Universal Analytics, Web Analytics Made Easy

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Google recently started upgrading all Analytics accounts to Universal Analytics. Why you might ask?

With Universal Analytics you now get a whole new set of features allowing you to better understanding of how users interact with your website, features such as re-marketing lists, user demographics and more. Pretty neat! If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, it’s a very useful web analytics platform to use. Google Analytics provides you with detailed stats about your website, how well it’s doing in terms of traffic, measures conversions and sales amongst a few other impressive features. But what are the main differences between the two and what does this change will mean for you and your business? For now here’s a quick introduction to Universal Analytics

What is Universal Analytics?

As mentioned earlier, Universal Analytics is a significant upgrade to its current version of Google Analytics, and update that was necessitated by today’s use of different devices and applications .i.e. Mobile (Smartphone, Android, and IOS), desktop and tablet.

What are the benefits of Universal Analytics for SEO?

Just as in any other application or software, there are always benefits attached. Here are some benefits in using Universal Analytics.

  • Universal Analytics has three new tracking codes catered for desktop sites, mobile apps as well as other devices .i.e. Gaming.
  • You can now send data automatically across domains without any difficulty in set-up as a far cry from the difficult processes in the old Google Analytics.
  • Add or adjust a list of search engines which are recognizable to control your web traffic results.
  • Universal Analytics allows you to the opportunity to change online campaign periods and sessions (Extend visits to be more than thirty minutes and campaigns to last for longer than six months for example).
  • Choose which terms can run as direct visits instead of organic traffic sources.
  • Synch Online and Offline Data: Another exciting feature of GA Universal Analytics is the ability to pull in data from disparate sources.
  • Integration with new and existing Google products and such as AdSense, DoubleClick for Advertisers (DFA) and more.
  • Create Custom Metrics and Dimensions.  Metrics measure your data, and they provide answers to questions such as “how much”, while dimensions provide answers to questions such “what you measuring”.  For example This is incredibly useful for tracking things that are specific to your company such as levels in a game, awards achieved, information about a news article and more.

What are the uses of Universal Analytics?

There are various ways in which you can use Universal Analytics. The great thing is there are still some features from Google Analytics (Classic Analytics) that have been transferred to its newer version: Universal.  You should find the following features handy considering your online objectives!

1) Make use of offline conversions: Universal Analytics has a tool known as Measurement Protocol which allows you to send data to any device and collect it from Universal Analytics. Now you can inter-link your campaigns and User ID according to the history of interactions a visitor might have with your brand.

2) Link your CRM to your Universal Analytics: the information on your backend (info on customers) can be linked to UA. That way you can for example detect how Age Group A reacts differently from Group B in a live campaign.

3) Advanced Segments can be added: You can create a multitude of segments with Universal Analytics. Add as many demographic factors as you desire to create your desired results.

4) Adjust session timeouts with as much as four hours: Google Analytics has a maximum of thirty minutes in terms of timeouts, while Universal Analytics offers you up to four hours as a timeout period.

5) You can add custom search engines to your data and have visitors appear as organic search: For instance instead of having visitors from web-directories come – up as referral sites you can have them as organic search instead.

6) User-timings are more specific: What this means is you can now track down why a certain page takes long to load but not only that, specifically which elements of the page play a role in it loading slowly.

7) User IDs can be traced using Universal Analytics: Universal analytics allows you to send an anonymous User ID, what this means is you can track a user’s behaviour across all platforms. Should you integrate the two then Google Analytics enables user ID, which means you can identify and track a user’s online behaviour across all devices and platforms.

The Difference between Google Analytics and Universal Analytics

There aren’t too many differences between Google Analytics and Universal Analytics. Although the later focuses more on delivering information to a multitude of devices and moving towards mobile. The following are contrasts between the two web analytics tools.

 

Google Analytics

Universal Analytics

1) Tracking the same user across many devices

Not Applicable

Applicable

2) Tracking a user’s online behaviour using cookies or JavaScript.

Not Applicable

Applicable

3) Tracking all devices whether online or offline

Not Applicable

Applicable

4) Allows remarketing to take place

Applicable

Not Applicable

5) Integrates AdSense into data

Applicable

Not Applicable

6) Conducts experiments for content

Applicable

Not Applicable

7) Conducts Reporting for Google Display Network Impression

Applicable

Not Applicable

8) No of free custom variables or dimensions – Free

5

20

9 )No of free custom variables or dimensions – Premium

50

200

How to set Universal Analytics

Whether you already using Google Analytics or not, setting up Universal Analytics is quite simple. We thought we’d share with you these 2 easy ways you can follow to set up your account.

Step 1: You can set up a new Universal Analytics account (property) to track down a new website, mobile application or related device. If you’re already making use of Google Analytics for an existing website, then you can add Universal Analytics to track down another website. The great thing about setting up different accounts is the fact that the data or information gathered will not over-lap each other, each property will have different data.

Step 2: If you’re implementing Universal Analytics for the first time then you can get your tracking code using the following methods (Every device requires a tracking code).

For content on the web – You’ll have to set up a tracking code. Your developer will have to install the code according to the type of device at hand.

Mobile Apps – For mobile apps you’ll have to download the SDK (Soft Ware Development Kit) that supports mobile devices.

Related/ Other devices – To collect information such as gaming, kiosks etc. You’ll have to make use of Measurement protocol which allows developers to make to make an HTTP request in order for user interaction data to be directly sent to Google Analytics servers. If you’re using an older version of Analytics than what would be highly recommended is to visit the Universal Upgrade Centre in order for you to upgrade your code to the UA tracking code.

Conclusion:

With ‘All Things Mobile’ companies on and offline are adjusting their strategies and business practises to support the multiple device culture we live in. Search engines such as Google are continuously studying and creating applications that support today’s customer who’s exposed to different platforms of brand engagement. It’s important for companies to take opportunity of these changes and ‘follow’ their customers wherever they go as well as communicate with them according to their environment. With Google Analytics and Universal Analytics, the search engine has ensured that companies analyse and detect all areas of improvement in order to guarantee a great on and offline experience for both visitors and customers.          

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