Google Analytics Update: Wow.

Posted: November 30th, 2011   |   Category: Blog | Case Studies | Industry News | Tools

analytics iconMassive Improvement to Google Analytics

I’m not a Google Analytics expert, although I am working through some of their Certification materials.

That said, the Google Analytics team recently announced a huge pile of updates that make even someone like me feel more comfortable with this imposing tool.

Here’s a quick review of all of them.  Details can be found here.

Real-Time Reporting

In the age of instant, many people have asked why they would be limited from seeing activity on their site in real-time and Analytics finally responds to the question of what’s happening on my site right now?

Google Analytics Real-Time Reporting

With real-time reporting, site users and managers will be able to see them impact of decisions as they’re made and respond to these changes appropriately.

The impact of this change?  Many hosts and other companies offer up basic reporting latforms as part of their package.  With real-time reporting (and other new features), I can see many of these companies dropping the antiquated reporting tools and offering to set up Analytics free of charge as part of their packages.

We’re also worried that a new generation of analytics junkies will materialize, constantly refreshing their analytics page looking for new updates.  I might be wrong, but that’s not what this is for.

Better Events Tracking

Events tracking is (unfortunately) where I break down and confess that I need someone to back me up with proper setup of event or goal tracking, but I’m hopeful that making the core tools more approachable will remove many of the headaches and brainfreezes that I experience when asked to set up Goal Tracking.

And for those who want a great tutorial on Goal / Event Setup, focusing on the new features, visit this review by Kayden.

The impact of this change?  I’ve already confessed to hitting the wall when it comes to setting this stuff up, but I’m probably just being a little hard on myself.  That said, the real impact of this change is that once you’ve got goal tracking properly set up, you’ll be able to see more information than you ever have before, especially data related to

A Growing List of Apps for Analytics

The list of service providers that have developed custom apps for Analytics users is increasing every day and a full inventory of those companies can be found at the Analytics Apps page.

The impact of this change?  It’s very likely that the entire Analytics field will become more ‘nimble’, if I can use that word, when it comes to leveraging Analytics, dumping data into even more useful interactive tools and platforms and making it easier to understand exactly what it this data is trying to tell us about our campaigns, our sites, our revenue streams.

Exceptional Funnel Visualization Improvements

I’m saving the best for last.

The funnel setup and interpretation has always been a stumbling block for me when working with clients as I try to tell them why 100% of entry page traffic resulted in 100% of mid-stream activity and then 100% of exit page activity.  It’s always been a little tricky at best to work through this and force it to make sense.

Now we have this:

google analytics updates visitors flow

Those of you who looked at the ‘goal funnel’ or tracking page can erase that from your memory and start to appreciate real insight that you’ll get with these new tools.  Here’s another example:

google-analytics-visitors-flow-connections

For some, it might look like the rail connections at Waterloo Station in London, but we now get a chance to see how people are getting to the site and what parts of the site they’re visiting when they arrive.

The general impact of all of these changes is that Google Analytics may make ‘geeking out’ a little more appealing to non-geeks.  In other words, steps like these make it more valuable to most users.

Bill Wittur
Bottree Digital Services

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