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Monthly Archives: November 2015
Wyndham Vacation Rentals runs 9,000 North American rental properties from the mountains of Utah to the beaches of South Carolina. As you can imagine, that many guests and destinations creates some interesting challenges for Wyndham’s online booking system.
They turned to Google Analytics Premium and Google Tag Manager for help, and we’ve just published a new case study showing the results. (Spoiler alert: property search CTRs are up by 30%.)
Wyndham did some very clever things with both tools. For instance, they used Google Tag Manager to implement Google Analytics Premium Custom Dimensions to capture user behavior around metrics like rental dates and length of stay. Then they used Google Analytics Premium to dig into the details and gather insights. That’s how they learned that, while a “good view” is one of the top things customers included in searches, the scenic view attribute actually had a lower conversion rate than other features offered in their suites.
As a result, Wyndham redesigned its search results to put the properties with the most profitable mix of attributes on the first page. The Wyndham team also learned how far in advance people begin searching for various vacations, and have adjusted their campaigns and spending to match the peaks in demand.
With changes like these, Wyndham’s customers are maintaining more interest through all stages of the funnel. Wyndham says its property search CTR has skyrocketed by more than 30%. Here’s what Nadir Ali, their Director of eCommerce Analytics, has to say about this success:
“Google Analytics Premium is helping us connect the dots. As a data-driven organization, we strive to approach each business challenge objectively and back our assumptions with data. Google Analytics Premium gives us the flexibility to customize the data we collect in a manner that makes it easy to answer our business questions.”
We’re always happy to see the creative ways partners use Google Analytics Premium and tools like Google Tag Manager. Congrats to Wyndham on some excellent (and ongoing) results.
Posted by Rachel Reader, Google Analytics Marketing
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The American Cancer Society has been working for more than 100 years to find a cure for cancer and to help patients fight back, get well and stay well. Today, the Society uses a number of websites and mobile apps to provide information on cancer detection and treatment, offer volunteer opportunities, and accept donations.
The Society knew they were being visited by users with different needs and goals, but it was a challenge to isolate these customer segments and to help them achieve their goals. The Society also wanted to address concerns with the Google Analytics implementation on its sites, monitor how its users changed behavior over time, and remarket to all segments once they were identified.
In order to find the data and insights necessary to answer the challenges above, the Society partnered with Search Discovery, a Google Analytics Certified Partner. To achieve these goals, they analyzed the website user segments and created personas to represent them. Then, they used segmentation and custom metrics to score each group based on how it was behaving on the website.
To learn how the American Cancer Society and Search Discovery worked together to implement a process to understand, optimize and monitor the overall health of the site for each user segment, download the detailed case study. And if you want to help saving lives, donate today.
According to Ashleigh Bunn, Director of Digital Analytics:
“The insights we’ve gained from Google Analytics and working with Search Discovery continue to influence the Society business decisions for the positive. Not only are our marketing decisions well informed, but our digital content is driven by user experience and engagement. We’re looking forward with enthusiasm and optimism.”
Posted by Daniel Waisberg, Analytics Advocate
Developing algorithmic changes to search involves a process of experimentation. Part of that experimentation is having evaluators—people who assess the quality of Google’s search results—give us feedback on our experiments. Ratings from evaluators do not determine individual site rankings, but are used help us understand our experiments. The evaluators base their ratings on guidelines we give them; the guidelines reflect what Google thinks search users want.
In 2013, we published our human rating guidelines to provide transparency on how Google works and to help webmasters understand what Google looks for in web pages. Since that time, a lot has changed: notably, more people have smartphones than ever before and more searches are done on mobile devices today than on computers.
We often make changes to the guidelines as our understanding of what users wants evolves, but we haven’t shared an update publicly since then. However, we recently completed a major revision of our rater guidelines to adapt to this mobile world, recognizing that people use search differently when they carry internet-connected devices with them all the time. You can find that update here (PDF).
This is not the final version of our rater guidelines. The guidelines will continue to evolve as search, and how people use it, changes. We won’t be updating the public document with every change, but we will try to publish big changes to the guidelines periodically.
We expect our phones and other devices to do a lot, and we want Google to continue giving users the answers they’re looking for—fast!
Posted by Mimi Underwood, Sr. Program Manager, Search Growth & Analysis
You’ve probably seen Progressive Insurance’s terrific commercials with Flo the enthusiastic cashier. But have you seen their terrific new mobile app?
It’s a story of perseverance. Their full site at Progressive.com has been rated as America’s best insurance carrier website for more than a decade.1 But a few years back, as consumers shifted to mobile, the company realized it needed to make a whole new push to build a mobile app that matched its customers’ changing behavior. They had a mobile app—they just didn’t have a great mobile app.
Progressive recognized to get started, they’d need sophisticated analytics to really understand what their customers wanted most from a mobile experience. They turned to Google Analytics Premium, in combination with other Google measurement tools, for the solution. Features like Custom Reports, Custom Dimensions and the integration with BigQuery let them streamline the app testing process, spot the root causes of app crashes, and simplify user logins.
“The Google Analytics Premium user interface lets us easily understand the consumer experience on apps. Both our IT and Business organizations rely on this data.” — Kaitlin Marvin, Digital Analytics Architect, Progressive Insurance
Google Analytics Premium helped Progressive move fast. Their team lowered app testing time by 20% and boosted successful customer logins by 30%. The result is a mobile app that may not be quite as famous as Flo, but continues the best-in-class tradition that keeps Progressive customers happy and loyal.
See how they did it: read the full Progressive case study.
1Progressive Insurance, “Keynote Recognizes Progressive Insurance for the 24th Time as Premiere Insurance Carrier Website,” March 17, 2015.
Posted by Rachel Reader, Google Analytics Marketing
The following was originally posted on the AdWords Blog.
From monitoring account performance at scale to making cross-account campaign changes, manager accountshelp many of the most sophisticated AdWords advertisers get more done in less time. To deliver more insightful reporting and scale your remarketing efforts, we’re introducing two new enhancements to manager accounts: Google Analytics account linking, and remarketing tag and list sharing.
Access your data with a single link
You can now link your Google Analytics or Google Analytics Premium account directly to your AdWords manager account using the new setup wizard in AdWords under Account Settings. This streamlined workflow for linking accounts eliminates the need to link each of your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts individually.
|Click image for full-size version|
Now when you import your goals, website metrics, remarketing lists, or other data from Google Analytics, you’ll only need to do it once. And whenever you add a new AdWords account to your manager account, it will automatically be linked with the same Analytics properties.
These enhancements save time so you can focus on optimizing your campaigns. You can learn more about linking your Google Analytics account into your manager account in the AdWords Help Center.
Scale your remarketing strategy
Many advertisers are seeing tremendous success re-engaging customers and finding new ones using Display remarketing, remarketing lists for search ads, and similar audiences. To help scale these efforts across the AdWords accounts you manage, you now have options for creating and sharing remarketing lists directly in your manager account from the new “Audiences” view, including any lists imported from Google Analytics or Customer Match.
You can also create remarketing lists using a manager-level remarketing tag and use them across your managed accounts. This eliminates the need to retag your website and manage multiple lists in each AdWords account. If any of your managed accounts have their own lists, they can be made available for use in your other managed accounts.
These enhancements make it easier and faster than ever before to get your remarketing strategy up and running. You can learn more about sharing remarketing tags and lists in the AdWords Help Center.
Posted by Vishal Goenka, Senior Product Manager, AdWords
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of Google Analytics. So much has changed over the last decade! If you think back ten years ago, the most popular smartphone was the Blackberry and a 128 megabyte flash drive cost about $30. Today you can get 250X the storage for half the price.
During that time, the world we now refer to as “digital analytics” has changed significantly.
Our mission when Google acquired Urchin Software was to empower a broad range of website developers and marketers to better understand and improve their business through powerful, yet easy to use analytics tools. In pursuit of that goal we’ve continued to bring new digital analytics capabilities to the market with Google Analytics Premium, Google Tag Manager, and Adometry. I’m really proud of the effort and innovation we have put forth in pursuit of that goal.
Looking back on the journey, here are my top ten Google Analytics highlights in no particular order:
- Event Tracking – A powerful feature added early on that allows users to track visitor actions that don’t correspond directly to a pageview. With event tracking, specific actions like PDF downloads and video views are easily tracked, categorized, and analyzed. This feature has become critical as websites have moved away from a page-structured model. Read how PUMA uses custom filters, event tracking, and advanced segments to kick up order rates by 7%.
- Real-Time Reporting – Providing insights into what is happening at any given moment, real-time reporting is a powerful set of reports that are invaluable when checking campaign tagging, launching new campaigns, or understanding the immediate impact of social media. Read how Obama for America used Google Analytics to democratize rapid, data-driven decision making.
- Multi-Channel Funnels, Attribution Modeling, and Data-Driven Attribution - Multi-channel funnels was the first step in helping marketers move from last-click attribution and gain insights into the full path to conversion. Next up was Attribution Modeling, which helps businesses distribute credit to all marketing touch-points in the conversion process. We currently provide algorithmic models and a new set of reports designed to take the guesswork out of attribution and make it more accurate. Watch how attribution modeling increases profit for Baby Supermall.
- Tag Management – As the complexity of digital marketing and data collection continues to increase, it became clear that our users needed better tools for managing tags. Google Tag Manager consolidates website tags with a single snippet of code and lets users manage everything from an easy to use interface. Read how Domino’s Increased Monthly Revenue by 6% with Google Analytics Premium and Google Tag Manager.
- Analytics Academy – A great product is only as good as it’s users ability to take advantage of all it offers. As the world of marketing and analytics increased in complexity, it became more important for Google Analytics users to be able to stay up to speed on all the changes. In response to this need, the Analytics Academy offers users a hub to participate in free, online, community-based video courses about digital analytics and, specifically, Google Analytics.
- Universal Analytics – Universal Analytics (UA) was a big step for Google Analytics on two dimensions. First, UA helps address the challenges of today’s multi-screen, multi-device world by combining visitor activities across devices into a single view. Secondly, it is the foundation of people-centric analytics and enables features like User ID, Lifetime-Value, and Cohorts reporting. Read how 1stdibs luxury marketplace hit new heights with Google Analytics Premium.
- Measurement Protocol – This feature was one of the foundations for Universal Analytics. It helped Google Analytics change from a “web analytics” tool to “digital analytics” platform. The measurement protocol allows users to send, store, and visualize interaction data via an HTTP request. This enables developers to measure how users interact with their business from almost any environment including offline transactions and IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Read how AccuWeather unlocks cross-channel impact using Google Analytics Premium.
- Mobile App Analytics – With the explosion of mobile apps and devices, being able to measure and improve both app marketing performance and the app experience is critical. Mobile App Analytics reports are tailored for mobile app developers and marketers to measure the entire mobile customer journey—from discovery to download to engagement. And, when used with the UserID feature, businesses can better understand cross device user behavior. Read how Certain Affinity used Google’s Mobile App Analytics to improve game design.
- Enhanced Ecommerce – A complete revamp of how Google Analytics measures the ecommerce experience. It provides clear insight into new, important metrics about shopper behavior and conversions including: product detail views, ‘add to cart’ actions, internal campaign clicks, the success of internal merchandising tools, the checkout process, and purchase. Read how Brian Gavin Diamonds saw a 60% Increase in customer checkouts with enhanced ecommerce.
- Remarketing – Remarketing with Google Analytics helps you easily create audiences based on behaviors of people who visit your website and mobile app. Those audiences are then made available for remarketing campaigns in AdWords, GDN and DoubleClick Bid Manager. Read how TransUnion sees drastic cost efficiencies and conversion improvement with Google Analytics Premium.
I want to thank all the Googler’s, our certified partners, and most importantly, our users who have made this past decade such a fantastic experience. Rest assured, we’re not done yet. We continue to enhance Google Analytics, build new products, and provide new and innovative ways to help all businesses make better decisions. Stay tuned and cheers to the possibilities of the next decade.
Posted by Paul Muret, VP Engineering
Today’s marketers have more opportunities than ever to drive business success. They also face increasing pressure to prove, manage, and optimize marketing performance.
A relentless push towards accountability has driven the adoption of ever-more-sophisticated measurement tools. Many marketers use marketing mix modeling (MMM), some use data-driven attribution, while others consult a separate solution for each.
Tools continue to evolve. Now, solutions that merge and substantively improve both of these measurement best practices promise faster, more efficient, more holistic insights. To find out more, we commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey 150 companies in order to explore how marketers are evaluating, adopting, and using these emerging tools. Key learnings will be presented in our Dec 8th webinar hosted by Google and featuring Tina Moffett, Senior Analyst at Forrester along with Dave Barney, Product Manager, Adometry at Google. Sign up here.
Why consider a merger?
While separate MMM and data-driven attribution tools offer cross-channel measurement, each has limitations:
- Speed and Granularity. Traditional MMM offers high-level analysis on a quarterly or yearly basis, which can limit more granular, or on-the-fly optimization
- Data Limitations. Data-driven attribution requires a wealth of granular, user-level data, which can limit offline channel visibility
When the two measurement practices are combined, however, they improve the outputs from each. Data-driven attribution informs MMM models. MMM data feeds attribution analysis. Resulting insights allow marketers to see the impact of each marketing element in near real-time.
Pending or trending?
Today, many marketers get the optimization benefit from separate MMM and data-driven attribution tools. Will merged tools become a new marketing performance measurement standard?
While it may be too early to tell, there is a growing desire for tools that help marketers move beyond channel-based optimization to larger strategic cross-channel planning. Forrester reports that many respondents have already moved, or plan to move, on the merged measurement trend and the most common approach has been to purchase a solution from a vendor, and to make use of the vendor’s implementation support.
“There will be a paradigm shift in understanding for the marketing channels. I think it gives them an opportunity to think holistically rather than in a silo, like, ‘this is my world, this is my budget, as long as I get this much traffic in my channel, I am ok.’ It’s no longer the case. Getting that understanding is going to be key. It gives us better understanding of how our customers navigate through different touch-points.”
— Director of Marketing And Automation Systems at a major global retailer
Benefits and challenges
Integrated MMM and data-driven attribution tools are enabling marketers to make strategic planning decisions and precisely measure individual-level interactions in near real-time. Satisfaction with integrated tools is high among those who have implemented them.
Faster access to insights has more companies looping in more stakeholders from marketing execs and analysts to customer insights or analytics, brand managers, and eCommerce professionals.
At the same time, early adopters report challenges. Integrating tools and data sources is a big ask, learning when to make changes based on new insights takes time, and setting expectations about timelines and results is paramount.
Ensuring that the entire organization is on board with using a merged measurement platform is critical, as is supporting stakeholders in changing business practices as a result.
Proceed with insight
As merged tools come on strong, the experiences of early adopters may be instructive to those moving to embrace a merged solution. Recommendations on best practices, processes, and supports, are examined in the full whitepaper.
Making the right move
While companies cite common barriers to adoption, respondents suggest that a number of challenges that are stopping them today would be resolved in the near future including, skills, understanding of benefits and technology blockers.
As merged tools mature and become more commonplace, technology concerns will abate. More marketers will know about these solutions, and about how to use them to drive marketing optimization and strategy. Staying informed is the key to making the right call on whether, when, and how to adopt merged measurement tools for your business.
To learn more, sign up for our upcoming webinar with Forrester Research on December 8th.
Posted by Natasha Moonka, Product Marketing Manager, Google Analytics team
Two weeks ago, we were extremely lucky to host the 2015 edition of the Top Contributor Summit (#TCsummit), in San Francisco and on Google’s campus in Mountain View, California.
Google Top Contributors are an exceptional group of passionate Google product enthusiasts who share their expertise across our international help forums to support millions of Google users every year. Google’s Top Contributor Summit is an event organised every two years, to celebrate these amazing users. This year we had the pleasure to welcome 526 Top Contributors, from all around the world.
Under the motto “Learn, Connect, Celebrate”, Top Contributors had the chance to learn more about our products, get insights on the future of Google, connect with Googlers and Top Contributors from various products and, finally, to celebrate their positive impact on our products and users.
Footage of the 2015 Top Contributor Summit
We also had the chance to hold Webmaster-specific sessions, which gave Googlers the unique opportunity to meet 56 of our Webmaster Top Contributors, representing 20 countries and speaking 14 different languages.
Group photo of the Webmaster Top Contributor community and the Google Webmaster Relations team
Throughout the day, we had in-depth sessions about Google Webmaster guidelines, Search Console and Google Search. We discussed the most common issues that users are bringing up in our international webmaster forums, and listened to the Top Contributors’ feedback regarding our Search tools. We also talked about the Top Contributor program itself and additional opportunities for our users to benefit from both Google and the TCs’ support. Product managers, engineers and search quality Googlers attended the sessions to listen and bring the feedback given by Top Contributors and users on the forum back to their teams.
Webmaster Top Contributors during the in-depth sessions about Google Webmaster guidelines, Search Console and Google Search
At Google, we are grateful to have the incredible opportunity to meet and connect with some of the most insightful members of the webmaster community and get their feedback on such important topics. It helps us be sure that Google keeps focusing on what really matters to webmasters, content creators, and users.
Diogo Botelho and Roberta Remigi, Webmaster Relations team
This is a guest post by Cole Faloon, a developer for Wordsmith for Marketing at Automated Insights.
Digital marketing professionals live and breathe Google Analytics, AdWords and social media, constantly measuring just how well their strategies are performing. But communicating successes in client reports takes an inordinate amount of time. Enter Wordsmith for Marketing, the client reporting solution from Automated Insights that automatically transforms Google Analytics, AdWords and social data into plain-English reports.
The vastness of data in Google Analytics made it an obvious foundation for Wordsmith for Marketing. Our app is built around the Google Analytics Core Reporting API. The app pulls down metrics like visits, page views, and conversions for different periods, comparing the data across spans of time.
The API is flexible enough for us to receive dates at the ranges we need. We can slice up the data by pre-defined dimensions by week, month, and quarter.
Another feature we love? Google’s implementation of the OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework. It allows users of our solution to sign in with their Google account, getting us access to their Analytics data right away and creating a fluid user experience. They just log in and they’re ready to go.
Empowered by Google Analytics, we give marketers a clear explanation of how their clients’ digital marketing efforts are performing and advice on how to improve; they have the option of editing the reports to add finishing touches or comments before sending them on to their clients. Wordsmith for Marketing automatically produces insightful client-ready analysis, saving marketing agencies hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars while allowing them to better serve their clients.
For more information, visit the Wordsmith for Marketing app listing in the Google Analytics Partner Gallery or the Wordsmith for Marketing website.
- The Google Analytics Developer Relations team, on behalf of Wordsmith for Marketing