Google Signals is a new feature currently being rolled out to Google Analytics users, but what is it and how does it work?
What Is Google Signals?
Announced in July 2018, many marketers have long been anticipating the rollout of this new feature. To put it simply, Google Signals allows marketers new capabilities when it comes to cross-device reporting. What’s more, it enables cross-device retargeting campaigns as well.
A real-world example of Google Signals is a campaign where you want to show ads to people on their mobile phones. This feature will help you track them if they chose to use another device, like their laptop, to look up similar products later on.
It can also be used to retarget them across devices, which means while you may have initially showed an ad to them while they were using their mobile phone, Google Signals gives you the ability to show them another ad on their desktop computer if they don’t take action.
What Information Does It Gather?
For users who have Ads Personalization turned on, Google Signals will be able to collect additional information for:
- Ads reporting
- Demographics and interest reports
- Cross-device reports
Because cross-device functionalities are still in beta, you’ll see that information begin to appear in your dashboard as testing continues. There are also some limitations, of course, with the most obvious being that users with Ads Personalization turned off will not work with this feature.
Activating Google Signals
Not everyone has access to Google Signals just yet, but if the feature is available to you, follow these simple steps to activate it.
- Sign in to your Google Analytics dashboard.
- Go to Property column > Tracking info > Data Collection and look for the blue dialog. Follow the prompts.
- Read the information it displays about this feature and then click Continue.
- Specify the properties for which you want to activate this feature (or select All Properties).
- Click ACTIVATE to immediately active the feature.
The above steps will work for anyone, but there’s also an easy shortcut. In Analytics, you’ll likely see the dismissible message “Activate Google signals BETA” that will instantly take you through the same steps as above so you can active quickly.
Of course, if you have previously dismissed this message or you aren’t seeing it for some reason, the above instructions will work for you so long as Google Analytics has made this feature available for your account. If it’s not available to you yet, it’s only a matter of time as this continues rolling out to everyone.