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Data-driven digital marketing on a shoestring budget

A DIY guide to making the most of Google services through data sharing

This post expands on a short presentation entitled ‘Making the most of Google Services through data sharing’ I will be giving at the Web Analytics Wednesday Meetup in Columbus, Ohio on February 19, 2014.

The primary reasons I use Google services are low cost and staggering reach.

Most of the tools mentioned are free and the others can be setup—initially, at least—for less than $100 (their current evergreen AdWords introductory offer is ‘Spend $25 and get an additional $75 credit’).

In the presentation I touch on utilizing GTM, GA, GWT and AdWords but there are other tools that I regularly use in conjunction with those.

Those include:

  • Google Trends
  • Google Consumer Surveys
  • Google+ Local (aka Google Places)
  • Google+ (‘profiles’ for people, ‘pages’ for businesses)

All of the tools above are free.

Analytics Checklist

These are ordered by the order you will come across them if proceeding top to bottom, left to right (not by importance)

Admin Settings

google analytics admin interface

    • Account

Data Sharing
Share with other Google products
AdWords Linking
Link to AdWords Account
    • Property

Link to Webmaster Tools
Enhanced Link Attribution
Session Settings
Change default: Campaign Tracking 6 months => 24 months
Organic Search Sources
    • View

Default Page
(set if applicable)
Enable if applicable
(On)Site Search
Enable if applicable
IMPORTANT:Configure Macro (and possibly Micro) Goals
Content Grouping, Segments, Custom Alerts, Scheduled Emails, Shortcuts
As appropriate


google analytics custom report gallery for importing reports

In the past, I have published compilations of links to custom report templates that I found useful so I would have them in a single location for easy reference.

Thankfully, that is no longer needed as Google now offers a gallery of custom reports that can be imported directly

    • Import From Gallery

Occam’s Razor Awesomeness
Creme of the crop from Avinash Kaushik
New Google Analytics User Starter Bundle
Grom the Google Analytics Team
Justin Cutroni’s…everything
View all by him and import whatever might be relevant

There’s a fair amount of overlap between these (and some like those analyzing the number of keywords in a query are antiquated now that the majority of search is encrypted) so I recommend importing them all and cherry picking the ones that you like the best.


Data Layer Specification Draft:

Track Keyword Ranking as an event

Rename the Global Object

google tag mamager setting to rename global object

Prevent data loss with remarketing tag

CRM integration


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