The New and Improved Google Analytics: Worth It

The facelift of Google Analytics in November came with mixed reviews. Personally, I resisted the change at first, because I couldn’t navigate analytics as fast as I used to. However, this morning Google sent out an email announcing new features, and that the old version would be removed with the implementation of the features.
So I took a little time to actually get to know the system, and see what the new Analytics had to offer me. I was pleasantly surprised; while I still prefer to use the old version, there are a few things that blow my mind about the new analytics.

The In-Page Tab:

By far the very first improvement I saw with the new Google Analytics was the ease of use for getting to the In-Page Analytics. In-Page Analytics lets you see how users interact with your web pages. For each link, you can see the percentage of clicks that occurred. If you have your analytics linked with Adwords and are running a campaign, you can see the cost per click and percentages of transactions for each link.
Before the update, for each page you wanted to go to in Analytics and see in-page statistics, you had to navigate back to the menu and find the page all over again. Now, with the new and improved dashboards, and the ability to use breadcrumbs to stack filters, you can launch in-page analytics in a whole new way. I personally love to filter for a specific incoming keyword and goal completions, then see where users migrated afterward. There is nothing better than being able to visualize the site traffic to better optimize your site.
However, the real power of in-page comes about not only when you link it to Adwords, but you also take some time to set up specific goal values. Then, you will see for each link that started a goal transaction how successful it was.

Visitors Flow:

What an amazing tool; what more could you ask for when you want to do site architecture optimization? What I mean when I say that is MORE than just flattening the architecture of the site, but getting people to the right pages that have higher conversion rates than others. With the old analytics, you either needed to set up a specific goal funnel and hope that users took that exact path, or painstakingly trace the movement of a specific visitor to get this information
What this tool allows you to do is get an idea of how people are getting to certain pages on your site, and where they go from there. I use it to optimize pages with a high drop-off rate, and create visual goal funnels for myself to help sculpt traffic.
For example, if a lot of people go from the homepage to the bio of the owner of a company, I will optimize the content on that page for their targeted keywords, and insert some sort of contact form in order to make that page have a call to action. Underneath the form, I will link to the most recent blog articles, so if they aren’t willing to convert then, they can stay on the site and possibly convert later. The real value of the tool is being able to use this visual guide to help understand where your users are going, and then use webmaster tools to A/B split test different landing pages. Instead of having to guess where people are going, you know where to run the test at a glance.

Real-Time Audience Overview:

As internet marketers, some of our time is necessarily spent convincing our clients of our worth. Whether it be a “justify your existence” kind of meeting, or an end of the month report, we need to make the information we see palatable and relatable to our clients.
However, sometimes our clients feel that because they pay us, they have a right to ALL of our time, ALL of the time. No matter how strongly you word contracts, it is impossible to keep clients and charge them for all of the time you spend convincing them of your actions, so some of the time is going to come out of your personal time. For those special clients, I would like to introduce you to Real-Time Audience Overview.
Now, for SEO’s, this tab is more-or-less meaningless. What you have on this page is a customizable dashboard that shows some real time data from users on your site, so unless you watch the path of a specific user, and can draw conclusions for it, your time as a marketer is better-spent data mining through your historical data. However, the real power of this tool is giving it to the client to let them feel like they have their thumb on internet marketing. One of our hardest selling points is the data collecting, split testing, and code modification we do. While this tab won’t show them this, it allows them to see some data, to feel that they are a part of it in some way, and for that little extra breathing room, this tab is invaluable.
I have a client that sells wallpaper, and it seems like they spend most of their day calling me to make sure that people are coming to their site. Despite the fact that wallpaper has been a pretty down industry historically, they feel that the success or failure of their business rests squarely on my shoulders. Also, I experimented with over-communicating; sending daily emails inundated with analytics reports, but I found they were just ignoring them and asking me the same questions addressed by the data.
When I introduced them to real-time analytics, I finally had some room to work. They are able to see, in real time, the number of people on the site, the referring site, and the active pages all at a glance. I even added the dashboard widget to show them from where in the country active traffic is coming from.
Pete Wise is a white-hat SEO working for Customer Paradigm. We staff some of the most highly qualifiedMagento Developers in the business, and I spend most of my day doing Magento SEO to optimize the new builds. Contact Customer Paradigm today for a Quote. If you liked the article, connect with me on 


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