Simplify Your Analytics Dashboard
We’ve all heard the adage “less is more,” but does it apply to dashboards? According to Urs Boller in this blog from Web Analytics for Developers, the answer is yes. I often get requests to build complicated Google DataStudio dashboards, with pages of metrics and a detailed glossary. I worry these create the same issue that Urs describes: Users don’t understand what dashboards mean, so they avoid using them. Making things simple encourages people to actually use the information they have. If you’re curious about how to adopt a more minimalist approach, Urs recommends three steps: Focus on user behavior, use your stakeholders’ language, and create dashboard templates. “This creates an analytics foundation which is both easy to understand and immediately allows everybody in our organization to start using the data and take actions.” Thanks to Craig Scriber for sharing this with me.
The GTM Feature We’ve All Been Waiting For
There’s always been room for improvement when it comes to Google Tag Manager, but this new feature is pretty handy. GTM has now introduced the ability to export part of a container into another! This is great if you want to um, borrow, a particularly clever piece of tracking you set up for another site but don’t want to move over every single tag and variable. Head over to this article from Simo Ahava to find out how the new feature works and get step-by-step instructions (with screenshots included!) about how to select only the items you want to export. I already know this is going to make my life much easier.
Google Relaxing Policy on COVID Ads
If your organization has information about COVID that you want to promote with your Google Ads Grant, you are finally in luck. Google’s loosening up their restrictions. After blocking ads related to the coronavirus in January under its “sensitive events policy,” Google is figuring out how to allow limited COVID-related ads from hospitals, medical providers, government entities and NGOs. The decision to block “coronavirus” and related keywords “was too conservative and the company is ready to change course.” I think that’s a smart idea. It’s important for Google to prevent fake news, but blocking information entirely? Never a good idea.
The Ban on Political Ads Post-November 3
The upcoming presidential election is already ripe with problems. I mean, have you heard the news that Trump declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power less than one week ago? The last thing we want is more confusion and civil unrest. That’s why Google announced that it wouldn’t run any ads related to the election on Google’s search engine, YouTube and all of its other internet ad networks while votes are counted and election results are finalized. Facebook agreed to do the same. But with absentee or mail-in voting popularized due to the pandemic, this process could take weeks. It’s an interesting approach to take, so I’m curious to see how it all plays out.
New Webinar: Lessons I Learned From Dozens of Analytics Audits
After four years of auditing (and fixing) clients’ disorganized Google Analytics set-ups, convoluted GTM implementation and other web data messes, I’ve learned a lot about how NOT to set up your organization’s website data. Join me on Thursday, October 15 at 2 PM EST to learn about the top three common mistakes I see – and what I recommend to fix these issues. Come for the (virtual) human interaction, stay for the tips to set up your analytics accounts so anyone on your team can manage it.