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


SEO Qualifications and Responsibilities

Senior Analyst & SEO

It’s difficult to write a resumé when your skills and experience, not to mention the requirements of most jobs in the field are so varied. When I came across a blog post describing the merits of being a ‘T-shaped’ web marketer, I realized he was describing me.

I think of myself as a holistic marketer. I love analytics because it allows me to see what is working and what isn’t. I like SEO because it offers cumulative benefits and amounts to investing in yourself. Sure, owned and bought channels are fine too (and have their unique strengths) but I still think the lion’s share of an online marketing budget should be invested in your own properties—whenever possible.

With that preface, I give you my resumé substitute.


Compile reports with a solid understanding of Excel spreadsheet formulas
Background in development and design, basic Excel skills…learning more.
Pull data from multiple platforms (Google Analytics, Omniture SiteCatalyst, Webtrends, Webmaster Tools)
Very familiar with Google Analytics (including ‘Universal Analytics’) and Webmaster Tools (Google and Bing).
Develop webpage and social media asset optimizations based on keyword research
Comfortable with multiple keyword tools including AdWords, Google Trends, Bing Webmaster Tools, SEM Rush, Analytics.
Execute link building strategy
Currently following this strategy.
Create sitemaps
I create both HTML and XML sitemaps for all projects.
Work efficiently through task lists and utilize project management tools
I complete all needed taks, happy to learn PM tools.
Support business development and account teams as needed in SEOsales and presentations.
I have experience in sales, retail, customer service and traditional marketing and I am comfortable with presenting and speaking publicly.
Present new tools to the internal team
A major reason that I have my own website is so that I can test new tools and techniques and explain/utilize them accordingly.
Perform other optimization duties as needed
Of course.


1 – 3 years’ experience in SEO
2.5 years SEO experience, never been punished by a Google Algorithm update,
Knowledge of social media and search engine marketing (SEM)
Already obtained my voucher for the Google AdWords certified paartner test, studying for it now. Familiar with social media optimization and best-practices.
Expertise with Microsoft Office, especially Excel
Not expert but I get by and I have been focusing on learning Excel (and for that matter the spreadsheets in Google Docs) lately.
Understanding of basic web development technologies with the ability to tweak HTML
I have worked as a front-end devloper and do web performance optimization work that is a mixture of front and back-end work regularly…strong interest in standards, semantics (including Semantic Web), accessibility, usability, and internationalization.
Ability to perform keyword research utilizing a variety of tools
Experience developing back links for websites
Understanding of core SEO concepts and why certain search results appear for various keywords
Experience with at least one of the following is strongly preferred: local SEO, mobile SEO, or social media optimization (SMO)
Most experienced with local but I am familiar with mobile (particularly the SEO boost from mobile/responsive sites (when done correctly).
Experience with Fortune 1000 brands and/or within an agency environment
Agency environment, check.
Innovative thinker, intuitive learner, with ability to quickly find solutions in fast-moving industry
Excellent research and writing skills with an attention to detail
Ability to multi-task and handle other duties as assigned
Financial or automotive experience is a plus
Unfortunately not.
Spanish or French proficiency is a plus
I speak functional Spanish.
BA/BS or equivalent
I don’t have a college degree but I do have almost 4 years college, a vocation certificate (in Commercial Art) and over 3 years experience as a web professional handling a wide array of responsibilities including SEO, PPC, Analytics, web development, email marketing, design, social media and more.