Most useful new features in Google Analytics v5

The new version of analytics (v5) became available to all users from April 2011. Other than its new look, it has many new features for helping provide better analysis and SEO reports. The analytics team is still working to give us more surprises over the next few months. I will be covering the most useful features that were missing in the old version of analytics.


Simplified Custom Reports

The Custom Reports section of the new analytics has become more advanced and manageable compared to the older version. Now users can create new categories that group the related Custom Reports simply by clicking a few buttons. There is also an option to migrate all custom reports from the old version of analytics.

Another improvement is the ability to quickly re-order metrics and dimensions using drag and drop feature. All these simple features help to create reports the way we want in short amount of time. To learn how to create custom reports in the new Google Analytics, visit the custom reports article in the Google Analytics Blog.


The new Map Overlay reports

In the new version of analytics, we can now see region level maps of over 170 countries. The previous version had the map overlay feature within the visitors > demographics report but now it is available in other sections of report. This feature can help provide a broader view for analysing geographical data.

New map overlay feature (Source: Google Analytics Blog)

To try this feature, simply login to Analytics, select the new version if you have not already done so. Go to the Map Overlay report that is under Visitors > Mobile > Devices and then click on any country. To see cities, simply click on the City and in this view, you might be able to see a magnifying glass that appears when cities are clustered closely together just like in the image above.


New metrics and dimensions

The new metrics are always better because we get to do deeper analysis of our website using many choices. The analytics team added 45 new metrics and dimensions in the custom reports. The custom reports now can also be explored without making changes to the actual report just by selecting secondary dimensions in the explorer tab.

Categorised metrics and dimensions (Source: Google Analytics Blog)

The new metrics and dimensions cover more variety of areas such as social, e-commerce, mobile and advertising. To make it easier to use, all the dimensions and metrics are now categorised.


New categories

Another new feature of Google Analytics v5 is the new categories that can be found in the left navigation. The most useful including:

  • Social reports: Once you have implemented the tracking code on your website, you will be able to measure the impact of social interactions on your websites. The social engagement report shows behaviour of your site for visits that include clicks on sharing buttons like Follow, Like and +1.The Social actions report shows the amount of social media activity on the site (Tweets,+1’s, Facebook Likes etc).Social pages report shows the pages on the site that drives the most social actions.


  • Site Speed: Site speed has become an important factor in SEO, and the new version of analytics now reports on the site speed. This report can be useful to answer questions like: Which landing pages are the slowest? Or how does page load speed vary across geographies?

To setup the site speed report, you have to enable it in the analytics and update your tracking code. The detailed instruction on configuring and using site speed can be found here.

I hope these new features will help you do better analytics and create good reports. Stay tuned to Bruce Clay Australia’s blog for more Internet Marketing news




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