Google Analytics tip: 3 features to pay attention to in 2013

teyaThis week, we have a guest post from Whereoware’s Director of Marketing, Teya Flick. In addition to managing marketing for Whereoware itself, Teya has a wide breadth of experience in strategy, email marketing, SEO, PPC, + other activities dependent on Google Analytics reporting. Here, she shares some of the key Google Analytics features you should be paying attention to in 2013:

1. Enhanced link attribution for In-Page Analytics. We’ve written about In-Page Analytics before, and still consider it a valuable tool (for a refresher, check out Google Analytics tip: using in-page analytics). For the first time, we could see the distribution of clicks on a page-by-page basis, rather than in spreadsheet form. One of the limitations of this service, however, is that it was previously only able to report click-through information by URL.This meant that even if “Bestsellers” was linked as a button at the top of the page, a text link to the side, and a text link at the bottom, the statistics for these links would be reported as the same percentage, even if only one of the locations was really drawing clicks.

With Enhanced Link Attribution, however, you can view statistics based on where a link is located on a page, rather than simply where it leads. This means that you can now tell whether a Contact Us link at the top of the page is receiving 3x the clicks as a link to the same URL positioned at the bottom of the page – information well worth knowing as you design pages or tweak campaigns. Enhanced Link Attribution can also report data for buttons or navigation triggered by JavaScript code – a sorely needed upgrade! Enabling the feature requires the quick addition of 2 lines to your tracking code + some tinkering with Google Analytics settings, but the results are well worth it. This feature is definitely something you should be implementing in 2013.

2. Mobile app analytics. You’ve heard the refrain again and again: “Mobile is the future.” If you’ve already begun to design for mobile, well done! You’ve taken an important first step. (For more on designing for mobile, see Web tip: going mobile? design for tablets, not just smartphones.). However, design and development are only half the battle – how will you know if your creative and functional choices are working unless you can measure audience ‘reaction’? Google Analytics’ Mobile App Analytics tracks a great deal of information specific to individual apps, including:

  1. New and active users
  2. How frequently the app is used
  3. Length of time the app is used
  4. Data on app crashes
  5. Devices used
  6. Geographic location
  7. Languages
  8. In-app purchase tools

This information, grouped into Acquisitions, Users, Engagement, and Outcomes reports, is crucial to have if you wish to optimize or maximize your app traffic. If you have a mobile app of any kind, then you no longer have an excuse to delay analytics reporting. Installing code and collecting data now will save you a lot of headache later on. Why not start today?

3. Attribution reports. Transactions don’t happen in a vacuum, and Google Analytics enables you to see where they stem from. We’ve discussed Multi-Channel Funnels previously, but the start of a new year means it’s a great time to take a second look. Key reports include Assisted Conversions + Top Conversion Paths. These reports not only tell you the way a customer last interacted with you before converting, but they also tell you all the ways they interacted with you leading up to the conversion. Think of it this way: if you can’t see all the steps leading up to a conversion, you’ll have a very hard time replicating your e-commerce success in the future. Be sure to take a closer look at Attribution reports in 2013 – you’ll be glad you did.