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A Sneak Peek at New Google Analytics

google-analytics-reviewJust when Yahoo launched their own Web Analytics service to compete Head-to-Head with Google Analytics, Google polished up their Analytics service and added 7 brand new features (currently in Public beta) that really takes Web Analaytics to the next level.

Thanks to Googler Avinash Kaushik who was kind enough to give me access to this Public Beta features of Google Analytics. Avinash is currently Analytics Evangelist at Google and he is also the author of the #1 book on Web Analytics, titled “Web Analytics – An Hour a Day“. [You can check out the book in Amazon].

New Features of Google Analaytics

The features of the old Google Analytics was somewhat limited for advanced tracking. Which is why many users (especially big organizations) spends money on other paid web analytics service like Omniture.

Some of the new exciting features of Google Analytics are:

  1. Auto User Interface refresh
  2. Google AdSense can be now be integrated into Google Analytics
  3. Advanced visualizations such as Motion Charts is now available
  4. Make Custom Reports
  5. Advanced Segmentation Options
  6. The Google Analytics API.
  7. Automatic importing of AdWords cost data into Urchin.

The two public beta features that I was given access to are – Advanced Segmentation & Custom Reports. The rest of the features are still in private beta and only available upon invitation.

Advanced Segmentation

This is something that I was looking for in GA for a long time. Consider all that GA provided you previously were plain “facts” or raw data. E.g. – How many people visited your site, how did they come to your site, Which keyword they searched for etc. What can change these data into rather useful “information” is if you can actually combine some of these together and come up with a more meaningful query that may help you to make some sense of it.

For example, What if you want to know – How many people searched for your brand name and came to your site from United Kingdom and has made a Purchase? Or How many Visitor came to your website from a particular Adgroup that you were running in Google Adwords during a specified period of time, say from 12:00 Midnight until 6 am.

So all these advanced query involves operators (AND, OR) and Conditions which can help you to take few raw data and then combine them according to your specific needs. Many experts were already doing it manually using spreadsheet and combining/comparing all the data using formulas and doing a lot of mathematical calculations. But with google’s advanced segmentation feature, I guess any average Joe can now become a Web Analytics Expert!

Some Default Segmentation Presets

google analytics default segmentation

Custom Segmentation

google analytics custom segmentation

So basically now you can mix and match and play with different variables provided and come up with your own custom Segmentation. This will definitely help you to know your visitors & market better and create a better online marketing plan.

Custom Reporting

This is something that I’m yet to explore, but it seems like a easy-to-use interface that lets you build customized reports based on your own needs & requirements. This was a highly demanded feature by the webmasters and I’m glad that Google has finally decided to implement it.

google-analytics-custom-report

If you want to get a more detailed overview of Segmentation & Customized Reports of Google Analytics, I strongly urge you to check Avinash’s post. On his blog, he has provided step by step screen shoots of some of his segmentation ideas like the following:

Idea #1: How to segment out your own Brand Search Keywords.
Idea #2: Find out the % Visits with a high “Degree of Engagement”.
Idea #3: How to Segment Precious Customers.
Idea #4: How to Use Segmentation to do Ad-Hoc Analysis.

My Two Cents

My hat tip to the Google Analytics team for coming up with some of these wonderful features. Especially the advanced segmentation is really going to help me save a lot of time that I spend now combining data from different metrics in Excel and then coming with a custom report for my clients. Hopefully we will be able to see more exciting feature from GA in near future.

Update: Check out this video that shows you to create and use Advanced Segments in Google Analytics to isolate and analyze specific parts of your traffic.


33 Comments

  • Reply buzkerz |

    google getting improvement day by day.that way analytics important.what ever its support google..

    good presentation bro

  • Reply Roger Lee |

    Thanks for sharing the Google Analytic features. Advanced segmentation looks sweet =)

    Btw, did you know?

    There are some sites online where users can make money with Google Adsense without a website (so totally 100% free). Flixya.com is one of the revenue share sites that gives back 100% of the ad revenue via Google Adsense. There are others out there as well just search google for “Google Adsense Revenue Share”

    Just thought I would share since we are talking about Google.

    Anyway, take it easy and look forward to your next blog post.

  • Reply Saad |

    @buzkerz – Hay thanks. Glad that you liked it. Yeah I agree Google has really made an effort to help the webmasters in every way possible. And the New GA is the best example of that.

  • Reply Chuckypita |

    That was an interesting article. I’m constantly amazed at how Google is able to one up Yahoo. Google has an ability to keep things simple – and that’s why they’re the world leader.

  • Reply QuickPWN |

    Saad Kamal, it would be interesting to see your Google Analytics stats for this page because your article was featured on the front page of Digg! I hope you can share this in another blog post. :)

  • Reply w1zard007 |

    Google may be fast on the uptake, but I don’t see why Yahoo would compete with something as big as Google– just being Yahoo may be enough.

  • Reply erica |

    The fact that Google Analytics is so easy to use and understand with the simplest bit of knowledge is wonderful, the fact that it’s free makes it even better and now that they’ve added the few missing parts, which before made going out and buying another analytics tool a must, is splendid. They’ve definitely stepped up and listened to what their users wanted and needed.

  • Reply Saad |

    @erica – Thanks for dropping by Erica.

    I agree with you completely. Google Analytics is more like a complete web analytics package that any Small Business owner will find handy.

  • Reply Joe Griffin |

    Great stuff – can you setup more than 4 goals yet? I haven’t been in there a while, so I might be outdated already, but it seems like you should be able to set up 25+… Technically, some folks have many more goals.

  • Reply Rob |

    Has anyone seen Yahoo Analytics yet? How does it measure up to GA in terms of functionality? Has it any features not in GA?

    Sweet new functionality for GA. Segmentation and custom reports are two features I can certainly get my teeth into.

  • Reply sarath |

    This is another proof to say that Google is the numero uno of the internet world. Slowly taking over every aspect of the web.

  • Reply Bored |

    my analytics just got updated the other day. it is way cool with the new segmentation. took me a bit to realize it was gonna be an ajax autocomplete though in the setting it up part.

  • Reply TraiaN |

    Hi Saad,

    Nice presentation and content. Advanced segmentation was a missing feature of Google Analytics. All other enterprise analytics tool were offering it, but now Google is giving it free. You can now dissect data much easier (segmentation was possible even before in GA, with custom filters and profiles, but now it is much easier). I am planning to create a series for segments idea. The first segment we have described on Google Analytics Segmentation page is called keywords with conversions. Please have a look.

    Feel free to visit our blog and if you have any ideas on what segments could be useful, leave a comment and we will try to write a post on that one.

  • Reply jimmy |

    What can change these data into rather useful “information” is if you can actually combine some of these together and come up with a more meaningful query that may help you to make some sense of it.

  • Reply Kate Henlay |

    When new features of Google Analytic were added it was bit difficult to understand them but after giving it a thorough look i found it very easy to create my own reports .

  • Reply Ryan |

    Still getting to grips with Google Analytics. It can be very time consuming but great presentations like this one certainly help to speed up the operations. For any kind of tracking I usually just use Statcounter. Great stuff buddy.

So, what do you think ?