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Google Analytics: Shiny and New Again

Posted 1 November 2013 2:30 PM by Mandy McFadden

Analysts rejoice! Google Analytics recently revamped several aspects of its metrics portal, and it’s cause for celebration. Last week, new menu items and several new reports were unveiled. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect the next time you log in: 


  • Acquisition (how you acquire users)
  • Behavior (how they behave on your site once acquired)
  • Conversion (how they convert)


Google’s version of the ABCs will further educate marketers about the importance of measuring digital efforts. The new reports under Acquisition and Behavior help analysts identify which users, sources, keywords and campaigns provided the most assisted and direct conversions on a site. The primary focus is now on outcomes-based reporting. And that’s a good thing. This new construct forces marketers to set goals for their brands and campaigns. Once Google Analytics is populated with these goals, marketers receive comprehensive results that form a solid picture of what is and isn’t working. In fact, the new reports and dashboard views serve up sets of data so tightly woven that it’s easier than ever to pinpoint specific wins and losses. In yet another metrics-rich move, Google Analytics replaced the Traffic Sources category with Acquisition. Designed to offer you a close look at how you’re gaining users, Acquisition features two brand new dashboards: Overview and Channels.

The Overview dash displays the standard differences in the behavior of traffic, segmented by source.  The Channel dash provides detailed information and compares all the channels that drive traffic to your site. You can control which channels appear in your reporting matrix and group accordingly. The groups are predefined but have the flexibility to add and/or remove statements to further categorize and segment.

No matter which standard report (new or preexisting) you’re exploring, you can now visualize your audience’s conversions. This is where goals come into play. If e-commerce is integral to your site, the end goal is to measure revenue by way of user, keyword, campaign, source, etc. If e-commerce is not part of your site, goals will be set to identify which actions are most important and which drive users closest to the point of purchase (i.e., store locator, download coupon, etc.). The ability to follow a user through the entire site experience has always existed in Google Analytics, if set up properly. With the new release, however, that user flow is front and center, which makes it even easier to track. Analysts now have more ways to analyze the data aside from setting up customer reports, dashboards, segments, etc. And that’s a big time-saving, data-generating, analyst-pleasing win worth celebrating. What’s your favorite new portal or feature of Google Analytics? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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