Keeping the GA Web Experience Modern

Friday, December 12, 2014 | 1:00 PM


We're continuing to bring you new features and technologies in the design of Google Analytics to provide the best a user experience. With this in mind, starting January 31, 2015 we will no longer support official compatibility of Google Analytics with Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 (IE9). While you can continue to use IE9 after we discontinue support, some features may not work properly going forward. This update maintains our practice of supporting the newest browsers while discontinuing support for the third-oldest version, as we previously announced in September 2013.

We will continue to support the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Safari and other modern browsers. Of course, you will still be able to measure visits from users of all browsers, including IE 9. We will send further reminders prior to the deprecation, but do advise you begin preparing and implementing plans for this change at your earliest convenience.

Refreshing “The Customer Journey to Online Purchase” - New Insights into Marketing Channels

Thursday, December 11, 2014 | 12:23 PM

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Last year we introduced “The Customer Journey to Online Purchase” -- a tool that helped marketers visualize the roles played by marketing channels like paid search, email and display ads in their customers' journeys.

The goal was to help marketers learn more about the customer journeys for their industries. If social makes your customers aware, and email makes them convert -- or vice versa -- you can make sure you're in both places with the right kind of message.

Today we're happy to introduce a new improved version of the Customer Journey to Online Purchase, with a few key enhancements.  We’ve refreshed the data based on millions of consumer interactions, updated the industry classifications, and we’ve split out paid search so you can see the influence of brand and generic search terms on the purchase decision.

In each industry you can now see journeys for small, medium and large companies, which can often be quite different.
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For instance, the above image shows the journey for customers of small businesses in the shopping industry. Note that organic search is very often an "assist" interaction for these customers.
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Now here's the same journey for large shopping businesses. Note that display clicks and social are strongly assisting interactions -- while display didn’t even appear for the small businesses above. For both small and large businesses, a direct website visit is most likely to be the last interaction. Across industries, the differences from small to large businesses illustrate how different marketing strategies and customer profiles may lead to different buying behavior.

And there's more! Now you can drill down into each marketing channel for a closer look at the role it plays based on its position in the purchase path. Channels that occur more frequently in the beginning of the path are more likely to help generate awareness for your product, while the end of the path is closer to the customer’s purchase decision.
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In these charts, for example, we see the different roles that different channels play in the Shopping industry. One interesting insight is that all channels -- even those traditionally thought of as “upper funnel” or “lower funnel” -- occur throughout the purchase path, but a given channel may be more common at particular stages depending on its role (and depending on the industry).

Each marketing campaign and channel may have a different impact on customers depending on when they interact with it. Using what you learn from this tool, you can help adapt your marketing messaging to be more relevant and useful for your customers.

Try the Customer Journey to Online Purchase today. And for more helpful marketing insights, check out Measure What Matters Most: our new guide chock-full of suggestions on how to measure the impact of your marketing -- across channels -- to complement what you learn from the Customer Journey tool and take action to improve your marketing.

Happy analyzing!

Google Analytics in AdMob helps mobile app developer Eltsoft go global

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 | 10:19 AM

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Cross-posted on the Inside AdMob Blog 

Since March 2014, Google Analytics has been fully available in AdMob, and now app developers are increasingly seeing results by combining data from both platforms. Here’s one story that illustrates the power of AdMob and Google Analytics together.

Passion for languages and learning
Jason Byrne, and business partner Robert Diem, are passionate about making a difference in education. They came together during their time as professors in Japan to found Eltsoft LLC, a company that builds mobile language learning apps for iOS and Android. Together, they started creating a series of fun tools  that allow users to study whenever they want, wherever they are.

Global expansion
Their most popular app is English Grammar, which has been downloaded by more than a million people looking to sharpen their English-language skills in nearly 120 countries.

All of the company’s apps are available for free or as paid versions. To increase revenue, they chose AdMob to earn money from the free versions of their apps with advertising. “AdMob monetization is central to our success because it delivers high-quality, appropriate ads to our audience in their native languages, wherever they live,” says Jason. 

The Google Analytics data within AdMob helped them understand more about their users. "Our app, English Grammar, has users from all around the world, so we turned to data from Google Analytics and AdMob to understand which languages we should consider for localization. For example, we knew we had to prioritize German and French, but we discovered other languages that we didn't expect, such as Russian and Japanese."

A data-driven approach to marketing 
Eltsoft uses data to focus their marketing campaigns and assess where to use their resources most effectively. “Google Analytics keeps making campaign analysis simpler and clearer,” Jason says. “Data from various sources - Google Analytics and Google Play, for instance - are now all in one place. That helps me understand what’s happening with our ad campaigns.” 

While data analysis helped Eltsoft validate some of their hypotheses, it also uncovered opportunities according to Jason: “The greatest takeaway for me is that the results are never really what I expect. I am often surprised. Analytics has given us great insights into who our users are, and has provided a very important lesson in the value of surveying our user base. Our simple assumptions are often inaccurate.”

Replicating successful strategies
Eltsoft has developed a way to calculate the value of users by using a combination of AdMob metrics (like ad request values) and Analytics metrics (like user counts and sessions per user). Having Google Analytics in AdMob has unlocked such analysis because the data is available in the same interface.

As a result, Eltsoft can now understand what works best for their users. “For example, we’ve made changes to our apps, and Analytics has really helped us to track the effectiveness of those changes. I would say six months ago, that our success was a mystery. The data said we were doing well, but the whys were not clear. Therefore, we couldn’t replicate or push forward. But today, we understand what’s happening and can project our future success. We have not only the data, but can control certain variables allowing us to understand that data.”

“Google Analytics data is literally a goldmine,” says Jason.

If you want to learn more about how Eltsoft is using Google Analytics and AdMob, download the full case study

Want to learn how to get the most from Analytics in AdMob? Sign up for our free online course, Mobile App Analytics Fundamentals.

Posted by Russell Ketchum, Lead Product Manager, Google Analytics for Mobile Apps

Ringing in the New Year - Behavior Trends and Insights

Monday, December 08, 2014 | 3:40 AM


Last month we published an analysis of how people behave before and during the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. We saw the most important days of the year for retailers, how to take advantage of the top transaction days, and when to take action.

Today we are looking at the patterns of behavior over the holidays and into the new year with the objective of understanding how digital marketers can prepare for 2015.

After looking at data from the previous three years, we found two interesting insights:
  1. User behavior is significantly different from country to country, but very consistent from year to year within a particular country.
  2. The beginning of January can be a great time to offer new deals outside of the US.
Read on to learn more about the analysis we performed and how to take advantage of the trends we found, it will help you get a head start on 2015!

User Behavior Trends
Patterns can tell us a lot about data, they are intuitive and show us a lot of information at a glance. With that in mind, we produced the charts below to show how people behave around Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We wanted to understand the differences between cultures, so we focused on the trends from three large economies: US, UK and France. All the charts show data from December 11 to January 14 for the last three years and the two vertical grey areas represent Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

United States: the transactions trend clearly shows that users purchase mostly up to a week before Christmas Day and no improvement is seen in early January, although sessions do return to normal quickly after New Year’s Eve. Publishers should take advantage of this rebound in sessions, while retailers may want to wait on providing deals until sales bounce back fully.

United Kingdom: transactions decline sharply until Christmas and then start rising sharply from December 26, and about a week after New Year’s Eve it raises to levels about the same or higher than pre-holiday, so you might consider creating marketing campaigns and promotions to take advantage of January’s rise. Sessions follow a similar pattern.

France: transactions and sessions follow a similar pattern as in the UK, but with a significant decline during New Year’s Eve. As you can see, there is a major spike in the second Wednesday of January every year, that’s the day Winter sales begin in France! Unlike in the US, January is an important month for French retailers, should we say the French Cyber Wednesday?

Get a head start on 2015
So how can you take advantage of those trends to be more successful during the coming year? Here are some ideas for you to act upon right now:
  1. Look at your own data for previous years to understand the patterns for your existing and previous customers.
  2. Check your Benchmarking reports to learn more about how other websites of your size and in your vertical performed.
  3. Use Google Trends to check trends from previous years related to your vertical and country.
  4. Make sure you match your marketing efforts to your local post-holiday trend.
About the Data & Charts 
In order to perform this analysis, we looked at billions of sessions from authorized Google Analytics users who have shared their website data anonymously (read more).

With Google Analytics Premium and DoubleClick: Matalan increases conversion rate 28%

Monday, December 01, 2014 | 7:01 AM

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This post originally appeared on the DoubleClick Advertiser blog as part of the with DoubleClick series, highlighting stories and perspectives from industry leaders about how they are succeeding with an integrated digital marketing platform.

As one of the UK's leading family clothing retailers, Matalan must be nimble -- faster decisions mean better customer engagement and more sales. So they worked with Morpheus Media to implement Google Analytics Premium with DoubleClick Campaign Manager. Google Analytics' powerful insights helped Matalan make better business decisions, faster.

Matalan was already using DoubleClick Campaign Manager to centralize their digital marketing and reports. Adding Google Analytics Premium side-by-side showed them campaign effectiveness even more clearly, allowing them to uncover the hidden value of their digital marketing efforts, like transactions where digital advertising had assisted a conversion on another channel.

“It’s really helpful to be able to see one channel that might not be a heavy hitter in terms of revenue or traffic has an impact in creating a conversion on another channel,” says Lee Pinnington, Matalan's Multi-Channel Marketing Director.

With a complete view of their digital marketing ROI thanks to the integration of DoubleClick Campaign Manager and Google Analytics Premium, Matalan was able to put their marketing dollars where they would truly be most effective. And the results were dramatic: a 28% rise in conversion rate and significant growth in both site visits and revenue.

To learn more about Matalan's approach, check out the full case study.

Google Analytics Demos & Tools

Thursday, November 20, 2014 | 9:00 AM

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As a member of the Google Analytics Developer Relations team, I often hear from our community that they want to do more with GA but don't always know how. They know the basics but want to see full examples and demos that show how things should be built.

Well, we've been listening, and today I'm proud to announce the launch Google Analytics Demos & Tools, a new website geared toward helping Google Analytics developers tackle the challenges they face most often.

The site aims to make experienced developers more productive (we use it internally all the time) and to show new users what's possible and inspire them to leverage the platform to improve their business through advanced measurement and analysis.

Some highlights of the site include a full-featured Enhanced Ecommerce demo with code samples for both Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, a new Account Explorer tool to help you quickly find the IDs you need for various Google Analytics services and 3rd party integrations, several examples of easy-to-build custom dashboards, and some old favorites like the Query Explorer.

Google Analytics Demos & Tools not only shows off Google Analytics technologies, it also uses them under the hood. All pages that require authorization use the Embed API to log users in, and usage statistics, including outbound link clicks, authorization status, client-side exceptions, and numerous other user interaction events are measured using analytics.js.

Every page that makes use of a Google Analytics technology lists that information in the footer, making it easy for developers to see how all the pieces fit together. In addition, the entire site is open sourced and available on Github, so you can dive in and see exactly how everything works.

Feedback is welcome and appreciated!

By: Philip Walton, Developer Programs Engineer

Get a deeper view of your iOS app installs

Thursday, November 13, 2014 | 8:44 AM

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If you use AdMob or other mobile ad networks to drive installs of iOS apps, here's some good news: iOS install tracking is coming as a Public Beta in a few weeks to all Google Analytics accounts. This detailed view of iOS install campaigns will be available right in your Google Analytics interface.

Optimize your iOS install marketing programs
Install metrics are a useful way to measure your marketing campaign performance. However, not all marketing efforts create the same volume and quality of users. With these new reports, you'll see how one source performs compared to another, so you can optimize your marketing spend. You can even dive deeper into the same marketing channel to see how one campaign or ad is performing compared to another. 

For instance: If users coming from source X tend to use your app once and abandon it, while users from source Y tend to use it for eight months and generate $68 each in value, you'll know. And with Google Analytics' powerful segmentation, you can combine post-download metrics with your acquisition channels across all Google Analytics reports, to make even better decisions for your marketing programs.

New iOS install tracking report (click image for full-size).

Beyond the install
Google Analytics Certified partner InfoTrust is already finding that the feature helps them measure and optimize install campaign performance.

"Many of our customers have mobile apps that generate more traffic and engagement than their desktop properties. Their goals are to bring users back to the app consistently and drive more engagement through more relevant articles and products, and increasing subscriptions or purchases. Seeing which marketing campaigns drive iOS users to app installs, and what users do after the install, is critical when determining where to use marketing spend."

Amin Shawki, Analytics Manager 
InfoTrust, LLC

Mobile ad networks integrated with the new reporting include Aarki, AdMob, AppLovin, Millennial Media, MdotM, Taptica and Tapjoy, with more to come soon. These iOS integrations join our existing Android campaign measurement tools.

Getting started
Learn more and get started easily with this step-by-step guide.

We hope this iOS integration helps you make even better choices for your business and for your customers. Happy mobile analyzing!

Posted by Rahul Oak, Product Manager, Google Analytics for Apps