Google Analytics continues to become an even more powerful tool with some recent additions that are outlined in this article on the Google Analytics blog. In the past we have only been able to set specific urls as goals which works well for ecommerce sites. However, what if you have a shopping or booking engine that is hosted externally or you have a content site where engagement is a primary goal? The most interesting new feature is that they now allow two new kinds of goals to track: time on site and pages per visit. By tracking time on site you can choose to set a certain minimum threshold and track visits that exceed that. Similarly, by setting a goal around page views per visit you can set a threshold of visits that exceed a certain minimum number of views. These features will greatly increase the ROI tracking capability of Google analyics for non-ecommerce sites.
We also love the new advanced analysis feature that allows you to filter data within a table without having to generate custom reports and perform the analysis in as separate database or spreadsheet. For instance, what if you are viewing a list of referring keywords and you would like to see which have a bounce of less than 30% and meet a certain number of page views? In the past you would have had to export the data and do your filtering on the desktop. Now you can filter for these results within the keywords table itself. That’s a handy time saver and will encourage more people to delve deeper into their data.
In addition, Google has rolled out a new features that allows you to createa wider variety of custom variables to track more details about your users and your content while also offering the ability to create repprt sharing rules that allow to share specific reports with specific audiences in your company. If you want to create a report just for your sales team this is your solution.
One other favorite new addition is the ability to create custom alerts whenever a certain metric shows a noteworthy change. If you wanted to know whether you got a sudden spike in traffic from that website you just formed a partnership with or that video you placed on YouTube this could be a handy method of staying informed.
Thanks to Google for continuing to develop these tools! Let us know if you are finding any new ways to use them.