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In March 2011 Google introduced a new interface for Google Analytics. Over a year later the new interface has just had the addition of what seem to be the finishing touches.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve managed a whole year without PDF exports, scheduled report emailing and percentage changes in the new interface. I’m sure I’m not alone in skipping back to the old version for PDFs and other missing functionality or using a percentage calculator to quickly show me the changes.
But now the old version has almost gone so it’s time to get familiar with the new version and appreciate everything it now has to offer.
So what’s new?
What Might You Have Missed?
Let’s have a look at these in more depth:
Export to PDF
As useful as CSVs are for exporting data, PDF snapshots of the data you’re looking at are very useful and so much prettier. They’re very handy for sending to clients or different departments when you need to quickly show a graph and the top level statistics in an easy to read format.
Exporting to PDF is particularly useful when using Custom Reports as these are often bespoke reports that you won’t already have a template or standard method of reporting for.
To create a PDF export, just navigate to the data that you want to put in the PDF and hit Export > PDF and voila!
To be fair, it doesn’t look very different to taking a screenshot of the page you’re on, without the menu or links, but it adds an old school style Google Analytics logo and the account/profile name at the top.
Emailing reports is a good way to keep on top of your results and let your clients know what’s going on without spending valuable time trawling through the interface and pulling off reports manually. With email functionality back in action we can now set up reports to be emailed to whoever we choose and with the subject and email content that we choose.
Date comparisons in a number of standard reports now show a percentage change. As something that users have been bagging Google about putting back in for almost a year I feel we ought to be grateful, however it has made the actual numbers very hard to see:
A very new area to reach Google Analytics is social reporting. This enables you to see the value of conversions that social media traffic and activity has created and also assisted:
Here we can see that this website has seen conversions assisted by social activity as well as leading to the conversions, however it is only a small amount compared to the total revenue of the site.
This clearly shows that with a little more effort they could increase conversions through social media and measure the value of this activity.
In addition to the value that social media generates, you can aslo track the number of interactions that have happened on your site’s social buttons:
This will help you understand how well your social buttons are working and which pages see the most interaction.
What Might You Have Missed?
There are lots of areas of the new Analytics that I’ve written or filmed videos about over the last year so have a look through these for more information on other new aspects of Google Analytics that you might have missed or might want to start looking in to now that they’ve fine tuned everything!
The only thing I don’t think I’ve written about so far is the new flow visualisation which you can find both under Audience > Visitor Flow and under Conversions > Goals > Goal Flow. It can be used to see users movement between pages and towards goals on your site and looks something like this:
We’d love to hear what you think of the new Google Analytics – good and bad – so please leave your comments below:
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