Rod Jacka -
Tuesday, April, 02, 2019
Unless you are deeply engaged in digital marketing or analytics it is unlikely that you would have heard about ITP 2.1 The acronym ITP stands for Intelligent Tracking Prevention and it is built into the latest versions Apple’s Safari browser and the latest update has big consequences to your tracking and marketing.
This technology actively prevents tools such as Google Analytics from tracking users for periods longer than 7 days. In essence, your users will be forgotten about if they don’t return to your website within 7 days from their last visit.
So, what does this actually mean?
Well, if your company is trying to send remarketing campaigns or to track how users engage with your brand over time, then you have an upper limit of 7 days for all your Mac and iOS users who use the Safari browser.
How big an impact is this likely to be?
We sampled 40 of our clients, we found that on average, 35% of their users use the Safari browser, with the impact being even higher on mobile and tablet devices.
On mobile devices, there was an average of 56% of users who use the Safari browser.
On tablet devices, these numbers grow larger, with an average of 70% of users using Safari.
The bit impact of ITP is on returning users who have not returned to the site for more than 7 days. Our study reflects that the impact ranges between 1% up to 12% depending on the client.
If you are running remarketing campaigns, then this is likely to be a big impact on the effectiveness of this marketing in reaching these users.
What will be the effect?
You will see a rise in new users coming from Safari users and a decrease in the days since the last session and sessions per user.
Is it just Google Analytics that is impacted?
No, most web analytics and tracking technologies that are used are impacted by this change.
Is there anything that I can do?
Yes there are techniques that can fix this however each of them requires significant technical work.
Simo Ahava has written a very detailed blog post on the topic that covers the options that are available. https://www.simoahava.com/analytics/itp-2-1-and-web-analytics/
Why has Apple done this?
Apple has repeatedly demonstrated its staunch position on privacy with a key example being its refusal to comply with FBI directives to circumvent the encryption in its iPhone during 2015 and 20161. Later Tim Cook the CEO of Apple in his speech in 2018 to the European Union Privacy commission stated Apple’s position strongly and clearly with “Our own information, from the every day to the deeply personal, is being weaponized against us with military efficiency.” and later “At Apple, respect for privacy—and a healthy suspicion of authority—have always been in our bloodstream.”2
In its recent blog post on ITP 2.1 Apple has made the following statement “Apple believes that privacy is a fundamental human right and that users should not be tracked across the web without their knowledge or their consent.”3
Whilst a more cynical view could equally hold that Apple is directly seeking to compete for public perception to be the good guy in the battle for privacy against its competitors such as Google. It must not be forgotten that Google has products that directly compete with Apple’s.
One way or another Apple’s position indicates that it is likely that this will be an increasing problem going forward.
Firefox appears to be following Apple’s lead and now appears set to implement something similar in the near future.4
Panalysis can help.
If you are concerned about this topic and the impact on your business, please contact us. We can undertake an impact assessment and help you to select and implement alternative approaches to reduce the effect of ITP 2.1.
View Sample Impact Report
Request an Impact Assessment Report
Angela Conn -
Wednesday, June, 07, 2017
This month we are letting you know about Google Attribution, Data Studio, AdWords & Optimise Integration and Google Analytics Enhancements.
Google recently announced a new product, Google Attribution, with a view to helping marketers measure the impact of their marketing efforts across both channels and devices.
Historically, attribution tools have been difficult to set up, lose tracking visibility over customer journeys when people switch between devices, nor have they been integrated with ad tools, making it extremely difficult to accurately take informed actions.
Google Attribution can help you:
- Understand how all of your marketing activities are working together
- Deliver the necessary insights required to make your activities work better together
- Integrate Adwords, Google Analytics and DoubleClick Search, making it simple and fast to consolidate your data from every channel and thus providing complete visibility over performance
- Move away from last-click attribution and towards data-driven attribution, using machine-learning to assign credit to each step of the customer journey
Google Attribution is now in beta and will roll out to more advertisers over the coming months.
Data Studio Now available Globally (and it’s free!)
Data Studio is now available for free and without reporting limitations in over 180 countries. The product allows you to easily connect to data to create information and visually pleasing reports which are easy to read, share and customise.
Key Features in Data Studio include:
- Filters: you can filter your data in many ways, easily reuse filters on multiple charts, utilise compound filtering to combine multiple AND and OR conditions together and filter established metric values that are too large or small.
- GA Segments: Google Analytics segments can be applied to your charts. They are viewable in Data Studio and if updated in GA, the changes are also applied to your segments in Data Studio.
- Powerful Data Connectors: Popular data connectors in Data Studio include Youtube, DoubleClick, Campaign Manager and Adwords.
- Google Cloud Platform Integrations: Integration and improvements to the Google Cloud Platform enables fast data reporting, at scale, with powerful functionality.
- File Upload: Data Studio can upload 2GB of CSV data for free, lifting restrictions on data access from SQL or Google databases only.
Adwords & Optimize Integration
From managing media, to optimizing your site and collecting performance insights, your marketing workflows need to be seamless and integrated. This will allow you to easily apply learnings and take action, fast. With new integrations for Google Optimize and AdWords you will now have the ability to efficiently test landing pages, gaining valuable insights about your ads.
The new integration allows you to create new variations of your landing pages and apply them to any combination of AdWords campaigns, ad groups and keywords. It’s fast and easy and requires no coding or webmaster.
With Optimize determining which variation performs best for your company, it aims to assist you in getting more value from your AdWords campaigns.
Google Analytics Enhancements
Google Analytics is now even easier to use to gain the insights you need. After a redesigned mobile app for an improved on the go experience last year, followed by the introduction of automated insights within the app, Google have recently simplified their website user interface.
The most recent enhancements have been designed to help you make better data-driven decisions based on a more insightful user understanding.
Google Analytics “Home” features:
- Viewable snippets from a curated set of GA reports with simple controls.
- Each Snippet is preceded by helpful questions to frame your data.
- Digging deeper is easier, simply hover on any data point to access more details or drill into relevant reports
- Your “home” is automatically configured based on your GA setup.
- Your former default landing page, Audience Overview is still accessible. Open “Audience” section in your navigation and click on overview to access.
The new “Discover” page holds all of the latest enhancement information. It offers products and experiences to assist you with manoeuvring through your GA account.
Helpful products including Optimize, tools such as the GA mobile app, features like Custom Alerts and educational material from the Analytics Academy are all included in the Discover page.
We recommend spending some time exploring these Google Analytics enhancements to make sure you are getting the most out of your experience.
Timothy Yuen -
Wednesday, March, 09, 2016
Those of us who spend their working lives up to their elbows in Google Analytics – like I do – take a lot of its great functions and quirky complications for granted.
So I’ve decided that now is a good time to start sharing some of my knowledge to help you get the most out of this incredibly powerful tool. There will be many interesting conversations to come!
To start with, I have recently been looking at the User ID setting for session unification and I thought I’d share a recent discovery with you. It will help you understand some of those mysterious gaps in your User ID view.
While doing some testing, I’ve discovered a User ID issue, related to session unification, that many of you may not even notice. Until now, I had always thought that all hits before the User ID is set would be unified as coming from the same User. It turns out that this is incorrect.
Session unification only happens for all hits before the first hit containing the User ID. Any hits without the User ID, after the initial hit, are not counted.
What are the implications of this you ask?
Well, imagine you are tracking the User ID when a user logs onto your site. That user logs out, or times out, browses a few pages and then they log back in – still within a session. Their User ID will not be logged in the few pages they browsed after logging out. And any subsequent pages they view or events without the User ID will no longer be tracked or unified into the session.
I had a sift through the Google Analytics documentation, looking for some clarity, and all I could find was this cryptic sentence:
Now that we know this, what should we do?
As per the Google Analytics statement, ALL hits should contain the User ID once it is known. But if it is not known or tracked, you may face some sticky questions about why certain pages or data are missing in the User ID view.
You’re probably wondering, “how on earth do I go about explaining that missing (in between) data to senior management?” And it’s all about the user choosing to maintain their privacy.
If the user has chosen to ‘log out’, then their subsequent pages/events aren’t tracked. By logging out they have opted out from being tracked.
I believe that this is the basis of the Google Analytics logic for not automatically tying together all of a user’s sessions, once their user ID is identified. The missing data is adhering to, and protecting, the privacy of the user.