplifies the shopping experience by offering completely designed room packages. When the company wanted to better understand how its customers purchase its different furniture and decor variations and add-ons to streamline online customization options, it turned to its agency -  LunaMetrics - who integrated Google Analytics Premium and BigQuery. This approach helped to identify which items customers commonly buy together, leading to smarter and easier customization for its users.

The Google Analytics Premium integration allowed Rooms To Go to:
  • Better understand what their site visitors were purchasing
  • Organize the data and isolate the products that were frequently purchased together in order to discover customer buying patterns
  • Expand functionalities of the website to accommodate these customer patterns—for example, making it easier for users to add extra dining chairs when purchasing a dining room set

Overall, this strategy helped Rooms To Go create a better user experience for its customers, and the company expects an increase in sales because of it. Read the full case study on Think with Google, and learn about being a Google Analytics Premium customer here.

Analytics Pros helps Avvo Gain New Insights with Data Import

Tuesday, July 01, 2014 | 9:00 AM

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Companies use many systems to run their business. These may include multiple web advertising networks, CRM and content publishing systems, point of sale systems, inventory databases, etc. Integrating the data from these systems with Google Analytics provides a better understanding for how your customers behave on the web. 

At the 2014 Analytics Summit we announced the new Data Import. Data Import helps unify data from your different business systems, allowing you to organize your data the same way your business is organized. This will allow for more accurate analysis and bringing together previously disparate datasets into one complete picture. Using Data Import, you can upload your brand’s existing data into Google Analytics and join it with GA data for reporting, segmentation and remarketing.

By using the Data Import functionality in Google Analytics Premium and with the help of Analytics Pros, consumer legal services brand Avvo created clear, accurate data, which continues to impact decisions across their organization. While Avvo already had a successful and fast-growing business, the lack of visibility into advertising success made it hard to align key revenue opportunities with actual site usage. Read the full case study here.


“We’ve been very pleased with the results that were realized using Data Import in Google Analytics to analyze client behavior on our website. This exercise has given us better insight into valuable data that will ultimately impact how we segment the market for legal services.” 
- Sendi Widjaja, Co-Founder & CTO, Avvo, Inc.

Data Import also now supports a new Query Time mode that allows you to join your data with historical GA data. With this mode you can:
  • Enhance existing, already processed GA data with imported dimensions and metrics.
  • Upload calculated values after a transaction occurs, like total customer spend, last transaction date, or a loyalty score.
  • Correct any errors in data you have uploaded to GA in the past.
Query Time mode is currently in whitelist release for Premium users. For more information, contact your Premium account manager. You can learn more about Premium here.

Illustration of a new Google Analytics report with data from multiple sources 

We are also introducing a new version of Cost Data import that provides more versatile support for importing historical data. Additionally, cost data  can now be uploaded directly  through the Google Analytics web interface (previously, data import  required using the GA API). Note: Users of the original cost data import  must migrate to the new version. Details can be found in the cost data migration guide.

How to get started using Data Import
For more information, read Data Import on the Google Analytics Help Center. Also check our new developer Data Import guides that will get you up and running in no time. Some features are currently not rolled out to all users. If you’d like to join the beta for full-access, sign-up here.

Posted by Nick Mihailovski, Jieyan Fan, Richard Maher, Rick Elliott and the Google Analytics Team 

Segmenting Brand and Generic Paid Search Traffic in Google Analytics

Thursday, June 26, 2014 | 11:09 AM

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Many advertisers with paid search campaigns advertise on queries mentioning their brand (e.g., “Motorola smartphone” for Motorola) and also on generic searches (e.g., “smartphone reviews”). Because the performance metrics for ads shown against brand and generic queries can be vastly different, many advertisers prefer to analyze these two groups separately.  For example, all else being equal, searches containing the advertiser’s brand name often have higher clickthrough-rates than those that don’t.

Automatic classification


To make analysis of brand and generic performance as easy as possible, we’re introducing a new feature which automatically identifies brand-aware paid search clicks tracked in Google Analytics. We use a combination of signals (including the clickthrough-rate, text string, domain name and others) to identify query terms which show awareness of your brand.  You can review our suggested brand terms and then accept or decline each of them. It’s also easy to add additional brand terms that we’ve missed. 

With the resulting list of brand terms, we classify your paid search traffic in GA so that you can split your “paid search” channel into two separate channels: “brand paid search” and “generic paid search”. This can be done both for Multi-Channel Funnels (for attribution purposes) and for the main Google Analytics channel grouping. See this straightforward step-by-step guide to get started.

Industry feedback

Back in 2012, George Michie from the Rimm-Kaufmann Group, a leading online marketing agency, called analyzing brand and generic paid search together “the cardinal sin of paid search”. We showed him a preview of our new solution and here’s his reaction:

"I've been arguing for many years that advertisers should look at their brand and generic paid search separately. There are massive differences in overall performance - but also in more specific areas, like attribution and new customer acquisition. 

Google Analytics now makes it a lot easier for advertisers to segment brand and generic paid search into separate channels. I'm sure this feature will help many more advertisers measure these important differences - and more importantly, take action on these new insights."

Getting started

Finally: note that this feature works for all paid search advertising, not just Google AdWords. It will roll out to all users in the coming weeks.

To get started, use the step-by-step guide to set up separate brand paid search and generic paid search channels. We’ve already suggested brand terms for every GA view with sufficient paid search traffic.

Posted by: Frank Uyeda, Software Engineer, Google Analytics

Introducing the new Google Analytics Partner Gallery

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 | 6:58 AM

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Google Analytics has a vibrant ecosystem of analytics practitioners, advocates, and developers that drive great conversations, learnings, and sharing among passionate users. A central part of this ecosystem is partners, which can help users quickly increase the business value of Google Analytics through implementation expertise, analysis, and integrations.

To make it easier to find services and apps that are important to your business, we’ve re-launched the App Gallery as the Partner Gallery, the new destination to find partners and review their offerings. It includes:

Certified Partners are vetted by Google and meet rigorous qualification standards. This includes agencies and consultancies who offer web analytics implementations, analysis services and website testing and optimization services.

Ready-to-use applications that extend Google Analytics in new and exciting ways. This includes solutions that help analysts, marketers, IT teams, and executives get the most out of Google Analytics and complement functionality.



The Partner Gallery includes new features and improvements:
  • A brand new look and layout.
  • A combined view of both services and apps so you don’t need to visit multiple sites to find a solution.
  • New search capabilities and category selection making it easier to filter and find what you’re looking for.
  • Google Analytics Certified Partners are sorted based on your location to find partners that have an office near you.
  • Media assets like screenshots / videos / case studies that highlight customer success stories and illustrate app features.
  • Comments and ratings to review user experiences and provide feedback.
Visit the Partner Gallery to browse partner services and apps. If you’re interested in the Google Analytics Certified Partner or Technology Partner programs, learn how to become a partner.

Pete Frisella, Developer Advocate, Google Analytics Developer Relations team