I assume most of you have encountered Google Analytics, or GA, at some point as more than half of the top 10,000 most popular websites utilize the free service to gain valuable insights into their website traffic and to help determine the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Last April, Google launched a beta version of new Google Analytics, with an array of upgraded features including multiple dashboards, interaction goals, comparative metrics, and more.
Since then, they’ve made several new updates, increased functionality, and provided additional features. If you didn’t get a chance to try it out in beta, it’s time to dive right in. No worries though, here’s the quick and dirty on some of the latest and greatest features to guide you through.
- Real-Time – Launched last September, real-time analytics help you see what’s happening with your site right when it’s occurring and what challenges and opportunities you have. The original Google Analytics did a great job of showing past trends so this is, in my opinion, is one of the best new features!
- Multi-Channel Marketing – GA shows EVERY interaction that the user had with your site 30 days prior to conversion, or purchase. For example, if the user first visits your site from a Twitter feed, then finds you through an organic search, and might come across you again from a banner ad, the final source or channel usually is attributed to the conversion. This new features allows you to see all channels a user followed and optimize your strategy accordingly.
- Custom Dashboards – The first thing you see when you log on has gotten a face lift. You can customize your view based on 4 widgets – metric, pie chart, timeline, and table – and create up to 20 dashboards per profile.
- Social Plug-In Analytics – See how users interact with social media sites like Google+, Twitter, Facebook, etc. You can also easily incorporate “AddThis” and “ShareThis” features.
- Report Email Scheduling – Analytics will email any of your reports to you, or to any email address you specify, on demand or on a set schedule, in 4 different formats, xml, csv, tsv, and now pdf.
- Mobile Enhancements– Mobile Apps features now include the EasyTracking Library for both iOS and Android that allows tracking for your app down to the activity level, automatic session management, and better integration with Google Analytics software development kit or SDK.
- Flow and Goal Visualization – allows you to analyze site insights graphically, and instantly understand how visitors flow across pages on your site, as well as how they get to the end goal.
- Compare Data Ranges – An update from the old GA that allows you to compare two different periods and range of time, then chart it right away.
- Referring Sites – With new Google Analytics you can see your site traffic, as well as the goal conversion on the sites that are referring users to you. This gives you details on both the number of visitors generated from a partner or ad and also the quality of those visitors.
- AdWords Integration – GA provides data on each campaign, group, and keyword, so you can analyze display ads, clicks, cost, conversion, and whether or not they resulted in an e-commerce transaction or another defined goal.
These are just 10 of the many exciting new features that Google has rolled out with the new analytics to help you refine your marketing strategies and increase your conversions. Still overwhelmed? There’s a lot to digest! Check out Google’s support pages for more detailed information.
How has Google Analytics helped your marketing initiatives? What are your favorite new features?