A perk of most paid search management platforms is the level of data we are able to obtain without having to go far. As an individual that has focused on a variety of marketing efforts, spanning from paid and organic to print and media, I’ve spent my fair share of time poking around in analytics platforms.
For the past year I’ve had the opportunity to work with a company that invested in Google Analytics 360. Intrigued by what this enterprise level suite had to offer, I dove in and uncovered several benefits it can bring to the digital marketers toolbox.
Benefits of Google 360 for Paid Search
Google 360 is not only an analytics platform, but a full suite to tools that can be used for various segments of business, including:
- Tag Manager
- Data Studio (beta)
- Audience Center
- Survey 360
With all that it has to offer it can be a little overwhelming to see how it can best be used to elevate specific marketing efforts. For paid search there are a few go-to benefits to highlight.
Increased Data Integrity
The most praised feature of Google Analytics 360 is the accuracy of the data collected. 360 terms and conditions increases the maximum number of hits allowed to a website from 10 million per month to 2 billion. The enterprise platform is designed to work with a larger volume of data which decreases the likelihood that the tool has to rely on sampling in order to produce reports quickly. Not familiar with sampling, read more about it here.
The frequency of receiving the most up to date data is also an enhanced feature of 360. Standard Google Analytics can take anywhere from 24 hours to two days to process hit data where 360 guarantees updates within 4 hours.
Finally, if you are really into crunching numbers, Google 360 analytics offers integration with BigQuery. BigQuery is described by Google as, “…highly scalable, low cost enterprise data warehouse.” To put it in layman terms this free tool allows companies to take huge time stamped sets of raw data, combine that data with other data points and process without having to rely on a database administrator.
From my perspective as I worked with the platform, the level of integrations has been the most beneficial. In the past year we migrated our display campaigns over to the DoubleClick platform. 360 easily integrates with the following tools:
- DoubleClick Bid Manager
- DoubleClick Campaign Manager
- DoubleClick for Publishers
- DoubleClick Search.
The free version of analytics offers a great basic integration set: AdWords, AdSense, Search Console and DoubleClick AdExchange. However, if your company dabbles in programmatic the level of data available to be passed across the analytics and Double Click platform is unprecedented. You can swap audiences and attribution allowing for a deeper level of insight and better optimizations.
The level of attributed reporting is another huge perk for paid search professionals. The 360 algorithm functions a bit different than what is available on the free platform. The standard version of anlaytics attribution is rule and position based. Using this custom feature you are provided with more flexibility to customize your process. Marketers are also able to create models based KPI’s and actual data from your account.
Reporting & Visualization
360 levels up when it comes to reporting features available to customers. The enterprise platform increases the number of views per web property from 200 to 400 and allows for 200 custom dimensions and metrics as compared to the free version that only allows 20. One of the most sought after features for companies with multiple properties is the Cross Property Roll up reporting which aggregates data from all sites into one comprehensive view. Companies are also able to set up a new custom funnel performance in 360 and see how it would have performance in years past.
Finally, when it comes to reporting, 360 offers an integration (mentioned above) that is currently in beta that enables marketers to take information reported in analytics and create a visual representations of that data. These reports can be customized from the way the data is reported, bar graphs, charts, line graphs down to branding with a custom logo, and easily shared with colleagues. Another upgraded feature of the Data Studio is that marketers can pull outside data into reports, such as Facebook or email marketing platforms. As long as data can be placed into a Google sheet, it can be imported into your custom reports.
Is 360 Worth the Cost?
For most companies the free version offers a level of data that exceeds reporting expectations. A great place to start when trying to identify if your company would benefit is to evaluate the amount hits your site receives and analyze the level of data sampling you encounter when running reports. Next review any integrations that would be of use. Do you run programmatic through DoubleClick? Is your sales cycle longer with multiple touch points? If so, the deeper level of insights into attribution reporting may be a benefit. Finally, is roll up reporting or visualization appealing? For many these final features would take what is being done manual and automate it… Saving time and possibly money.