How Marketers Can Benefit Significantly From Google's Universal Analytics Upgrade

Google yesterday released the Universal Analytics Upgrade, a two-step process to upgrade from Classic Analytics to Universal Analytics. The upgrade will allow businesses to analyze data from different sources including mobile devices, mobile apps, as well as online and offline interactions. (Attend Smartt's 2-day Google Analytics Training Course to learn the latest best practices in data analysis and take full advantage of Universal Analytics' features.)
 
Here’s how you can take advantage of Universal Analytics Upgrade:

 

  1. Collect data from any digital source

    You now can install 3 versions of tracking code to meet your specific technical needs. You can use the analytics.js JavaScript library for websites, the Google Analytics SDKs (v2.x or higher) for mobile applications, and the Measurement Protocol for other digital devices such as information kiosks. These versions will allow you to easily and accurately customize your tracking code. Cross domain tracking for websites in particular will be significantly simpler and easier.

  2. Leverage easier and more accessible configuration options

    You have more configuration options to control from your account Admin page. The options are organic search sources, session and campaign timeout handling, referral exclusions, and search time exclusions. Here’s how you can take advantage of these Google Universal Analytics configuration options:

    • Organic search sources. Currently, Google Analytics only considers traffic from major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Firefox as organic traffic. Traffic from lesser-known search engines is viewed as referral traffic. With Universal Analytics Upgrade, you can change your traffic source settings to make traffic that’s currently seen as referral traffic as organic traffic. Conversely, you can make traffic that is viewed as organic traffic as referral traffic.
    • Session and campaign timeout handling. Right now, sessions and campaigns end after a specific time period. By default, sessions and campaigns end after 30 minutes and 6 months, respectively. With Universal Analytics Upgrade, you can the increase the session period if you have a lot of web content and expects your visitors to take some time to go over your website. Conversely, you can reduce the session time if you have limited amount of content.
    • Referral exclusions. You now can exclude certain websites from being considered as referral traffic sources in your Analytics account. This feature can be used to exclude traffic from a third-party shopping basket in order for you to deter customers from counted as referral when they return to your order checkout page after checking out on the third-party website. With Universal Analytics Upgrade, you can set up a new property in your account to automatically exclude a specific page of your domain to be counted as referral traffic.
    • Search term exclusions. You can exclude certain search terms from being viewed as organic traffic in your Analytics report. When a visitor arrives on your websites using specific keywords, they will be considered as direct traffic. You can use this feature to exclude your own company name or domain name as search terms so that they’ll appear as direct traffic in your Analytics account. That said, when you exclude certain keywords, other activities from that segment such as events or goals will still be included in your report.
  3. Remain up-to-date with the latest features

    New features and update updates will only be rolled out on Universal Analytics Upgrade. Classic Google Analytics or Universal Analytics properties that use an older data collection method such as the ga.js JavaScript library won’t receive access to all upcoming product changes.

 

By using Universal Analytics Upgrade, companies will be able to gather more data, analyze data more precisely, and most importantly, make smarter business decisions. In doing so, companies and advertisers will be able to adapt to the dynamic changes in digital marketing. (However, you still won't be able to overcome Google's privacy policies.)
 
If you want help with setting up Universal Analytics or analyzing data with Universal Analytics, please contact us and we'll be more than happy to see how we can help. We also offer a 2-day Google Analytics Course and a 1-day P.A.C.E. Digital Marketing Training Course.