Google Analytics Rollup Reporting Without Buying Google Analytics 360? Yes!

Google Analytics Rollup Reporting Without Buying Google Analytics 360?  Yes!

Note:  This is NOT a post about setting up Rollup Reporting.  It is about why you need it and if its possible to do without paying tons of cash for Google Analytics 360.  You can either try and set this up yourself or hire us- we know how and its super complicated.


What is Google Analytics (GA) rollup reporting, and why might you need it?

What is Rollup Reporting?

All your yummy data rolled up in one place!

All your yummy data rolled up in one place!

Rollup reporting sounds like it is, rolling up multiple websites a business may have into one Google Analytics view.  Think of it like this:  Each of a companies websites is like the ingredients in a burrito- chicken, guac, beans, rice.  The Rollup site is like a burrito all those delicious data from all of a companies websites are "rolled up" in a yummy data burrito!

Why might you want to use it? 


For example a company may have 3 websites and they want to see analytics info for not just one website, but 3.  They would create a Rollup view of all 3 sites ("rolled up") to do this (see image to the right).

Or, a company have multiple websites that all use the same tool.  And that tool (for example, Hubspot) only allows for one Google Analytics ID to be put in.  So they will either need to buy 3 licenses for the tool, or they can create a Rollup GA view and then they can use the one tool with all 3 sites and not lose tracking or conversion tracking.  

Is this hard to do?  Yes.  Can you do this with regular (standard) Google Analytics?  Not out of the box.   In fact, if you want the ability to do this out of the box, you would need to upgrade to Google Analytics 360, their premium analytics suite.  But that costs $150,000 a year.  

So, in these two instances, its very useful to either set up a Rollup GA view yourself or pay a pro to do this for you - recap of Benefits:

  • Get all your different websites data in one place.
  • Save a ton of $$ by not having to shell out $150k/year for Google Analytics 360.
  • Save money by not having to buy multiple versions of a tool you use when you only need one.
  • If you use a tool that only allows one GA ID to be plugged in, get back all that conversion data by using the GA ID of your Rollup view in the tool. 

The last point is huge for alot of companies.  We actually had a client where they purchased and setup a tool they needed that they used for all 5 of their websites.  But it could use one GA ID in it.  So we set up a Rollup view for all of their 5 websites.  Now they have the conversion data they were missing for so long back.

Its complicated!

To set up Rollup GA reporting without GA 360, it takes a combination of Google Tag Manager (GTM), GA, access to all a companies sites, relevant tools they want to track, and tons of testing and debugging.  One tiny mistake and it simply won't work.

But if this is something you think your company needs, we can set it up in most cases.  And when you compare the cost of hiring a pro to set this up using standard GA vs. paying for GA 360, buying multiple licenses for a tool you need, or not having the crucial conversion data so you know what is working in your online efforts and what is not, its worth it!

New Adwords Quality Score Updates

Quality Score is a crucial component of how well your Adwords PPC campaigns, keywords, ads do.  That was the brilliance of Google setting up Adwords is that unlike way back where bidding on keywords in Paid Search were only the bid, they factor in how well you set up and optimize your campaigns and Quality Score is a big part.  

Recently there have been alot of updates in Google's Quality Score, real significant ones for the first time since 2013.  For professionals who are managing Adwords accounts, its important to keep up on things so that your information and how you optimize stays current.  

Below are links to Google's post, a great post by noted Adwords pro Frederick Vallaeys and the PPC Rockstars podcast where he's interviewed.  Be sure to check out all 3, especially the podcast:

1.  Adwords Post on QS Update:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GoogleAds/posts/aw9kTjzGLcz

2.  Frederick Vallaeys article on QS Update:  http://searchengineland.com/minimum-quality-score-can-save-money-adwords-226757

3.  https://player.fm/series/ppc-rockstars/how-does-quality-score-affect-cost-per-click-in-adwords


Should You Outsource Your PPC Management?

Many businesses and potential clients often struggle with the question:  Should I outsource my PPC campaign management?  Or should we do it ourselves.  Like alot of things, it depends.  

Of course, in my opinion, I'd say outsourcing is almost always the way to go.  Unless your PPC ad spend is very low or you just don't have any money to pay for outsourcing, you in most cases should have a pro handle your PPC management for you?  

Instead of me telling why, I'll link to 3 great articles below.  But before going off-site to these articles, here are a few brief thoughts on why outsourcing your PPC is a good move:

I can definitely speak to the fact that just keeping on top of the changes (500 in the last year alone) is a huge reason to outsource.  Also, knowing what to optimize.  We just optimized a clients account and saved them thousands per month in wasted ad spend.  And of course avoiding costly mistakes.  What you don't know in the complex world of PPC can hurt you (or at least your wallet or bottom line).

Not to mention that not being able to take advantage of advanced PPC techniques, campaigns, etc. (RLSA, Remarketing, Dynamic Keyword Insertion, Call tracking, custom landing pages, event tracking and more).  These advanced areas can really boost your profits.

Also, many often focus on the wrong stats and metrics.  While CTR and CPCs are important, the end results- profits, CPA, CPL and more are outcome based and determine whether PPC adds money into your business or not.  And isn't that what advertising is all about, more sales, leads, profits and customers?

Never mind the time and the fact that a business could never hire an employee for the amount it costs to outsource.  Average salary for a PPC pro is $40-80k/year.  Add in employee benefits, retirement and employer taxes and its more.  At $40k/month, that's at least $3333/month.  You could get a really good PPC pro for that price to manage your account, sometimes for less.

Bottom line:  In most cases, the numbers just work in favor of outsourcing.  

Links to 3 great articles-great food for thought:





Big Changes from Google That Make PPC a Must

Google is 15 years old today, Sept 27th, 2013.  With the anniversary, they're announced some big changes that really make doing Paid Search crucial for you:

The 3 bullet points below are really important in this regard:

  •     Google has made a pretty big update to their search algorithm.  Article here.
  •     Super Important news:  Google is now no longer showing keyword data for any organic search keywords.  This is a pretty big deal.  Now SEOs can no longer know what keywords bought people to a site, what keywords converted best, etc. What this means:  Paid Search (PPC) becomes huge.  The only way to get this very valuable data is by doing PPC and getting the data from that.  Full article here.  Another article and reactions here.
  •     Great Report for Showing PPC's effectiveness:  Clients often wonder about Paid Search:  Is it cannibalizing my organic listings?  How much does it really help my overall bottom line?  (In a nutshell:  Its crucial.)  They may feel they want to cut back on PPC but don't realize how integral it is to their business profits across the board.  The guys at Resolution Media (one of the biggest PPC agencies in the U.S., really know their stuff) put together a great report.  Article with .pdf report here.

Bottom line on Google's changes: 

It really hurts traditional SEOs:

1.  If all they track is keywords only and not KPIs- sales, leads etc.  Keyword data from organic simply no longer exists.

2.  They keep taking data away from SEOs as the years go on.  This will only continue.  Why?  They don't want anyone to be able to "game" the system:   5 years ago you could buy links, get a keyword report and optimize your site, put a bunch of real or fake reviews up, and rank well.  No more.  They want to make it so hard to game the system people don't do it anymore, SEOs, regular businesses, etc.  

In a way, this makes sense.  Is your favorite restaurant the best because they did anything besides have awesome food and service?  Not likely.  They just have the best food and service, some advertising and alot of word of mouth.  This is the way Google wants the internet to be.  

Its Awesome for Paid Search Specialists.

1.  If a site wants better organic traffic, they need to do PPC to find the keywords they need to rank for. 

2.  Google loves it when people use PPC.  Google made over $50 billion last year from advertising, over 97% of their total revenue.  They're pulling out all the stops and adding more awesome features for advertisers each month with no end in sight.    

What do you think?  How will you handle the changes going forward.  Please leave a comment below...


How To Choose A Web Designer

Many Clients Want To Do Paid Search But, They Often Notice Something at the Same Time:

What is it?  Well, they're about to budget money for paid search and someone to create and manage their campaigns and notice the website they are going to be sending that traffic they're paying for is just not up to par.   It either needs a refresh or its just kind of outdated.   

In fact, there has been instances where the site needs that total redesign, and we'll recommend this before starting paid search for them.  We don't want to see them wasting money sending people to a site that is confusing or outdated and the visitor not being able to complete the goals we agreed upon because of this.  Once they get this done, then we can help them.

Note:  We don't do web design, just PPC, conversion tracking and web analytics.  But we know a bunch of good people we can recommend to create a website that not only looks great but is easy for your potential clients to find what they're looking for.  Then you'll get the most return on investment for the money you pay for Paid Search.

With all the above in mind, if you do decide to get a new website, the info below will be a big help in finding someone who will do a good job.  We hope it helps! 

Choosing the Right Web Designer:

A Crucial Step

Were do you start?  To choose a web designer, please read the following:

Here are a few popular and common ways businesses get their websites built:

  • Designing the site yourself (unless your a web designer)
  • Having your cousin, friend, etc. design it for you.
  • Having a company do a "free" site for you as an add on.
  • Paying alot for a company to built a site for you.

The best illustration on why its so important to hire a web designer:

How much did you pay for your car or business vehicle?  $5000.00?  $10,000.00?, $20,000 +? 

You likely knew that its a no brainer to spend the money on a reliable vehicle, especially if you use it for work.  You make money with it.

Your website is your "vehicle" to get you more sales, leads and more.  Yet many people cut corners and skimp when having one built.  In a word:  Don't.  Spend the money for a pro to build you a clean, simple, professional looking site that is both easy to navigate, easy to update and search engine friendly.  You'll be glad you did. 

But who should you choose as your web designer?  You've probably heard of horror stories of people dropping $5000-10,000 and getting a bad looking site.  The truth is you don't have to spend a ton for a great looking, great functioning site.

We recommend getting a referral.  Check the site designers website out, check their portfolio out and see if it matches with what look you're going for.

Ask us:  We know of a number of designers that are professional and build sites you will be proud of.

One final question:  What questions should you ask a web designer to make sure you're getting a professional?  Below is an article from Entreprenuer Magazine on this very subject.   Print it out and bring it with you.

5 Questions to Ask Your Web Developer

If you want your site to work--and keep working--consider these factors before you build it.

Entrepreneur Magazine

Jennifer Shaheen | July 30, 2009

URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/202862

Building a website can be a lot like putting together a jigsaw puzzle--sometimes the picture looks good, but when you look closely, pieces are in the wrong places. A website might function, but as soon as you make a change or an update, the picture falls apart.

How do you avoid hiring a designer or developer that builds a website like this? Here are some questions you can ask and some feedback to help you understand their answers.

1. What web standards do they follow?

This is a great question that will fluster someone who doesn't have standards. What are web standards? This is the way of designing and coding a website that allows the website to grow with technology and the web visitor. This means using clean code and technologies like:

  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): a simple mechanism for adding style like fonts, colors, and spacing to web pages
  • XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language): a markup language that has the same depth of expression as HTML, but also conforms to XML syntax
  • ECMA Scripts: the standard version of JavaScript used on most web browsers.

You don't have to know how to write the languages; you just have to know what the standards are to understand the answer.

A simple way to help you connect to this question is to remember that people online don't all use the same web browser or operating system. Designing and developing to standards gives your website the ability to look and function the way it should on different platforms.

2. Do they design for SEO best practices?

It's no secret today that everyone wants a website that can be found on search engines. Implementing search engine optimization may not be what you want your designer or developer to do for you; however, how your site is designed or coded can affect your strategy when you are ready. When you interview developers, this is a great question to ask and see if the person you're interviewing is familiar with how to code to meet SEO standards. Here are a few items that affect SEO best practices:

  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): Designing a website to meet SEO best practices means using style sheets to cut down on the amount of code on your web page. Search engines like text, not code.
  • Script files: When you use dynamic items on your site like image galleries or mouse-over menus, usually these are created through JavaScript. To follow proper SEO standards, script files should be created for pages instead of having the script on your web page.
  • Web page content: Your text or content should be on the page as much as possible this can even include your website navigation. There are ways to make text visually appealing without having the designer put it inside an image. Images that contain words are not picked up as content by search engines.

If SEO is a strategy you are considering down the line, it's a good idea to make sure your site will be built with this strategy in mind.

3. How do they plan for change or growth?

One of the most stressful lessons learned is that the website you built yesterday will not allow you to grow tomorrow. Being told you have to start over is one of those statements every business owner can't bear to hear. Before you begin, ask the question, "Does the technology you're using allow me to grow or add additional functions?" You may even want to take this further and think about tools you'd want to add down the line. You can also ask designers or developers to provide you with a brief list of tools they have already integrated with sites like yours. This allows you not only the opportunity to see if they are knowledgeable, but also whether they're supportive in providing you with ideas.

4. How do they test their work?

As I mentioned above, not all of your consumers use the same technology. But to ensure things are operating the way they should or displaying correctly, web developer need to test their work. This issue might seem trivial, but you'd be surprised how many firms only test for one web browser. I recommend you ask specifically what web browsers and versions they test for during the development process. If you're building an online community, social or e-commerce website, testing is an important part of your success. Secure payment gateways need to be tested in a real environment. Be sure to get the specifics of what your firm considers to be part of a test phase and what it's being held accountable for after the website has gone live.

5. How do they handle support requests?

After a website has officially launched inevitably there will be a problem--it's technology; it happens. The question you want to know before you put pen to contract is how does your new firm handle support or bugs--technical hiccups with the website? Every firm will approach this differently, so pay close attention to how it phrase its response and commitment.

Building a website depending on the functions you need can be a lot like putting a puzzle together. The key to success is finding the right firm who understands the pieces that need to come together for your business.

Jennifer Shaheen, the e-marketing and Technology Therapist, has more than 10 years experience working with small- to mid-sized businesses on their e-marketing and web development needs. You can learn more about her by visiting her web site, TechnologyTherapy.com

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