As my fellow colleague, Amanda, pointed out in her blog post last year, there are many benefits to upgrading to Universal Analytics (UA). Universal Analytics has been around for over a year now and the urgency to migrate is becoming more and more evident. So why haven’t you made the switch?
- You just have not gotten around to it. We get it, sometimes other things take priority.
- You simply don’t know how to do it. We can help with that, too!
- You assumed that Google automatically transferred. Voila! (ALERT: There are more steps to fully migrate – see below)
- You are fearful and you wanted to see how others fared with the migration.
- You’ve been abducted by aliens for the last 13 months.
Now that we’ve gotten reasoning as to why you haven’t upgraded out of the way, let’s focus on why it is so important to migrate soon.
By now you’ve likely been auto-migrated, meaning Google has automatically switched your profile from Classic to Universal, next you’ll have to upgrade your code. While your old code will continue to work for approximately two years, it’s important to map out a timeline for full migration. Universal Analytics will be the only operating standard for Google Analytics and being left with old code on your site could have potentially disastrous effects for your data. Basically, use it or lose it! Google will simply not be supporting Classic Analytics and thus, there is exponentially more chance of loss of data.
But don’t fret! There is still time to setup your timeline to make the migration. In doing so, you will likely be pleasantly surprised by the benefits that Universal Analytics brings. Simply put, Universal Analytics has many exciting new features that were not possible before. This gives you and your business a new layer of visibility to more confidently and accurately make business decisions. There are numerous benefits to migrating to Universal Analytics and as marketers helping many companies make this switch, we’ve compiled a list of why we love Universal Analytics.
- Tracking People instead of Visits – With Universal Analytics, we are able to track User ID as opposed to cookies – this helps us to better understand one person’s behavior across multiple devices. If you can better understand cross-device behavior, this will allow you to run your campaigns with much more accuracy, which will likely save you money in the long run!
- Cross Domain Tracking – Do you have multiple sub-domains? Has self-referral traffic been a pain point for you? Universal Analytics makes this issue so much easier to address. Universal Analytics allows you to easily view traffic to multiple domains in a single session.
- Security – Universal Analytics has much less information stored in cookies, which saves
space and is more secure for the end-user.
- Flexibility! You will now be able to create custom dimensions and metrics more geared towards your unique business. For search, you have the ability to adjust recognized search engines and exclude certain search terms.
- Ability to Import Data – How would you like to bridge the gap between online and offline activity? You know a user scheduled an appointment but you’re losing visibility into the full customer path. Universal Analytics makes closed loop reporting possible by allowing you to import data into GA. By doing so, you will gain insights into acquisition and behavior using downstream data, without having to develop custom integrations with external systems.
- Measurement Protocol, which makes it easy to track behavior outside of