Google Universal Analytics – What it really means to you and your business


Google Universal Analytics is the next generation of Google Analytics and since last month has been moved to public beta. I originally guestimated that it would be only available for Google Analytics Premium  users but Google has once again surprised me. They are still very much staying true to the Freemium model of business.

To know the customer is a key to any business. Tapping into this knowledge and information about customers and the journey they take on your online web presence is one of the most important metrics when it comes to measuring engagement and good old ROI.

Google Universal Analytics Its more about the behaviour than the sources

Universal Analytics moves away from tracking the source of a visit, and tracks the behaviour of visitors. It models user data together across platforms and devices, and can track activity on any web-enabled device. That includes websites, mobile apps and point-of-sale systems, which means that Universal Analytics can track offline conversions too. Connecting your CRM was the missing link between online and offline tracking specially with the old Google Analytics.

In addition to the standard Google Analytics features, Universal Analytics gives you:

  • New data collection methods: Universal Analytics introduces the analytics.js code snippet as the primary collection method for websites. This JavaScript is more flexible than previous the Google Analytics ga.js JavaScript, giving you more customization options of your data.
  • Simplified feature configuration: Universal Analytics exposes options in the Analytics admin interface that were previously only accessible through the development environment. With Universal Analytics, it’s easier to customize configuration settings, like your campaign timeout handling and search term exclusions.
  • Custom dimensions & custom metrics: Custom dimensions and custom metrics are like default dimensions and metrics, except you create them yourself. Use them to collect data that Google Analytics doesn’t automatically track.
  • Multi-platform tracking: With the Measurement Protocol, and additional collection methods introduced by Universal Analytics, you can collect and send incoming data from any digital device to your Analytics account, so you can track more than just websites.

Google Universal Analytics gets serious about APP Analytics data

A game changer (pardon the pun) for the app world is that now Google Universal Analytics better caters for the needs of developers. Being able to track installations, geographic information, custom tracking of plays and in app purchases has removed the need of other platforms.

This is something that has remained untouched for many years in the app world until now with the release of Google Universal Analytics.

Offline Conversion from your CRM to Google Universal Analytics

Cookies are gone for tracking; they are unreliable sometimes over cooked and generally a pain in the A** especially in Europe with the new laws in place that has to warn all visitors that cookies may be used on sites.

So to replace cookies Google is now using actual ids per visitor. These are called User IDs and can be tracked for a very long time.

Just imagine handing out loyalty cards or any other form of discount card to your customers in store then these can be tracked at great detail if and when they get used online by your CRM and Ecommerce site all through Google Universal Analytics.

I want Google Universal Analytics NOW!

If you’ll want to implement the new Google Universal Analytics, you’ll need to login to your analytics account and create a new web property. You’ll want to select Universal Analytics beta to be given the new analytics JavaScript.

For all our app developers out there you will be given a SDK you can work with quiet easily to integrate.

Better understanding on user behaviour will always provide a business with greater yield. You can make better decisions with the correct data and Google Universal Analytics is the way forward.

Yes it’s still in beta and not everything is supported but like most good things Google released expected quick and accurate development.

You can download an advanced cheat sheet for Google Universal Analytics from SwellPath by clicking here.

For all the wordpress users a plugin for Google Universal Analytics can be found by clicking here.

Your say…

How do you think Google Universal Analytics will change the way you look at your analytics either being a small business to a large corporate?