A few days ago, Google's Universal Analytics came out of beta.
Well for most small to medium sized businesses, it may not mean much.
If you are using analytics at any level, here are some things you definitely need to know.
What you need to know?
- Eventually you will be forced to upgrade to Universal Analytics
- You need to be prepared for this because if your Analytics picks up e-commerce transactions some extra coding may need to be done to ensure you can still pick up the your transactions. You should budget for this.
- The data you see after you upgrade may be different - this is because Universal Analytics tracks website visitors NOT website visits
- Re-marketing & audience reporting is now supported - so if you were holding off upgrading because of this, now is a good time to reconsider
Here are some things that are handy to know:
- You will now be able to track user behaviour on your website - this may help you identify segments of users and gain insights to help you market to each segment better
- You will be able to blend online and offline interactions via an anonymous ID to link data together - the possibilities include your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, in-store purchases, call centres, point of sale systems and even data from different websites you own. For example, if you had a loyalty card, you could track an individuals in-store and online purchases using Google Analytics.You will be able to use an anonymous ID to link data together - the possibilities include your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, in-store purchases, call centres, point of sale systems and even data from different websites you own. If you are interested in this, you will need help to take advantage of this.
- There won't any time lags in reporting data - all data is now processed in your own time zone (not US Pacific time)
What we recommend?
If you are not an e-commerce site, you should consider upgrading now. If you are an e-commerce site, get help to make sure you don't lose data.
There is a simple process to upgrade. You can either create a new Analytics property or upgrade your existing property. If you plan on upgrading, Google have some handy instructions here.
If you upgrade your existing Analytics, ensure you make an annotation in Google Analytics so that any changes are recorded. Otherwise in a years time from now, you may forget what you did and wonder why data suddenly changed.
If you choose to create a new property, bear in mind that you will not have any historical data so you should still retain your existing property.
Who will take advantage?
Initially we expect that large businesses will use the features of universal Analytics more than small businesses.
Many small businesses currently do not use the full features of Analytics now. However, understanding what is possible may give your business an edge.
Have you upgraded?
We've been holding off upgrading to it until now because it did not have feature parity with classic Analytics. We will be making the switch in the very imminent future. We plan to keep you updated on what changes we notice since making the switch.
Want to know more?
We've really scratched the surface of the changes. We just wanted to cover off what we think are the major changes.
If you want to read more, Kissmetrics has an excellent article about what the changes to Universal analytics mean.
Alternatively, feel free to contact us if you need help upgrading or unsure whether you should upgrade now or wait.