Everytime Google makes an update to its platform we can read horror story and dissatisfaction across the web. As many of us probably already encountered the many modifications/new features that Google Analytic made to its platform, I will take the time to review these modifications.
Again, many of us don’t like too much when Google moves things around but I have to say that this update did worth the time spent to learn to use the new material. Some of the features are literally out of this world and will make your life way easier!
In this article, I will cover the new features or modifications that I found to be the most effective for me when working on clients account or fooling around on my own projects. I will also provide my own insight on how to use some of the new features and what it can achieves for you and your organisation. Without further induce, lets begin!
The new GA Reporting Interface
The first thing everyone probably noticed is the new way GA now presents the data. But before jumping ahead, pay close attention and you’ll also notice that Traffic Sources and Content tabs have changed to Acquisition ad Behavior. This small modification is important for anyone studying to get his or her GAIQ certification since the presentation material still used the old interface! Keep that in mind when passing your exam!
Now, under the Overview report, you will realize that the whole way of presenting the information changed. The new interface lets you, at a glance, realize which channel is more effective in bringing more visits to your site. This top of the funnel view tells you right away, which from the organic searches, direct, referral, social, e-mail or other performed best. While not being a major addition, it stills is a step further on the path of effective reporting.
The new Segmenting Tool
Segmenting is a crucial activity when analyzing your GA reports. The new layout offers you a series of predesign segmenting option to choose from. I was very surprise with the quantity of pre-set option offered. While being simpler for beginners, the new segmenting tool still offers advanced segmenting option such has the ability to generate your own segment and even create segment template. Again, it is still possible to upload predefined sets of segment from the Google Analytic Gallery.
This is my favourite new feature from the last update! Remember the time when we had to manually code every action we wanted to be tagged? This wasn’t only time consuming but was a real entry barrier for newer GA users. I remember dealing with situation where I did not have access to the backend of a site but had to implement a specific code for a given event. Whoa, was it not only ever long but most of the time the developers where not too sure on where to put the code, wasting great amounts of time on the projects. Now this new tool enabled you to easily manage every tracking code you would want to be on your site.
All you have to do is to insert a script at the beginning of the body of all your pages. This is where all the magic starts!
The Tag Manager automatically generates the tracking code for you according to the type of event you want to track. You simply have to select from the various drop down the options that you want, choose the pages where you want the code to be and it is up and running without any other efforts.
Remember, if you decided to quit tracking a particular event or made change that required the tracking code also to be modified, well you had to dig the code, find where it was and change it everywhere. Now this tool tells where every tracking are and what they track. You want to change it? Simply edit the tracking code from the tool and all the required changes are made! You want to delete it? No problem! Simply delete the event in the Tag Manager and all the tracking codes will be removed automatically for you. Simple as that!
I could go on and on but this tool is what I consider to be a game changer! No excuses now not to track the important event that are occurring on your site!
Again, in an optic of development, I really appreciate the fact that GA imbedded those small introductory video. I believe those new users will greatly beneficiate from those quick and effective tutorials.
This new feature is very interesting and is of great help to help you target more precisely your personas. With this new tool, you can have access to data that weren’t available before such has the age of your visitors, gender and other interests.
You can now pin-point your top users. With these information, you will be in better position to improve your web marketing efforts and optimize your site with A/B testing.
Google Analytic is a great tool that helps many people achieving the best over the web. While we might not always be happy with the change they make to their platform (not provided wink wink), those new feature are definitely worth trying them and worth your time to learn them. I would like to capitalize on the importance of the Tag Manager. This is such a great tool and you MUST give it a try.
If there is any other new features/modifications I did not address in this blog post and believe they are worth mentioning, leave a comment below so we can talk about it!
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