Your Guide to Google Analytics' New Cross Device Tracking and Reporting

Your Guide to Google Analytics' New Cross Device Tracking and Reporting

Google tracking across devices
Analyst, Search & Social Advertising
August 2, 2018

Recently, Google officially announced that it's rolling out new cross device tracking capabilities and reports to all accounts in the next few weeks.

Since 2016, marketers have had the ability to set up cross device tracking by setting up User IDs and having users log in on their site. Using cookies, marketers could track the multiple devices (computers, mobile phones, and tablets) that the customer used to sign in. Unfortunately, most users don’t log into websites unless they absolutely have to—and most sites don’t require logins.

To get a more complete picture of user behavior, Google has now rolled out “Google Signals,” which uses a customer’s Google account login to identify the same customer on multiple devices. Users are signed into their Google account whenever they use Gmail or Google Chrome or any other Google product and automatically stay signed in on that device. To comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), they must opt into Personalized Advertising for their data to be collected by Google.

 

Activating Google Signals

Marketers will need to activate Google Signals to collect the cross-device data and use new reports. After signing into Google Analytics, now part of the Google Marketing Platform, go to the Property Column, then click on “Tracking Info,” and click on “Data Collection.”

If your account has been enabled for Google Signals, you will see a prompt to Activate Google Signals. If you don’t see it yet, don’t worry—it is still in beta but will be coming to all accounts soon. Once the Google Signals have been activated, Analytics will start gathering data on Google users across devices and making reports using the new data.

 

How will my reports be affected?

In the past, Google Analytics has used a last-click attribution model—the last device that the customer used to complete an action on your website was credited with the conversion. With cross-device tracking, Google will be able to credit multiple devices and visits from the same customer for a conversion, giving marketers a clearer picture of how customers use their website.

For instance, a marketer may have noticed in the past that most purchases on their website have been made by customers on computers. So, they bid higher on paid ads targeting people on computers.

The new Acquisition Device Report, however, may show that most customers visit a website for the first time on their mobile phone and then come back later to make the final purchase on their computer. So, they should focus on showing ads on mobile phones to capture new customers. Focusing ad spend on computers may actually hamper growth.

 

What this means for marketers

Marketers can also get a better idea of a single customer’s lifetime value to the company. They will be able to compile purchases by the same customer over time and get a better view of how often customers return & make new purchases on different devices.

In addition to the Acquisition Device report, other reports will compile cross-device data, including Device Overlap, Device Paths, and Channels reports. Once activated, a new Conversions column labeled “Cross device conversions” will also be available in linked Google Ads accounts using Analytics for conversions. This will help ad managers track conversions across devices for their paid campaigns.

Remarketing audiences will also be able to group returning visitors by how many times they have visited a site on different devices. This will allow marketers to target more specific groups of possible customers with remarketing campaigns.

 

How do I get started?

Easy! Just opt into Google Signals when your Analytics account is given access to the new capabilities. Then let the data roll in and run new reports under the “Audiences” tab.

 

--

What are your thoughts on Google Signals? Have you started using the feature yet? Let us know on Twitter @Perfect_Search!

Analyst, Search & Social Advertising
Emily Lutz is from Kalispell, Montana and has been camping more times than she can count. She geeks out over musicals and the TV show Firefly (yes, she's on some chat sites). Before joining Perfect Search, Emily was a zookeeper for ten years.

What our clients say

"We engaged with Perfect Search because of my friendship with Ajay…"
Aakash Shah
CEO

Tweets

Perfect Search Media
9h

It's never too late to cultivate customer advocates. Here are 5 steps to help you do just that.

Perfect Search Media
10h

You heard it here first: Robots are super trendy and machine learning is making an impact on digital marketing.

Perfect Search Media
13h

Using Facebook's Advanced Matching Pixel means big things for conversion tracking, but it's likely you're not takin…

Perfect Search Media
15h

There's a reason why content is king. Science accounts for our epic love for storytelling.

Perfect Search Media
1d

If you're wondering whether Will Ferrell can really play the drums, we recommend doing a quuuick Google search. Cel…

Perfect Search Media
1d

You already know the power of a good selfie. Apply that knowledge to your Google My Business...just don't go crazy…

Perfect Search Media
1d

It's the paid search strategy showdown: Segmentate vs. Aggregate. Which heavyweight is your pick for the title?

Perfect Search Media
1d

: Only 1 in 5 businesses make it past year one. Improving your ROI can help with that. And to improve…

Perfect Search Media
2d

When was the last time you asked Alexa to order you a pair of jeans? Never? Yeah. And neither has anyone else.

Perfect Search Media
2d

By asking them to google what dolphins eat, we realize that kids use search differently. And that dolphin is absolu…

Perfect Search Media
2d

If you're in the biz, you're probably a *little* sick of Google playing games with your meta data character length.

Perfect Search Media
2d

If digital marketing were a Marvel movie, unlinked brand mentions would be the dorkiest supervillain. Foil his evil…

Perfect Search Media
3d

We love a little 😌 Check out these ultra-wise SEO tips if you do, too!

Perfect Search Media
3d

There's never a wrong time to improve your strategy. Here's a friendly reminder to start making use of y…

Perfect Search Media
3d

Bing is growing 17 percent YoY. Are you still looking down on the search underdog?

Perfect Search Media
3d

A bold perspective we haven't heard yet

Perfect Search Media
3d

A5: The best tool to use? Your very special SEO-inclined brain.

Perfect Search Media
3d

Experiment idea: Two websites with the same purpose and style, one run by AI and the other run by humans.

Perfect Search Media
3d

A4: Human specialists wear the pants in this relationship. We can always scale back AI if it becomes more of a hind…

Perfect Search Media
3d

A3: Advantages? Automation, access to big data, understanding industry trends, prioritizing UX in the SERP. Disadv…

Perfect Search Media
3d

A2: Au👏to👏mation👏 Artificial intelligence automates the details so that SEO teams can focus on the big stuff like a…

Perfect Search Media
3d

and thank you for being the hostess with the mostess!

Perfect Search Media
3d

Oooh, absolutely. We'd be lying to ourselves if we said it couldn't replace *some* aspects of S…

Perfect Search Media
3d

A1: Artificial intelligence reinforces the importance of SEO. It's a tool to be used with the industry, not somethi…

Perfect Search Media
3d

An on artificial intelligence...we're excited to start!

Perfect Search Media
4d

When crawlers are lazy, web developers can't slack on mobile-first optimizations. These websites do just that.

Perfect Search Media
4d

Imagine improving your Amazon ad game before the tortilla chips you ordered through Prime Pantry arrive.

Perfect Search Media
4d

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to sacrifice creativity for SEO. Pick up that glitter glue and get writi…

Perfect Search Media
4d

RT : Did you know that we list the Best SEO Companies in most cities in the US? Topping the list for are…

Perfect Search Media
4d

50 terms. 9 years. If you've ever wondered how Google changes over time, check out this study.

Find us on Facebook


Stay in touch with digital marketing & those who know it best.
Sign up for the Perfect Search newsletter.