Universal Analytics: are you ready?

Being a private invite only service, it has finally released to the public.  At the end on March Google released Universal Analytics to the public as an open beta.  This long awaited update has added several new features and data collecting methods for your analytic arsenal.

The move to Universal Analytics will not be a quick upgrade; you will need to create a new property and replace all of the Google Analytic scripts on your site.  This means you will have to create a new UA for your website.  During the creation process, you will have the option to create a classic or Universal account.  It is possible to use both classic and Universal together on the same website; all the recorded data will be duplicated, so this is not recommended.

New features include:

  • Custom dimensions and metrics

  • Online and offline data sync

  • Multi-platform tracking

  • Simplified configuration controls

  • Advanced advertising tools (coming soon)

Other new features, previously only available in the development environment is now available to all users:

  • Customize organic search sources

  • Session and campaign timeout handling

  • Referral exclusions

  • Search term exclusions

  • Mobile App Analytics

One notable change is the different embed tracking code containing the UA and domain data.  A similar change to the script was made during the previous switch from urchin to asynchronous syntax.  The new tracking code has improved the way events, custom dimensions and social media are captured.