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new google analytics featuresGoogle Analytics is the most popular website analytics platform for website owners today. There are certainly others to choose from, such as the three open source tools 3 Open Source Web Analytics Tools If You're Not A Google Analytics Fan 3 Open Source Web Analytics Tools If You're Not A Google Analytics Fan If you operate your own website, analytic software can be crucial in order to track exactly how well your site is doing. Without this software, you can do whatever you want with your site, but... Read More Danny wrote about, the free analytics tools Free Traffic Analytics Tools you Should Know About Free Traffic Analytics Tools you Should Know About Read More  Rich wrote about, or the eight live analytics tools 8 Free Tools For Live Website Visitor Tracking 8 Free Tools For Live Website Visitor Tracking Read More that Dave covered. Regardless, no other analytics tool has seen the adoption rate that Google Analytics has.

As Yaara recently described in a news update, Google has released a new and improved Google Analytics platform Google Analytics Rolls Out A New Look Packed With New Features [News] Google Analytics Rolls Out A New Look Packed With New Features [News] Following their other products, Google is officially rolling out the new Google Analytics, complete with a whole new look and some interesting new features. This change has been happening over the past few weeks, and... Read More with a whole slew of brand new features. In this article, I’m going to dive more deeply into some of those new features.

New Features Of Google Analytics

At first, you’ll notice only very minor differences with the layout of the left navigation menu. For the most part, the overall traffic numbers and display looks the same as usual. To discover the differences, you need to start exploring the left menu by expanding each of the items. What you’ll notice is that not only are the choices simpler and more straightforward, there are also more choices available.

new google analytics features

By expanding the Visitors area, you’ll notice a few interesting choices like demographics, behavior, and technology. I really like the behavior area, where you can get a closer look at visitor behaviors like new vs. returning visitors, how often visitors return and how much visitors engage with the site.

Clicking on “Frequency & Recency“, you’ll see a graphical layout of how many times your visitors have visited your page and how frequently.

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new google analytics

Under “Engagement“, you can see another graphical layout of pageviews versus visit duration. This can show you some interesting things about how your visitors behave. For example, it might show that while a large majority of your visitors come to the site for a short visit, your return visitors (higher pageviews) actually come back and hang out quite a bit longer.

new google analytics

Under Visitor Technology, you can get a very detailed graphical breakdown of all of the browsers or networks that your visitors are using to visit your website. This lets you optimize your site for the best display in the browser family that the majority of your visitors use.

new google analytics

Click on Social Action under your Visitors section, and you’ll get a breakdown of how many people have been taking advantage of social network interactions on your website through services like Google +. As you can see, I’ve only just added Google + functionality to my own website, so activity has just started. If you’ve been using Google + on your site for a while, you’ll have a lot more information in your Google Analytics account for Social activity.

features of google analytics

Under Visitors, there’s also a Mobile Devices area where you can see a breakdown of what mobile devices your visitors use to visit your site, and what percentage of your visitors come from mobile devices. Obviously, if you have a very big number here, you’re going to want to make sure that your site  is well optimized for mobile browsers, or that you offer a mobile-optimized version of your site.

features of google analytics

One of the coolest new features can be found under Visitors, when you click on “Visitors Flow“. This display shows you an impressive graphical view of the traffic flow through your site. You can select starting traffic points from what geographic region visitors are from, the source of traffic, the browser visitors use and much more.

features of google analytics

What’s amazing about this feature is that you can see how different types of people navigate through your site – you can see what topics and what pages matter more to people from different countries, people that come from Google search vs. Facebook, or people that are running Chrome vs. Firefox. You can pick up some fascinating patterns about your readership from this flowchart.

You can check out how well your search engine optimization is working by clicking on Traffic Sources, Search Engine Optimization, and then “Queries“.

Here, you can see exactly what search terms are drawing in the most traffic to your site. If you’ve done your SEO optimizing well, then you should see those targeted search terms showing up here. You’ll see how many impressions your site is getting from the search engine listings, which can be pretty impressive (pun intended) in many cases.

Other really cool areas of Analytics includes “Site Speed” under Content, where you can see the page load time for the bulk of your visitors.

You want to see most of your load falling under 0 to 6 seconds. If you’re seeing higher percentages with longer page loads, consider upgrading your web hosting.

The absolute coolest area of Analytics, in my opinion, is “In-Page Analytics” under “Content“. This will show you a display of your webpage with click-through rates placed on top of your webpage.

new google analytics features

If you change the display to color-coded bubbles, you can see where the highest click-through rates are by looking for the red percentages. This can really help you see what types of content your visitors are most interested in, and what areas of your page do the best job getting your visitors to click and explore the site further.

The new Google Analytics does an excellent job giving you much more information about the behavior and the characteristics of your readership. This can serve to help you lay out your site and produce content that is more valuable and interesting for your visitors.

If you’re an existing Analytics user, check out the new features that are available in the new version. If you haven’t ever used Analytics, now may be an excellent time to try it out. Give it a roll and let us know what you think about the new improvements in the comments section below.

Image credit: Shutterstock

  1. cynthia nelson
    December 27, 2011 at 5:17 am

     Set yourself aside a decent workspace environment. The less
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  2. Ofer Shoshani
    December 17, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    When you are collecting data for your analytics it is of the utmost importance that you learn how to tag them.  Now, we know that to the novice or beginner this may sound like rocket science but actually it is not.  In fact once you learn how to do it you may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it was.  

    The first thing you need to do is sign up for a Google Analytics account.  The next thing you need is to make sure that –if possible- there are only one or two people involved in the tagging process.  The reason for that is quite simple, the more people taking part in the tagging the more chance there is for something to go wrong.  Use of capital letters or even the slightest variation in spelling can cause Google to report multiple notations and that is not a good thing.

    There are simple ways to avoid this from happening, but make no mistake about it; it is something you need to learn if you want to rank well in Google.

    http://affiliates.info/Analytics-Tag

    • Aibek
      December 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm

      thanks for the input

  3. Cell Travis
    December 8, 2011 at 8:02 am

    The Visitors Flow feature seems particularly interesting. It reminds me of Statcounter's Visitor Path feature that I've used quite often.

    Overall, Google Analytics seems to be bringing in the cream of usable features from all the analytics programs around. So far, I've used Statcounter and Clicktale to get a better view of user interaction on my many sites.

    • Ryan Dube
      December 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks Cell Travis, I agree. Do you think Statcounter and/or Clicktale are better? I've considered trying other analytics platforms, but then I keep thinking, who can do it better than Google, right?

    • Cell Travis
      December 9, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      You're right, Google is the de facto leader in analytics. However, I use it selectively and prefer open source solutions like Piwik instead. Overall, I use Piwik for about 40% of my sites, Statcounter on 20%, Clicktale on 10% and rest use Google Analytics. This helps me collate information from different analytics programs and the comparisons help in judging which one's the best.

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