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Dec 1, 2011

Why You Need Google Analytics v5

In March 2011, Google announced a new version of its popular Google Analytics service, the biggest update to GA since October 2009. For site owners, Google Analytics version 5 offers new features and insights that are truly actionable on a practical level, allowing organisations to make significant improvements to their website and how the business performs on the web.

Google is also hoping that this version will allow their staff to take customer feedback and make fast, effective improvements to Google Analytics for the benefit of the basic to the most advanced users.

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Image from Google Analytics Introducing Flow Visualization: visualizing visitor flow blog post

Google Analytics v5 Features

The redesigned interface is faster, more streamlined, and makes the most useful features easier to find and prominent. Other handy features include:

  • The Multi-channel funnel shows all interactions a user had on the website in the 30 days before a conversion, such as clicks from an organic search, mobile ads, or a direct link. The data can get quite granular, including the top conversion paths and the assisted conversions report (this shows which specific channels, keywords or campaigns contributed to the conversion funnel).
  • Real-time data. No longer will you have to face a 24-hour delay in data. The new GA shows the data within seconds of site activity taking place.
  • Keyword clouds can be created based on more than keywords related to site visits - create a keyword cloud for metrics like bounce rates or time spent on a site
  • Visitor flow visualisation creates an interactive and straightforward representation of how visitors "flow" into, through and out of your website
  • Average load time: Improve user experience by seeing how quickly your pages are loading - a long load time can cause users to click away from your site
  • Track "events": Businesses can now easily track specific user activities that are of importance of your organisation, like how many users downloaded a PDF or shared the site on a social media site
  • Goal Flow: After defining a goal for your website, such as a goal related to browser traffic, the new goal flow visualisation displays how visitors travel through the steps towards this goal and where they fail to meet your goal expectations, such as when they leave the website during a certain step
  • A Mobile section includes hardware used to visit the site and mobile input selector, allowing you to optimise a site based on the mobile devices most often used by site visitors
  • An email scheduler and PDF export for analytics reports
  • Bookmark any page in analytics for collaboration and sharing
  • Anomaly alerts are automatically sent if a significant variation occurs (based on historical data of your site's performance). Custom alerts can also be set up so site owners can receive an email or text message for certain situations, such as when traffic decreases by more than 20% for site visitors from Sydney

These are just some of the examples of the features of Google Analytics version 5 - keep an eye out for the latest release on your own account to really see all that GA can offer.

The Advantages of Google Analytics v5

Both existing and new features of Google Analytics provide benefits to your web strategy by allowing your business to continually optimise a website and improve the performance of the site and any other online platforms you may be utilising.

Marketing: The insight from the Multi-Channel Funnel will allow marketers to understand how their many marketing channels are interacting and enabling conversions (or which channels aren't pulling their weight) , and make any necessary shifts in their marketing mix.

eCommerce: Get further insights into where your customers are getting frustrated on your website (for a funny visual of this experience, check out this video!)

User experience: Related to the above point, these new features in GA allow you to see where users are having problems with your site, such as a slow loading page or a complicated check-out process. Other insights, like mobile reporting, will allow you see which tools - like browser or mobile device - are most frequently used by customers and let you optimise for this hardware.

While users have been allowed to switch between the 2 interfaces, Google has recently said that the old version will be shut off in January 2012, so have a play around with the free tool to better understand all it has to offer- and if you need help understanding all this data and how it can improve your business performance, contact us at bwired today on 1300 780 566 or email info@bwired.com.au

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