19 08, 2016

Benefits of Upgrading to Universal Analytics

By | 2017-08-08T08:15:58+00:00 August 19th, 2016|Categories: Google Analytics|Tags: , , , , |


Yes, Google Analytics announced their Universal version way back in 2012. It made sense to hold off on upgrading back then so that many eventual bugs could be worked through. I occasionally come across websites that have yet to upgrade. If your website is still using the Async version, it is time to upgrade to Universal Analytics. Here are some of the benefits that are waiting:

1) Report on users, not just website sessions

With User-ID implementation, you can connect a single user’s website activity across multiple devices. Subsequently, there is reporting that shows truer user totals. There are also reports focused on the user experience across multiple devices. If your website collects many email addresses, has log-in features, or is eCommerce, then this is a must-have feature.

2) Simplified configuration options

In the admin section of your Google Analytics account, you are given the ability to clean up organic traffic attribution. You can also change the session and campaign timeout times, which are which are 30 minutes and six months, respectively, by default. Referral exclusions is a great new tool available with the Universal Analytics tracking code. One of the frustrating aspects of the Async version is the issue of self-referrals that sometimes cannot seem to be solved. I have personally seen websites that upgrade their tracking to Universal, utilize the referral exclusions feature, and end up with far more accurate attribution reporting.

3) Custom dimensions and metrics

With the Async version of Google Analytics, you are limited to five custom variables. That feature is replaced with custom dimensions and metrics, and the limit is increased to 20 each. Using the dimensions to segment your website users, build funnel groups, and so on leads to more valuable data analysis and decision-making. Custom metrics can be used with data imports, combined with product information, or used to create additional helpful data related to the user experience.

4) Enhanced eCommerce

Enhanced eCommerce

Certainly, one of the biggest beneficiaries of Universal Analytics are eCommerce websites. The enhanced eCommerce feature opens the door to new data elements and reports. For example, you can use enhanced eCommerce to build a shopping funnel that goes from when a user views a product on the website, to the point of sale. Having funnel reporting during the shopping experience, and not just the checkout process, can help lead to user experience improvements.

Upgrade the Right Way

When beginning the process of upgrading to Universal Analytics, be sure to map out a project process. It is important to leave all current tracking in place until the new tracking is scoped, coded, installed, tested, and verified. A best practice would be to install your fully built-out Universal Analytics tracking alongside the current tracking, using a different UA-ID, so you can verify that the two tracking instances are delivering similar data.


2 10, 2013

Beacon Invited to Google Analytics Summit this Week

By | 2017-07-20T09:06:17+00:00 October 2nd, 2013|Categories: Beacon News|Tags: , , , |

GA-SummitFor the 7th straight year, representatives from Beacon were invited to the Google Analytics Summit being held in Mountain View CA this week.  Brad Henry, Beacon’s Director of Digital Marketing, is there this week with hundreds of other Google Analytics Certified Partners from around the world.  This year, Google limited the number of invitees as they begin focusing primarily on their new Premium GA product.  Consequently, only GA Premium re-sellers and users were invited, along with the more active GA partners.

Google Analytics has been at the heart of Beacon’s digital marketing services since even before Google purchased the foundation of GA from Urchin,” says Mark Dirks, Beacon’s CEO.  “It’s a big advantage to us, as well as our clients, to be so tightly integrated with Google as a long-term partner in that it gives us the opportunity to meet with and discuss the product with Google’s engineers, network with other partners around the world, and get a first glimpse at new features and strategy for the GA product.”

GA Summit Speaker

Google Analytics Engineering VP, Paul Muret, giving an inspirational and thought-provoking keynote.

Brad Henry returns from the 3-day Summit later this week and will be posting key takeaways and recapping his trip next week.  The Google Analytics Summit is always top-notch as you would expect from Google.  It’s well-run as the GA Team puts a steady stream of engineers and leaders in front of the GA Partners to openly share information, answer questions and get feedback about upcoming and newly released features.

“As one of the longest standing GA Partners in the country, with over 100 implementations of Google Analytics, we are glad that Google recognizes Beacon as a key partner,” says Dirks.  “GA has certainly been an important tool in the success of our clients.”