Too many countries? Too much data? Three tips on how to filter out just your most essential marketing data in Google Analytics.


Sven Balnojan    23/06/15

Web Analytics





Our Website is visited by people from 135 countries. Visitors reach the website via more than 20 social media profiles, via email campaigns in many countries and in many different languages, as well as via search engines (Baidu, Google, Naver,etc.).


How on earth does one retain an overview over this mass of marketing communications? And how does one do this using Google Analytics?



Nobody wants to receive 40 reports per month


Each local branch of a global company, every Country Manager, should be able to quickly obtain an overview of their local marketing activities. For this purpose extra data sheets are usually set up in Google Analytics to keep track of performance and progress towards specific, local marketing goals.

Global Marketing departments then usually receive a report for each country and distribution channel at the end of each month. The result is mostly dozens of reports which nobody reads. The following three features will help you to avoid this unsatisfactory situation.



1. Google‘s Custom Reports (Customization)


In Google Analytics all marketing activities can be allocated to a campaign. Most SEA campaigns and social media accounts are automatically tagged correctly and are displayed in Analytics as separate campaigns. Email campaigns have to be manually furnished with suitable tags (thanks to URL Builder this is easily done).


The quickest method for evaluation of the marketing performance of several campaigns at once is to set up Custom Reports (to be found under the tab, “Customization” in Analytics). User-defined metrics can be compared for each campaign. For example, our customised report for SEA looks like this:




A Custom Report can be designed to segment data for the country, the distribution channel (e.g. social media) or the campaign and can compare how many leads were generated and at what cost.


Our Recommendations for Custom Reports:

  • In order to ensure that global reports can be understood by everybody, it makes sense to name and tag campaigns (e.g. in AdWords) in the corporate language of the company.
  • It also makes sense to include information about the country and the language directly in the campaign name (e.g.  “DE-AT: Social Media Infographics Campaign”).
  • When setting up your customised report, use alphabetical order for your metrics. This means that there should be a metric group in every report for Aquisition / Behavior / Conversions, otherwise the data will be difficult to understand.



2. Activate the “Custom Alerts” Feature


In the case of complex, multilingual websites, changes often need to be made to the various elements, with the result that accurate tracking of a campaign’s progress partially or totally fails. Frequently this is caused simply by the unfavourable re-naming a download link. Even the unintentional deactivation of SEA campaigns can lead to a loss of conversions recorded by the tracking system.

In order to be given due warning of such failures, you can set up the automatic alert system in Google Analytics (by email or SMS) under “Admin > Custom Alerts"


Two situations where we recommend setting up an alert

  1. If daily traffic falls by more than 50-60% (The change should be greater than a typical weekend reduction)
  2. If there are obvious changes to the weekly conversion rate (e.g. around 50%).




3. Setting up and distribution of dashboards


A Google Analytics Dashboard provides an overview of several metrics without overloading the user with information.


Two types of dashboards are useful for global marketing 

  • Dashboards which list all distribution channels and draw comparisons between goals and costs for the top 10 countries (the credo applied here is that if performance for the top 10 countries is good, then it is not necessary to look at each country individually).
  • Channel-specific dashboards, showing performance results for individual channels (e.g. the blog, SEO, SEA or email).





Tow features which will simplify the general viewl of the dashboard

  • A link to a customised report or to a standard report can be built in to the title of a widget (a metric). If something unusual is noticed, then the user can click onto a more detailed analysis.
  • The dashboards can be sent out automatically in an email.


Individual user requirements should dictate whether one or more dashboards need to be set up.  However, if you do not make use of the 3 features listed above, you will lose time and lack information when analysing your global marketing performance.