Google Universal Analytics has been here for a while, but it was a limited beta launch, available to only a handful of specialists.
However, it’s now open to the rest of us since last Friday, and this post will be about why you should be roaring to implement it. The Universal Analytics platform is better than the old Analytics, especially if you’re a mobile company, or have a mobile version or app for your site.
The features include better tracking through a different code snippet that will allow marketers of all kinds to understand a visitor’s behavior better.
As JiaJing Wang, Analytics Product Manager wrote on the Analytics blog: “measurement today is evolving from technology that counts site traffic into a broader system that measures your effectiveness in advertising, sales, product usage, support, and retention.”
Problems with Google’s old Analytics led to competitors stealing a piece of the analytics pie from the ol’ monster. I think that’s about to change.
Recommended Reading: 6 Powerful Google Analytics Features
1. Mobile App Analytics
The Universal Analytics allows for mobile tracking for your apps, integrated directly into your analytics account.
I think app development companies have been waiting for this for a while. Although solutions from other companies exist, they don’t have Google’s knowledge base.
Google owns the biggest Android Market, Google Play, so there should be the first to offer this option to Android developers. Still, better late than never!
Here are the metrics which the suite will take into consideration for the performance of your app:
- The number of installations
- Devices and networks used to access app
- Customized tracking of special content, like video
- The geographic location and languages spoken by visitors
- The order in which visitors move through these screens
- The number of screens seen per visit
- In-app purchase totals
The best thing about this would be the ability to check the movement and ‘flow’ of a user through different screens. The result: apps are bound to increase in quality.
So many app companies take no account of user interaction, and that’s why app quality overall has hit a plateau, especially for medium-sized companies who develop for Android. They couldn’t afford the time or resources to analyze user behavior correctly. They have no excuse now.
2. Better Tracking
No more cookies for tracking! This has been long coming. Cookies are unreliable. Google will now use unique universal tracking IDs for each property.
More reliable tracking simply means business owners will ideally be able to see a person’s behavior from the moment they’ve first visited the site until… well, forever.
Up until now, there were tons of people (including myself) who felt a bit uneasy when checking Google Analytics. The information seemed a bit off when compared to other tools — and just pure common sense.
Hopefully, that was just because of the tracking system, which, if changed, could only lead to better-optimized sites, better-looking ones, and a happier planet.
3. Offline Analytics?
Google is a global force, so don’t doubt for a second that better services from them can’t have a positive offline impact.
Yep, you heard me right. You can now upload offline data about your customers and impact the overall statics from your analytics. The new Measurement Protocol ties online with offline behavior. This is an innovative user interaction gadget. The drawback is that you will need technical skills to use it.
You need first to aggregate the offline date (be it from a store launch, store visit, call log, etc.), then upload it and figure out how that aggregates with the overall bigger picture.
Sounds a bit too clumsy for your average Joe analytics manager. But then again, for those into optimization, this might just prove to be a valuable edge.
4. How Do I Get It?
If you’re looking to set up analytics for an app, iOS or Android, just select App and you’ll be given access to the required SDK. There are a few golden rules for Mobile Analytics, which you should really, really read on the analytics blog. Once you’ve implemented it for an app, you’ll be able to see an aggregated report in the App Overview section.
Again, the Analytics blog informs us about how an Individual Report will look:
- Acquisitions: The number of downloads and other useful information
- Users: Information about your users – devices, location, how often and how long they used your app
- Engagement: You can set up your own triggers for Event Tracking to see how your users are interacting with the app.
- Outcomes: Set up targets, like form submissions, and see how many users go through with them.