Google Analytics Main Data Scope And Digital Marketing Attribution

Google Analytics processes data based on a certain scope, what is the process and how to read it correctly?

If you are a digital marketer who actively searches and analyzes data from your users, then you are certainly no stranger to the Google Analytics application. With Google Analytics, you can get thousands of valuable data about the activity of your visitors on the website.

It’s just that because of the complexity of the data in Google Analytics, the application also creates a complex data categorization system as well. Sometimes this is not learned by digital marketers, so the data they take sometimes does not match what they want.

Google Analytics Data Scope

Google Analytics works with a defined scope structure. This means that there is a certain scope of each data retrieved, given the complexity of the data that travels on the internet. Google Analytics itself divides its data scope into 4 scopes, where each scope has its own data reservoir.

This scope serves to define the data so that they do not overlap, and can be used as user identification without violating their privacy. For more details, here are 4 types of scopes in Google Analytics:

User Scope

This data is taken for identification of individual users. Useful for distinguishing one visitor from another, and useful for determining the number of users who enter the site.

Session Scope

Session scope contains data from the session initiated by the user. Each user will always start a certain session on the website, and Google Analytics limits the session by time (max 30 minutes or according to user settings) and actions (if the user exits / closes from the site).

A user can have more than one session, depending on the length of time he visits the site.

Hit Scope

This scope contains the activity of each session that occurs. Each session always contains some activity to do, for example visiting a certain page or clicking a certain button.

Product Scope (special)

Finally, there is a product scope specially made for e-commerce. Every hit interaction that occurs there is always product information that participates. For example, when the user clicks “buy” or “Checkout”, the product data that enters the activity will be recorded in the product scope report.

Dimensional Scope vs Metric Scope

From the four scopes above, they will be further divided into their respective dimensions and metrics. For example, the Landing Page dimension (the page that is first accessed by the user when starting a session) is suitable when juxtaposed with the Bounce Rate metric (how many sessions have no interaction).

Please note that scope works hierarchically starting from user, session, hit, and product sequentially. Because of this hierarchy, you can’t pair data without considering the scope.

Dimensions and metrics will only work as expected perfectly if they are in the same scope. If there is a difference in scope, there will be 2 consequences:

  • No data is displayed aka error
  • The data displayed is not as expected

Main Error of Beginner Digital Marketers: Wrong Scope Combination

For example when you use dimensions calculated from session scope, such as landing page or source/ medium, then you combine it with metrics that shouldn’t be like Total Event which is Hit Scope. Then the data that appears will not be according to your wishes. The risk is you can get less accurate information.

So, study the scope of each of the existing data. Especially if you are a Data Studio user, then you must understand how data in Google Analytics is processed. Otherwise, you may encounter problems where the data you want does not match reality.

Let’s Understand the Concept of Digital Marketing

Conversion Attribution Conversion can occur through any channel, and it is not uncommon for conversion sources to come from more than one channel. How do you know this?

There is one buyer who interacts with the content on your Instagram social media first, then a week later they get an ad from Facebook Ads while he is browsing there. Then the next day he also got an ad from Google Ads, and because he was in need, he decided to make a purchase.

Which digital marketing channel should get points from the purchase conversions that occur?

Know the Concept of Attribution

In the world of digital marketing, there is a term called attribution. This attribution will later answer the problems discussed above, where the system will record the browsing history of the buyer and then give points according to the touch points passed.

Depending on the choice of attribution type, points are awarded according to their respective portions. For example, if you use last click then points will be given 100% to the channel that was last used by the buyer, in this case Google Ads will get the full points.

Why Is Attribution Important?

The question is, can you immediately decide to just focus on Google Ads and then forget about other digital channels? Certainly not!

Imagine if the buyer didn’t interact with your social media first, how could he possibly know that brand exists and exists? And how can he be the target of your remarketing strategy?

Examples of Cases of Incorrect Attribution that Have Bad Impact on Strategy Determination

To understand more about the importance of attribution, we will give an example that often occurs.

A Company That Fails to Identify Important Channels, and Even Optimizes Other Channels

Usually this happens in companies that have marketing funnel , such as financial companies or business to business (B2B) companies. The prospect’s journey from first interacting with the brand to closing takes quite a long time.

Companies identify that organic digital marketing or SEO channels are the ones that give the most maximum results, and they immediately believe and then boost SEO resources from all sides and reduce resources allocated to other digital marketing channels.

But what happened? The number of conversions has actually dropped considerably compared to before! Why?

It turns out that touch point from customers is from Google Ads, where they are looking for certain keywords and then find the company. However, because prospective prospects are still not too sure, they decide to read other references first.

And after they are satisfied, they then return by typing the company name in Google Search. As a result, the analytics app will read that all conversions came from organic traffic, without considering other factors.

Of course, if companies improve their SEO strategies and lower their advertising budgets, their conversions will decrease. Considering that SEO is not touch point from potential customers.

Considerations Before Determining Attribution

From the events above you certainly understand why attribution is important. Without proper attribution implementation, your digital marketing strategy will not be effective because the data you receive is inaccurate.

But keep in mind also that you can’t just set attributions just like that. There are 2 main considerations that you need to think about before starting to use attribution in your marketing strategy:

Types of Attribution to Use

Generally there are 6 types of attribution provided by tools digital marketingYou can learn about the six types in our article that discusses 6 types of digital marketing attribution.

You should choose the one that best fits user journey . Most analytics applications (including Google Analytics) apply the last touch to their reports. This means the analytics app will give 100% conversion credit to the most recent digital channel.

attribution system last click. And indeed this attribution system is not suitable to be implemented in a business that has funnel a deep enoughBut that doesn’t mean this attribution is useless, because again it all depends on user journey .

Window Period of Attribution

Attribution has a certain time span, where if that time span has passed then no points will be awarded. Usually, analytics applications use a time span of 7 days of clicks and 1 day of views, which means that points are only awarded if a potential customer converts within 7 days after clicking on the ad or 1 day after seeing the ad.

The attribution period also needs to be adjusted to user journey . The longer the journey, the longer the time span. But if the time you set is too long, then your data also has the potential to be less accurate because there will be too many channels that get points.

Without Attribution, Your Analysis Could Be Misdirected!

Attribution helps you understand how the digital marketing channels you use are performing. Especially if you use more than one channel, and the channels have the potential to overlap, then attribution is absolutely necessary.

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