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Extending Your Google Analytics Functionality With the Application Gallery

craver-thom
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ganalyticsIf you use Google Analytics, you likely already know how powerful it can be. From advanced segments to multi-channel attribution, there are plenty of ways to segment your data to view goals and other conversion events.

But if you're like me, there are still those times where you say, "If only Google Analytics could do XYZ." For some people that might mean integration with a CRM or call tracking platform. For others, that might mean better reporting or business intelligence.

Like most modern software, Google Analytics has apps. The official Google Analytics App Gallery hosts extensions and third-party apps that integrate with Google Analytics. Originally part of the Google Analytics developer platform, the App Gallery has been around almost three years, although most people aren't aware it even exists.

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The Google Analytics Application Gallery is broken down into categories like Business Intelligence, Email Marketing, Phone Call Tracking, Social Media Analytics, and many more. To date, there are a total of 14 categories. There are applications that help you tag and track various links, WordPress plug-ins for tracking your blog in Google Analytics, and third-party tools to help you create more attractive dashboards.

Not all of the "apps" are – strictly speaking – add-ons applications to Google Analytics. Many are standalone services or plug-ins to other products that tie into your data through the Google Analytics API.

For example, GA Data Grabber is an automation tool add-on for Excel that pulls data from Google Analytics directly into your worksheets. It even grabs information from AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook.

The Phone Call Tracking category contains 25 services that provide you with unique phone numbers for visitors and tracks the phone call to that exact visitor for offline conversion tracking. Every Analytics presentation I give at SES Conferences, at least one person asks me how to track phone calls. While, it's not an easy task, the various services in the Google Analytics Application Gallery look to simplify the process for you.

Developers can even submit their apps to Google for consideration in the Analytics App Gallery. Each application must follow both the Google Analytics Terms of Service and an additional Google Analytics Developer Gallery Terms of Service.

Among other things, these terms include provisions so that developers do not store their users' personally identifiable information in Google Analytics and require developers to provide a Web page that explicitly states which Google Analytics data the application accesses, how those data are used, and who as access to the data. There are also requirements for applications to be "professional" and "polished."

Whether you measure your own blog, or a host of clients' sites, some of the automation features and additional dashboarding data reporting tools in the Google Analytics App Gallery are impressive and can help you perform some tasks faster than Google Analytics alone. Give one or two of them a try and leave some feedback in the comments below.


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