Combining Google Analytics Information with Different Sources

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Google Analytics provides data from a website or app on interactions, conversions and transactions. However, many online retailers require data from other sources such as search engines, social media, affiliates, and more.

Some of these sources can be linked or imported into Google Analytics. Others cannot. This article explores general integrations and imports with Universal Analytics, and provides options for other sources.

Imports, integrations

Advertising data can be reported via the native integration of Google Analytics with Google Ads or via the data import via the cost data import. Google Ads data is available through Account Settings.

I looked at importing data from Bing and other advertising channels.

Sample report in Google Analytics with several ad platforms and their return on advertising spend. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Organic search data is available in Google Analytics via integration with the Google Search Console. Other search engines report at the source / medium level, but keyword level data is rarely available due to limitations in sharing it with Google Analytics. The workaround uses Data Studio, Excel, or Google Sheets to compile the data from all search engines. The Google Analytics data would show general trends in changes in sessions. The search engine data would reveal which keywords influenced these changes.

For example, you can overlay the average position for keyword (s) data from the Bing Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics session and sales data.

Bing Webmaster Tools report for average position for all keywords.

Bing Webmaster Tools report for average position for all keywords. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Google Analytics report for sessions and revenue from Bing organic search traffic.

Google Analytics report for sessions and revenue from Bing organic search traffic. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Social media data can be reported at high level in Google Analytics about users, sessions, and other interactions. Use UTM parameters consistently for all content pointing to your website for more granularity in traffic and conversions.

This Google Analytics report shows all Facebook traffic (paid and organic) marked with UTM parameters (marked green).

This Google Analytics report shows all Facebook traffic (paid and organic) marked with UTM parameters (marked green). Click on the image to enlarge it.

Improved engagement reporting for a social media post requires the merging of Google Analytics and, for example, Facebook data in Data Studio or something similar.

This sample mix in Data Studio of Facebook Ads post engagement and Google Analytics data shows how these posts affect sales.

This sample mix in Data Studio of Facebook Ads Post Engagement and Google Analytics data shows how these posts affect sales. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Affiliate Marketing Data is available in Google Analytics via a similar procedure for non-Google advertising data as described above. Import the cost data using the cost data import function. Data for sessions, engagements, conversions and transactions are reported if UTM parameters are included in the destination URLs of the affiliate links.

Sample mix in Data Studio from Share A Sale (affiliate platform) and Google Analytics.

Sample mix in Data Studio from ShareASale (affiliate marketing platform) and Google Analytics. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Refunds, offline sales. Google Analytics is not perfect when it comes to reporting all online sales. Canceled orders are not supported. Refund reports are available but limited. Push offline sales to Google Analytics using the Measurement Protocol.

Product, user, custom imports. Google Analytics enables the import of product, user, geographic and other data (via the data import function) and the combination with the data recorded directly via website tags. Common uses for the data import function are:

  • Product, brand, category, or other information not available in a SKU.
  • User data that is merged with the user ID recorded in Google Analytics, such as B. Membership Status and Interests.
  • Lookup tables that match geographic sales with regional offices.

Limitations, alternatives

While the above import features are helpful, they can be limited and difficult. For example, only Google Analytics 360 imports historical data at no cost. Troubleshooting imports can take a few hours. And not all fields are available in cost and other imports to be linked to available data in Google Analytics, e.g. B. Geo and Device.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to connect Google Analytics with other sources.

  • Data Studio has blending capabilities natively and via vendors.
  • The native Google Analytics connector from Google Sheets can be combined with manually exported data from other sources or with automated imports from providers.
  • Microsoft Excel providers offer Google Analytics and other data source imports for both online and desktop versions.

Continuous improvement

Compiling a comprehensive report that includes online and offline sales and other data makes it easy to monitor trends and performance. By automating the reporting functions, there is more time (and less cost) to focus on continuous improvement.

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