On March 17th 2011 Google announced that they were ready to go into the future with us with a new version of the Analytics we’ve come to know and love, promising that it was going to make it “easier and faster” to get the data you want, as a result of the continuous feedback from users –no doubt from the Google Help forums and comments on the blog.
They started with a sing-up-only, beta, version for a small group and then slowly started to roll the rest of us in. As of May 4th the NEW Beta version of Google Analytics has been available for all.
Since they’ve had a few updates, I thought I’d share my thoughts and leave you to decide if they’ve delivered.
Google Analytics New Features:
- Site Speed Report: One of the most crucial aspects of whether a website will make it or not is how fast the pages load. People HATE TO WAIT! I know I do anyway, so it’s great to see that Google’s made it easier for us with:
- Content: Which landing pages are slowest?
- Traffic sources: Which campaigns correspond to faster page loads overall?
- Visitor: How does page load time vary across geographies?
- Technology: Does your site load faster or slower for different browsers?
The cool bit? Since traffic comes from different areas and people use various browsers Google’s been kind enough to show us exactly where in the world people are experiencing the worst page loads and browsers.
2. Dashboards: This is generally the first thing you see when you log on to the Analytics platform and the good news is that it’s been revamped and is now fully customizable. It works with widgets to choose how you want to visualize things better AND you can see multiple dashboards at the same time. That last bit is a winner in my book.
- Metric: Shows the value of a metric and a spike line of that metric over the selected time period
- Pie Chart:Best suited for displaying breakdowns of a metric by a certain dimension. e.g., Visits by Browser Type.
- Timeline: A graph of any metric over time. You can also compare two metrics in the same graph.
- Table: Think of this as a mini-custom report. You can show one dimension with two metrics and up to 10 rows of data in a table.
Check It Out Here!
3. Custom Reports: These have been up there since 2008, but now they have their own tab and have more control over what actually goes into the report with SUPER EASY filters and “dimensions” or commands if you will being able to “include” something (that you may filter) or some other “exact” information. You can now look at dimensions side by side with what they’ve called the “Flat Table” and of course –share it.
If that was a bit confusing, check out the full Custom Report Breakdown Here
4. Overview Reports: These have not been made extra impressive in my honest opinion; I think it’s cool that they’ve added buttons to better control how your graphics display –because not everyone understands visuals the same way. And granted it IS way more user friendly than it used to be with a simple drop-down menu. The MONEY is in the Intelligence Report.
It automatically searches your site’s traffic to “look for anomalies” raising an alert when it does! And that’s not necessarily for red flags you can find also what’s working when you see traffic upsurges to keep doing what works!
The more you know about how your business reacting to its environment, the more informed your decisions are –therefore the better they are and the more efficient you get at it. You can never over fine-tune a business, there will always be areas that can be improved and you can do that with these amazing tools that Google’s laid out in a very user-friendly interface.
Personally, I think Google HAS delivered, so YES it is better – and that there’s definitely more to come!
I urge you to start using more of these features ‘cause they will ultimately help your testing, usability and accessibility efforts. And you know all of that translates into better performance, more sales and more money.
To Your Success,