Google Analytics Version 5, the new version of GA, has been rolled out in all markets and languages worldwide.
Major new features of the release include:
- A new and faster user interface
- More powerful custom reports
- Multiple configurable dashboards
- Event Goals — GA “Events” such as a PDF download can now be tracked as Goals, or what’s now called “Conversions.”
The new release is built on a new GA platform. As Google says in a blog post, “These new features are only the beginning of what’s coming to the new Google Analytics platform over the next few months.”
There are changes in the Google Analytics layout and terminology:
- Technical metrics such as network capabilities and browser details are in a new “Technology” tab
- “Demographics” covers visitors’ location and languages
- Goals are now called “Conversions”
- Under the new “Behavior” group, Visit Duration and Page Depth are now “Engagement.”
Search Engine Land calls the new user interface “more enterprise-like” and similar to the new Google navigation bar released in February.
The new GA is still in beta, with some bugs and missing some features. The “old GA” is still the default when you log into your Google Analytics account. To try the new version, after you log-in to your Google Analytics account, click on the red-colored New Version link on the top right of the screen.
With so many new features in the new GA, let’s look at one of the most accessible and popular: the new dashboard layout, with a new modular approach and the ability to define multiple dashboards. You can now group metrics together by topic or interest, and provide different dashboards for different users, say one for Content, another for Products, and a third for your PPC campaigns.
View and manage your dashboards on the Dashboard tab, which is available from any Analytics page. You can create up to 20 dashboards, with each containing up to 12 widgets grouped together as you choose.
Dashboards and widgets can be customized by changing the name of the dashboard, the titles and locations of the widgets, the number of rows or slices in tables or pie charts, and what traffic segment is shown within an individual widget. Dashboards are accessible from a new tab in the top left of the screen.
Four widget formats are available for dashboards:
Metric: a simple number such as “Bounce Rate” or “Visits” and a sparkline for the time period in question.
Table: You can show one dimension with one to two metrics and up to ten rows in each table.
Timeline: Showing how one or two metrics performed over the time period:
Piechart: A visual representation of a metric by a certain dimension, such as Visits by Country.
Currently, dashboards are visible only in the profile and user account in which they are created. Also, unlike the previous GA, you cannot yet share dashboards by downloading or exporting, nor can you export an existing GA report to be displayed on the dashboard.
Play around with different widgets and dashboards to see the metrics that you and others in your organization care about most. Expect improvements in the dashboard and more new features as Google builds on its new platform.