New Google Analytics Version – Using Analytics for your Website

GoogleGoogle Analytics recently released their new version of Google Analytics with the aim ‘to make it easier and faster to get to the data you want and to enhance the Google Analytics platform to bring you major new functionality’. This is the biggest change to Analytics in over a year and brings in some great new features. Here is our rundown of some of the new changes.

Google Analytics Intelligence – Tracking changes to your site’s statistics

The biggest change is where things are found – depth and time of visits are now found under ‘engagement’, for example. But the biggest change is the division of your Analytics data between ‘Reports’ and ‘Intelligence’ in the toolbar:

analytics toolbar
The Reports section provides all the Analytics data you’re used to getting, albeit in a slightly revamped and rearranged format. The Intelligence section is a great new tool that, in Google’s words, ‘monitors your website’s traffic to detect significant statistical variations and then automatically generates alerts when those variations occur.’

This means that you can quickly and easily check for any important changes in your site’s Analytics data. Google Intelligence lists all the changes in one place and even ranks them by importance:

Google Analytics Intelligence

This makes it far easier to keep tabs on how your site is performing, without having to trawl through countless pages to get the information manually. And if you click on the ‘details’ link, a graph providing further information pops up, making tracking major changes very easy.

In addition to these automatic alerts, you can also set up manual alerts to warn you when specific statistics fall or rise past certain levels. So, for example, if your business relies on having at least 5 conversions per day to cover basic expenses, you could set an alert to warn you when conversions fall below 7 per day. This can act as a really effective early-warning system for when things go awry (as they tend to do from time to time) and is well worth setting up with parameters relevant to your business.

Google Analytics Engagement – Tracking how users interact with your site

The other change we really like is the placement of Depth of Visit and Length of Visit statistics in a new section called ‘Engagement’. This takes a little bit of finding in its new home under ‘Visitors’ and ‘Behaviour’ – it’s worth exploring the new interface to find where all the features are. The creation of an ‘Engagement’ section highlights the importance of these statistics in monitoring the effectiveness of your website.

Google Analytics Engagement

As well as highlighting the importance of these figures, the new interface makes it easier to flick between the two and make quick comparisons. The graphic helps you easily identify patterns and correlations.

Getting the most from Google Analytics – Summary

The new Google Analytics interface might not be entirely revolutionary, but it is significant and it will take some to get used to. It is worth taking some time to explore and find out where all the features are now located, and experimenting with new features such as Google Analytics Intelligence. Of course, this isn’t to say that more changes aren’t still needed, and, amongst others, we’d quite like to see Webmaster tools incorporated into Analytics for a more cohesive approach to online marketing and website management. But for now, the new Google Analytics interface works well and is a step in the right direction.

What do you think of the new interface? And how do you rank the Intelligence alerts?

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Ann Stanley

Ann Stanley is Managing Director of Anicca Solutions Limited

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