For many years businesses have relied upon the data from Google Analytics to help understand the activity on our websites. And, for many years, this was all very useful, but, honestly, it also had its limitations. The problem lies in the fact that all it offers was ‘visit centric’ data, which basically just means – every time someone returns to your site, it’s tracked as a new visit.
In walks Universal Analytics, the new, updated version of Google Analytics which aims to focus on visitors, rather than visits. Some have made the switch already, but if you are one of the many who haven’t yet, there are many reasons why making the switch is a good choice. Not just for the added functionality, but the tracking code is more flexible and easier to implement on a variety of levels.
Let’s step back a moment, and talk about what Universal Analytics is, and what it can do. It is as simple as saying that it is a new technology within your existing Google Analytics account which allows you to track user interaction from a ‘user centric’ approach as opposed to the current ‘per visit’ approach.
What this approach does is assign a unique client ID to every user that registers on a website, and from then on, whenever that user is signed in, their interaction will be recorded using their client ID rather than a new visit (I suppose it’s worth that Universal Analytics works the best when it is a requirement that users are signed into a website.)
Some of the most prominent advantages are:
- With Client IDs, Universal Analytics can track all of a user’s interactions – and yes, that means across multiple devices and multiple locations.
- There will be a new Measurement Protocol that will allow better flexibility in data capture and collection (and, get this, it can be done without cookies!)
- With the new and improved Custom Metrics, you can define dimensions such as hit, session time, and visitor level.
- Universal Analytics will allow admins to set and prioritize custom orders of URLs to attribute organic traffic, thereby refining organic data.
If you are interested in adding Universal Analytics to your current Google Analytics account, you can check out some helpful step by step guides provided by Google, and read more about all of its great features or give us a call and we can do it for you.
Universal Analytics is the next evolution and has a great deal to offer. At Ocreative we encourage everyone to take full advantage of this new set of powerful tools and we are here to help you, every step of the way.
Teresa Carlson is a Multimedia Designer/Developer at Ocreative. Most people are either left or right brained, but Teresa is both. And thank goodness, because as Multimedia Designer/Developer she has the exciting – and challenging – role of front-end development of client websites so they are eye-catching, but also deliver a satisfying user experience. Get to know Ocreative.