Google just released their new and improved version of Google Analytics. Despite the fact that many marketers are too paranoid to fully hand over all of our information to the King of search, some of these features are really valuable and you should at least experiment with them if you want to make more money with your online ventures.
Outwardly, the interface has been redesigned including a really useful ability to use multiple customizable dashboards, better custom report options, event goals (sweet), and more. To access the new version, just click the link that says “New Version” at the top of your account when you log in. For now, you’ll be able to switch back and forth between the new version and the old which is a plus.
Google Analytics – New Features
Multiple dashboards – The multiple dashboards feature allows site owners to develop a different dashboard for different users which may come in handy if you’ve got different people that need access to different things, or if you want to set-up multiple customizable dashboards for yourself to keep track of different sets of data. You can create 20 custom dashboards and each dashboard can contain up to 12 widgets. This feature is aimed at large organizations, but like anything else it can be used by individual webmasters in clever and creative ways – more on that later.
Event based goal tracking – Another awesome new feature, if you really allow yourself to think of all of the valuable uses for it, is the addition of event-based goal tracking. For instance, you can set it to track each time a report is downloaded (and even track each report, ebook, etc, separately) or how long a visitor watches a video on your site. Engagement has already sort-of been a feature of Google Analytics, but this takes it to a whole new level.
New and improved reports – The reports may be the most valuable of all though. If you’re willing to hand over the keys to your business, Google Analytics will now offer an unprecedented look into the conversion funnel of your sites. Google refers to this as “conversion attribution”, and it will be the most valuable feature if used properly.
Many smaller marketers use Statcounter, Tracking 202, or other similar 3rd party tracking platforms and they are good and can serve a purpose, but can’t offer the integration with search campaigns or organic traffic that Google Analytics now provides. The new reports feature seem particularly useful for small business owners, and may help bring them back on board with AdWords.
In theory this is a smart move in that direction, but in practice – most small business owners are clueless when it comes to Internet Marketing, so this won’t help. It will however, help agencies working with those small business owners by providing a deeper level of revenue vs. expense reporting which should be easy to print out and show clients. For Google, the end result is the same and that’s all that matters for them.
Multi-Channel Funnels and Assisted Conversions
This is in limited release so it may or may not make it into everyone’s account so we won’t go too much in depth with it. Basically, it allows you to see how many conversions resulted from multiple sources, ie – a visitor comes through a PPC click but doesn’t convert initially. Then a few days later he does a search and finds your site organically, or comes back direct and converts. This feature will allow you to see and track all of that in order to better value that traffic.
In the end, if you already use Google Analytics to track conversions, you will love the new features. If you don’t – these new features should make you at least give it a look. Test it out for a couple of weeks and you may be convinced to hand over all the tracking duties to The Big G.