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Google Analytics updates July 2012

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 31 Jul, 2012
Essential Essential topic

A summary of recent changes relevant to marketers

Value/Importance: [rating=4]

Google often announce developments in Google Analytics in bursts. In July we've seen several changes notified via the Google Analytics blog that it’s worth being aware of if your company uses Google Analytics. Some are just name changes, others are more significant. Here’s our summary:

1. New Google Analytics version now standard. From 18th July the original version of Google Analytics was retired. Most businesses will now be using the new version, but this is a prompt that users may need training to be aware of the new features such as multichannel funnels and social analytics.

It is also a prompt to check that Google Analytics is set up to tailor reports to improve marketing for their business (see our Google Analytics setup checklist for details of 15 setup options).

2. Google Website Optimizer now integrated as Content Experiments. GWO was originally a separate tool which meant that hacks were needed to link the results of test to Google Analytics. Tests can now be integrated and results presented in reports familiar to Google Analytics users:

Google Content Experiments

3. Goodbye $ Index value, hello Page value. $Index value was a little used, but useful tool which enabled marketers to work out which content and campaigns were most influential in generating sales value - hence the term. It was removed in the new version of Google Analytics, but from July the 24th it’s back and has been renamed Page value.

A while back I wrote a post on Brian Clifton’s blog called Show me the money explaining the value of this, so it’s good to see it back. However, it also used to apply to referrers, so you could determine the relative value contributed by different campaigns or keywords - that is now not possible although similar insight, e.g. revenue generated per keyword can be viewed in the conversion reports and through measures of per visit goal value.

Here’s how the post above explains page value:

4. Google Analytics Remarketing. Recently announced at the end of July, this is perhaps the biggest recent change. Remarketing is a feature of Google AdWords more generally known as “behavioural targeting” where you can follow-up an action by a site visitor with an advert on a third-part site in an ad network (see our introduction to AdWords Remarketing).

5. Visitor flow visualisation. Not so new, but a reminder about this great new feature of showing customer journeys fits with the newer features.

Justin Cutroni’s post From the Autumn gives details on how to select different traffic sources, create custom nodes and apply advanced segments.


Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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