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

  • Timezone
    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


GA Custom Report Import Gallery

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
Renaming the Global Tracker in GTM

Prevent data loss with remarketing tag

CRM integration


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