Google Analytics V2 Released

By Craig Smith

So I mentioned that Google Analytics launched V2 earlier today, but what I did not mention is how sweet this application is! Time after time I am blown away by the Engineers at the Plex‘, but this may be their best achievement to date.

Here’s the announcement on the official GA blog: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2007/05/new-version-of-google-analytics.html

At Trinity, a large portion of our time is spent analyzing client web data. We provide this service to help marketing executives better understand their visitor behavior/marketing spend and subsequently tailor new strategies to capitalize on these trends.

Needless to say, we are snobs when it comes to web analytics. If a business relies on a local log file program to decipher intelligence, we quickly scrap that notion and implement a enterprise level tool. Myself, I was always loyal to Omniture. The best interface, the most flexibility, the best filtering tools. Then there was the pack that followed: Web Trends, CoreMetrics, FireClick, and the emerging player of last year: Google Analytics.

As we all know, what made GA so popular was the price tag. To get the power it provided for free opened up new opportunities for websites and webmasters everywhere. Finally you could get the data needed to proactively manage a website or eCommerce business at no cost!

But GA was still not near Omniture IMO. Well, that’s becoming a moot point…

The new version of GA is a slam dunk. Its obvious that some of Google’s best programmers must have worked on this release and I am excited to show our clients the new functionality that the tool brings. Lets just look at some of the new functionality which makes this new release so cool…

Speed

The flash interface motors through report creation. A new tabbed based interface lets users quickly locate what data they need. For instance, when looking at monthly visitors, and drilling into the direct traffic segment (folks who typed your url) a GA user can now see site usage, conversion data, and ecommerce data instantaneously.

Segmentation

Now marketers can quickly find how users are navigating through the landing pages that they are directed. “Landing page” is now a variable for segmentation and marketers can see how their key pages are performing from a natural or paid perspective. As a SEO’er, this is a great new functionality to help gauge progression. Progress can be judged on not just keyword penetration but also page penetration.

Timeline Functionality

This a very cool enhancement which allows a user to determine the report timeframe using a dragging timeline. Not easy to spot – but take a look and you will find it.

Navigational Summary

Nav/Path reports in the last version were clunky. Now the process is much more streamlined as a user has a direct link to see where users came from and where they went to from a specific webpage. Now GA provides a slick dropdown (like Omniture) and a search functionality to quickly locate the page you want to analyze.

As great as v2 is, there is one thing that I hope will be integrated in the near term…

Dynamic path analysis reporting is still not offered by GA and is now Omniture’s core differentiatorin the marketplace. When visiting Google last month, I mentioned this as an enhancement to potentially roll out in upcoming months. It was viewed positively and hopefully progress will be made towards incorporating such a tool.

Gotta jet – but look for an upcoming post in which Ill take a MUCH deeper dive into dynamic path analysis and why it is so fundamental to web analytics…

Till then…

Craig

Tags: Web Analytics

Also read...