Everyone hates it when Google Analytics changes….Just when you’ve got a handle on their latest update it’s all change again!
Over the last few years there’s also been that horrible feeling that something useful has been removed. Keywords was the first example of this but there has been others too such as the introduction of the new horrendously complicated funnel view. Custom views have for many been more and more important.
That’s why I felt that I needed to write a blog this time out. Not because everything has changed again… actually to give the good news that there’s some half decent new features!
1. Active Users and Cohort Analysis
This is excellent. Almost regardless of the business activities of any organisation we talk to the trend is that customers are doing more research online before making decisions.
Until now it was really tricky to see what returning visit behaviour really looked like. As far as mainstream Google Analytics reporting goes a return visitor was a return visitor. Regardless of whether they’d come back once to confirm they didn’t want your service or if they visited 50 times then made a purchasing decision.
For lots of marketers (especially in the B2B space) this lack of detail was not acceptable hence the popularity of Lead Forensics, Hubspot et al. These tools still have limitations. The major one being that most businesses have a significant number of anonymous potential customers. What I like about these features are that they lift the lid on average engagement with the target audience. If this improves over time and your customer targeting is right this should mean more leads and sales.
2. Hello Search Console
The search console isn’t a new tool but previously it existed in the Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) suite.
It’s amazing how many marketers look blank faced when you mention GWT. There’s almost a deep suspicion that they’re so underqualified at being a webmaster that simply logging in will call planes to fall from the sky. Moving the search console into Analytics makes a lot of sense. The data is more use in marketing than technical hands.
As before you can still only see a percentage of queries but something is better than nothing.
3. Time of Day browsing
Halleluja! Now we have definitive proof that for most businesses doing go lives at 8am is not a good idea.
For a long time I have suspected that doing go lives outside of office hours is more about professional vanity than its impact on real users.
Lots of our clients we’re seeing increased browsing between 8am and 9am and between 5pm and 7pm. Why? Commuting is really boring but increasingly a lot of us have Wifi. This means that we’re browsing more on the way to work and on the way home. Taking your website offline or doing a go-live at the beginning or end of the day is almost the riskiest time to do it. Lots of businesses will be better off doing go-lives during the day when people are busy.
If you need our help in using any of this cool stuff give us a call on 0114 279 7779 or email firstname.lastname@example.org