Another Day, Another Google Ads & Analytics Update
If it seems like announcements about updates to Google Ads & Analytics are coming out every other day lately, it’s because… well, they are.
With the transition from Universal Analytics to GA4 a scant 11½ months away, Google is adding functions to the latter faster than a Ferrari facing a yellow traffic light.
And Performance Max campaigns are also getting a boost from a new batch of features that will make it easier for advertisers to analyze metrics and make adjustments to improve performance.
Let’s take a look at both:
Google Ads & Analytics: GA4 is Growing Up
Last week, Google announced that bounce rate data, more UTM parameters, and conversion rate information will all be available in GA4.
GA4 Gets a Bounce (Rate)
In Universal Analytics (UA), bounce rate is calculated as the percentage of single-page sessions with no interactions, even if a user stays on the homepage for a few minutes.
GA4, however, breaks bounce rate down differently.
If a user doesn't interact with your page and leaves after a few seconds, that's still a bounce.
But if a user stays on the page for more than 10 seconds, that activity is folded into a new metric called "Engaged Sessions" that also includes a conversion event or at least two page or screen views.
More UTM Dimensions
Google is also making UTM “content” and “term parameter” easier to see in GA4.
Both parameters have a user- and session-scoped dimension, and they will be visible in the Audience Builder, Explorations, and Reporting.
Canceling Conversion Confusion in Google Ads & Analytics
Finally — and perhaps most importantly — GA4 has lifted the lid on conversion rate metrics.
New metrics will let advertisers see their user conversion rate, which is the percentage of users who triggered a conversion event, and session conversion rate, which is… the same thing, but with sessions.
All of these updates are available in the Google Analytics Data API. And again, because Universal Analytics is going away on July 1, 2023, this probably won’t be the last update we get on this topic.
4 New Performance Max Features
On the “ads” side of this Google Ads & Analytics update, Performance Max campaigns have four new options for ad buyers to sink their collective teeth into.
Google Performance Max campaign users will soon notice four new features in their accounts.
The first, seasonality adjustments, can be used to schedule conversion rate adjustments to account for upcoming events like sales or promotions. Google says these work best for short events that last for a week or less.
The second, data exclusions, allow you to tell Smart Bidding to ignore data from specific dates where you might have had conversion tracking or attribution issues.
Third, explanations help advertisers figure out large fluctuations or changes in account performance. When applicable, Google will also provide recommendations to help optimize ad performance according to the campaign’s stated goals.
Fourth, Performance Max has added a new optimization score, which estimates how well your ads account will perform and displays that metric as a percentage.
In addition to recent announcements about updated location targeting and the forthcoming ability to choose YouTube Shorts placements, we think Performance Max is the place to be for the foreseeable future.