More Google Analytics Features

Google Analytics continues to offer new things that gets me addicted to number crunching as it rolls out new features within the next few weeks, as I learned in its blog post.

One of the new features include the Site Search which enables us to pinpoint which keywords lead to which pages. Further to that, it also shows the search refinements (searchers modifying phrases) and where people begin and end their searches. I think this will be helpful to analyze what kind of search phrases people initially use to search for something and on what amendments they make if they aren’t satisfied with search results they see. This enables us to see how search affects conversion rates, navigation behavior and e-commerce activities.

I am certain you’d agree with me that having analysis within our web analytics reports is much better than just having numbers placed on the table. Therefore, this Site Search feature should help us explain the numbers as they are shown on the reports.

A limited beta test for Google Analytics Event Tracking will also begin. This tool is especially useful in understanding how people interact with Web 2.0-themed pages with Ajax, Flash and other multimedia elements. We know that activities within these elements are not reflected on search metrics such as page views so having the Event Tracking feature helps us figure out what’s going on during these sessions untrackable by the conventional page view measurement. I am not sure how Google Analytics came up with a workaround on this one so it’s interesting to see how it works. This feature requires the use of a new JavaScript file called ga.js which will replace the currently used urchin.js.

If you are interested in the two features I described, then it is necessary to change the tracking code content from urchin.js to ga.js. Otherwise, the existing system should still work fine.

The third update Google Analytics announced is the Outbound Link Tracking feature. It reports us about the external links visitors clicked on our site. In the current system we add a piece of tag on each outbound link (external link) so if you have implemented this one in the past, there is no need to switch to the new method. For newcomers who want to track outbound links more easily, this should make the setup work much easier.

I will try to place an update post once I begin to see these reports on my account’s profiles.