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Google Updates Analytics: 3 Power User Tips

Google recently rolled out a new and improved version of Google Analytics called version 5. Hot from CMSWire labs, here are 3 killer new Google Analytics features all you power users can now enjoy. 

Here a Dashboard, There a Dashboard

Well, call me a widget lover, but this is pleasing. Google Analytics' dashboards are now widget-based and fully customizable. Widgets include: Simple Metrics, Pie Charts, Timelines, and Tables. This revamp gives you the ability to choose your preferred activity snapshots, with customization supported via filters and easy-peasy drag-and-drop:

google_analytics_newdash.jpg
Google Analytics — Ad Hoc Dashboards

Even more exciting are multiple dashboards. Now, you can create up to 20 dashboards per profile.

"You might start with an overall 'Company KPIs' Dashboard that includes the most important performance indicators for your company, then create an 'SEO' Dashboard for your search engine optimization efforts, and a 'Content' Dashboard that centers around the content of your website," writes product manager Yi Wang on the official Google Analytics blog. 

Site Speed Report

Do you know how fast the page load time across your site is? And do you know that speed — or a lack thereof — can affect your site's organic search result ranking? This is information you definitely want to be privy to. With the new Site Speed Report, Google Analytics users can measure:

  • Which pages are the slowest
  • The difference in load time by browser
  • Which campaigns correspond to faster page loads
  • How page load times vary across geographies

Google Analytics Website Speed Report
Google Analytics — Site Speed Report

Studying these reports might reveal, for example, that one of your target audiences is located in a geography that experiences slow page load times. Or, that certain pages on your site run slow in browser X.  

By default this feature is turned off, so until you enable it you’ll only see 0’s in the report. Further, a small change to your JavaScript tracking code is required to start measuring. Google provides detailed instructions for updating your code here

Impress Your Boss with Custom Reports

Custom reports have been part of the Google Analytics family since 2008, but the new platform injects some of the handiest features with more razzle dazzle. Now found under its own tab, the new custom reports include:

Filtering

In the old version of Google Analytics, users were required to combine an advanced segment with a custom report to analyze a subset of data. With the new platform, the filter can now be included in the report. You can also add multiple filters — which are then saved — to the same report, and filter on dimensions other than those you’ve chosen to use in the report. 

Organization

When building multiple report tabs into your custom report, you’re no longer restricted to using the same dimensions for each report tab. Two types of report tabs are now available: 

  • Flat Table:  These tabs (pictured below) allow you to look at two dimensions side by side. 
  • Explorer Tabs: These tabs drill down into data, and can add a secondary dimension dimension as well. 

customreports-flattable.jpg

Google Analytics — Custom Reports

Sharing

Now, sharing a custom report will always reflect the state of the report when you first created the link. So, if make changes to a report that has already been shared, the link will still point to the first version of the report. 

Note: doing so shares the structure of the report, not the data from your account.

 

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