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Holy moly! You read the title of this post correctly. Everyone in the web analytics industry has been waiting with baited breath for the finalization of Beta testing of Google’s flagship (free) analytics tool. That day has come with Google’s announcement today that Universal Analytics is indeed ready for prime time.

google-universal-analytics-reporting-capabilities

In the past I have written about the excitement surrounding the introduction of  Universal Analytics. Sadly there were a number of things that Universal Analytics could not facilitate. No more!

For me the biggest roadblock was that one could not implement Google’s remarketing program.

So AdWords was kind of stuck at the initial and (possibly) return visit(s). Remarketing (if you are unfamiliar with it) extends your connection with possible clients past their visit to your website. Despite it’s controversial nature (in some circles), it is a very effective online marketing tool.

There are a number of features contained within Universal Analytics that make it an absolute no-brainer in terms of whether to upgrade or not.

Here are some highlights:

+ I already mentioned my favorite (Remarketing). So no more on that topic apart from me saying that if you are serious about AdWords, then you should really look at the possibilities offered by Remarketing.
+ Demographics & Interests reports (aka Audience Reporting): Analytics now includes data on your users’ demographics (age, gender) and interests (affinity categories, other categories). You can analyze those data with two new categories of reports in the Audience section:

– Demographics Overview (overview of traffic by age and gender)
– Age (traffic by age ranges)
– Gender (traffic by gender)
– InterestsOverview (overview of traffic by affinity and other categories)
– Affinity Categories (behavior by affinity categories)
– In-Market Categories (behavior by in-market categories)
– Other Categories (behavior by other interest categories)

+ User ID Feature:  User IDs lets you associate engagement data from multiple devices and different sessions with unique IDs. Each unique User ID is considered to be a unique user in Google Analytics, so you get a more accurate user count in your reports. When you send Google Analytics an ID and related data over the course of multiple sessions, you can also put individual user actions in context and start analyzing ongoing relationships. This one is being “rolled out gradually”. So you may not see it in your GA account right away.

And the best for last. I love this report!

Google UnIversal Analytics Cross-Device Reports

New Cross-Device Reports in GA let you see the full customer journey

There are a few other nifty features. The above are the highlights according to Les.

So there’s really nothing stopping you from upgrading to Universal Analytics!

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