[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Tracking & measurement of online advertising initiative is imperative in particularly gaining a deeper understanding of visitor behavior. The ability to assess specific activity of users taking place on a website provides marketers and brands equally with ability to understand user mentality, assess behavioral trends, and focus deeper on conversion tracking. Google Analytics does an excellent job at portraying clear visuals of user behavior paired with informative metrics data that dive deeper into specific segments of user intelligence. If you’re a regular user of Google Analytics then you’ve probably heard about its recent introduction of Universal Analytics.

Google’s UA are far more versatile providing the ability to drill in even deeper into user behavior for in-depth data mining. The enhanced control enables marketers particularly with cross-platform tracking features amongst other things. With the drastic increase on mobile usage particularly it’s imperative to tap into that audience and gain a better understanding of independent user behavior.

Switching to Google Universal Analytics

Some of the early adopters may have already jumped on the bandwagon and decided to make the leap. However, like with anything else new in market it’s imperative to evaluate all possibilities first before making the jump. While Google UA is a step forward in user intelligence it may create unnecessary repercussions for certain sites if failed to implement correctly. In other words, while Google UA offers intuitive new features as part of its new roll-out, it may not necessarily be one that’s right for your business model. Therefore it’s imperative to evaluate thoroughly all options upfront before making the leap. Below is a quick breakdown of certain benefits to evaluate upfront prior to engaging in the upgrade journey.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_accordion title=”Benefits of Google Universal Analytics” collapsible=”yes”][vc_accordion_tab title=”3 New Tracking Codes”][vc_column_text css_animation=”left-to-right”]One of the most explosive add-on features that GA has added as part of its new UA line-up includes addition of 3 new tracking codes. These are designed to enhance tracking capabilities of websites, mobile apps, and other digital devices such as gaming consoles and kiosks.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Simplified Cross Domain Tracking”][vc_column_text css_animation=”left-to-right”]Instead of complex configuration of cross-domains in its predecessor version, GA now offers an Auto Link option providing seamless integration of multiple domains.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Adjustable Analytics Settings”][vc_column_text css_animation=”left-to-right”]The inclusion of adjustable Google Analytics settings provides users with ability to compartmentalize data in a way that is fitting for their specific needs. Formerly, such segmentation offered limited capabilities thru the actual analytics code instead of the interface itself.

New interface data segmentation includes the following features:

  • Add, delete, or reorder the default list of search engines and gain control over how traffic sources in data attribution.
  • Adjustable campaign sessions and manipulation of default limits. Be default, individual user sessions are capped at 30 minutes and campaigns at 6 months. These settings can now be customized further to adhere to designated specifications.
  • Exclusion from specific referral sources – certain domains can now be excluded from showing traffic data within reports section. This can come in quite handy when seeking to distill information for cleaner data reporting.
  • Exclusion of certain search terms – certain terms of choice can be extracted from organic traffic reporting if deemed unnecessary for data reporting.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Custom Dimensions & Metrics”][vc_column_text]Creation of custom dimensions and metrics has been enhanced significantly giving opportunity for more control over the specific information a user can track.

  • Users now have the ability to create their own custom dimensions, such as a dimension for visitors that are logged in or logged out of a site therefore creating clear separation in independent activity.
  • You can now create your own metrics particularly to distinguish certain values a visitor has garnered such as awards, points, scores, etc. May be considered particularly handy in gaming kiosks and such.

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Universal Analytics – To Switch or Not to Switch?

Even though Google Analytics has undergone a significant uplift, it’s important to establish a clear determination of whether or not it’s necessary to make the transition. Of course, eventually all will be forced to upgrade accordingly like with any other upgraded version of a Google product but for the time being, it’s important to evaluate options for the switch. Consider the following options prior to an upgrade for better clarity in understanding the functionality of new Universal Analytics.

Option #1 – Switch to Google Universal Analytics Now

Make the leap! The upgrade starts under the Admin section of your GA account where you can initiate the upgrade. Process will take approximately 24-48 hours for completion. At that point in time you will be forced to upgrade the UA tracking code in reflection of new standards.

Option #2 – Prevent Google from Switching

Certain major advertising platforms such as DoubleClick and Remarketing remain unsupportive of the new UA upgrade therefore could cause a potential clash in data collection. If engaged in advertising on these platforms, await patiently until Google rolls out an update in compliance with these networks.

Option #3 – Run Universal Analytics & Classic Mode Simultaneously

Google strongly recommends running the new Universal Analytics and Classic mode in separate properties. Particularly in case things go haywire during the upgrade process providing inability to collect data properly. However, be informed that both views can not be merged.

Option #4 – Let Google Make the Switch

As mentioned above, like any other Google product at some point in time all users will be forced to an upgrade. Some prefer to await the transition rather than to upgrade early. It comes down to a preference choice in my opinion.

Option #5 – Switch After a Site Redesign

If you’re in a midst of a site redesign than it may be smart to await completion that particular phase prior to an upgrade. Transitioning into the new GA Universal Analytics can be an overwhelming task in itself and if executed poorly can lead into further complications. If unsure, await completion of a site redesign/rebuild and then switch accordingly to start off on a fresh slate.

What are your thoughts on the new Universal Analytics? Have you made the leap? Share your thoughts and comments below.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]