Today Google announced a number of new features for Google Analytics. I’m really excited about these features because they will greatly improve our ability to understand our site site visitors and what they want to do. You should know that this is a true beta. Google is taking signups for the new features and they should be rolled out to beta testers soon.
Links for More Information
It would be impossible to thoroughly explain each feature in a single post, so I’ve written a number of articles to cover everything you need to know.
GA.JS: New Google Analytics Tracking Code
GA On Site Search Pt. 1: Overview & Setup
GA On Site Search Pt. 2: Reporting & Usage
GA Event Tracking Pt. 1: Overview & Data Model
GA Event Tracking Pt. 2: Implementation
GA Event Tracking Pt. 3: Reporting
Urchin 6 Software
Automatic Oubound Link Tracking
New GA.JS Tracking Code
The first big change is a new version of the Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC). The new code is object oriented, has a smaller file size and enables a number of features. The old tracking code is not going away (yet), so you don’t need to rush out and change all the tags on your pages. But you may want to given the next announcement…
Google Analytics now supports Event tracking. A lot of people have been asking for it and now it exists. Google changed the GATC to enable event tracking.
You can now use Google Analytics to logically track anything, like video player interactions, visitor clicks, etc. The beauty is that you no longer need to create extra pageviews. Google has created a logical data model to help understand visitor actions and intent. I must admit, when I first heard that they were adding Event tracking to GA I was skeptical, but this feature is completely awesome! It is really well done.
Internal Site Search Reporting
The next addition is a series of reports that focus on internal site search. These reports provide a structured, logical way to evaluate the value of your onsite search. I’ve been testing these reports for a while and they are truly remarkable. I can’t tell you how much insight I’ve gained into site visitors by using them. Setup is really easy and I think everyone is going to like them. Note that the search reports are not related to, or affected by, the new tracking code.
Urchin 6 Software
And finally, Google announced a new version of Urchin software. Urchin 6 will be available in beta form starting October 22. For those of you unfamiliar with Urchin, it is a log analysis tool. You install it on your server, it crunches your log files and produces pretty graphs. Urchin 6 is a complete upgrade from Urchin 5. It has a new data processing engine and a new interface. It’s NOT using the current GA interface, it’s using the OLD GA interface. But it is a huge upgrade.