Google updates Tag Manager with new set of tools

Google Tag Manager

Yesterday Google launched a new set of tools for their Tag Manager. According to Google the new attributes will make the Tag Manager more powerful and accessible allowing marketers to streamline existing workflows.

Some of the new features:

New Google Tag Manager API. “Sometimes you just want things your own way. We understand!”. Once again Google is proving that it is open to suggestions coming from website owners and agencies and it’s willing to walk the extra mile in order to satisfy its customers. What I really like about this new API is the ability to do bulk tagging set ups for clients. Making our life easier is what Google does best. Christmas came early this year!

More 3rd-party templates in the tag creation flow. Not just that but if you don’t see the tag that you need you can add it instantly as a custom HTML tag. And if that wasn’t enough you can also ask for a custom tag to be included in future releases.

Google Tag Manager

At the moment Google has support for tags from the following companies: AdRoll, Marin, Comscore,Neustar, Clicktale, Distillery, Turn, VisualDNA, quantcast, Criteo,Bizo, Mediaplex. And more are coming.

A more intuitive interface. Now this is something we kind of expect from Google. Everything now is shaped much the same as in Google Analytics and Google Adwords. You may think it makes it easier for complete novices to start and it definitely does. But the point here is that again Google is trying to improve on the previous experience of its users by giving them the best possible solutions.

Google Tag Manager Overview

If you haven’t used Google Tag Manager before I strongly recommend checking it out now. The ability to drop a snippet and leave the marketing team to do the rest is just brilliant. A long awaited feature that is saving countless hours of implementation and customization to online businesses.

Some of the business benefits of using Google Tag Manager.

1. Implement faster. In the old times deploying was a daunting job. Every time you had to go to your web developers. If they were busy sometimes used to take days, weeks and even months. Not anymore. When Tag Manager came along: no heavy coding, no developers, just simple deployment via a web interface.

2.Faster websites. As you probably know tags add weight to your pages. With Google Tag Manager the loading is done independently of your page content, thus no effect on you website speed. Customers hate slow website. Search engines hate slow website as well. In many cases the problem is not even the current tags but the old ones sitting on your pages and making them bloated and slow. With the Google Tag Manager all your tags are held  in one single container so removing (or modifying them) is just a click away.

3.Consistency. If a tag is not on a page, it’s just not gonna work. Be honest, how many times you didn’t have the data because the tag on the page was missing. With the Google Tag Container you can deploy a tag across all pages of your website or few specific pages just by setting up some rules. Nobody physically has to go and update every single page. No more dependency when it comes to consistency from your analytics vendor. You concentrate on the business, not on the tag deployment.

Google Tag Manager

Learn more about Google Tag Manager here:

Hopefully I managed to convince you that Google Tag Manager is the best solution for your business, but as usual if you’ve got any questions just drop me a line and  I will help you get started.

Or in Google’s own words: “If you have questions, we have answers”. Need I say more?


Spider and Bots Filtering in Google Analytics

Spider and Bots Filtering in Google Analytics

Again Google surprised us this month by introducing a new and this time quite useful filter called “Bot Filtering”. For a long time webmasters were asking the question of how much of traffic to their website comes from real human and how much traffic actually comes from spiders and bots. I can tell you now – when blocked you probably gonna see a significant drop in your monthly visits which in fact gonna give you a better understanding of your website visitors.

With more accurate numbers webmasters and marketers are now in position to adjust their campaigns to target real human being,  as we all know web spiders and bots don’t really deliver revenue.

In my opinion this is one of the most significant and important updates Google has done in recent months.

How to activate “Bot Filtering”.

As usual head to your  Admin settings. Under View settings underneath the Currency setting just click the checkbox that reads: “Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders” and now you have all known spiders and bots filtered in your analytics results.

Spider and Bots Filtering in Google Analytics

Simple and effective. Now start analysing the real numbers.

Google Analytics App for iOS

Google Analytics for iOS App

Webmasters using iOS now have an official App to track their websites activities. While the Android app was released long time ago this is the first release for iOS.

This app is compatible with all iOS devices – iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch – although its optimised for iPhone 5 and requires iOS 6.0 or later.

First impression. Finally Google released the power of Google Analytics in the palm of our hands. All the standard features that we are used to including Real Time Reports – monitoring data as its happening – will definitely  increase the productivity of our teams.

Google Analytics for iOS App

Its been a very productive month for Google – four apps for iOS this month:

YouTube channel management iOS app, YouTube creator Studio, AdWords Express and Google’s Ingress global augmented reality game for iOS created by the amazing Niantic Labs.

Why this sudden rush for iOS apps from Google?!

Be A Hero – Create a Second View In Google Analytics

Create a Second View In Google Analytics

I am amazed at how many people nowadays don’t have a second view in their Google Analytics (GA) account. It’s true I’ve never seen a proper GA tutorial about setting a second view and most of all the great importance of having one, but still, it’s kind of logical don’t you think?

Let’s call the default view created by GA  “raw view” and let me write this down in capital letters: One day when you least expect it everything in your GA account gonna go nuts and the “raw view” gonna save your day from a data disaster. And you gonna be very thankful to Omi Sido. You may even pop in and buy me a beer.

Everything started a week ago when two non-related companies asked me to comment on some strange anomalies in their GA accounts after setting up some filters a while ago.

So my first question: Shall we compare the data to the “raw view”. No “raw view” or “second” view is their answer. So my second question: “What?!”.

How the “raw view” gonna save your company from a data disaster.

The “raw view” is the one sitting quietly in the background of your GA account (never ever touched), collecting information and waiting to become a hero when the other views (did I say that some colleagues would even create a third view for some extreme situations) crash down.
For example and in connection with the story above – you gonna need this view when setting up filters. Only by comparing to the “raw” view you are going to be able to check whether the difference is trustworthy and whether you have to re-do your filters. Quick logic here: How do you even know if your filters are working they way they are supposed to if you don’t have two views?!

How to set up your “raw” and “second” view.

By default when you set up your GA account you are presented with the default view or in the words of GA – “one unfiltered view for every property in your account”. Never add or delete a filter to this default (“raw” as I call it) view. When you add a filter the data you exclude becomes unavailable for this view, hence only add the filters to the other views. Logically when you delete a view the historical data in this view disappears forever.

Although you should not set up filters in the “raw” view you can set up goals there. Despite not being harmful I wouldn’t do that, as you probably don’t want to have your goals in a view that you don’t visit that often.
One very important note here: It is not possible to import historical data into the new views.
“Creating a new reporting view will provide you with unfiltered access to all data collected by the Tracking ID.” If you rather make a copy of existing view than all the goals are copied over to the new one. Again in both cases – no historical data(!).

The technical part of the process is rather simple. You just go to Admin, View and in the drop-down Create a new view. Give it a meaningful name and also for the sake of security rename the default view to something scary – “Raw View- Do not touch or I will kill you” – for example.
What to do if you only have only one view now: for a start don’t panic- you are already doing something right by reading this article, so the easiest thing to do is copy the existing view, rename it to using the “convention” above and clear it from all filters. The copy of the existing view, in my opinion, should have today’s date in the name as like this you gonna know exactly when created. Don’t forget all the goals and filters gonna be copied over so you don’t have to worry about them at the moment.

Now enjoy the moment. You are a future hero.

Google Universal Analytics is here to stay. Get used to it.

Google Universal Analytics

Google announced last week that Universal Analytics is out of beta and is now being rolled into primetime. People ask me: Is this really going to change anything?

If I have to be short, its gonna change everything.

Google Universal Analytics completely replaces the technical aspect of how online data is collected so there is a completely new way at how we track and analyze our customers. Instead of tracking the anatomy of a visit, now it tracks the behavior of visitors. Apart of tracking websites and mobile devices, GA can also track point-of-sale systems which means we can also get information form offline conversions. All of these mean now we’ve got access to a new wealth of information from which your business can make informed, data driven decisions. Let me repeat this one: informed, data driven decisions.

 Google Universal Analytics

Shall we start using Universal Analytics now or later. Well I am afraid its not about “if”, its more about “when” as eventually all of us will be forced to upgrade.

For those still not ready to retag their website Search Discovery has a free JavaScript tool called Airlock that will automatically convert your page tags for you. Airlock gives you the ability to start taking advantage of GA Universal Analytics while phasing in all the tags that will have to be upgraded.
Still start thinking now- this is not just a good advice, this is a warning.

Google has fundamentally changed their concept – what’s the reason? Essentially, the change to Universal Analytics tells us that the way user interact and the web in general have become a lot more sophisticated. No longer we can do our marketing without putting into account offline interactions. No longer we can relay on a visit-based tool as the psychology of the visit becomes more and more important. The old method does not fit the new model, so the old method has to go.

Universal Analytics is here to stay. Get used to it.

PS Some useful links:

Universal Analytics is out of beta: What the heck does that mean?
About Universal Analytics
Upgrade to Universal Analytics