Universal Analytics is a major upgrade to Google Analytics. It introduces a series of features that change the way data is collected and organised in your account enabling you to get a better understanding of how visitors interact with your site. Learn more.
The most important benefit of Universal Analytics is that it is user-centric. This means that Google now takes into account that we live in a world where we are permanently connected to the internet. We connect via work PCs, laptops and mobile phones and lately even our refrigerators are connecting to the internet.
Whilst the rise in online will be welcomed by many businesses it also poses a challenge – how do you keep track of your customers online?
An improvement to the search queries report within Google Webmaster has just been rolled out and announced on the Google Webmaster blog.
Rather than rounding up or bucketing search impressions and clicks data you'll now see far more accurate figures for both and data will be available for the last 90 days
With the rise of "not provided" search data within Analytics this enhancement will no doubt be very welcome by the SEO community and companies wishing to better understand their performance within organic search results. We'll revisit the impact this has upon measuring SEO in a later blog post.
A recent update to Google Analytics added the ability to track the age, gender and interests of visitors to your site.
The data uses the same categories and demographics used to target ads by the Google Display Network. We'll be discussing some of the uses of this data and its limitations in a later blog post.
If you're running a larger website you'll often want to know how certain content is performing in relation to other sections of your site.
For example if you operate an online news website you may want to see how local stories perform compared to the business or technology section of your site.
Similarly for an online bookseller you might want to know what categories of books attract the most traffic and which have the highest conversion rate.
Historically this has been possible using either analytics profiles or advanced segments. A new feature from Google Analytics however now considerably improves upon this - introducing "Content Grouping".
Content Grouping allows you to categorise your content into logical groups within your content reports.
How many people visiting your site make a purchase or perform some other form of conversion during their first visit?
The chances are not that many and if you look at the conversion rate for new visits in your Analytics account you’ll generally find that few visitors convert the first time.
According to several studies as many as 99% of first time visitors to e-commerce sites don’t convert on their first visit. However a significantly higher percentage of visitors have some degree of intent to purchase.
How many times have you bought something because friends praised their new computer or the shop where they bought all the Christmas presents from?
Word of mouth works because as buyers we tend to trust people that don’t stand to gain anything personally when promoting a product. That is why we so often join or research forums and read impartial reviews about that new iPad we want to buy. We want to see what other people think and what their experience with a certain product or service was.
And what better way of finding out what other people think about a particular product than having access to customers connected through Google. Access to feedback from other consumers can help build trust and can nudge customers your way. This is the thinking behind Google Adwords Social Extensions.
At the Google Analytics 2013 Summit in October Google announced the launch of a migration tool that would enable clients to upgrade to Universal Analytics.
We’ve put together a list of some commonly asked questions about Universal Analytics and the migration process.
What is Universal Analytics?
Universal Analytics is a major upgrade to Google Analytics. It introduces a series of features that change the way data is collected and organised in your account enabling you to get a better understanding of how visitors interact with your site.
Google has made a number of modifications to access levels within Google Analytics. Previously users were defined as administrators or users - now everyone is recognised as a user but is offered four levels of access.
It's now also possible to assign user access at:
- Account level
- Web property level
- Profile level
A major change to how Google passes organic search keyword data to Analytics is currently underway.
Previously people logged into Google performed searches over a secure connection. This meant that keyword data was not provided to Google Analytics and appeared as such within organic search reports.
Many Google Analytics users will have noticed some major changes to the organisation of their reports and functionality available within their accounts over the last week or so. These changes are part of a major upgrade to Analytics due to be fully rolled out over the coming weeks.
At the Google Analytics Summit in early October Google announced 14 significant upgrades to their analytics tool. Of particular interest are the ability to capture additional demographic data (e.g. age, gender and interests) and enhancements to the Adwords remarketing program (enabling you for example to target people that achieved a goal on your site or dropped out of a conversion funnel).
Additional improvements include a tool to assist with the upgrade to Universal Analytics, API tools and integration with mobile.
We'll be covering many of the important changes over the coming weeks as they are gradually rolled out.