I have been using Google Analytics frequently and have become impressed with the level of detail their features offer. The graph is one of my favourite tools, which helps to detect a trend with the data. The advanced segments feature is impressive, allowing you to select up to four segments, such as, new visitors, paid search traffic or non-paid search traffic, which filters through to the graph.
After much anticipation, the search giant has released Annotations for Google Analytics. Annotations is a valuable addition, allowing users to make comments on the graph regarding what events took place on specific days. For example, marketing campaigns, blogs uploaded, and new products launched. This is the first real collaboration between those who put together campaigns and those who study the analytics. I have already created new annotations onto our graphs, and am excited to see how this will benefit analysing the data. I would say this feature was long overdue!
Google Analytics have also released Custom Variables and Intelligence Beta. Custom variables are name-value pair tags that you can insert in your tracking code in order to customize Google Analytics tracking to your specific needs. Intelligence Beta provides custom and automatic alerts on your website traffic, for example, an unexpected decrease or increase in visitors. Both features are valuable for statistical analysis.
Another reason to love Google Analytics is the number of fantastic free Google tools that integrate with Google Analytics, such as, AdWords, AdSense, Google Insights for Search and Google Trends for Websites to name a few. Google AdWords is obviously a useful tool, running keyword campaigns from the most popular search engine worldwide.
However, the interface can prove difficult when navigating through the website. With a drop down menu, you can’t access everything in one click, requiring the user to navigate through group menus and sub-menus.
Overall Google Analytics is one of the most robust offerings by the search giant and is one of the few that’s completely free! For those of you who didn’t know Analytics will store your data forever, unlike its competitors. I have to say I am a big fan of Google Analytics and look forward to the next release!