AWA digital’s Marketing Coordinator, Nicole Major, explores the latest conversion optimisation tools and industry news.
This month we take a look at how Google are looking to unify app and website analytics (and it’s actually pretty cool), before moving on to Optimizely updates for developers, Formstack and still more Sketch updates - and an update to one of our most popular ever blog posts.
Google Analytics: A new way to unify app and website measurement in GA
Currently, many businesses measure app engagement with Google Analytics for Firebase and then website engagement with Google Analytics. While each of these products can offer some powerful insights, getting a unified picture of what’s happening across both your app and website can be a manual (and mentally painful) process.
Not any more! Google has announced that there will shortly be a new property type, App + Web, which allows you to combine the two for unified reporting and analysis. You still need to have both Firebase and website GA installed, but the reports can merge.
Google have introduced a new property type, App + Web, that allows you to combine app and web data for unified reporting and analysis.
To make sure that you can get a consistent view across everything, Google have rather cleverly used a single set of consistent metrics and dimensions. This is what makes it possible to see integrated reporting across app and web in a sensible, meaningful way. These reports let you answer questions such as: Which marketing channel is responsible for acquiring the most new users across our different platforms? How many total unique users do we have across our platforms? And crucially for CRO’ers: how many conversions have occurred on our app and website in the last week—and which platform is driving the most of these conversions?
Of course, you can then deep-dive into a variety of additional reporting with the more flexible event-based model for collecting the unique interactions that users have with your content, allowing you to measure any custom event that you set up. This event-based model also allows you to automate the manual work of tagging some of the events on your site with no additional coding required. In addition to page views, enhanced measurement allows you to measure many common web events like scrolls, downloads, video views and more with the flip of a toggle in the admin settings for your property.
You can also perform in-depth cross platform analysis so you can see the connected journeys people are taking. This can be ad-hoc by drag-and-dropping multiple variables on to the canvas, or through Funnels, or Path Analysis.
The new cross-platform Path Analysis
Analysts have long been crying out for a way to easily combine all of their data into a single view, so this is a powerful step forward from Google. It’s logical, sure, but it never fails to surprise (and please) me that all of this insight and innovation comes from a platform that’s still free. Hats off to the team from Mountain View.
By the way - the first version of this new app and web experience - including the new event model and new analysis capabilities - will be available to all Analytics and Analytics 360 accounts in beta in the coming weeks. If you use Google Tag Manager or the global site tag for Google Analytics today, there’s no re-tagging required for your website. To include your app data, you’ll need the Firebase SDK implemented in your app.
Optimizely Rollouts offer a free ‘feature flag’ solution for developers
Let’s jump from Google to something even more techie. Optimizely is perhaps the most advanced of the A/B testing platforms out there and one that we suggest to clients all of the time for the power and possibilities it offers.
But if you have a team of developers working on your split tests, it can take some management to know what’s going on everywhere at once. So, they have launched a free new feature, called Optimizely Rollouts, which allows your team to work faster and smarter together through Feature Flags.
Feature Flags in action, the core part of Optimizely Rollout
One of the key benefits is to simplify messy rollbacks and hotfixes. Instead, you could use feature flags to roll out to a small percentage of users to reduce risk and fail safer. If you detect errors, performance spikes, or user backlash, just roll back - all without redeploying code, thereby making your CRO program that much more resilient.
You can also test new features in production before a broad rollout to help you innovate faster by validating new features with a percentage of your users or key segments before rolling out to everyone. What’s more, you can free up engineering time by allowing business users to grant access to features to early access or beta customers as there is no coding required.
Of course, all of this can be managed through a simple, intuitive front end interface (which also integrates with Jira) providing full visibility to all stakeholders.
Optimizely Rollout has a simple, intuitive interface for all stakeholders to clearly see what is happening at any time
Sketch 56 has landed - and it’s more than a normal monthly update
Sketch updates come thick and fast, with their agile development model allowing for rapid deployment of new features (102 this month alone). So much so, that you could be forgiven for getting a little complacent about continually seeing them featured in this column.
This month, in particular, that would be a mistake. The team have been working all Summer long on a major upgrade on the relatively new Smart Distribute feature that we covered here a few months ago. Smart Distribute was a way of snapping elements to rows and columns and controlling the spacing between them - though it only worked in horizontal or vertical lines. It now works on grids and negative spacing too - all by a simple pick-up and drag.
If that wasn’t exciting enough, there’s a new ‘Tidy’ button in the inspector that does it all for you.
Smart Distribute in Sketch 56 just keeps getting smarter
The Sketch Cloud continues to improve and build a closer tie with the Mac App, to continue to make it quicker and easier to up/down load cloud docs and to share them with peers, agencies or clients. It’s all part of their continued plans to make the entire workflow as simple and easy as possible.
But the biggest one for me is also the most simple. One of the strangest (read: most annoying) things about Sketch and my limited design skills, has been the inability to edit text directly on the canvas. I’m mighty relieved to say that now you can.
Well done Sketch!
Formstack: Secure payments integration into your forms
Among a raft of updates to Formstack the last few months, have been two that are particularly exciting.
Formstack have been working on a transition from ‘simple’ forms to ‘transactional’ ones with new PCI compliance and a ProPay integration. While it is not a replacement for your ecommerce system, these new features will allow you to securely collect things like charity donations, club memberships, event registrations or simple merchandise.
ProPay does have quite low fees and is a sound payment system, but better still you can set up an account right through Formstack pretty quickly and easily.
The other side of this is the new PCI compliance across the form solutions, which they achieved just recently. Now, you can use Formstack forms to securely process credit card payment information without leaving the platform.
Other updates from Formstack include Release Management with the SalesForce integration and a facelift for the FormStack Go app, making things a bit more intuitive.
That’s nearly it for this month, other than one more bit of news…
Lisa Kalscheur has just joined Monetate as their new CMO and you’ll already notice the new branding and website. Why does that matter? Because, usually, a raft of product updates get set to follow such activity - so watch this space.
If you want to learn more about conversion rate optimisation, read our Advanced Guide to CRO. This guide shares nearly a decade's worth of experience of increasing online sales and revenue for multichannel businesses to empower you with the skills and knowledge to transform your business.