That’s No Moon: 3 Things You Need To Know About Google Universal Analytics

In the pivotal scene of one of the greatest movies of all time, Star Wars, Davish “Pops” Krail and his squad of Y-wings are making a run in the trenches of the Death Star, when suddenly bolts of lasers tear through two of his squadmates.

Lost Tiree, lost Dutch,” Pops manages, “They came from…behind,” he blurts out just before meeting a similar fate.

Universal Analytics isn’t exactly like making a run in the trenches of the Death Star, but Google is arguably as powerful as the evil Empire and we’d hate for you to be caught unawares by one of Google’s updates. So let’s talk Universal Analytics.

Universal Analytics isn’t a new thing—but, like the Death Star, it’s soon going to be “fully operational,” and everyone will be required to use it in the near future. To find out more about this shift, I went to our own Gold (paid media) and Red (content marketing) leaders: Shawn and Krista, respectively.

1. Universal Analytics offers increased flexibility and simplified configuration

One of the key features of Universal Analytics is the increased ability to customize configurations. According Shawn, this will greatly improve our ability to adjust our tactics and strategies:

“The simplified configuration settings and the ability to create custom dimensions and metrics are not only going to help speed things up from a management stand point,” Shawn explains, “but we’re going to be able to customize the way we manage in order to account for specific business goals of a client—and that’s a big deal.”

This level of simplicity and flexibility requires a little work, however, which brings me to our second point:

2. Migrating to Universal Analytics is resource –intensive

You’re not going to be able to capitalize on the good things Universal Analytics offers without devoting a little time and attention first. Krista iterates:

“Universal Analytics needs to be setup properly first and then it requires replacement of any and all existing Google Analytics code on your site. This code is completely new. It has more to offer, but this isn’t a quick upgrade.”

I asked Krista when a good time to upgrade might be: “If you’re planning a site redesign or an overhaul to your existing site that requires updated code in some way—that’d be a good time to make the shift.”

How about keywords? Will Universal Analytics bring that data back?

No, is the short answer, which is our last point:

3. Keywords are not returning

But don’t despair, Krista continues on:

“We won’t get keywords back, but there are more options to edit certain reports and change tracking settings to better reflect user behavior.”

So that’s good news.

We’ll have more updates in the near future as the shift towards requiring Universal Analytics approaches.

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