Universal Analytics

Since April 2nd 2014, Universal Analytics for Google Analytics is out of Beta, and now available to all.

Universal Analytics now gives everybody the possibility to use the new funtionnalities, such as Remarketing and Audience reporting. Universal Analytics will also allow you to better follow your visitors using numerous platforms, such as PCs, Tablets and Smartphones.

To migrate to Universal Analytics, just click on your Admin Tab in Google Analytics, and follow the instructions.

The detailled documentation to migrate to Universal Analytics is available here: https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/upgrade/?hl=en_US

Details about Universal Analytics going oout of Beta is available on the Google Analytics Blog, on the Universal Analytics: Out of beta, into primetime post.

Google Analytics for Mobile Apps

An interesting functionality, still unknown to most marketers and developers, is the possibility to use Google Analytics features in mobile apps. Since the number of mobile apps is always on the rise, especially on iOS (for iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.) and on Android (the Google mobile platform), it is good to know that Google Analytics can now measure the performances of these apps. Some stats offered by Google Analytics are very interesting and useful:

- Number of installations of the app
- Geographic location of the users
- Sales made from within the app
- Specific actions made in the app (such as looking at a video, accessing a feature, etc.)

All this data can be used to measure the ROI (Return on Investment) of your mobile application, and to know more on the usage of your application. These information are available in your Google Analytics account.

How ca you install Google Analytics for mobile apps? It is a little bit more complicated than just installing Google Analytics on a website. Some specific code has to be installed in your mobile app. It is all documented in the Google Analytics Software Developers Kits. The SDK for Android is here and the SDK for iOS is here

Once it is all configured, that stats are available in your Google Analytics account.

For more information on the subject, I recommend you read “Google Analytics Mobile Analytics And Reporting” , from the official Google Analytics website.

Google Analytics Filters

Not a lot of people know about Google Analytics Filters. These filters are available in the account profiles and let you exclude or modify data.

Filter

Here are a few example where it can be interesting to use filters:

  • To exclude traffic coming from employees of the company, by filtering some IP addresses.
  • To convert uppercases into lowercases, so that Google Analytics does nots differentiate between to pages with different cases. Example: products.html and Products.html
  • To only give access to some of the data to a specific user. As an example, you could create a profile that only shows stats coming from Google Adwords to the consultant/agency that is managing your Adwords account.
  • To modify the web addresses on your reports, so that these reports do not contain thousands of different web addresses, for pages that are in fact the same. As an example, if you use variables in your addresses, you might want to ignore them (to convert, let’s say, “www.example.com/message/token12345″ into “www.example.com/message “.

Be Careful! Filters do modify the data itself, so changes applied using filters are permanently done to the profile. If mistakes are made when setting these filters, removing them will later not bring back to data to its initial state. It is very important then to be very careful when setting filters. What is recommended then is to create a Master Profile, when no filters are applied, thus containing only the raw data. You will then always be able to refer to this Master profile in case of a problem.

Also note that goals are also set in the Google Analytics Profiles. You then have to make sure that the necessary goals are also created in your other profiles where they are needed.

Content Experiments with Google Analytics

In August 2012, Google removed for its product suite the Google Website Optimizer tool ton integrate its functionality into Google Analytics. This change now allows an easier integration of the product, thereby making the functionality more widely used by web agencies and web marketers.

Content Experiment
Since this integration into Google Analytics, the functionality is now called “Content Experiment”, and is available in the “Content” menu of Google Analytics, under the Experiment Tab.

And what are these content experiments from Google? Well, these experiments (or tests) let you use many versions of a page of your website to see which one converts the best for you. If your website has precise objectives, these tests can help you. As examples, these objectives, or goals could be selling more products online, increase the number of page views by the visitors, the download of a white paper, the subscription to a newsletter, etc.

As another example, if you want to increase the number of visitors who contact you using the form on your website, you can experiment with many forms to see which one is the best for you. To determine which one is performing the best, the visitors of your website will be redirected randomly on your original page or to your test pages, and Google Experiments will determine the one performing the best.

Something important that should not be neglected with these experiments is the impact on the site’s search performance. Will serving different pages change how your site ranks in Google and other search engines? For this question, Google published a post called “Website testing & Google Search” in the Google Webmaster Tools official blog. In summary, here what is recommended by Google:

  • Do not use cloaking
  • Use the rel=“canonical” link attribute
  • Only run the experiment as long as necessary
  • Use a 302 redirect, not a 301 redirect.

And of course, if you want help to configure and run Google Content Experiments on your website, do not hesitate to contact us at info@optimisationv.com or at 514-622-7073

Keyword “Not Provided” – Google Analytics

It’s been around 6 months now that Google is using SSL as the default on their search engine, for the users connected on a Google account. The article “Accessing search query data for your sites” has been added to the Official Google Webmaster Tools Blog on October 18th 2011 to announce this change.

This change this not pleased SEOs and Webmasters, since it reduces the amount of information that is available in web analytics products. Since that change, Google Analytics (and the other web analytics products) do not show the keywords that were searched by visitors connected to a Google account.

What we now see in Google Analytics is that some keywords are not available, so “Not Provided” is now displayed.

Google wrote that this change has been implemented to make the web a more secure place (“…provide a more secure online experience”). It is to be noted though that visits coming from Google Adwords still pass the “refer”. Google Adwords advertisers still have access to their keywords data, so they are not penalized by this change. Google wants to make the web more secure, but do not want to upset the advertisers that bring Google billions of dollars every year…

Other interesting information can be found on the subject in the SEOmoz video, at the “Google Hides Search Referral Data with New SSL Implementation” post.

As written above, this change is not new, but it’s effects can be felt more and more everyday. Since the launch of Google Plus, more and more users are connected on Google, reducing the list of keywords available in the analytics reports.

Complaints are still being sent at Google, and pressure applied so that they revert the situation. It remains to be seen if it will be enough to make Google change it’s mind.

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