Universal Analytics claims to have more features with better insights. Ultimately, Google has introduced a set of features that change the way data is collected and organized in your Google Analytics account, so you can get a better understanding of how users interact with your online content. Read on to see what’s new with this new analytics tool.
Connect multiple devices, sessions, and engagement data with the User ID.
The User ID is a Universal Analytics feature that you can use to associate multiple sessions (and any activity within those sessions) with a unique ID. When you send an unique ID and any related engagement data to Google Analytics, all activity is attributed to one user in your reports. With the User ID, you can get a more accurate user count, analyze the signed-in user experience, and get access to the new Cross Device reports. Learn more about the Universal Analytics User ID here.
Use simplified and more accessible configuration options.
Universal Analytics gives you more configuration options that you can control from your account Admin page:
- Organic search sources
- Session and campaign timeout handling
- Referral exclusions
- Search term exclusions
Manage Session and Timeout Settings
A session starts when a visitor comes to your site. By default, sessions expire after thirty minutes of inactivity. With GA Universal Analytics, you can now set session expirations to match your specific site settings. Using this setting can help prevent under-counting of visitors who time out on your site and log back in to create a new session. Sites that have heavy engagement can increase the session timeout setting to compensate for longer than average time on pages.
Implement Referral Exclusions
There are many valid reasons you may want to exclude traffic from certain domains from being counted as visits. Many businesses do not want to count traffic from within their company in their analytics.
Create Custom Metrics and Dimensions
Metrics measure your data. They answer the question “how much”. Dimensions are used to describe your data. They answer “what you measuring”. For example, a visit is a metric and a city is a dimension. One very powerful feature of GA Universal Analytics is the ability to add custom metrics and dimensions to the ones that exist by default. E-commerce sites can define product views as a metric and product category as a dimension to track how many times a product was looked at in a specific category. In other words, these custom metrics and dimensions can be used to collect data that Google Analytics doesn’t automatically track. Learn more about custom dimensions and metrics.
Synch Online and Offline Data
Another exciting feature of GA Universal Analytics is the ability to pull in data from disparate sources. You can import CRM data (as long as it is not personally identifiable), POS data, survey data, or virtually any other data source that you want to correlate to your online activity.
How to Get Universal Analytics
Search Discovery’s team has created a complete guide on how to switch to Universal Analytics. It covers moving the Classic GA base code (ga.js) to GA Universal Analytics (analytics.js), and many other factors that businesses need to consider. You may also visit Google’s Upgrade Center on converting from Classic GA to GA Universal Analytics.
Upgrading to GA Universal Analytics gives you access to a new wealth of information from which your business can make informed, data driven decisions. Moving to GA Universal Analytics is not a question of if – but more of when – as eventually all GA accounts will be required to be Universal Analytics.
Stay tuned for our blog on comparable WordPress Analytics tools!! Until them, read more about Google’s Universal Analytics here.
Image courtesy of Dialog Tech.