It looks like the team at Google Analytics has surprised us all with some new features. What a great way to celebrate the holiday season. Many of these new changes were actually announced by Brett Crosby at Emetrics and are just now getting rolled out to all of us.
New Multi-Line Graph
Google has added a new features to help with analysis. It’s called multi-line graphing. We now have the ability to graph multiple lines of data in the data-over-time graph that appears at the top of each page. There are two ways to use this feature.
First, you can compare two metrics in the graph. This is a great way to determine if there is a correlation between the two numbers. For example, let’s say you want to see if conversion rate stays the same if visits increase. Now you can do that.
The second way to use the multi-line graph is to compare a specific segment of data to the overall site data. This helps you analyze how much the segment of data affected the larger set of data.
The graph below shows AdWords visits (blue) and the total site visits (gray). We can clearly see that there was a big bump in traffic but it was not caused by AdWords.
I’ll have a more in-depth post on this tomorrow.
ga.js Tracking Code
The new ga.js tracking code is now live. For those of you that don’t know, Google created a new version of the tracking code that supports many new features, primarily event tracking.
The new tracking code is very different. Many of the functions that exist in urchin.js do not exist in ga.js. Things like
__utmSetVar() are gone. Don’t worry, they’ve been replaced with new methods like
You don’t need to migrate to the new ga.js, you can continue to use the old urchin.js. However, Google will not update urchin.js in the future. If you want to take advantage of new features you must upgrade.
Check out GA.JS: New Google Analytics Tracking Code for more information about why the basic page tag has changed, how it has changed and if you should upgrade to the new tracking code.
To help facilitate the transition, Google has published a migration guide to help you transition from urchin.js to ga.js. It’s a great resource that does a good job of mapping old tracking code settings to new tracking code settings.
How do you get the new tracking code for your site? For existing websites, there is a new tabbed interface that provides the urchin.js tracking code or the ga.js tracking code. Just click on the “Check Status” link for a profile and you’ll see the tabs. Google will automatically supply the new ga.js tracking code when you create a new profile.
Caution: do not use the new tracking code and old tracking code on the same page. However, you can use the new tracking code on some parts of your site and the old tracking code on other parts of the site.