August is the month for web analytics at Othermachines, and we're starting with a planned roll-out of the upgraded Universal Analytics tracking code for all of our Managed Drupal clients. If you have a website and aren't yet set up with Analytics, or need help upgrading, contact us and we'll give you $50 off our professional services until the end of August (see coupon at the end of this post).
In short: why wait? Universal Analytics is now out of beta (since April 2014). Although the "classic" version of Google Analytics will be available for two more years, with Universal Analytics you get everything you already have plus more. And Google isn't finished, yet. If you upgrade now you will also benefit from new enhancements as they are added.
What's new in Universal Analytics
Universal Analytics is the most radical upgrade ever to the Google Analytics product. The following are just some of the new features and improvements:
User ID. By implementing a User ID, you can now track users across different devices and sessions. If a user visits your site on their phone, then later comes back from their desktop, you can track that as a single session.
More configuration options via Analytics UI. More analytics options can be configured directly from the control panel without having to change your tracking code. You can now control settings for:
- organic search sources
- session and campaign timeouts
- referral exclusions
- search term exclusions
Customizable dimensions and metrics. You can create custom dimensions and metrics to segment data in a way that is tailored to your organization. Google explains dimensions and metrics as such:
“A metric is a count of some data type, like pageviews, that is summed up across your Google Analytics hits. A metric corresponds to a column in a report. Dimensions allow you to break down a metric by a particular value, like screen views by screen name. Dimensions correspond to the rows in a report.”
Enhanced Ecommerce reports. Universal Analytics let you track shopping behaviour, revenue and conversion rates, affiliate performance and more.
How to tell if your account has been upgraded to Universal Analytics
If a property in your account has already been upgraded, it's not obvious unless you know what to look for. The "Upgrade to Universal Analytics" notice that we've been looking at for some time will still be there.
First, go to your Admin page and select a property in the Property column. Some menu options will appear below the property selector. If the property has not yet been upgraded, you will see a navigation item labeled Tracking Code. A Universal Analytics property will instead have an item Tracking Info.
For more info, visit this Google Analytics Help page.
Upgrading your account properties at google.com/analytics is a pretty straightforward process. Find a complete guide at the Universal Analytics Upgrade Center - Upgrade Guide.
In addition to upgrading your account properties, a new tracking code will need to be implemented on your website. Othermachines will take care of this step automatically for our Managed Drupal clients who are already using Analytics. For everyone else, we've included a special offer below that you can take advantage of until the end of August.
So no more procrastinating! :-) And remember to contact us if you need any assistance.