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Dec 07
2009

For those of us who started implementing and benefiting from the recently announced Google Analytics features, more is coming your way, and the Google Analytics team is calling it the “holiday bonus”! :)

Today our dear friend Phil Mui, Google Analytics’ Senior Product Manager, announced at SES Chicago, new and advanced features in Google Analytics. We will have specific posts with detailed examples and case studies in the future, but for now here is a quick summary of these cool new features:

Annotations

I would say, a very very long-awaited for feature. You can now quickly add your own notes within the Google Analytics user interface!!! Say you see a spike in traffic in last week’s reports and you know exactly what caused it (e.g. a recent email campaign that worked well). Now, you can add use Annotations to add a comment about this email campaign, so few weeks down the road you’ll have a reference of what happened and you won’t be searching all over your email, notes, and asking your colleagues (and maybe pulling your hair as well :) ) to help explained the traffic spike. Other scenarios where annotations can be very helpful:

  • Very successful marketing programs (or maybe unsuccessful ones :( )
  • External campaign not tagged properly causing data from one source to show in another source
  • Introduction of new design/landing pages
  • Site related issues causing data collection problems and inaccuracies

As you can see the relevant marketing campaign and site information will be right there next to your Google Analytics reports “bringing more Intelligence to data” as Phil said in his post. Very very useful and time saving feature, give it a try and start using it! Also, you have two options in Annotations, you can have the comment private or shared with others.

Here is an example of using Annotations to comment on a spike in traffic generated by a blog post.

Google-Analytics-Annotations

Multiple Custom Variables In Advanced Segmentation & Custom Reports

You can now create custom reports and use advanced segmentation to leverage the power of the new Multiple Custom Variables functionality. Slice your data and reports based on the visitor, session, or page level custom variables you have created and get the insights and actionability you that will make you a hero!

New Google Analytics Setup Wizard

For those of us that are less technical savvy, this Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) Wizard will be our best friend :) . You don’t have to manually construct the GATC code for sub-domains, multiple domains, cross-domains, mobile, etc; the wizard will help you get the code in a packaged and ready to use form.

For the GA ninjas, you also have a reference on How to Structure your Google Analytics Account.

New Version of the Google Analytics API

More details to come out later this week, but get ready for more capabilities in the GA API, namely support for Advanced Segmentation.

Whoa, it sometimes feel like it’s a challenge to keep us with all these new features, but it’s worth every bit of effort. Roll up your sleeves and give these features a try, and start improving your site and your marketing campaign performance.

Comments or thoughts about these new features?

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2 Responses to “New Google Analytics Features: Annotations, Additional Advanced Segementation Options, API & More”

  1. Very cool. As much as I like GA I thought the presentation quality of reports was lacking. Annotation helps. Also, any time a wizard can save me time and aggravation I’m all for it.

  2. Feras Alhlou says:

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the comment. Annotations is going to come in very handy. So many external activities (as well as code level changes) impact the analytics data, and having notes next to the activities one is aware of, will help us make more sense of what is going on :) .

    Let me know if you have any specific comments on the presentation quality of the reports, and will pass them on to the GA team (or you can submit your ideas directly as well).

    Thanks,
    Feras

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