Some of you may know that Universal Analytics, a new and improved version of Google Analytics, rolled out early last year. Google promised that this upgrade would help website owners take control of their analytics and get the most out of their data.
While these updates may not seem earth shattering if you’re not already using analytics, the insights they can give into your business are worth paying attention to.
What Are Analytics and Why Should You Use Them?
Website analytics can give you insightful information into your customers and your business. This data comes from tracking codes inserted into pages on your website.
These codes collect information from users like the amount of traffic you’re getting over a period of time, where the traffic is coming from, which devices are used most often to view your site, and more. Armed with this data you can make informed choices about your website and understand what changes need to be made to improve your online business.
Because Google Analytics is a free tool, the benefits of using it and collecting analytics obviously outweighs the cost.
Benefits to Upgrading to Universal Analytics
Google’s intent with rolling out Universal Analytics was to give users access to more comprehensive data about their site, and also give them more control over the type of data they see. Here are a few ways they’re doing just that.
This is a new feature that assigns users a unique id and tracks that id across multiple sessions and devices, giving you a more complete picture of the entire user journey and experience. This gives you a more accurate user count and a clearer picture of how users are engaging with your site.
Flexible Tracking Codes
Your website isn’t the only part of your business that can benefit from data gathering. Now, with Universal Analytics, Google is making it easier to gain insights into other areas as well. With flexible tracking codes, you can install different codes for your website, mobile app, and other devices like game consoles.
Universal Analytics makes it easier to exclude certain domains from showing up as a referral in your data. For example, if you don’t want your own site showing up as a referrer, which can confuse your data, you can implement referral exclusions to omit your domain. This is also useful if you’re using a third party shopping cart and don’t want that page to show up as a referrer after customers return to your site.
Enhanced eCommerce Data
Enabling enhanced eCommerce functionality will give you more details about how users interact with your products, how their adding and removing items from their shopping cart, how they’re viewing products, and more. You’ll also have access to reports on your products’ conversion rates, the average transaction size, and more.
These are just a few highlights of Universal Analytics. If you’re not using Google Analytics, now would be a good time to start collecting data about your business by installing a Universal Analytics tracking code. If you are a current user, you should know that this change is currently in effect and support for regular analytics will slowly be turned off.