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Thursday, July 26, 2012 | 11:32 AM

Thanks to everyone who has been a loyal reader of this blog since May 2008. After some consideration, we recognize that we're just not generating enough content here to warrant your time, so we won't be posting here any longer. 


We encourage you to visit our main Google Analytics Blog, for ongoing news, trends and best practices about Google Analytics, conversion optimization and testing.


Posted by Timo Josten, Partner Program Manager, Google Analytics

Using e-commerce tracking on non-ecommerce sites: Nissan Motor Company

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 | 11:35 AM

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This post originally appeared on the Google Analytics Japan blog. - Ed.

Google Analytics’ e-commerce tracking allows online merchants to measure items sold and tie those results back to their digital marketing activities. But did you know that it can also be used to track non e-commerce activity?

Nissan Motor Company does just this. Nissan operates in the automobile industry, and owns a network of websites designed to help consumers around the world decide which Nissan vehicle they would like to purchase.



Nissan uses e-commerce tracking whenever a visitor submits a request for a test drive or a brochure. They treat each request as if a car were sold, and record details such as the model, colour, transmission type, and location of the vehicles people inquire after. A traditional Google Analytics implementation for a non e-commerce site would simply use goals to measure conversions. So why did Nissan opt to use e-commerce tracking instead?

They wanted to be able to measure more information about each inquiry within their Google Analytics reports. By implementing e-commerce tracking they are now able to pass additional information to their Google Analytics account, such as the category, colour, and model of car the visitor was interested in. Nissan's Global Marketing Strategy Division then analyses this information to understand which vehicles are in hot demand in each market; it then feeds those insights to their manufacturing plants across the globe to ensure that there is enough supply to satisfy demand.

One of the benefits of Google Analytics is that you can decide who should have access to your suite of reports. Nissan’s Global Division uses this feature to decentralise access to their different market operations, allowing each country manager to log into Google Analytics and quickly assess the popularity of different models for their market. Nissan employed a Google Analytics Certified Partner in Japan, Ayudante, to help set up their account profiles and custom reports that could then be accessed by each of the country managers.

Nissan’s Global Marketing Strategy division says there are 3 key benefits they gain from Google Analytics as a whole:

  1. It is easy to assess product popularity globally and by market. The user experience is seamless and there was no complex setup necessary.
  2. Custom reports allow you to easily view complex information in one view. It dramatically reduces the time to summarize multiple reports, document it, and share it within the organisation.
  3. Google Analytics gives them access to timely information, which allows for better decision making.
Even if you are a non e-commerce site, you should explore e-commerce tracking as a means of measuring more information about the products or services your visitors are inquiring about. Then share that information with your wider marketing and product teams so that they can make effective decisions to maximise sales.

Google Analytics has learned 9 new languages

Friday, February 10, 2012 | 1:53 PM

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Recently we introduced new and improved Google Analytics, so that you can quickly find even more powerful and useful data to improve your internet marketing efforts.

Now, we are proud to say Google Analytics is available in 9 new languages. This makes Google Analytics quite a Polyglot, and it is in total available in 40 languages now. Newly introduced languages are:

  • Arabic
  • Croatian
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Latvian
  • Romanian
  • Serbian
  • Slovenian
  • Ukrainian

To change the language of Analytics account to any of these new languages, you have to activate the new interface, if you haven’t already, by clicking on the “new version” button at the top of the account. Then, navigate to the settings page where you can select the new language.



You can also now enjoy reading the newly revamped Analytics help center in any of the 9 new languages.

We are confident this will improve the usage of Google Analytics across the world, and help website owners and AdWords advertisers get even more out of their internet marketing efforts.

Happy data mining!
Google Analytics Team

Shoes of Prey: Valuing marketing channels with Assisted Conversions

Friday, January 13, 2012 | 9:09 AM

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Multi-Channel Funnels are a new set of reports that show which channels your customers interacted with during the 30 days prior to a conversion or purchase. In this series of three posts, Michael Fox, co-Founder and Director of Operations of Shoes of Prey, shares how he uses these new reports to improve sales for the business. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up on the series. - Ed.

In our first post, I discussed why we like Google Analytics’ new Multi-Channel Funnels reports and how we improved our site experience based on insights gained from the Top Conversion Paths report. Today I want to focus on another report: the Assisted Conversions report.

Assisted Conversions report
The Assisted Conversions report summarises the roles and contributions of channels that brought traffic to our website. Prior to Multi-Channel Funnels we used to attribute sales to the last channel (e.g. organic search, paid display, etc.) that the customer interacted with--in other words, the last channel to send us the customer’s click.

What does this mean? Let’s take, for example, a visitor who first came to our site via a link they saw on Twitter, then a few days later clicked on one of our ads running on the Google Display Network, then came through an organic search result on Yahoo, and finally visited our site by clicking on a text ad on Google Search and made a purchase.


We traditionally attributed the sale to the Google Search text ad as that was the source of the last interaction. It also meant that we completely discounted the contribution made by the preceding channels that brought visitors to our site. This method of attribution just doesn’t reflect reality.

The Assisted Conversions report helped us change our view, because for every channel that brings traffic to our website, the report can now tell us how many:
  • Last Interaction Conversions a given channel contributed towards (i.e. that was the last channel used before a purchase was made)
  • Assisted Interaction Conversions a given channel contributed towards (i.e. it contributed towards a purchase, but was not the last channel used)

Insights: Social media influences sales down the line
When evaluating the Assisted Conversions report, we tend to focus on the “Assisted / Last Interaction Conversions” metric, which is displayed as a ratio between the number of Assisted and Last Intereaction conversions. This metric is able to tell us which channels are best for direct response (lower ratio) and which channels are best for influencing sales further down the line (higher ratio).



What we were able to see is that social media channels, such as our Shoes of Prey blog, Twitter, and Facebook, have a high combined Assisted / Last Interaction Conversions ratio of 8.67. What this means is that these channels contribute significantly to conversions early in the funnel and this may not have been picked up if performance was measured on last interaction conversions only.

Actions: Re-evaluating how we value our social media efforts
The Assisted Conversions report helps us evaluate our social media channels. In the past we weren’t sure how effective our social media campaigns were towards driving sales. Today it’s clear that they play an influential role in making sales happen further down the line. We’ve now ensured that our marketing budgets are apportioned appropriately based on these insights.

We’ve started taking action on social media sites to help our potential customers purchase their shoes sooner. For example, we’ve updated our social content to ensure it includes educational material on shoe design, and experiment with our calls to action to encourage visitors to design their own shoes.

Because social media plays an important role in driving sales further down the funnel, we are taking steps to acquire a larger social audience. We now run online campaigns to capture more fan page likes, Twitter followers, Google+ followers, and blog subscribers. We also started promoting our social media channels more prominently on our website and newsletters.



I strongly recommend that you take a close look at your Assisted Conversions report if you aren’t doing so already. By comparing assisted conversions against last interaction conversions, we revised our outlook on certain certain channels (e.g. social media) that we assumed weren’t performing well.

Shoes of Prey: Shortening the time to purchase with Multi-Channel Funnels reports

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | 9:49 AM

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Multi-Channel Funnels are a new set of reports that show which marketing channels your customers visited your site from during the 30 days prior to a conversion or purchase. In this series of three posts, Michael Fox, co-Founder and Director of Operations of Shoes of Prey, shares how he uses these new reports to improve sales for the business. You can read Part 1 here. - Ed.

In our first post, I discussed why we like Google Analytics’ new Multi-Channel Funnels reports, and how we improved our website and our customers’ experience based on insights gained from the Top Conversion Paths report. Today I want to focus on another equally insightful report: the Time Lag report.


Time Lag report
The time lag report shows how many days passed between when the visitor first came to our site and when they made a conversion (i.e. in our case, sales). This provided us with useful insights into the length of our online sales cycle.


Insights: Make the design process easier for our customers



When analysing our sales cycles earlier in the year, we noticed that 40% of our conversions (and 37% of our revenue) happen one or more days after the first visit. Furthermore, we could see that 13% of total conversions happen 12 or more days after the first visit. This reinforced our conclusions from the last post that our customers take time to make a decision on which shoe design they would like to purchase. We need to take steps to shorten this for them.

Actions: Email campaigns to help customers make decisions sooner
These insights convinced us to put into action a number of email campaigns to help our potential customers make a decision sooner.

We first developed an email marketing program that keeps in regular touch with our customers over time. We knew from the report that for every day that a customer stays away from the design process, the more likely they will drop off without making a purchase. These emails were designed to remind them about their unfinished designs and also provided design tips.

We also tested another email campaign where we sent customers content related to their unfinished design. We tested offering free shipping or free leather samples of the leathers used in their design. The leather samples offer got a reasonable take up but hasn't shown a big uplift in sales yet. The free shipping offer didn't perform very well though. We hypothesise that our customers care more about the quality of the product over saving a few dollars on shipping. Moving forward, we’ll focus on the quality aspects of our products when doing this kind of outreach.

We also started an email campaign targeting visitors who abandoned their shopping cart. We ask for feedback on why customers abandoned their cart and offer to answer any questions they might have. We’ve received some great feedback, but most importantly, we were able to “re-activate” shoppers who abandoned the purchase process. This campaign has not only lead to a 7% increase in sales, but has also provided valuable learnings on how to fine-tune our purchase process.


Results: Shortening the time-to-purchase
In combination with what we have done here, and with our actions we shared in our first post, we have seen a decrease in the time to purchase. Over the course of 4 months, we’ve seen same-day purchases increase by 20% and 12+ day purchases fall by 8%.




Multi-Channel Funnels helped us understand the time lag between when a visitor first comes to our and when they complete a purchase. These insights helped us formulate a “continuous touch” strategy that has helped us increase sales. I would be interested to hear what your ideas are for reducing the number of days between a first visit and purchase.

Optimize Engagement using AddThis and ShareThis with Analytics

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 | 4:19 PM

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Increasingly users are discovering great content, products and links through social referrals such as +1 button endorsements, comments, likes, and shares. Earlier this year we introduced Social Plugin Analytics to help you analyze how users engage with any social plugin installed on your site - after all, what can be measured can also be improved and optimized!

MilkADeal started using Google Analytics earlier this year. It is a company in Malaysia that has benefited greatly from using Social Plugin Analytics. By using these new reports, they are able to uncover insights and create significant business process improvements. As reported in the New Straits Times, "In particular, the newly introduced social interaction tracking tool...We've been using it only in the last couple of weeks but we have seen an increase of almost 60% in social interaction visitors to our site," said Wilson Quah, founder of MilkADeal."

By optimizing the instrumentation of a few buttons on their site, MilkADeal is able to achieve better engagement, a big boost in number of high quality referrals, and better outcomes!

Today, we are happy to announce that our partners, AddThis and ShareThis, are making this social plugin analysis even easier. Just as the +1 button is automatically instrumented for you by the Google+ team, publishers using AddThis and ShareThis will now have first class integrations with Social Plugin Analytics!



“Providing real-time analytics to 10 million domains each month, we see what big data can do every day. Integrating AddThis social signals into Google Analytics is a big win for publishers. We’re excited to contribute social sharing insight where it can be viewed in context of the GA interface.”

Will Meyer, VP of Publisher Products, Clearspring

“At ShareThis, we work to provide our publisher network of one million+ websites with actionable analytics on their social activity. It's great to see Google paving the way for the entire industry to derive meaningful insights from the social Web and we're incredibly pleased to be a launch partner."
Kurt Abrahamson, CEO, ShareThis

To enable the integration for all of your AddThis buttons, you are now just one line of code away, and ShareThis users don’t have to do a thing. If you have Google Analytics installed, and you are using a ShareThis widget, simply login into Google Analytics and check out your new social reports!



Update: AddToAny users will also be happy to know that their social buttons are automatically instrumented to work with event tracking and social plugin analytics!

Google Analytics Webinar (APAC): Getting started with Multi-Channel Funnels

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | 2:42 PM

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A few weeks ago we launched Multi-Channel Funnels, a powerful tool to help you understand all the online interactions that lead your users to conversion. With five insightful reports, you can now measure the full conversion path, from first interaction to last click. More important, Multi-Channel Funnels provides actionable analysis about how your marketing channels work together, and answers key questions such as:

  • How much time does the average user take between first interaction and conversion?
  • How many interactions does it take to convert?
  • Which of my marketing channels are “assisting” conversions and which are “closers”?

To help you get the most out of this tool, we’ve scheduled a webinar to walk through the new reports and go over common uses with Bill Kee, the Product Manager for Multi-Channel Funnels.

Title: Getting started with Multi-Channel Funnels
Date: Wednesday November 2, 2011
Time: 8am Thailand/Indonesia, 9am Singapore/Malaysia/Philippines/China, 10am Japan, 12pm Sydney/Melbourne, 2pm New Zealand
Register for the webinar

Have questions about Multi-Channel Funnels? Send them to us ahead of the webinar so we can make sure to answer them. You can also vote for the questions you want to see answered most. You can submit your questions on our Google Moderator page.

If you can't attend the webinar, please check the Google Analytics YouTube Channel for a recording about a week after the live event. You can also read more from the initial announcement of Multi-Channel Funnels and watch a video about the tool.

We hope that you will be able to participate!