Google Universal Analytics is officially out of beta
Google just announced this morning on its Analytics BlogSpot that Universal Analytics is now out of the beta phase. For people unfamiliar with the topic, Universal Analytics is Google’s new update to Google Analytics, its purpose is to addresses one of today’s biggest challenges in digital marketing: tracking consumers as they use various devices.
We already covered the reasons why you should update to Universal Analytics, as well as how to configure it in previous posts, feel free to refer to it for additional information. In our post on why you should upgrade to Universal Analytics, we had listed several reason not to make the transition now, notably the fact that Universal Analytics was at the time not supporting Remarketing and Audience reporting. These shortcomings have been resolved, and Universal Analytics now offers “all the features, reports, and tools of Classic Analytics”.
Google is also rolling out additional features to Universal Analytics, such as the User ID feature, which helps you understand your consumers’ journey as they interact with your website on different devices. Google describes the feature as follows: “This feature shows anonymous engagement activity across different screens and visits to your site to provide a more user-centric view of your traffic, and helps you build a more tailored experience for your customers as well. It will also enable new Cross Device reporting that shows how your users are interacting with your business across multiple devices.” The new cross-device report can be seen below:
In addition to the User ID feature, Google is also introducing the following changes:
- Time Zone Based Processing: “Classic Analytics” was processing all properties using the Pacific Standard Time (PST) by default, or the time zone defined for the profile, which sometimes created a lag in data for users outside this time zone. For example, when using the “hour” variable, Analytics used to display the hour when your visitors accessed the website from the server point of view. If your profile was setup using the PST time zone, and a visitor accesses your website at 10:00am EST, Analytics displayed the PST corresponding time: 7:00am. All properties are now processed according the relevant time zone, which will provide “fresher data in your reports in a more timely manner”.
- Updates to the Measurement Protocol: User Agent / IP Override: This feature allows developers to proxy data from devices and intranets through internal servers before they reach Google Analytics by adding two fields to set the IP address and User Agent directly in the Measurement Protocol. Old legacy mobile snippets are also due to be phased out, and need to be updated in order to use the Measurement Protocol.
Finally, Google has published a case study promoting the benefits of using Universal Analytics and mentions the example of Beckfield College which was able to increase its number of applicants by 35% while decreasing the cost per acquisition, we encourage you to take a look at it as it includes interesting insights.
If you, like Beckfield College, would like to increase your lead generation or lower your acquisition cost, get in touch with us if you need any assistance upgrading to Universal Analytics through our contact page or Twitter.
We also have a 2-day Google Analytics Success Course designed to help corporate marketing teams bring ROI-oriented data and actionable insights into the boardroom. You can learn more about it on our digital marketing training page.
UPDATE: Check out our Universal Analytics setup articles: