We recently returned from the annual Google Analytics Summit 2012 at the Computer Science History Museum in Mountain View California. This year’s summit unveiled some exciting – and potentially game-changing – new technologies and shifts within the world of web analytics.
First and foremost, Google Analytics is becoming more customer or user centric rather than session or visit centric. This shift to “customer centricity” is known as Universal Analytics. It’s important because in the ever-changing world of the web, people touch your website in a variety of different ways – and proper attribution is so important to understanding user experience, consumer behavior, and ultimately return-on-investment (ROI).
For instance, a user might browse vacation rentals on their mobile device at lunch, check it out with the family on their desktop device, and finally book their rental before bed on their laptop. In this example, we would have no idea to attribute the user’s first interaction (and the entry point of an eventual conversion) to a mobile device as opposed to the laptop they booked with before bed.
With the eventual release of Universal Analytics ,we can track this user from the first entry point all the way through to the conversion. How much of our marketing focus could shift to other touch points with increased visibility into how users actually interact our sites; instead of what happened in a single visit. This means rather than simply measuring traffic, the new technology will now be a broader system which analyzes effectiveness in advertising, sales, product usage, retention, and support. As if this weren’t enough, it is also going to be able to gauge customer experiences.
Another advancement is that the new measurement protocol will allow users to load their own data into Google Analytics from any system or device. However, the rule with regard to privacy remains – one cannot establish personally identifiable information within GA. Yet imagine the power of being able to load data from point of sale, call center and customer relationship management systems and then having the ability to define your own custom segments incorporating metrics such as gender, income, existing customer vs. prospect, etc.
The ability to load data will also allow users to to view exactly how users interact with your company from multiple devices, laptops, phones, tablets, etc, all in one place.
Google Analytics has broken out of the isolated mold of web analytics and stepped boldly into the broader realm of comprehensive customer interaction analytics. Imagine what this can do for your business.
If you’d like to learn more about navigating the complicated world of web analytics from aGoogle Analytics Certified Partner, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.