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Anna Lewis

What’s Good and Bad About The New Google Analytics (With Images!)

31st Mar 2011 Analytics, SEO 4 minutes to read

Google are introducing an updated version of Analytics to modernise it and improve functionality. I’ve had a good play with it and am pleased with the changes so far, although I’ve also spotted several things that I would like it to do but that I haven’t yet found functionality for.

The Good Bits:

Much easier to navigate between accounts and profiles – you even get to stay in the same date range and area of the report when you switch (which previously could only be done using a clever add in for Firefox).

Switching Between Google Analytics Accounts
You can now use multiple Advanced Segments in a date comparison report, something that I’ve wanted for a good while! Google have also improved the graph functionality so that you can select several rows and plot these on the graph, they explain this in their post here.

Advanced Segments Dates

The colours are now much easier to distinguish between on the graph, particularly when printed. And a favourite change of mine – they’re now using purple!

Navigation is now quicker as you don’t have to wait for data to load every time you click on the left-hand navigation, instead you drill down to the data you want and then it loads.

Easy Analytics Navigation

Navigation also becomes easier within each area; once you have chosen to look at organic visits you can then click the clear tabs to see the Source, Landing Page or ‘Other’ data within this area and within each of these you can also choose a Secondary dimension:

Extra GA Navigation

Another change is the Administration area, which shows you all of your accounts in one list, along with your Role (User or Administrator) and then breaks things down more clearly when you go to an accounts Administration area. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a quick way to access your Goals for the profile you’re currently viewing, as you have to go via the main Administration list before getting to the Administration for your client.

Account Administration

Once you are inside the account settings you can view the individual settings for each profile, here you can now manage your Advanced Segments, Annotations and Custom Alerts – three things that were never in the settings area before. This is also the area to manage your Goals, for which you can now have 20 Funnel Steps – an increase of 50%. You can also now create Goals for Events! A brilliant new addition in my opinion and one that I’ll be implementing as soon as possible.

Twenty Funnel Steps
Goal Events

One more piece of functionality that seems to have been tested in the past but is not always available when you want it, now looks like it’s here for good – changing your Time Zone or Territory. This will help everyone who has to work with an account that didn’t have it set correctly from the start.

One significant addition is that you can now create more customisable dashboards so that you can easily see certain data in one place. You’re also not limited to just the one static dashboard, you can create multiple dashboards to show different things and rearrange the display of each to your hearts content.

The dashboards give you the option of numbers, pie charts, timelines and tables which you can choose the metrics and/or dimensions to represent and/or compare to, depending on what you go for:

Google Analytics Dashboard

However, this leads me on to functionality that I think should be standard here but I currently can’t find any evidence of…

Areas For Improvement:

  • The dashboards currently can’t show any specific segments, such as Referring Sites or Organic. Keywords – key areas for most people wanting to review their website’s analytics in my opinion!
  • A dashboard cannot be shared to other profiles or accounts – you have to create new ones from scratch in every profile.
  • The data for Goals is only available individually when in another area of statistics – for example, when viewing Organic keywords and which have led to Goal completions I can only check for one Goal at a time and can’t see a total Goal Conversion Rate per keyword.
  • Currently I haven’t found how to export more than the visible rows (previously done adding &limit=x to the URL)
  • My Custom Reports are no longer available – each of them will have to be created again in the new interface.
  • I currently can’t find where the Profile ID is hidden, but hopefully I’ll come across this soon – if anyone knows where it’s hiding please let me know!

So there you have it, quite a lot of initial thoughts on the new Google Analytics Interface, how it’s improved and things that I’m hoping they will improve on top of the current new functionality. If you’re interested in Google Analytics for your website, contact us to see how our Website Analytics service could help you make the most of your data.

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