In April 2017, we released ” GA MP Tools ” as an add-on for Google Spreadsheet. This tool is a tool that allows you to send hit data to Google Analytics using the Measurement Protocol by simply creating data on a spreadsheet and clicking the “Send” button from the menu.
In this article, I would like to introduce examples of how to use ” GA MP Tools “.
What is Measurement Protocol
The Measurement Protocol is a new feature added to Universal Analytics that uses HTTP requests to send raw tracking data directly to Google Analytics servers. Since it can be sent using HTTP requests, it is possible to send various user actions that occur outside the web page to Google Analytics (for example, when a human sensor detects a person, a page view , etc.).
In this article, I will introduce how to use ” GA MP Tools “, which was developed with the main purpose of importing data output from external marketing tools into Google Analytics . With this tool, it is also possible to input conversion data that occurred offline, such as telephone inquiries/orders and participation in seminars, into Google Analytics.
How to use GA MP Tools
GA MP Tools is implemented as an add-on for Google Sheets. To get started, open your spreadsheet and select Get Add-ons from the Add-ons menu.
From here, search for the addon with the name “GA MP Tools” and install the addon that appears.
The setup procedure is easy. When you install the add-on, an item called “GA MP Tools” will be added to the “Add-ons” menu.
Select “Setup” in this menu to clear the current sheet data and create a template.
Preparing transmission data
Send data is created according to the template. However, the template only has the minimal column information needed to submit the data. If you need other parameters, feel free to add columns according to the parameters you want to send. However, when adding columns, be sure to include the Measurement Protocol parameter name in the second row so that you know what the column is about. A list of parameters available in the Measurement Protocol can be found at Google Analytics Developer Official Help – Measurement Protocol Parameter Reference . Also, you can add as many rows as you want, so you can send a large amount of data. ). In that case, you can delete the help messages such as “How to use” and “Others” from line 10 onwards.
Also, the Measurement Protocol requires identification information to uniquely identify a user, called a ‘cid’. If the cid for sending the beacon can be specified, it is better to use that value, but there are cases where you want to issue a new cid depending on the value to be sent. In that case, enter “=uuid()” in the cid column. You can generate a random cid each time.
Send hit data
When the preparation of the transmission data is completed, execute “Run” from “GA MP Tools” in the “Add-on” menu to transmit the hit data. In the library, if ‘v’ and ‘ds’ are not present in the parameters of the transmitted data, they are added. “v” represents the version of the Measurement Protocol used, and “1” is used by default. “ds” represents the data source and by default it uses “spreadsheet”.
Check Google Analytics measurement results
Check the Google Analytics report to make sure the data is being sent correctly. First, let’s quickly check if the intended hits are being sent using real-time reports. The capture below is an example of a real-time report when sending 199 hit data using different client IDs, preparing several types of referrers.
But if you’re using the Measurement Protocol to send your hits, real-time reporting alone won’t give you enough confirmation.
After a certain amount of time has passed (if possible, you should check after a few hours and the next day), check the data reflected in this report and confirm that the intended figures are reflected. Which axis should be checked depends on the data sent, but advanced knowledge of Google Analytics specifications may be required. Finally, be aware of what you want to do with the data sent using the Measurement Protocol, and check the measurement results.
I have picked up some possible cases for using “GA MP Tools” this time.
Operational testing of content groups, custom channel groups, etc.
When I am in charge of setting up Google Analytics as an analysis consultant or agency, I often change the settings of existing Google Analytics. At that time, you will need to test whether the settings are correct. For example, if you set a “content group” for an existing view, it’s difficult to test whether your settings are correct. In such a case, set the property for the test once and send the page view using GA MP Tools for that property. After that, you can check whether it is assigned to the intended content group by checking the aggregation result of the content group. At this time, by exporting the page path information from the original Google Analytics report, it will be possible to test with more realistic data.
Importing conversions that happened offline
You can use the Measurement Protocol to incorporate conversions that occur offline into Google Analytics. However, very few people actually use the Measurement Protocol to incorporate offline conversions into Google Analytics. The reason is simple. This is because the measurement protocol has a high degree of freedom, and very advanced technical skills are required to use it. General marketers lack technical skills and cannot handle it. However, if you use “GA MP Tools” to create data with “/contact/call-complete.html” in the “page path (dp)” and execute it, Google Analytics will show “/contact/call-complete html” is sent to the page. After that, you can capture the number of offline conversions by adding “/contact/call-complete.html” to conversions in Google Analytics goal settings. By including “referrer”, “media”, “campaign”, etc. in the hit information to be sent, it is also possible to reflect the source channel of the offline conversion (for example, from a phone conversation to “from Google search results”). I found your site and called you,” then you can use “google/organic” as the source/media).
Cooperation with external tools
The platform we are using is Google Spreadsheet, so it is easy to link with external tools. It is possible to export data from marketing automation tools such as Marketo, CRM-related tools, email magazine tools, etc., process the data for Measurement Protocol, and send the data. Since “GA MP Tools” operates on a spreadsheet, if the exported CSV file can be pasted on another sheet and the data for the Measurement Protocol can be automatically generated using the spreadsheet functions, the routine It also makes your work easier.
Notes on Measurement Protocol
Measurement Protocol arguments do not have a “timestamp”. Basically, hits are processed when you send data. Therefore, the transmission of Measurement Protocol data should be as real-time as possible. Even if conversions that occur offline are captured by Measurement Protocol a few days later, the data will be out of sync with the time series. Try to import the data with as little time difference as possible.
Note that the only parameter called “queue time” (qt) is for staggering the timing of processing. However, the queue time only supports differences of up to 4 hours, which seems underpowered when sending data from a spreadsheet to the Measurement Protocol.
- Make the import process as real-time as possible
- Define the reporting period in advance and execute the import process at a timing that does not affect the reporting period.
You will have to choose either Perhaps it is more realistic to define the reporting period in advance and execute the import process at a timing that does not affect the reporting period. In other words, if the report period is defined as “monthly”, on the last day of the month, the data for that month is imported using the Measurement Protocol and measured as the data for the last day.
Beware of double data transmission
Currently, every time you click the Execute button, Measurement Protocol data will be sent. If you click the “Execute” button again without noticing that data has been sent once, the same data will be sent twice. Google Analytics cannot cancel hit data once it has been sent. So if you send the wrong data, it will remain there forever.
Please be careful.
don’t abuse for spam
For a while, referrer spam was rampant. It is believed that this measurement protocol was used in the referrer spam. This add-on feature allows you to send a large number of hits to a specific Google Analytics property. No matter how sophisticated a filter is used to block referrer spam, it is possible to break through the filter by sending it with the same parameters as a request on the web. In order to maintain a healthy access analysis environment, never send data to properties other than those managed by you.
It’s been more than three years since the Measurement Protocol’s functions were announced, but there are still very few examples of effective use of the Measurement Protocol.
The reason for this is that the Measurement Protocol requires sending HTTP requests, which is a high hurdle for general marketers. By using this add-on, you will be able to send HTTP requests in bulk, so I hope that the Measurement Protocol will be used even a little.
Start by creating a test property and sending some simple data.