What You Need To Know: The Newest Updates to Google Analytics

Google has been tweaking and updating Analytics so that it can be the best possible tool out there.  The most recent updates include 3 major elements that will take Google Analytics to the next level in online visibility to make your impact even more measurable and data-driven.

Real Time Updates:
As web surfing gets faster and increases in volume, your need for website analysis becomes even more apparent.  Google Analytics is releasing “Real-Time Updates.”  These are a set of new reports that show what’s happening on your site as it happens.

An example of how this update can be useful is to measure your social media impact.  For example, when you release a new blog post or twitter #hashtag campaign, you can see the impact on your site as it happens over the next few days.  By tagging the links that you share through your blogs or tweets, you can see how much traffic each channel is driving in to your site.  It also displays when the traffic from a tweet dies down, which signals when you should re-engage.

The new real-time update also helps you measure a campaign immediately after you’ve launched it.  Because you will aggregate data as soon as you launch the campaign, you can see within seconds, if this is the correct data you want to gather from Google Analytics.  If you’d like to tweak your campaign settings, you can easily perform the updates efficiently and effectively to manage your data flow.

Multi-Channel Funnels:
The last campaign, search, or ad that referred a visitor to your site resulting in a conversion, is the source that will be attributed the goal completion credit.  What about prior website visits or referrals?  Did they make an impact on the conversion process?  How much time did it take from the visitor’s first interest in your site to the time the visitor actually converted?

Google Analytic’s 2nd major update, Multi-Channel reports, are generated from conversion paths.  A conversion path is a sequence of interactions that lead to a closing sale.  The report shows assisted conversions, Top Conversion Paths, Time Lag, and Path Length.  Each report will help you find the quickest, most effective path that you ideally want your consumers to engage in to convert.

Flow Visualization:
Flow Visualization features two new sets of graphics to help you see how your visitors navigate through your site.  There are two different types of flows: Visitors Flow and Goals Flow.

The Visitor’s Flow view provides a graph showing a visitor’s flow through the site by traffic source and channel.  This allows you to gain insight into their journey and see where they may be falling off the conversion path.  The visualization flow is also highly interactive.  You can click on nodes (where visitors are grouped through an intelligence algorithm), and highlight certain paths.  This can help you answer questions like “How successful is my landing page?”

The Goals Flow is similar to the Visitors flow, but it follows a set goal path that the owner makes.  You can follow how visitors enter your goal path and where they engage.  Currently, Google Analytics is only offering URL goals, but they’ll soon be adding events and possibly other goal types that you will be able to track.

As an online marketer who is investing in SEO, it is important to stay in tune with Google’s updates.  The online advertising world is moving forward quickly.  Your business may be left behind the curve if you do not adapt your SEO strategy to the newest search engine algorithm updates and utilize Google’s free tools effectively.  Coupled with expert strategy, knowing how to use Google tools and services to your best advantage will take your business revenue to new levels.

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~ Gregg Hanano | Marketing Research Analyst