Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Google improves Analytics

Google has released into beta a set of major improvements to Google Analytics that will make it an even more robust web metrics tool.

Including advanced data segmentation, data visualisation using 'motion charts', improved adsense integration, a more advanced administration console and an API for enterprise integration, this is the largest upgrade of Google Analytics for some time - however it could be some time before the features become available to all accounts.

I use Google Analytics to track traffic for this blog and as a secondary reporting system for our agency's websites.

In general I've found Analytics reports on around 65-75% of the traffic captured in our agency's web logs, but provides easier and more accurate geographical segmentation of traffic as well as better conversion tracking than can be achieved without extensive customisation of our weblog reports.

I also use Analytics to provide 'backstop' reporting to identify issues with our primary reporting (such as logs being corrupted or not transferred to the reporting system). This is very handy for providing evidence that it is a technical issue, rather than a decline in traffic, responsible for sudden changes in visits reported by a web log system.

If you've never investigated Google Analytics I'd recommend considering it in a secondary role to your main agency web reporting system.

For content external to agency hosted sites, such as MySpace, Facebook, WordPress, Yahoo Groups or Blogger hosted sites, Google Analytics could be considered as an option for a primary reporting system.

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