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Beyond the ad: Conversion Optimization

June 19, 2021 No Comments

Today, using data for driving business decisions has become common practice for most companies, with many having a dedicated analytics team checking the impact of marketing investments, which channels to invest in and effect. But the majority of these activities are focused on optimizing parameters before the audience click the ad. The question is: are you taking the same data driven approach to your website design?

If you don’t use data to optimize your site’s user experience, you risk low conversion rates and lost revenue. A well-designed user interface could increase your website’s conversion rate by up to 200 percent, and a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400 percent. 

Now take your revenue, check your conversion rate, and calculate what it would be if the conversion rate would increase +200%. The number right there is why the companies that will thrive in the future most likely will be the ones that are data driven in, and focus as much on, both crucial moments during the user journey—before and beyond the ad.

The solution

Building this strength comes down to working with the research methods within conversion optimization and step by step A/B testing your way to a website your customers will love using.

Here are three steps on how to get started:

  1. Find the weak spots on the site. Combine quantitative research in Google Analytics, qualitative research such as user testing (in the Optimize Resource Hub you can find easy instructions) and inspiration from best practices. The Optimize Resource Hub gives you best practice suggestions from Google and a library of test results from other companies

  2. Prioritize the most impactful tests. Give each test idea a score of one to ten according to the uplift you think it will generate, and subtract a score of one to ten depending on the effort the test will require. 

  3. Start testing. You can get started today by setting up Google Optimize—the tool that uses the full power of Google Analytics. A free version is available so you can have a test up and running within a few minutes. 

For more in-depth knowledge around the process of conversion optimization, check out the CRO tips in the Optimize Resource Hub.

Optimize CRO 1

Learn from experts

We have one more treat for you, in the form of a new series of articles that will be published here on the blog: The Optimize CRO Series—Experts share their secrets. In this series, CRO experts from all over the world will give their best advice around these topics:

  • Research methods

  • Prioritizing tests

  • Favorite frameworks for analyzing sites

  • How to do a QA (quality assurance) of an A/B test 

  • The experts’ best tests

  • Learn from the failing tests

Eager to know more? Make sure you start following the Google Analytics products blog through the channel that fits you to get the upcoming guides.


Google Analytics Blog


Get privacy-safe customer insights with Google Analytics

June 12, 2021 No Comments

At this year’s Google Marketing Livestream, we shared the latest updates coming to the new Google Analytics, the next generation of Analytics designed for the future of measurement.

Get privacy-safe customer insights using machine learning

With new privacy-safe solutions, Google is helping advertisers preserve marketing measurement while respecting user consent choices. This includes using machine learning to model conversions in Google Ads, so you can continue to optimize performance in a privacy-safe way when observed conversion data is not available.

Later this year, we’ll extend our modeling capabilities to certain reports in Google Analytics 4 properties to enhance your understanding of the customer journey when observed behavioral data is not available. If users don’t consent to analytics cookies, you’ll still be able to generate important customer insights while respecting your users’ privacy preferences.

For example, if there is incomplete data in your User Acquisition report, modeled data (in addition to observed data) will offer a more complete picture of the number of new users your campaigns have acquired.

Easily discover relevant insights

We want to make the new Analytics experience as intuitive to navigate as possible, so you can discover key insights with unprecedented speed and ease.  In a new modular left navigation, we’ve organized important use cases into workspaces that will guide you to the reports, analyses, or data — like advertising conversions — you’re looking for.

Static image of new workspaces in left navigation

New workspaces in left navigation

The new Advertising Workspace is designed to quickly address everyday advertiser needs and unlock deeper insights into your campaign performance. In the snapshot, you can see relevant campaign and performance insights at a glance. You’ll get automated insights notifying you of things like performance spikes in your campaigns, where the majority of your customers are converting from, or what channel is performing the best that week.

With an intuitive and easily accessible home for these insights, you’ll be able to quickly improve campaign performance when you want to make real-time optimizations.

Static of advertising snapshot in the advertising workspace

Advertising Workspace snapshot

Beyond easier navigation, it’s also important to be able to tailor Analytics to the specific needs of your business, and even your role. To allow flexibility, we’re launching an entirely new set of customization options to reporting.

For the first time, within the Reports Workspace, users with admin access will be able to curate the Analytics interface and reports to suit the specific needs of their teams. Admins can make simple edits to existing reports or even create entirely new custom reports. They can also customize the left navigation to group reports into collections, and create custom overviews to highlight information. You can showcase these overviews in the Reports snapshot, the new homepage for the Reports Workspace.

Animated UX of custom reporting options

Custom reporting options

Once admins set up customized reporting preferences for your organization, you can reduce time spent on reporting and surface the most relevant insights faster than ever before.

Better understand the value of your marketing

We know how valuable it is to have attribution reporting for your campaigns directly within Analytics, so we’re bringing new cross-platform attribution capabilities into the Advertising Workspace.

Data-driven attribution models will soon be available in all Google Analytics 4 properties, so you can use Google’s machine learning to understand the contribution of each touchpoint in your marketing funnel, alongside your other customer journey insights. We’ve also introduced two new attribution reports: the Conversion Paths report and Model Comparison report.

Similar to Multi-Channel Funnels in Universal Analytics properties, the Conversion Paths report allows you to view the customer journey by channel, assigning credit to touchpoints from when your customers first arrive to your site or app through conversion, based on a selected attribution model. It also includes a new conversion credit visualization that helps you understand your ROI by channel.

Static UX image of Conversion Paths report in the Advertising Workspace

Conversion Paths report in the Advertising Workspace

The Model Comparison report allows you to assess campaign performance using various attribution models, and compare how each affects the value of your marketing channels so you can determine which model best suits the needs of your business.

Static UX image: Model Comparison report in the Advertising Workspace

Model Comparison report in the Advertising Workspace

Prepare your measurement foundation for the future

The new Google Analytics will help ensure your measurement foundation is reliable and ready to meet the demands of an evolving ecosystem.

Get started with Google Analytics 4 properties today, and stay tuned for more enhancements coming soon.


Google Analytics Blog


Manage tags easily and safely with the new Community Template Gallery

June 8, 2021 No Comments

Businesses often work with trusted partners to conduct a variety of important functions on their websites. These partners can help businesses accurately measure their online conversions or determine which product reviews to display. For all this to work  businesses need to implement tags, or code written by their partners, directly on their sites. It’s critical for businesses to trust that these tags are working as intended to protect their customers and brand. 

With that in mind, we’ve created the new Community Template Gallery for Google Tag Manager. Community Template Gallery is an open platform where partners can share their tag templates. Businesses can then customize these templates to easily implement tags on their websites.

Not only does Community Template Gallery help businesses quickly implement and manage tags, but it also provides more transparency into how these tags will behave—making the whole tagging process easier and safer.

Less code is more 

In the past, if your business needed to implement a partner tag that wasn’t already integrated with Tag Manager, getting that tag up and running would take a lot of manual work. You might have to consult with your partner to determine how to correctly customize and place the tag on your website so it was tailored for your business needs. Not only did this take a lot of time, it also required heavy involvement from developers, leaving lots of room for error.

Community Template Gallery reduces the potential for incorrect implementation. Once your partner shares their tag template in the gallery, you can find it and simply enter the required information in an intuitive UI. You do not need to customize any HTML or Javascript.

Businesses can add tag templates to their workspace and then tailor the tag by completing the form.

Businesses can add tag templates to their workspace and then tailor the tag by completing the form.

Community Template Gallery also helps partners keep tag templates up-to-date. Whenever partners make updates to their tag templates, the latest version will quickly become available. And if you’ve already implemented that tag template,  we’ll notify you that there is a new version that you can review before making the update.

Increased transparency 

When you publish a partner’s tag on your website, you need to understand what it does and trust that it won’t do anything unexpected. That’s why we’ve built a permissions system into Community Template Gallery.

Before you implement or update a tag from the gallery, you will now be able to review and approve the actions it will take when it becomes live on your website. This gives you more control and transparency over the tags on your sites.

Businesses can review and approve how a tag will behave when implemented on a website.

Businesses can review and approve how a tag will behave when implemented on a website.

Community Template Gallery is now live in both Tag Manager and Tag Manager 360. You’ll find many tag templates already included and ready to use. If you’re a tag developer, we encourage you to build and submit your template today.


Google Analytics Blog


Deliver consistent site experiences with Google Optimize

June 5, 2021 No Comments

Consumers expect connected shopping experiences from research to purchase. But their journeys aren’t linear; they move around, visiting—and revisiting—multiple sites and apps, multiple times a day. 

This makes it challenging for businesses to deliver a coordinated site experience, especially if they are running an experiment or personalization on their site. How do they make sure that the version of their site someone saw in the morning is the same version they see in the afternoon? 

Google Optimize can now understand when a customer has returned to a site they visited before and deliver a consistent site experience. Let’s see how this works.

Imagine you’re a hotel business running a marketing campaign that promotes a 20 percent discount for the upcoming holiday season. When people visit your site in response to the campaign, you want to make sure you offer this discount to them throughout their entire booking experience, even if they come back multiple times before they make a reservation.

One part of your marketing campaign is paid media you buy through Google Ads. In this case, you would use Optimize to create a custom web page featuring the discount and then add the Google Ads rule to ensure this page is shown to people who first arrive to your site from your Google Ads campaign. There are likely many people who click on an ad, explore your site, then come back later to complete the reservation. Now, no matter how many other pages on your site people visit, or how many times they return over 24 hours, Optimize will automatically display that custom page to them each time. 

Another way you promote this sale is through email. For this part of your campaign, once you create a custom web page with the discount offer, add a utm_campaign parameter named “holiday-sale” to the URL in the email. Then in Optimize, add a UTM parameter rule for “holiday-sale.” Optimize can now use that parameter to display the correct experience every time people who received the promo email visit your site. In addition to email, you can also use the UTM parameter rule in advertising campaigns managed with Display & Video 360 and Search Ads 360, or any other campaigns you are running that support UTM parameters.

optimize_112119.png

Create a UTM parameter rule to focus your experiment or personalization on a particular marketing campaign.

Royal Bank of Canada is an Optimize 360 customer that has already begun using UTM parameter rules. 

Together with their Google Marketing Platform Partner, Bounteous, they often use Optimize 360 to run personalizations across their entire website. Because most of these personalizations are focused on delivering the right content to the right user from their marketing campaigns, they were excited to start using the UTM parameter rule. 

“The customer journey at the Royal Bank of Canada is rarely linear. We need experiments that can react as customers frequently engage and navigate our website. The UTM parameter rule gives us that flexibility, and it is changing the way we approach our campaigns.” 

– Arnab Tagore, Senior Manager of Digital Analytics, Royal Bank of Canada

Both the Google Ads rule and UTM parameter rule are already available to use in Optimize and Optimize 360. We encourage you to go into your account and check them out and we look forward to sharing more new features that help you better meet your customers’ expectations and get the most out of your website.


Google Analytics Blog


Respect user consent choices with Google Tag Manager

June 1, 2021 No Comments

More people than ever before are purchasing goods and services online, bringing new opportunities for businesses to reach a growing base of customers. At the same time, restrictions around cookies and identifiers are changing the ways businesses understand the customer journey.  We’ve heard from businesses that they need new, easy-to-use solutions to keep pace with these industry changes, especially solutions that will continue to provide critical insights on campaign performance, while maintaining user privacy.

At Google Marketing Livestream, we shared our belief that it’s possible to improve privacy while still delivering business results and highlighted a few solutions that help. For example, Consent Mode lets advertisers customize how Google tags behave before and after users make their consent decisions. Consent Mode also informs conversion modeling to help bridge any measurement gaps that may occur due to cookie consent choices.

Our customers have shared with us that they would like simpler ways to ensure that all tags on their websites respect cookie consent choices. To make this process easier, we’re unveiling a new consent experience in Tag Manager. Starting today, users of Tag Manager and Tag Manager 360 will be able to directly integrate with Consent Mode and easily incorporate user consent into the behavior of all tags on their website.

Integrate your consent management solution

If your business operates in a region that requires you to collect user consent for certain operations, like the European Economic Area or the United Kingdom, you may need a consent management solution. And if you’re using Tag Manager to manage all the tags on your site, you’ll need to integrate Tag Manager with the consent management solution you’ve selected. But integrating these two can be complicated and require changes to website code.

We’re making it possible to remove that integration step altogether. Starting today, consent management solutions can build tag templates directly into the Community Template Gallery using a new set of sandboxed JavaScript APIs that will work with Consent Mode. We’re also introducing a new trigger type, Consent Initialization, which enables tags that require user consent choice to fire before all other tags.

Let’s say you’re a clothing retailer operating in the United Kingdom. You’ve decided to work with a consent management solution to display a consent banner to your customers and want to integrate it with your Tag Manager account. If your consent management solution has a tag template available in the Community Template Gallery, you can now add it to your container. With the Consent Initialization trigger, this tag will deploy your consent banner as soon as someone lands on your website. This enables you to collect a user’s consent choice before other tags in your container load.

Benefit from consent support on all your tags

Last year we announced that tags for Google advertising and analytics products will respect consent choices for ads cookies and analytics cookies when Consent Mode is in use. But to control how other third-party tags behave for these and other types of user consent, many businesses have turned to a custom tag setup in Tag Manager, which can be difficult to implement and manage.

Now in Tag Manager, you’ll be able to see and customize each tag’s consent settings. You can see which types of consent each tag requires. For example, a specific tag may already be adjusting its behavior based on user consent for ads cookies. And you can specify whether any additional types of consent are necessary for the tag to fire, like requiring consent for analytics cookies. We’re introducing new consent types into Tag Manager as well. These consent types correspond to options you might include in your consent management solution. If a user does not give consent to the specific consent types you’ve selected for the tag, the tag will not run.

Image of “Consent Settings (beta)” section under “Advanced Settings” at the bottom of each tag configuration.

Add additional consent in order for your tag to fire

Many consent management platforms are already compatible with the ad storage and analytics storage settings. You can see a full list in our Help Center.

Gain a complete view of your tags’ consent settings

For a complete view of the consent settings across all the tags in your container, you can now enable a new Consent Overview from your container settings. Once enabled, this overview will be available from the Tags screen. From here you can also manage consent settings in bulk, like adding a personalization storage consent type to multiple tags at once.

GIF of opening the Consent Overview screen and bulk editing tags’ consent requirements.

Access the Consent Overview and manage consent settings in bulk

All of these capabilities are available in beta in all Tag Manager and Tag Manager 360 accounts today. These updates will help you preserve online measurement while respecting user consent choices. Stay tuned for more information on other privacy-safe measurement solutions that we announced today.


Google Analytics Blog


Using SEO data analytics to identify business gaps

May 25, 2021 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Are your leads slipping through the cracks in these business gaps?
  • SEOs have a great vantage point in the form of data that actively helps identify business opportunities and gaps
  • SEO pioneer, serial entrepreneur, and best selling author, Kris Jones identifies three critical aspects that can be fixed to create the foundation of a successful SEO strategy in 2021

One of the strangest things to try to explain to someone who isn’t so familiar with digital marketing is how business owners can start targeting business opportunities that aren’t currently on their radars. After all–if we consider the problem semi-philosophically–how can we know what we don’t know? Relying on human logic alone would make that task quite difficult.

Thankfully, as SEOs, we have plenty of tools available that can help us identify business opportunities and gaps. That means keywords we aren’t targeting, audiences we aren’t going after, backlinks we aren’t getting, and content topics we aren’t covering on our websites. In other words, these are the foundations of a successful SEO strategy in 2021, and you could be missing out on leveraging them for yourself. Here are three pointers for using SEO analytics to identify your business gaps, in the area of keywords, content, and backlinks.

Find your keyword gaps

Digital marketers know the fluctuation in the importance of keywords since the late 1990s. But no matter how much that has changed, you still need to be ranking for the right keywords, or else you won’t be showing up for anything.

But have you ever done a few searches for keywords you want to rank for and not even been able to find your website in the SERPs? Doesn’t it frustrate you to see your competitors on page one?

You can be as good as they are. The way to do it is to run a keyword gap analysis in a tool such as Semrush or Google Search Console (GSC).

Semrush is better and more user-friendly for this, but if you don’t have access to that, let me cover GSC first.

You first have to link your Google Analytics and GSC together. After that, go to Analytics and navigate to Acquisition>Search Console>Queries.

SEO data analytics and identifying missed keyword targeting opportunities

You’ll see the search terms people have used to get to you, as well as those queries’ clicks, impressions, and click-through rates (CTRs).

Export that data into an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet, and then compare the number of actual site visits that those keywords got you to the number of impressions you got for those keywords. The percentage of difference between them will give you a measurable idea of where you need to improve.

However, I prefer Semrush’s Keyword Gap tool for this. You simply input your URL and those of a few competitors, and it compares your keyword numbers against your competitors. The tool shows you a keyword overlap diagram as well as your top opportunities for getting new rankings.

Find your content gaps

You likely know that no serious SEO today writes content for keywords alone. Keywords have their place as subject identifiers for Google, but we need to focus content around actual topics. We need our content to address questions people are asking.

And maybe your top competitors are doing that much better than you are.

As a result, they rank well for this or that query, and you don’t. So, how do we use SEO data to find content gaps?

Well, we are going to build on the previous point and use our competitors’ keywords to find this out. I mentioned earlier that we write content for topics over keywords, but keywords are still how the public finds your content.

In Semrush or your spreadsheet from before, you can filter your keyword gap analysis to show the keywords you’re ranking for in positions 11 through 100 or any number you like. If your competitors are doing well for this or that term, while you are languishing in position 18 or 22, then it’s time to take a look at the content you’ve built around those terms.

What’s wrong with it from user experience and SEO perspectives? Is the information outdated? Is the content thin? Does it not address a certain issue within the buyer’s journey?

For instance, are you writing blog posts about making an appointment with a doctor when you haven’t even covered why you might need to see a doctor? Not everyone who’s browsing a medical center’s website is ready to take action.

Analyzing your content this way (as well as the content of your competitors, by mining the SERPs, for instance) tends to be more of a manual approach, but the keyword gap analysis you did should really come in handy.

You can also use what you’ve learned from that data to generate new ideas for content marketing if you need to. Tools such as BuzzSumo, Answer the Public, and Semrush’s Topic Research tool aggregate user analytics to show you the currently trending topics around certain keywords.

Find your backlink gaps

When we’re discussing using SEO data to identify your business gaps, then the icing on the cake is a good, thorough backlink gap.

Where keywords get you found and content earns customer trust, backlinks flex your site’s authority for Google. A backlink is a vote of confidence. It’s the equivalent of someone standing up in a crowd and saying, “Yes, I believe in what you’re doing.”

The way to a strong backlink profile is through your content marketing, reaching out to influencers to see if they would like to link to your useful and authoritative content.

But then, your competitors are doing the same thing, and possibly to much greater effect.

Here again, we can use SEO analytics to find where you’re falling behind.

You can certainly use everything already mentioned here to analyze your competitors’ content, but in the end, you’ll likely need a paid tool to perform a full-fledged backlink gap analysis.

You can use Ahrefs, Semrush, Moz’s Link Explorer, or something else. You can check out how each works with a free trial, but to stay on top of your backlink gaps, you would need a paid subscription.

From your research, input your site and a few of your competitors’ sites. Whichever tool you use, you will need to view the total number of backlinks and referring domains.

Now, note that it is quite common to have more backlinks than domains. That just means that some domains are linking to you more than once. That doesn’t sound so bad, but if you want a large and varied backlink profile, you will want to ramp up the number of domains that link to you.

SEO data analytics and identifying backlinking opportunities

At this point, though, it’s all about sifting through the data to see where you’re missing the mark. Check out your top competitors’ backlinks. What kind of content gets the most links? Is it long-form blog posts? White papers? Or is it some other content format that’s winning those links?

Find out what your competitors are doing well, and then create better content! If these domains linked to that type of content for someone else, they can certainly do it for you.

Similarly, if you’ve filtered to see your top pages for backlinks and notice you’ve gotten a ton to a certain type of post, then make more of those in the future!

In conclusion

In the end, whether it’s keywords, content, or backlinks, the best overall presentation wins in SEO. You have to be useful and authoritative to human users and Google.

As SEOs, we’re used to sorting through data. The everyday business owner might not be, though. In that case, I hope readers have learned a lot from this about how analytics data is your friend when you’re looking to identify gaps in your business’s SEO strategies.

When you start to get this right, you’re going to share in those wins, too.

Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently Kris founded SEO services and software company LSEO.com and has previously invested in numerous successful technology companies. Kris is an experienced public speaker and is the author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time called, ‘Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing’, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

The post Using SEO data analytics to identify business gaps appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


What’s new in App + Web properties

May 22, 2021 No Comments

This July we announceda new property type in Google Analytics that helps you measure across both your app and website in one place. The new App + Web property helps you better understand your customers’ journeys across platforms so you can deliver more unified experiences.

Recently, we’ve introduced enhancements that allow you to measure multiple websites, do even more custom analysis, and get faster insights from your data.

Measure multiple web streams in a single property

App + Web properties now support multiple web streams, including Firebase web apps, in a single property—up to 50 data streams across your apps, websites, and web apps. This allows you to see metrics aggregated across all your related apps and websites, or apply filters to compare them individually. For example, if you were an online retailer with multiple regional stores, you could see your total global sales for the month or compare the sales of each of your regional sites and apps. 

More options for custom analysis

In July we introduced the Analysis module in App + Web properties with five techniques to do cross-platform analysis with more flexibility. Now, we’ve added two more techniques to the mix: cohort analysis and user lifetime, as well as an update to the existing pathing technique and a larger window for historical data. These capabilities will become available over the next few weeks.

Cohort analysis helps you compare engagement between groups of similar users with more metric and dimension breakdowns.  For example, you can compare revenue between cohorts of users that were acquired at different times to understand the results of a change in your marketing strategy. 

User lifetime gives you insight into the lifetime activity of a group of users, based on custom dimensions you choose. For example, see how many lifetime in-app purchases were made by users acquired from a holiday promotion you ran.

Backward pathing allows you to work backwards from a conversion or other key event and analyze the differences, trends, or patterns users took to get there. For example, you can start from a purchase event to see how many users that made a purchase entered the funnel from an email campaign to your website, compared to a search ad that deep-links to your app.

Data retention has now expanded to up to 14 months across all techniques within the Analysis module so you can conduct longer term analyses, like year-over-year. Go to data settings in your property admin to increase data retention.

App and web insights at your fingertips

Automated and custom insights, previously available only for web, are now in App + Web properties. 

Automated insights use machine learning to identify key trends and anomalies in your data. For example, if there was an unusual spike in sales yesterday, you will get an alert of the change which you can then investigate. Automated insights get smarter and more relevant to your business over time. 

Custom insights give you the control to tell Analytics what metrics you’d like to be alerted about. For example, if you are a retailer and you’ve just released a new product, you may want to track sales specifically for that SKU.  You can set up a custom insight to alert you if the product’s sales increased by more than 10% week-over-week. These alerts can now be set up to run hourly, and you can receive email notifications within 5 minutes of a triggered alert.

Instant answers with search

When looking for specific insights in your Web properties you can simply ask a question in the search bar and get a quick answer. Today, we are extending this to App + Web properties, so you can ask questions and get holistic answers across your app and web data. 

Ask questions using keywords, such as “users from organic channel last week,” and a relevant answer will appear in the search dropdown. Be specific about the metric, dimension, and time frame to get the best results.

Automated and custom insights, as well as instant answers from the search dropdown, are available in App + Web properties today in English and will soon be available in all languages supported by Google Analytics. 

Next steps for App + Web properties

Businesses already see the benefits of bringing more of the customer journey into view. TUI group, a leading integrated tourism group based in Europe, is using App + Web properties to close the gap between their app and web data. 

Previously we had been manually stitching together app and web sessions in order to generate customer behaviour insight and value our marketing investments; this release unifies that data to show the full path to conversion. Dan Truman
Global Head of Digital Analytics, TUI Group

If you’re not already using the beta and your business is looking for a more complete view of how your customers engage across app and web, you can get started today by setting up a new property and linking your app and website.


Google Analytics Blog


“Up and to the right” with Data Studio

May 18, 2021 No Comments

Millions of people from global enterprises, small businesses, governments and educational institutions are choosing Data Studio to make data-driven decisions. Over the last year, people used Data Studio to monitor ad performance, track brand performance, visualize student progress, and build machine learning models. 

Google Ads monitoring report by Search Foresight

In 2019, we launched more than 80 new features and over 50 new connectors to data. A heartfelt thanks to our users and developers who made 2019 a year to remember. Here are a few highlights. 

Visual Analysis

Throughout the year, we invested in visual analysis allowing faster data exploration and insights discovery. We made it possible to turn a chart into a filter using chart interaction controls. We also launched cross-chart interactions and drill downs. These investments, alongside updates like optional metrics, give users the tools they need to explore and interact with their data.

Drill Down GIF

Fast performance through In-Memory BI Engine

Having the right tools to interact with and analyze data is critical but if report performance is slow, analyzing and visualizing large data sets can be frustrating. In collaboration with the Google Cloud BigQuery team, we launched BI Engine to bring sub second performance to Data Studio. BI Engine is an in-memory analysis service that integrates with your BigQuery data to return blazingly fast results in Data Studio. No more waiting for the page to load!

BI Engine

Scheduled PDF export

Listening to what our users need has always been a priority for the Data Studio team. Two of the top requests we heard from our users was the need to create PDFs and schedule emails of reports. Users can now do both. We’re happy to let you know that as of last week you can now set a custom schedule for scheduled emails. Learn more.

Email Delivery

Conditional formatting

We recently launched conditional formatting, which allows users to apply formatting based on a set of rules, making it easier to tell a story with your data. We’re continuing to invest in conditional formatting and recently added  AND and OR conditions to support compound conditions. Learn more.

Conditional formatting

In 2020 the Data Studio team is committed to delivering a great product that helps our users make better decisions with data. To stay in the loop on what’s happening in Data Studio, subscribe to email updates under Settings > Marketing Preferences or check our Help Center each week to learn “What’s new.”


Google Analytics Blog


Future-proof your measurement with privacy-safe solutions

May 15, 2021 No Comments

Getting the most out of your marketing investments requires a clear understanding of what actions people take after interacting with your ads. In today’s evolving privacy landscape, growing your business calls for new approaches to measurement that preserve advertising performance and also put the user first. 

Now’s the time to adopt new privacy-safe techniques to ensure your measurement remains accurate and actionable. And while this can seem daunting, we’re here to help you succeed in a world with fewer cookies and other identifiers with new ways to respect user consent, measure conversions and unlock granular insights from your sites and apps. 

Here’s a preview of some of the product launches we’ll be sharing at Google Marketing Livestream on May 27th.

Easier options for working with consented data

Getting started with privacy-safe measurement requires building a foundation of first-party data. Investing in a strong tagging infrastructure helps you make the most of the data your consumers share with you and lets you accurately measure your campaign performance.

As consumers seek increased control over how their data is used, your methods for respecting their consent choices will also need to evolve. For advertisers operating in the European Economic Area and the U.K., Consent Mode helps you achieve this by adjusting how Google tags operate based on user consent choices for ads cookies or analytics cookies. When users don’t consent to cookies, Consent Mode will use conversion modeling to recover, on average, more than 70% of ad-click-to-conversion journeys, ensuring that you continue to measure the complete performance of your media in a privacy-safe way.

To make it easier for your website to integrate with Consent Mode, we’ll soon enable implementation directly from your Google Tag Manager account, where you’ll be able to modify and customize tag behavior in response to users’ consent preferences. Accurate measurement that accounts for people’s consent choices doesn’t have to be complicated, and our new solutions make sure that it isn’t.

More first-party conversion data means better measurement

A strong sitewide tagging and first-party data foundation enables measurement solutions to work together to collectively provide you with the most comprehensive reporting and optimization. Building on this foundation, we’ve developed an additional privacy-safe way to help you preserve accurate measurement when fewer cookies are available.

Enhanced conversions allow tags to use consented, first-party data to give you a more accurate view of how users convert after engaging with your ads. You’ll also be able to get the data you need to unlock performance insights, like conversion lift, and improve measurement in cases when your ad is shown on one device and the user converts on another. Your first-party data is hashed to protect user privacy and ensure security, and you’ll receive aggregated and anonymized conversion reporting. 

Advertisers currently testing enhanced conversions are already seeing positive results. U.K.-based retailer ASOS set up enhanced conversions across Search and YouTube to help them close measurement gaps due to browser restrictions and cross-device behavior. This enabled them to measure conversions that would otherwise not have been captured and improved return on ad spend (ROAS) with a recorded sales uplift of 8.6% in Search and 31% in YouTube.

Enhanced conversions helped establish a strong measurement foundation, off of which we can better measure the impact of our YouTube buys. Carolina Vicente
Media Investment Director, ASOS

Machine learning unlocks new insights in Google Analytics

In addition to using modeling for more complete conversion measurement and optimization, modeling can also help you get deeper customer insights from your behavioral analytics data. Last year we announced the new Google Analytics, which uses machine learning to surface relevant marketing insights, such as a significant change in your campaign performance or the likelihood of your customers making a purchase. 

Soon, we’ll extend Google’s advanced machine learning models to behavioral reporting in Analytics. For example, if there is incomplete data in your User Acquisition report due to cookies not being available, we’ll now use modeling to help fill gaps for a more complete view of the number of new users your campaigns have acquired. With or without cookies, you’ll be able to enhance your understanding of the customer journey across your app and website and use those insights to improve your marketing. 

Coming next

We’re continuing to invest in next-generation privacy solutions to help advertisers navigate ongoing industry changes and preserve accurate conversion measurement. 

You can find out the latest information about these new privacy-safe measurement solutions at Google Marketing Livestream 2021 on Thursday, May 27 at 8:00 a.m. PT / 11:00 a.m. ET. 


Google Analytics Blog


Do more with Data Studio Community Visualizations

May 11, 2021 No Comments

Data Studio Community Visualizations, currently in beta, allow you to create and integrate custom JavaScript components into your dashboards. You can use Community Visualizations to expand your chart selection, customize your report styling, or create custom components that perform advanced analysis or even in-browser machine learning.

New galleries for Data Studio Community Visualizations

Showcase gallery for Community Visualization reports

The Data Studio team recently launched the Community Visualization Report Gallery.

There, you can explore how others in the community have leveraged Community Visualizations to make the most of their data and dashboards.

Reports featuring Community Visualizations

Reports featuring Community Visualizations

Public Partner Visualization Gallery

Additionally, we’ve added a new gallery of Partner Community Visualizations that we’ve made available. Browse them in the new Data Studio Visualizations gallery.

The Data Studio Visualizations Gallery

The Data Studio Visualizations Gallery

Click-to-add Partner Visualizations

To add these Partner Visualizations to a report, click “Explore more” in the Community Visualizations drop down. There, you can browse and install a variety of partner-built charts, including funnel visualizations and Gantt charts.

The new in-product Partner Visualization gallery

The new in-product Partner Visualization gallery

Community Visualizations can add to a Data Studio dashboard in different ways – from providing custom charts and styling to integrating calculations with reporting.

Statistical analysis with Community Visualizations

Anvil Analytics + Insights works to bring data-driven decision making to all of their work, including optimized paid media campaigns. They used Community Visualizations to build their own Chi-Square statistical analyzer.

Several Anvil customers noticed that channels in Google Ads and Analytics converted at different rates, and wanted to know if the variance in conversion rates was statistically significant. 

Prior to using Community Visualizations, the Anvil Insights team manually exported the data out of Google Analytics into a separate tool, then ran the statistical analysis. Depending on where Anvil ran the analysis, the results were either stored separately from their reports, or not stored at all. Every time they wanted to test a different hypothesis or run a different variation of the test, they had to repeat the same time-intensive process.

In order to speed up hypothesis testing and integrate the tests and results into Data Studio reports, Anvil used Data Studio Community Visualizations and built a Chi-Square calculator within a week. 

Anvil’s calculator takes in data, just like any Data Studio chart. Once the calculation is complete, the analyzer presents the statistical significance, and either calls the viewer’s attention to a relationship in the data, or comments that there was nothing of note in the data. Now, all it takes to test new hypotheses is switching out the data for the component, just like you would for any other Data Studio chart. See it live.

Anvil Analytics + Insights Community Visualization Chi-Square Calculator

Anvil Analytics + Insights Community Visualization Chi-Square Calculator

“This has been a much faster way to find statistical significance in our campaigns and in other hypotheses we want to test. Anvil’s Director of Analytics and Decision Science, Brett Lohmeyer says, “The best part is that it gives us an easy way for our team to better communicate the value of using statistical significance to our clients.”

Try it yourself

Check out the new in-product Partner Visualizations Gallery to browse and add new partner-built Community Visualizations to your reports. To build your own Community Visualizations, check out the developer documentation.


Google Analytics Blog