Marketers: Install Google Tag Manager on Your WordPress Site in 4 Minutes

50% of the top million websites use Google Tag Manager, the incredibly powerful analytics/marketing tool that quickly deploys tagging across your website. Want to do Facebook remarketing? Subscribing to HubSpot, Pardot or another marketing automation service? Need to add an AdWords conversion tag?

So many actions marketers take require additional tracking code to be placed on website code and Google Tag Manager will handle that for us. Best of all, you don’t have to be an analytics nerd to implement this! Tag Manager empowers marketers to own and make changes without development or technical help. I’m not a coder at all, and I’ve launched GTM on a few dozen WordPress websites.

In the simplest configuration, Google Tag Manager fires and controls the Google Analytics tag on your website. See our post “What is Google Tag Manager? (And How Does It Work With Google Analytics?)” below for more gushing.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Knowledge Of Self: Critical for all marketing projects but for today, ask yourself: Does my website have tons of traffic and lots of QA checks and dev process to do anything? If so, go talk to IT about this just to make sure it’s cool. If you are working on small-to-medium sized business or non-profit, proceed!
  • WordPress Admin Access. This needs to be a WordPress site you control and have access to make admin-level changes.
  • Google Account. Ideally the one you use for Google Analytics.
  • Google Chrome Browser. You can download Chrome here.
  • Egg Timer. Mine looks like a Penguin because I’m stationed at our Pittsburgh office.

1. Set Egg Timer for 4 minutes

Easy, right?

2. Sign Up for Google Tag Manager

Navigate to the Tag Manager page and to sign up for free. 

Create a new GTM account. Account name best practice: Use your company name (e.g. Alice’s Wonderland Resorts LLC).

Now name your container and choose what you want to track. Since we’re talking about WordPress websites here, select Web. Container name best practice: Use the domain name of your website (e.g. www.aliceswonderlandresorts.com).

3. Get Dat Code

Yes, I told you this wouldn’t be technical. It’s not! We just need to do a few copy / pastes. Once you click create, you’ll be presented with the following popup that contains the code that needs to be added to your site. This code snippet will have your Container ID, which is super important! Mine below is just an example. Don’t use it.

4. WordPress Editor

In WordPress, navigate to Appearance, then Editor. If you don’t see this option, then you do not have Admin access to your site.

Look on the right-hand side and you’ll see the files the make your WordPress template work. Look for Header.php and edit. This files controls all page templates in WordPress.

Paste the top portion of GTM code right after the opening <head> element (see screenshot). Use your browser search to locate the <head> if needed.

Paste the second portion of GTM code right after the opening <body> element.

Don’t monkey around with other stuff! Seriously.

When you’re done, click Update File.

5. Import a Recipe (If you Want to do GA Stuff) Or Add a Tag for a Non-Google Service

Head over to our website and grab our basic recipe pack for GTM to do some Google Analytics tracking. This GTM pack will allow you to easily add ready-to-go tags to your new GTM container. If you have Google Analytics installed already, the recipe instructions will tell you how to add your tracking number to GTM.

Note: you don’t have to set up Google Analytics through Tag Manager, but it’s recommended. You can install Tag Manager and leave your existing Analytics in place. Learn about how Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics can work together.

Super Important Note: Google Analytics should only load on your page once. If you’re using a different WordPress plugin to load Google Analytics, then do not also load Google Analytics through Google Tag Manager.

Maybe you just need to install a Facebook remarketing snippet without a developer, use Tag Manager! But if you would like to migrate your Google Analytics tracking to Tag Manager, see our blog post that covers some other points about migrating your on-page Google Analytics to Google Tag Manager.

If you need to set up tracking for external service because you want to do some advanced marketing tracking or measure conversions from social or paid ad spends, it’s easy! Google Tag Manager comes pre-loaded with tons of external tags (view list) or you can use a special tag called a Custom HTML Tag to paste in other tags.

Here are GTM instructions for integrating popular marketing tags:

Remember to test your tags before publishing them. Google Tag Manager has built-in previewing and debugging. We also cover a few Chrome extensions for debugging that will come in handy!

6. Verify Your Install

Tag Assistant is a nifty freebie will look for the GTM container in your site source code and let you know that everything works. Add Google Tag Assistant to Chrome from the Chrome Store.

Now, re-load your website and open Tag Assistant. You should see a happy little face with your container ID:

Ding! My timer just rang. Did you make it? Remember, you don’t have to migrate Google Analytics right away if you just need to get one advertising tag on your site via GTM. You can do that step next (Spoiler: it takes longer than 4 minutes) and we’d love to help. Have you done a quick & dirty GTM launch like this in the past?


Increase Revenue with Strategic Audiences in Google Analytics & Google AdWords

Digital Marketing has changed. Where once marketing experience and wishful thinking about ideal customers drove spend, now it’s becoming easier and even standard practice to use your company’s data to enhance marketing decision making. Marketers drill in on specific user behavior, test landing pages, and obsess over Click Through Rate (CTR) and Return On Ad Spend (ROAS).

These processes are often discussed and blogged about in the micro view: “How to get more out of campaign settings in AdWords”, “Two things to look for in Google Analytics reports”, etc., as if these are all separate topics. What’s ignored all too often is the high-level strategy itself.

Let’s examine how to actually leverage existing data in Google Analytics to increase revenue using Google AdWords. This is a four-part process that can work for any industry by combining the best functions of Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

1. Collect

Limits of the AW Remarketing Tag

AdWords offers a simplified remarketing tag that can be implemented on websites. We’ve come to think of this tag as a last resort. This was the original way to pump users’ behavior into AdWords campaigns in order to show remarketing banner ads to users who match a specific behavior.

However, it’s incredibly limited from a data collection point of view. AdWords tag audience options are very simple (Example: Users who have visited URL “/xyz”). It works in a pinch, but we consider this is an outdated approach for identifying valuable audiences.

Behold Google Tag Manager & Google Analytics:

GTM Saves The Day / Universal Analytics

With Google Tag Manager installed on your company’s websites, audience potential grows enormously. The standard Google Analytics Pageview tag includes a special button to enable the collection of data for remarketing audiences in AdWords or DoubleClick.

Check the Enable Display Advertising Features button to start collecting.

If you don’t have Tag Manager yet, you can enable remarketing in your Google Analytics Property Settings:

Advanced Tracking

Now you are collecting user behavior for remarketing. Let’s go further. Event tracking can track user interactions on the page beyond loading the page. (Learn how to configure Custom Dimensions)

  1. Push user-submitted form data into a Google Analytics Custom Dimensions. We did this recently in a case study for Teach for America to create audiences to remarket to.
  2. Collecting User-ID from your database and push into Google Analytics as a Custom Dimension.
  3. Push data from a marketing platform like Marketo or Salesforce.

For example, we fired a popup on our blog to encourage email subscriptions (Form submission method #1 above). We asked users to choose which tips they would like to receive: GA, GTM or SEO/SEM:

By firing an event back into Google Analytics when a user selects a topic of interest, a custom dimension can be populated as our users self-identify and we can use that data later when building an audience.

Get Fancy with It

There are a lot of ways you could get wild with this:

  • Find your best performing audiences manually. Who converts? What do you know about them?
  • Prove that your marketing Personas are accurate by pairing them with audience segments (Newspaper examples: Heavy Readers, etc).
  • Use R or Big Query to develop data-first audiences based on behavioral characteristics.

2. Segment

Segments are where Google Analytics truly shine. Instead of simple audience targets like the last page someone visits, or any URL that contains “SEO”, GA segments let you choose from nearly every dimension in Google Analytics to hand-craft an audience. Now that you have some data from Step 1, you can build segments that reflect your audiences. On any Google Analytics report, click Add Segment at the top of the report and you’ll see an awesome menu of options:

Google Analytics comes prepopulated with many useful segments, like New Users, Converters, and more. Additionally, you can create you own by combining dimensions and metrics that you care about.

Segment Ideas:

  • Device – Phone Model, Browser
  • Geography – Users visiting from certain regions.
  • Source – Users visiting from Facebook links or from LinkedIn
  • Site Events – Users who watched a key video or downloaded a PDF
  • Self-Identified – Those form fields flow into custom dimensions, and allow us to segment by interests, company size, monthly budget, or any other data your business needs and can easily collect!

Web visitors who are 35-44 years old using iPhones in wealthy areas who watched your latest blog video and identified themselves as small business on a form? Now we’re talking. THAT’s an audience!

Don’t forget to create audiences that you will exclude as well. For example, if you are building an audience to drive general site users to a specific video, create another list of users who have already viewed that video. Drive those users to the next step in your funnel

Follow Google’s instructions to segment your Google Analytics data.

Lastly, Enhanced Ecommerce users and Google Analytics 360 customers can use Shopping/Checkout Behavior Funnel reports or Custom Funnel reports to create valuable segments. Once properly set up, this allows you identify valuable groups of users like, “Users who added something to cart, but didn’t convert.”

When segmenting, it’s important to know the advertising limits. You’ll need to have at least 100 users (or cookies) on a display remarketing audience list and 1000 users on a search remarketing list for Google AdWords, so don’t get too granular.

Segments are valuable inside of Google Analytics for reporting and ad-hoc investigation. For this reason, we recommend starting with a segment, and finding the ones that are most valuable. Once you’ve created a segment that you want to remarket to, you’ll need to turn the Segment into an Audience and share it with the correct AdWords account under the Property Settings inside of Google Analytics.

Make sure Google Analytics and Google AdWords are linked. That’s an important step here.

3. Import

Once that’s complete, you’ll be able to see our GA audiences in AdWords. In AdWords, use the left-hand nav and find Shared Library > Audiences. Here you’ll see Google Analytics audiences and some automatically-generated AdWords audiences as well (Yours will have real numbers under Search, YouTube, Display):


You did it! Well, you almost did it. Next you need to target these audiences with our Search & Display AdWords campaigns.

Before we move ahead, you should know that when you create an audience, AdWords makes a look-a-like audience called a Similar Audience of users who HAVEN’T YET VISITED YOUR WEBSITE. I needed to yell that. These are users who have very similar browsing and search behavior as the users on your audience lists, but they haven’t been to your site yet.

This is an incredibly powerful audience! We can market to essentially new people who are highly qualified and looking for the same things as your leads and customers. This makes all the difference with a Display ad spend, as you can drastically cut down on impressions to users who aren’t at all interested and focus your message on users who are more likely to need your business.

If that’s not enough, at this page you can upload a list of emails from leads or current customers and make an audience from them too! This is called Customer Match. And yes, AdWords makes similar audiences for these as well! Let that sink in for a second.

4. Target

Get on with your bad self. Now that you’ve collected data, segmented, and imported audiences, the fun begins. You can now bid on these audiences in Google AdWords.

Option A – RLSA & Search

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads can be overlooked in the Google AdWords toolbox. Let’s face it, the wonky acronym doesn’t help. So let’s forget the name for a second. Here’s what this feature really is: Audience Prioritization Tool. By collecting, segmenting, and importing groups of users into Google AdWords, we can now attach these audiences to an existing or new Search Network campaign.

Target & Bid
Triggers an ad only when someone who’s on your audience list searches for one of the keywords in your campaign. You need a big audience here, so your segmentation can’t be too granular, since no other traffic is being lured by a campaign using this setting. Use with care in specific circumstances where your audience is broadly defined.

Bid Only
This method allows for something really cool, the dual targeting of normal keyword-triggered users that we don’t know anything about and the targeting of our identified audience. A sneaky-smart way to implement this would be to:

  1. Lower your default keyword bids (while maintaining a top 4 position in the auction).
  2. Create a bid modifier on the Audience tab of the campaign in AdWords to a 300% increase if the user is a member of your audience list.

So visitors we have no connection with can still trigger ads and learn about our business, but if we know that someone matches a specific behavioral profile, we’re telling AdWords to raise our AdRank in the auction and place us as high as we can go to show up hopefully in the top spot. Prioritizing important users can maximize budgets, reduce waste and increase performance. In effect, we are telling the system to bid much more on users that we care a lot about.

Consider doing the following:

  • Add audiences to Brand campaigns with a 300% bid adjustment to make sure users see your ad when researching your company. Use Bid Only here.
  • Create competitor campaigns with keywords you’d normally never run and set to Target and Bid. Here’s a guide to aggressively targeting competitor keywords with your highly-qualified audiences using RLSA.
  • Go even further with the above and create generic keyword concept campaigns that use Target and Bid to only trigger for your specified audiences. For example, we could bid on a keyword like “increase digital revenue” for our blog, even though that’s not a closely matched keyword. A user on one of our audiences might be searching for that, and digital analytics is something that could help them achieve this goal. You can now cast a wide fishing net, but to just a small pond of users.

Option B – Display Remarketing Funnel

Think beyond the standard remarketing that pesters a user the next day. How can you creatively utilize your audience to help them move along the funnel? Serve different display messaging for highly motivated users than you would to the similar audiences who don’t know about your brand yet. Leverage your GA audiences and Customer match audiences here. Google’s Similar Audiences will help you reach new eyes, so change your messaging appropriately.

Option C – Optimize Audience Import

One last thing! Google Optimize 360’s premium version allows you to import audiences right into your UX tests. This saves not only time, but the frustration that comes from using a separate analytics platform and a separate testing platform that don’t easily integrate together.

While many of the testing platforms on the market do a fine job on the design and implementation side, none really allow for the direct audience/segment importation the way that Google Optimize does. Now the extremely qualified audiences we built can be served A/B or multivariate tests or personalized experiences to increase engagement or conversion rate.

Takeaways

  • Remember: Collect, Segment, Import, Target.
  • Nowhere did we mention social advertising! What creative way would you expand on the above to spread this tactic across more channels? Use the above method to test Display copy to different audiences then take the winners and run to the same demographics on social.
  • Yes, this is a lengthy process. It’s worth it though!
  • This process requires close and careful collaboration between tech teams and marketing teams. Be the squeaky wheel in your organization to get buy-in and results.

Following this outline will help your business lower wasted advertising spend by only targeting relevant or interest audience segments for client retention, cross-selling, converting bottom-of-funnel users or by building awareness to similar audiences and avoiding paying for fly-by users that aren’t really interested in your product or service. Do the work, optimize your spend, and increase your revenue. Do you have any hacks for any of the four major steps? Let us know below.

Special thanks to Zee Drakhshandeh for contributing to this article!


The Definitive Guide to Enterprise Link Building

Xight Interactive has been providing Technical SEO services for the past 5 years now, although our company is widely known for link building.

Over the years, link building remained a vital part of digital marketing and I personally didn’t see any signs of slowing down. This is very apparent when seeing most dominant companies/entities thriving in search are very active in their own link development campaigns.

The link graph is still a core component of today’s search algorithm (as revealed by Google’s Andrey Lipattsev).

The post The Definitive Guide to Enterprise Link Building appeared first on Kaiserthesage.


Getting Started with Google Optimize

A few months ago, Google announced that it would be offering a free version of Google Optimize 360 to the public. This month, people who requested an invite to Optimize will begin to receive access to the tool. If you have access, this article will help you get started. If you would like to sign up for Optimize, but have not requested an invite yet, you can do so here. Google is granting access on a first come first serve basis through early 2017.

What is Google Optimize?

Google Optimize 360 is Google’s A/B testing and personalization platform. Like most A/B testing platforms, it allows marketers to test variations of a site in order to improve conversions. Unlike most A/B testing platforms, it natively integrates with Google Analytics.

Google Optimize (free) vs Google Optimize 360

Google has a great comparison chart for what is included in each package. Here I will simply explain the limitations of the free version.

No audiences. Optimize 360 allows you to use Google Analytics audiences to target which users will be included in your experiment. The free version does not. If you are looking to make sure only relevant users see your experiment, you’ll need to use a combination of other targeting options Optimize offers.

Limited Concurrent Experiments. The number of concurrent tests you can run is capped at 3. This shouldn’t be a problem for small and medium sized sites that are just getting started with A/B testing. But larger, more experienced teams may find this to be a real handicap.

Limited multivariate testing. The free version of Optimize does offer multivariate testing, but multivariate tests are limited to 16 variations.

Pre-selected Objectives. One of the great features of Optimize 360 is the ability to see how an experiment would have impacted other GA goals by retroactively changing experiment objectives. It can do this because objectives are actually GA goals, which are pulled from the view you tied to the Optimize container.

How is Google Optimize Implemented?

Updated: As Google Optimize matures, we’ve seen shifts in recommendations for how to implement it on your site. Many options exist, but the recommended way to add Optimize to your site is by adding a line of code to the Universal Analytics snippet installed on your website. The general process for setting up Google Optimize looks like this:

  1. Create an account and container
  2. Link the container to Google Analytics
  3. Install Google Optimize on the site

We cover this and other elements of installing Google Optimize in this blog post:

Creating Your First Experiment

Creating your first experiment is very simple.

1. From the Optimize Container page, click the blue “Create Experiment” button.

2. Enter your experiment name, editor page, and the type of experiment you would like to run. The editor page is the page you will make modifications to using the visual editor. For example, if you’re running and experiment on blog pages, enter one blog entry URL. Later you will use experiment targeting to apply your changes to some or all of your blog posts.

3. Select the type of experiment you would like to run. You have three basic options here:

  • A/B Test. Tests two or more variants of a page, also called an A/B/N test. This is the most common of the experiments.
  • Multivariate Test. Tests variants with two or more different sections on the same page (or page template). This is great for when you want to try multiple combinations of elements on the same page (or page template).
  • Redirect Test. Test separate web pages identified by different URLs or paths. If you’re making large changes to page code it can slow down the page. If you find yourself in that situation, it’s better to run a redirect test. Don’t forget to add a noindex tag to the test page.

Experiment Interface

For the rest of this blog post we will focus on an A/B test. Let’s dive into the experiment interface.

There are two main tabs, “Details” and “Reporting”. Details is where you’ll be able to find and modify experiment information, Reporting is where experiment data is reported (it’s also reported in GA).

There are two main sections here: variants and configuration.

Variants Section

Variants is where you’re able to see:

  1. How many variants are in your experiment
  2. What percentage of traffic each variant will receive (an even split is recommended)
  3. Options for previewing how the experiment will look on desktop and mobile. It is also where you can generate a preview link for your team.
  4. Number of changes made to the variation.
  5. Additional options which include edit variant name and delete variant.

Configuration Section

The configuration section is where you are able to provide a description of the experiment, select experiment goals (objectives), and select targeting parameters.

Selecting Objectives is Important. Unlike Optimize 360 (the premium version) you can not retroactively change objectives to see how your experiment affected other goals. So make sure you have all of your objectives selected before you start your experiment.

Hypothesis Best Practices. If you’re just getting started with testing, you may be tempted to simply write a description of test and skip the hypothesis. This is not recommended. Writing a clear hypothesis will keep you honest when the results roll in. Follow this basic formula when generating a hypothesis: If [I do this], then [this will happen].

Targeting

The targeting section is where you will define what conditions will fire the experiment. Targeting options are evaluated on page load.

Targeting Options. Each targeting option links to the Optimize targeting docs which have much more information about how to use each of these options.

  • URLs. Target specific pages and sets of pages. URL targeting allows you to pick the web pages where your experiments run. URL targeting is useful for presenting experiment variants on a specific set of pages, easily defined by their URL. You can target a single page, a narrow subset of pages, or even Hosts and Paths.
  • Audiences (360 only). Target Audiences that you create in Google Analytics. Optimize 360 allows target your experiments to Analytics Audiences. This allows you to focus your experiment on a group of users who have exhibited specific behaviors on your site.
  • Behavior. Target users arriving to your site from a specific channel or source. Behavior targeting allows you to target first time users and visitors coming from a specific referrer.
  • Geo. Target visitors from a specific city, region, metro or country. Use Geo targeting to target users from a particular geographic area. For example, you might invite users from a specific city to attend an in-person event or to visit your retail location. While typing in the Values field, you’ll see suggestions from the AdWords Geographical Targeting API to help speed rule creation.
  • Technology. Target users visiting from a specific browser, operating system or device. Optimize looks at the browser’s user agent string to identify which browser is being used, what version, and on which operating system. You can use these data as targeting criteria in Optimize.
  • JavaScript Variable. Target pages based upon JavaScript variable values. Use this type of targeting if you can find the value you’re looking for in the source code of the webpage in the form of a JavaScript variable.
  • First-party cookie. Target the value of a first-party cookie in the visitor’s browser. Optimize can check to see if a visitor has a first-party cookie from your website and use that information in targeting rules.
  • Custom JavaScript. Target pages based upon a value returned by custom JavaScript. Custom JavaScript targeting allows you to inject JavaScript onto a page, then target your experiments based on the value that the JavaScript returns.
  • Query Parameter. Target specific pages and sets of pages. Optimize can check query parameters and use them in targeting rules.
  • Data Layer Variable. Instead of referencing JavaScript variables in your targeting conditions, you can reference key-value pairs that are stored in the data layer.

Match Types

Each targeting option has a variety of different match types.

  • Equals/Does Not Equal. Every character, from beginning to end, must be an exact match of the entered value for the condition to evaluate as true. Evaluate as true when the query parameter does not equal any of the entered values.
  • Contains/Does Not Contain. The contains match type (also known as a “substring match”) allows you to target any occurrence of a substring with a longer string.
  • Starts With/ Does Not Start With. The starts with match type matches identical characters starting from the beginning of the query string up to and including the last character in the string you specify.
  • Ends With/Does Not End With. An exact match of the entered value with the end of the URL. You can target shopping cart pages that use /thankyou.html at the end of their URLs.
  • REGEX Matches/Does Not REGEX Match. A regular expression uses special characters to enable wildcard and flexible matching. Regex matches are useful when the stem, trailing parameters, or both, can vary in the URLs for the same webpage. If a user could be coming from one of many subdomains, and your URLs use session identifiers, you could use a regular expression to define the constant element of your URL.

Free REGEX Book (PDF). If you’ve never used regular expressions, you’re missing out. They’re endlessly useful. LunaMetrics CEO Robbin Steif wrote a short book about using regular expressions for Google Analytics. It’s a great resource for those just starting out.

Editing Your Variation with Optimize Visual Editor

To use the Optimize Visual editor you will need Google Chrome the Google Chrome Optimize Extension.

Once you have downloaded the Optimize Extension, you can enter the visual editor by clicking on one of your variants. When the editor loads, you will see the editor page you defined when setting up the experiment. If you’ve ever used a WYSIWYG editor, this interface will be fairly intuitive. Point and click to select an element, drag and drop to move elements around, and use the blue slide up menu to modify an elements style. Below I provide details about the options available in this editor.

  1. Experiment Name. This is the name of your experiment.
  2. Toggle Variants. Displays a dropdown of variants, selecting one will load the variant into the editor.
  3. Device Testing. This dropdown menu displays stock devices to choose from. Selecting one of the devices will show you how your experiment will look on that device. Desktop is always selected by default.
  4. Number of Changes Made. Clicking on this element will open a menu that shows every change that was made to the current variant, and gives you options for editing or deleting each change.
  5. Diagnostics. This is a count of potential issues with the changes you made. These issues are also flagged in your list of changes.
  6. Custom CSS. If you prefer to working with code, this menu item will allow you to add custom CSS to variant. This is only applied to the variant you’re currently working on, not all variants.
  7. Interactive Mode. If you need to edit content that is hidden by a dropdown or tab, you will need to use interactive mode. Entering interactive mode will allow you click on elements to expose hidden content. You can then exit interactive mode to edit said content.
  8. Settings. There are two ways to drag and drop elements. The default is Reorder. Using the Reorder option
  9. CSS Element Selector. If you know how to use CSS selectors, you can use this feature drill into the DOM. This is the easiest way to do things like modify every <p> element on a page. One of our Analytics Engineers, Kristen Perko, talks about CSS selectors in her article about hover tracking.
  10. Element Hierarchy. This menu shows you how a selected element is nested in other HTML elements. You can use this menu to
  11. Selected Element. When selecting an element, it will be framed in blue. Once selected the blue tab at the top left of the frame will show you what element has been selected, and the element hierarchy bar will change to show you how that element is nested in the HTML. If you are having trouble selecting an element, get close enough with point and click, then use the element hierarchy navigation to traverse the page HTML. If you would like to select multiple elements of the same type, then use the CSS Element selector (#9).
  12. Modify Element Options. This dropdown is presented to you when you right click on the element you selected. The naming convention makes the options self-explanatory.
  13. CSS Editor. If you are not familiar with CSS, Optimize has an editor palette that makes changing styles simple. Just click, or use use the element hierarchy, to select the element you want to change. The CSS palette will populate with all of the styles of that element. Once selected you will be able to change the dimensions, location, font, text size, color, etc. or said element. Clicking on “Edit Element” will give you the same modifications options as right clicking on an element – remove, edit text, edit html, insert html, and run JavaScript.

Running Your Experiment

Once you have made your modifications, click “Save” and navigate back to experiment page. Double check your objectives and targeting options, the you’re ready to start your experiment.

Reporting

It is recommended that you let an experiment run for at least two weeks before looking at results.

As your experiment runs, the first card of your reporting tab will populate with the current winner. Once enough data is collected, Google will declare a clear winner.

The second card on the reporting tab shows how each variation performed for each objective that you set.

The third and final card in your report will show you more granular data about each objective, as well as a nice performance graph.

  • Improvement – For a given objective, the difference in conversion rate, measured as a percentage, between the variant and the baseline.
  • Experiment Sessions – An experiment session is the period of time a user is active on your experiment. By default, if a user is inactive for 30 minutes or more, any future activity is attributed to a new session. Users who leave your site and return within 30 minutes are counted as part of the original session.
  • Probability to beat baseline – The probability that a given variant will result in a conversion rate better than the original’s conversion rate. Note that with an original and one variant, the variant’s Probability to Beat Baseline starts at 50 percent (which is just chance).
  • Probability to be best – The probability that a given variant performs better than all of the other variants. Because there can be only one “best,” the sum of all percentages in this column should equal 100 percent.

What’s Next?

So, you set up a test and you ran it. Now what? Iterate. The success or failure of your experiment has taught you something that you can use to run additional experiments. Think about different forms of testing, or different targeting options. Remember that who you test is just as, if not more, important than what you test. So note what you learned, note what questions came from your experiment, and begin thinking about what your next test would look like if you changed the offer or changed the people who saw the offer. Repeat.


How to Move a Property in Google Analytics

Life Before Property Moving

There have been rumors, whispers and lots of begging polite requests for one of Google Analytics’ most anticipated features – Property Moving.

Prior to this update, planning a Google Analytics account structure was a big deal. Once you chose how many accounts to create and whether each website, business or department should have their own, it was impossible to change. The only way to get all of your properties into the same account was to choose which account to use and make completely new properties for the others.

Account Best Practices

Ideally, each business or organization should have a single account. This one account could then have multiple properties representing each website or websites that the organization manages.

This becomes tricky in some situations like the following:

Agency Choices

Always, always ask to have your own account if you are working with an agency or third-party to set-up Google Analytics. We have seen situations where an agency has one account with separate properties for each client’s site. This is awful because it means that you will never have complete access to your account configuration and account management (for example, to create filters). Even if you haven’t created the website or implemented the analytics yourself, it is your data and you should have 100% permissions and control.

For this situation, the owner of the account would be rightfully hesitant or unable to give you account-level permissions since you would then have access to all of the owner’s other sites. Often we give the advice to filter out internal traffic or setting up basic filters, but our training attendees aren’t able to because of permissions issues- property moving is the solution.

If this sounds familiar, you can ask right now to have the property moved to your own account.

Business Acquisition

This one is much harder to avoid. Even if you plan and use the most sensible account structure, there may come a time when your company acquires a new site or a new business. This is common with news organizations, publishers and universities. In this case, the sites would be split into multiple, legacy accounts. One of the drawbacks here is that governance around user access and permissions becomes less manageable. Also, you cannot take full advantage of the 360 Roll-Up Property feature to aggregate all of your business’ data.

Introducing Property Moving

The Property Moving feature is exactly what it sounds like- we now have the ability to move properties from one account to another without losing any historical data. This means that Google Analytics can keep up and reorganize as your company reorganizes and grows.

Who is it for?

Property moving is available to both Google Analytics 360 and Standard (free) users. No matter how long your property has been collecting data or how much data you have, you will be able to use this feature.

It is especially useful for publishers or large organizations using Google Analytics 360 with sites in several accounts. For the first time, it will now be possible to use the Roll-Up feature. Rolling up properties to view aggregated data is valuable but all properties must be in the same account.

What It Isn’t

Remember that when you are moving a property, you are completely removing it from the account and not duplicating or copying it. Make sure everyone with access to the account is aware of the change and the implications. If only one property was in the account previously, the account can and may be empty once the property is moved out.

You are also not starting from scratch when you move the property. The legacy data will move into the new account as well.

In terms of account structure issues, this fixes the problem of properties being divided into separate accounts. However, this is not a solution for a website or websites that have been divided into multiple properties when they should be in one. For those types of questions or concerns, posts on cross-domain tracking and set-up should be helpful.

How To Move a Property

Moving properties from one account to another is a simple process to the user- the complex work happens behind the scenes. First, you need to make sure that you have the highest permissions on both accounts: account-level “Manage Users” and “Edit” permissions.

Then, after choosing which property to move, go to that property’s settings and find the “Move Property” button. If you cannot see this button, that is a sign that you do not have the necessary permissions.

From there, you have the option to retain the same user permissions for the property (and the views within) or to overwrite the permissions with the users and permissions on the destination account.

After confirming, you’re done! The move is quick and takes a few minutes at most so refreshing the Admin screen after a moment will likely reflect the move.

There are situations where you can’t or shouldn’t move a property to a different account.

  • When the destination account is Google Analytics Standard and already has 50 properties (360 allows for 200)
  • For Google Analytics 360 users: When the property is outside of the 360 suite and you are trying to link to a property within the suite.
  • For publishers: When you have already integrated DoubleClick for Publishers to your properties. I am hopeful that this will become another supported link for property moving. Right now it has to be unlinked, moved, and then must go through the process of re-linking with the request form, subsequent email contracts and Google enabling it for every property.
  • For multi-site organizations: Roll-Up properties cannot be moved. It would be a better strategy to move properties into the account where the existing Roll-Up is.

FAQ

Does the property number (UA-) stay the same?
Yes, the property will have the same ID even though it is in a new account.

Will my views be deleted?
No- moving the property moves all of the views within the property as well. They will still have the same filters, settings, dashboards, goals and annotations. Filters aren’t necessarily moved, they are copied to the new account. This is good because it means that if the filters are used in other properties’ views, the filter won’t disappear.

If I am using a tool or reporting API with views in the property, will my reports break if the property is moved?
No- since the view ID remains the same, all API reports and plugins should work just fine.

Will this break my BigQuery integration?
No- since the view ID remains be the same, BigQuery should also not be affected.

Will I have to reconnect AdWords?
No- property moving supports AdWords, AdSense and AdExchange linked accounts as well as DoubleClick Campaign Manager. Also, there should not be a gap in data since the move is so quick.

Will I have to edit my Search Console settings or re-verify?
No- this connection moves along with the property, so no additional action is needed.

There are circumstances where property moving will make a significant change, such as using Roll-Ups or organizing several historic accounts into one. However, there are also situations where you should not or cannot move properties (for example with different 360 accounts or in cases where DFP is already linked to the properties). Even though there are a few limitations, the ability to move properties is an important and much-awaited update to Google Analytics. It shows that the platform is moving even more toward enterprise and large-scale web analytics.


The Complete Guide to Content Optimization

Content marketing has already solidified its stature as a powerhouse in the digital marketing space.

In growing a brand’s audience and customer base, it’s certainly proved how formidable the practice is, especially when integrated with other data-driven disciplines (like SEO).

It’s no longer a trend. It has already forced its way to stay.

The post The Complete Guide to Content Optimization appeared first on Kaiserthesage.


You Might Be Your Own Biggest PPC Competition

Paid search competition comes in many forms. The competition is usually what we would expect – those other advertisers that are acting in the same commercial arena vying for the attention of consumer. Paid search competition has an interesting twist because your competitors can also include advertisers in completely different markets bidding on keywords similar to your own. In other words, you are competing with ALL advertisers that appear in an auction regardless of whether or not your actually participate in the same market sector.

These are the obvious examples, but paid search is rife with nuances that often go unseen until we start to peel back the layers in order to gain an understanding of how the whole system works. For example, did you know that there is another form of PPC competition that might be hiding right under your nose?

It lives in your own account.

That’s right… You might be your own biggest AdWords competitor. This comes in the form of internal keyword competition. Internal keyword competition?!

GASP! The horror of it all!

What is Internal Keyword Competition?

Internal keyword competition occurs when you have two or more “duplicate keywords” that share identical targeting in your Google AdWords account.  Duplicate keywords that compete against each other directly share the same exact syntax and match type – it is quite literally a copy of a keyword.  Identical targeting means that the duplicate keywords share the same geography, language, time, device, and/or audience settings.

These phenomena occur most often when the same keywords appear in multiple campaigns but can also occur when identical keywords are found in two or more different ad groups within the same campaign.

Because both keywords are technically eligible to serve in any and all instances in which they are present (so long as status is approved and eligible), AdWords must choose only one keyword to enter the auction.  You cannot have two or more keywords enter the same auction, so the system must decide which instance to utilize upon serving up the ad impression.  The keyword that AdWords chooses to trigger will be the keyword resulting in the greatest calculated Ad Rank.  See more about how Google AdWords chooses to trigger your keywords.

What Does That Mean for Your Performance?

Increased CPCs

Unfortunately, internal keyword competition usually leads to increased CPCs because you are competing – bidding – against yourself to achieve the highest ad rank possible.  If you have two identical keywords with identical targeting they will share a quality score.  Furthermore, if the only differentiating factor between these keywords is the max CPC bid, AdWords will choose to serve the keyword with the higher bid because it will result in the higher calculated ad rank.

Assume the keywords below are present in two different campaigns that share identical targeting settings:

Keyword

Max CPC bid

Quality score

Ad Rank

Ad Served?

[manatee protection group] $1.00 7/10 7
[manatee protection group] $2.00 7/10 14

As we can see, the keyword with the higher Ad Rank is served.  What truly sets the keywords apart at auction-time is the bid.  In this instance the $1.00 max CPC bid would usually be enough for the ad to enter the auction but the advertiser is creating her own internal competition because another keyword with a higher max CPC bid is present in the account.  That second keyword, the one with the higher resulting Ad Rank, will be selected during these moments and will ultimately drives costs unnecessarily higher for that select search term.

Poor Experience & Mixed Messaging

Internal keyword competition also creates issues when messaging variants are introduced.  There are strategic shortcomings in these instances because advertisers lose control of which ads are served to potential customers resulting in poor user experience and convoluted messaging.

Let’s review an example:

Again, assume the identical keywords below are present in two different campaigns or ad groups.  This time the keywords share an identical bid and it is the landing page varies between the two terms.

Again, the keyword with the higher Ad Rank is selected.  This time, it is the resulting quality score that determines the outcome because the keywords have identical bids ($2 in this instance).

Perhaps the advertiser’s strategy is to drive traffic to the donations page for their annual “end of year giving” season.  To drive these donations that are willing to sacrifice some quality for the purpose of generating awareness of their cause.  Since the ad driving users to www.manafree.org/save-the-manatee was not intended to be served for this query you can see how this might present some strategic issues.

The lesson here is that if you don’t really seize control over which keyword-landing page instances take precedence you can skew your strategy.  There is a clear flaw in the campaign configuration, as we can see above, that causes the strategy to fall flat.  Users will not see the right message and future performance analysis will be difficult to dissect.

Warning for Multi-account Advertisers

These phenomena don’t just happen in individual accounts either.  For those advertisers managing complex digital marketing projects that span multiple AdWords accounts, you should be on red alert.  This undoubtedly will occur as different product or service marketing teams vie for valuable traffic.

Unfortunately, there is a finite amount of traffic based on the relevant terms associated with the brand.  These different teams within the same organization usually step on each other’s toes as they seek to win the “most lucrative” AdWords auctions.  If everyone is targeting the same keywords throughout the organization, then everyone is driving up everyone else’s CPCs.  This traffic is often even of the branded variety!

Examples

  • Colleges and universities promoting various schools, branch campuses, and online degrees frequently fall victim to this nuisance behavior as various initiatives take precedence over others and separate marketing teams seek to win the eyes of prospective students.
  • Enterprise organizations providing layers of unique services and solutions should build comprehensive messaging that speaks to all solutions rather than assuming users will search for complex naming conventions that are used internally at the organization.
  • Ecommerce companies working with various distributors that also bid on their product terms should be generally aware of this behavior and try to grasp whether it is better to be a strong competitor in these auctions or to allow their distributors to win the bid and facilitate the sale – there are major ROI analyses to look into here. Consider a product that is sold on your website and also at the local Target.
  • Non-profit organizations managing both standard and Google Grants accounts should be aware of how budget is distributed among the keywords in their very different accounts which can be limited by a capped max CPC bid.

Diagnose & Resolve

Now that you better understand what causes internal keyword competition, you can prevent it.  But how do you find if it is already happening in your account?

Luckily there’s a quick way to diagnose potentially harmful instances of internal competition within your account with the help of Google AdWords Editor and the “Find Duplicate Keywords” tool.  You can find the tool in Google AdWords Editor under the “Tools” menu selection.

The tool allows you to select which campaigns and/or ad groups to evaluate for keyword duplication.  After opening the tool select the campaigns or ad groups that you would like to evaluate.  To find true instances of internal keyword competition, you should ensure that campaigns and ad groups share targeting settings such as geography, device, and those outlined above.

Set the word order to “strict word order,”  set the match types to “duplicates must have the same match type,” and set location to “across select campaigns” to find absolute duplicates.

Once you click the “Find duplicate keywords” button, the tool outputs a filtered result that allows you to remove or pause duplicates at your whim.  You might even go the extra mile to ensure that your negative keyword implementation is working to prevent future instances of internal keyword competition from occurring by excluding the specific search term in the campaigns are ad groups which you intend to no longer serve for those specific queries..

This is a great time- and cost- saving practice to get into the habit of adding to your management routine.  All account managers should do this at least once to review the status of their account and to determine if there are any unforeseen account issues to be resolved.

Give it a shot to see if internal competition is affecting your account and bottom-line.

Internal Competition & Separate Accounts

If you control the account for your company and create the campaigns, there are tools like the one above that will help you identify and fix those issues. However, if you’re in one of the scenarios where your department may be targeting the same keywords as another department within the same company, you now have a much different issue because of the separate accounts involved. Your challenge is: communication.

You should find a way to work together with other departments and possibly agencies that are all working toward similar goals. This is an exercise that will result in both cost savings across the organization as well as a means to improve the traffic quality for everyone’s respective initiatives. Working together will help show the right ads to the right audiences, ultimately matching user intent to the product or service that best suits their needs.

Focus on the following tasks when discussing:

  • Strategy: Which keywords are being targeted by which departments? Where is there overlap? Who owns the generic or branded search terms and who should be targeting more specific queries?
  • Targeting Features: Are there opportunities to specify the context of your keywords (adding granularity)? Can you include negative keywords to avoid overlap with other accounts? Are there opportunities to leverage remarketing audiences to help in concert with general keywords to funnel pre-qualified audiences to more specific results?
  • Messaging Features: Collaborate with other teams to make sure general and branded terms still advertise more specific options via extensions like sitelinks.

Collaborating across departments and marketing teams is the biggest challenge here. Use the concepts here to open this discussion within your organization and begin crafting a plan on how best to work together. When departments operate completely independently of each other, they truly act like competitors – driving up costs for each other and potentially harming the messaging and experience for the very users they are trying to attract.