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Google Switches Over to Universal Analytics

Google Switches over to Universal AnalyticsUniversal Analytics is now officially out of Beta Testing Stage and it will be slowly replacing Google Classic Analytics tracking code installed on millions of websites.

Universal Analytics offers new collection methods and reporting tools. With brand-new functions such as the User ID it is now possible to track even more accurate user counts by tracking user engagement via different devices and sessions.

Along with much better tracking, users will now have the capability to control organic search sources, session and project timeout handling, referral exemptions and search term exemptions from the admin; no longer will you need to change these in the source code.

Custom metrics and account dimensions will also be offered with the updated Universal Analytics. With the new custom dimensions and metrics you can track any bit of (non-personally identifiable) detail you can imagine about your website. For example, you can set a scroll metric that measures how far down each page your visitors read, or create a dimension that tracks the sections of your website for easy comparison in reports.

Universal Analytics will enable you to gather and segment information that Google Analytics doesn’t immediately track, like product details, levels in video games, or authors of content pages.

The new Universal Analytics now supports AdSense account linking and Content Experiments. Still to come – Advanced Advertisement Tools such as:

  • Remarketing
  • Demographics and Interests reporting
  • Google Display Network Impression reporting

Comparison of Features between Classic Google Analytics and Universal Analytics

Universal Analytics vs Classic Google Analytics


Should I switch to Universal Analytics …or wait?

Not sure what the difference between Google’s classic analytics and universal analytics is and if you should be switching right now? Then Amazee Metrics’ decision tree should clarify a thing or two (click on the image to enlarge it).

Google Analytics vs Universal Analytics Decision Tree English

Universal Analytics Benefits

  • 1 click install
  • 80% smaller tracking code (faster website)
  • easy tie in with CRM system
  • additional custom variables (20 free and 200 premium)
  • online and offline data tracking (e.g. coupon tracking)
  • attribution modelling (any cost data can now be imported eg. social media costs, email costs, Bing ppc etc)
  • improved user interface (visitor rather than session based reports providing recency, frequency and monetary value of your visitors)


Universal Analytics Implementation Stages

Every account will need to be updated to the new code, or they will be auto upgraded by Google in the future. If this occurs then the brand-new tracking functions will not be usable till you upgrade the monitoring code on your site to the brand-new Universal Analytics tracking code.

Since the data in Universal Analytics is collected and processed at the property level, every level within an account will have to be updated separately! This is not a simple and straight forward 1-click process but a tedious task.


The upgrade from the current GA system to the new UA will take place in 4 stages.

For complete information you can visit Google Upgrade to Universal Analytics Guide. For Short and sweet version – see below.

Stage 1:

All websites can update to Universal Analytics. The Universal Analytics is now officially out of Beta Testing Phase.
All conventional accounts have the choice to upgrade to UA.

Stage 2:

Auto-transfer procedure begins – Date TBA
Mobile App SDK, WAP/server-side snippets, and all other non-ga. js websites will be auto transferred to UA.

Stage 3:

All features are supported in UA.

Stage 4:

Universal Analytics is the operating requirement for Google Analytics. Date TBA – before 1/04/2016.
All internet sites have now been upgraded to UA. Ga. js, urchin. js, WAP/server side bits, YT/MO, custom-made variables, user specified variables are now deprecated.


How to upgrade from Google Analytics to Universal Analytics?

There are two main actions needed to update your website to use the new Universal Analytics. One is changing the details on your Google account the other is changing the tracking code on the website.

You can not stop the procedure or revert to a previous variation of Google Analytics once the transfer procedure has actually begun. So make sure you have all the details you need before you start.

Action 1: Transfer an internet site to Universal Analytics.

There are 6 steps that have to take place inside the admin area to transfer your properties to Universal Analytics. On the Google Analytics Admin page you may also customize session and campaign timeout periods.
The transfer takes minutes to initiate, but you should allow 24 – 48 hours for it to complete. So please wait 48 hours before taking action 2

Action 2: Update your monitoring code on your web site.

This step is not absolutely necessary as yet but you will not get the full advantages of the brand-new Universal Analytics until the monitoring code has been updated to analytics.js. Contact your website admin/developer for instructions on how to update the monitoring code for your web site.

The comprehensive steps can be found below: Google Analytics to Universal Analytics Upgrade Guide – Steps.


Need Help with Upgrading your Analytics?

Getahead Online can help you upgrade from Classic Google Analytics to Universal Analytics. We can set up for you custom metrics and dimensions and make sure that your tracking is aligned with your overall marketing strategy and business goals. Contact us for more details.

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