Google AdWords Feature & Policy Updates arriving…

The life of us folks who live. breathe and are looking most of our waking hours at the Google AdWords screens, are quite hectic. We live in a super dynamic industry with new media platforms and features pop up every day leaving us trying to keep up with the news while doing some work and aiming to achieve better results.

This is not an easy task, and if I look at how people used to do their jobs 10, 20 or 30 years ago – the amount of times they had to change their working methods during an entire career is similar to what we can experience here every quarter or so. Many many changes.

However, and this is the good news – for me, this is actually the fun part of my job. To know that nothing stays the same, a lot of what I’ve learned during the last year will be less relevant next year – not because it’s not true, but rather because there will be new exciting amazing stuff to learn. We live in a dynamic industry, one which makes you sharp, on the edge, interested, curios, learning and at the end of the day – getting better and better.

With that being said – Google has announced some new and important things in the last few days and I though this should be a nice place to summarize them:

1. Google Tag Manager

Tag Manager has been long anticipated, well at least by me. Ask a digital marketer about things slowing down the speed and efficiency of launching digital campaigns and most would indicate pixel and tag implementation process as nagging full of waste and with high probability to skew the data.

Tag Management will take online digital media analytics and tracking  towards a new era, quite similar to what open source “click to install” CMS platforms has done for HTML based websites – a true revolution.

I will not review this product in detail here today, especially because I have seen it work only a few weeks ago as a beta tester, however I do encourage people to learn and practice the use of this methodology.

Google Tag Manager – AdWords Blog

Google Tag Manager

Econsultancy on tag manager

 Video Introduction to Tag Manager

 Step by Step Guide –

2. Impression Share Reports on Steroids

When Impression Share reports first showed up, It took me some time to really understand how to use them and get real insights. Today, Impression Share is one of the most important metrics we look at with our accounts.

The basic thing is, Search Engine Marketing is about finding very specific demand from consumers, and providing a meeting point for this demand with your products.

Impression share measures how much of the demand you are actually meeting, on timely basis and cut to your budget limitation as well as your rank (which can be simplified as the combination of your quality score and your bid).

These days, Google are relaunching this tool along with breakdown by the hour, improving the look and feel and most important providing tool at “actionize” this report. I think this is the most important part as we have so many reports and data points but not as much actionable data.

New Impression Share Reports

3. Google Adwords and Google Analytics are now closer and tighter than ever

The integration between Google AdWords and Analytics has not always been smooth, and we have learned to get over some illnesses and difficulties connecting the two and understanding the differences when they occur.

Now, the integration gets much better when you can actually see metrics from Google Analytics on AdWords and vice versa – such as time spent on site, average pages per visit etc. With these measurements alongside cost data advertisers can take decision not only on a Yes/No conversion decision but rather on quality and engagement, as well as to smoothen to decision from killing a keywords to simply lowering its bid.

For More Info:

AdWords Blog

5. Important AdWords Policy Updates

And hey, it’s been a while since Google killed some grey Adwords verticals – so if you’re into SEM for downloads, software installs, arbitrage, tricky ads with really high CTRs and other really really cool things which are a bit problematic from consumer trasnparancy point of view – beware from the date October 15th 2012, I suggest you take out the rain coat and boots and take cover as it’s is going to rain.

AdWords Post:

AdWords policy Update Notes

That’s it for today – Hope this added some value and was worth they read.


Google Airs TV Ad During Super Bowl!

Last night, google aired a TV Ad during the super bowl event, known to be one of the most expensive ad spaces out there. While the actual investment is high – it is less interesting than the ‘sub text’ which clearly states and presents google to become a much more “main stream” business and not much different than other mega-brands such as Coke and others – pushing its brand and investing heavily in its positioning.

Moreover, the ad itself is very “google” – it simply presents a chain of events, needs, wants, inspirations and dilemma people may occur, and how google easily helps us get where we want, do what we want, understand our world, our partners in life a bit better.

So here goes:

For More Info:

Powerful. Flexible. Intelligent. Google Analytics has Done it Again!

Google Analytics

It has been real hard to keep secret for the last weeks where I had those new features and could not share with anyone, and is somewhat “liberating” to finally have the chance to review the new version of Google Analytics being announced today.

Google, as Google, usually do not “announce” new features. What happens is you either find smth in their blog, or you simply log in to your account and you find some nifty new tools and gadgets. This is in their DNA and is part of the magic, at least in my opinion.

Today’s news: Powerful. Flexible. Intelligent

With a bundle of new features, Google Analytics includes more powerful
reporting capabilities, provides greater customization options, and
adds an innovative Intelligence engine to drive smarter data
insights. These capabilities help customers better understand visitor
interaction with their websites and make smarter, more informed
decisions for their businesses.

POWERFUL #1: Google Analytics Goals 2.0

Don’t you just hate it when you need more than 4 goals per profile? No more!
Now you can setup up to 20 goals per profile split to 4 sub-sets of 5.
More over, you are no longer tied to define a goal by a visitor who reached a certain page – If your website is trying to measure engagement, you can define goal for users who reached a certain threshold of pages/visit or time on site!

google analytics new goals

google analytics new goal setup

Powerful #2: Expanded Mobile Reporting:

Google Analytics now tracks mobile applications built for iPhone and Android devices. Mobile app developers can understand how users engage with their mobile apps, such as what actions are taken within an app and what features are used. For Android-based applications, engagement can be tied back to ad campaigns. Developers can see which ads drove downloads and then app usage and engagement.

In addition, for customers with a mobile website, Google Analytics can now track traffic to mobile sites from all web-enabled devices whether or not the device runs JavaScript. In the coming weeks, site owners building on PHP, Perl, JSP or ASPX will be able to add a server side code snippet to their mobile websites to enable this tracking.

Powerful #3: Advanced Analysis Features

Google Analytics provides an arsenal of power tools you can use to perform in-depth, on the fly analysis without having to export your data to spreadsheet tools. Using Secondary Dimensions, you can view multiple levels and combinations of data side by side instead of having to drill down into each level.

google analytics secondary dimensions

Secondary Dimensions are super useful, and enable to drill down data and cross reference it.
In the example above, we are looking at keywords then comparing them with the different geographic locations to find insights on the actual placements and users who arrived at the web site using those keywords.
You can then use the Pivoting feature to cross-tabulate two different metrics with two different dimensions. In the example below trying to match between organic keywords and the correlated search engines:

google analytics pivot tables

Advanced Table Filtering allows you to filter the rows in a table based on different metric conditions and combination. In the example below, I’m trying to exclude those “bad” visits with 90%+ bounce rate and to look only at the quality traffic. You can save, edit and reuse your advanced filters

google analytics advanced table filtering

Unique Visitors as a new metric in Custom Reports: Now when you create a Custom Report, you can select Unique Visitors as a metric against any dimensions in Google Analytics. This allows marketers to see how many actual visitors (unique cookies) make up any user-defined segment in a Custom Report.

Flexible #1: Multiple Custom Variables:

Organizations require flexible analytics tools that can meet their unique reporting needs. With the following features, Google Analytics adds powerful customization capabilities to meet those demands.

We are starting to release Multiple Custom Variables over the next few months. Custom Variables gives power-users the flexibility to customize Google Analytics tracking to collect the unique site data most important to their business. With this feature, users can classify any number of interactions on the site into trackable segments.
Multiple custom user segments can now be collected at the page, session, and visitor-level concurrently.
For example you can now define and track visitors according to visitor attributes (e.g. member vs. non-member), session attributes (e.g. logged-in or not), and by page-level attributes (e.g. viewed Sports section).

Flexible #2: Share Segments and Custom Report Templates

In addition to the ability to create Custom Reports and Advanced Segments, you now have greater control over administering and sharing your customizations. Simply share the URL link for a custom report to anyone who has an Analytics account and a pre-formatted template will automatically be imported into their account. You can also select which profiles you want to share or hide your Advanced Segments and Custom Reports with.

google analytics share segments and custom reports

INTELLIGENT – The Tip of the Iceberg!

Well, first time I saw Intelligence reports, I had this funny smile all day long. Sometimes, you see that no matter how smart and sophisticated you think you can be, no matter how deep you will analyze, dig in the piles of raw data and reports – there will be a day when you will wake up and a click of a button will give it all to you at once. Google Analytics intelligence is one of those things.

Highly Intelligent #1: Automatic Analytics Intelligence:

New “Intelligence” reports provide automatic alerts of significant changes in the data patterns of your
site metrics and dimensions over daily, weekly and monthly periods.
It is a part of the initial release of an algorithmic driven intelligence engine.

google analytics intelligence automatic alerts

google analytics intelligence automatic alerts detail
For instance, Intelligence could call out a 300% surge in visits from YouTube referrals last Tuesday. Instead of having to monitor reports and mine through data, Analytics Intelligence alerts you to the most significant information to pay attention to, saving you time and surfacing traffic insights that could affect your business.

Highly Intelligent #2: Custom Analytics Intelligence:

Custom Alerts: Customers can create custom alerts to tell Google Analytics what to watch out for. They can set daily, weekly, and monthly triggers on different dimensions and metrics, and be notified by email or in the user interface when the changes occur.

google analytics intelligence custom alert setup

To summarize this post – Google has done it again, they are presenting features and capabilities previously available only with super expensive and complex software suites, enabling web marketers and analysts of all sizes to enjoy the beauty of the web – the ability to measure, quantify, analyze and IMPROVE each and every single action.

For more information:

Google Analytics Channel @ YouTube

Google Analytics Official Announcement

E-Nor Review of the new features

Review @ Search Engine Land

(and if this post wasn’t clear enough – I simply love it!)

Affilicon 2009 – How to Choose an SEO SEM Agency?

Tomorrow, June 1st 2009 Affilicon Israel will launch, and I am very excited. I just came back from the Pre-Event “Unofficial Gathering” in a cool Bar in Tel Aviv, and if this “unofficial” event was a predictive of what’s happening in the actual event, it’s going to be a blast!

Tomorrow (June 1st 2009) at 17:30, I am going to co-host a session about choosing SEO and SEM agency, a quite popular dilemma online marketers experience.

I hope those of you who attend affilicon will come to the session and find it beneficial, I also invite you to come meet me and my team at our booth #413 (next to the bar) and for those who won’t – perhaps next time…

You can see my presentation embedded here: