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Making Google Analytics even speedier

Monday, 27 February 2012

We are excited to announce three new features that we hope will improve your experience and make crunching even massive quantities of data easier. These updated reports will be available to everyone by later this week.

Watch your reports load
Nothing is more frustrating than waiting, especially when you don't know how long the wait will be. To ease that pain on Google Analytics we are adding a visual indicator that will report the progress of loading your report.

Load reports only once
When navigating through Google Analytics, each report takes some time to calculate. Today, we're turning that loading time on its head. Now, the data behind most of your reports will cache on your computer as long as you have the Google Analytics interface open. If your most recent data does update, we'll keep you in sync. Look for this at the bottom of your reports to know if they've been cached:

Control your report calculation
One way we speed up the serving of data is through what we call “fast-access mode”, which applies to reports generated from large data sets. In the coming weeks, we will be peeling back the curtain on how “fast-access mode” works and letting you control the number of visits used to calculate reports.

Out with the old: fast-access mode
If a report requires calculation on more than 250,000 visits, we select a statistically random sample of 250,000 visits and estimate the report results based on that data. This makes reports faster to load, and our testing indicates that the data returned is highly accurate.

In with the new: control your report calculation
Now you will have the ability to control the number of visits used to calculate your reports, and we inform you of exactly how many visits are used in report calculation.

To use the new report calculation control, click the new icon (square cube graphic) in the upper right of your report when you see a message that your report was generated with a percentage of your visits. Then you can drag the slider to your desired number of visits: we will automatically recalculate your report and remember this number for all reports until you log out.

Try experimenting with the control to find the number of visits that is right for your data - you might be surprised with how few you need.


Additionally, we are reducing the number of visits at which we begin to statistically sample reports from 500,000 to 250,000. This change will increase overall speed, particularly if your account has large amounts of data. Anyone who hits this limit will experience faster load times, even if they were not previously entering fast-access mode. If you wish to use the old visit limit, simply drag the slider to the appropriate level.

We hope these changes allows you greater insight into your data and a faster experience inside Google Analytics. Please reach out to us with questions and comments as these features roll out to everyone.

- Chris Anderson, Google Analytics team

Selling More Shoes with Multi-Channel Funnels

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Shoes of Prey, an online retailer that sells custom-made shoes globally, have made significant improvements in their online conversion rates thanks to insights gleaned from their Multi-Channel Funnels reports. Through taking action based on these insights they were able to increase their conversion rate by 40%, increase same-day purchases by 20%, and better understand how to manage their social media strategy.

Head on to the APAC Conversion Room blog to learn how Shoes of Prey achieved these results and more.
Part 1: Thanks to the Top Conversions Paths report, Shoes of Prey were able to understand the sequence of channel interactions that led to conversions, and take action to reduce the number of interactions before a purchase is made.

Part 2: The Time Lag report helped them realise how long it typically took visitors to make a purchase from the time they first visited the site. Using this insight, Shoes of Prey were able to put into place marketing initiatives to help reduce the time to purchase.

Part 3: The Assisted Conversions report aided Shoes of Prey in understanding how influential their various marketing channels were either earlier in the sales funnel or as a direct response mechanism. They now have a better understanding of what role social media plays in influencing sales and can now manage their campaigns better.

PUMA Kicks Up Order Rate 7% with Insights from Google Analytics and Viget

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Google Analytics has a network of Certified Partners around the globe who provide valuable technical and analytical services, but I often get asked about the impact of their work. To that end, we help our partners publish case studies to showcase their best projects, and we’re featuring these studies in a series of posts in the coming months.

PUMA is a highly recognizable and well-respected sport/lifestyle company. They have a global audience and a world-class website, but still they strive to beat their own records. They know the best athletes use data and strict regimens to improve their performance, so applied the same concepts to their website with great results.

PUMA had a few strategic goals. They wanted to measure all engaging elements of their dynamic website, beyond just simple pageviews. They also wanted their site to be optimized for each key region around the world. Finally, they wanted to improve ecommerce conversion rates across the board.


Using Google Analytics, and with the help of Viget Labs - a Google Analytics Certified Partner based in Washington, DC - PUMA implemented a robust measurement strategy, including the use of Event Tracking to capture how visitors engaged with the dynamic parts of their website. They then set up website optimization tests to inform improved website design leading to a higher conversion rate. Viget also suggested they use Google Analytics Custom Variables to segment their customers from each test variation. 

Working with Viget and Google Analytics, PUMA has gained a detailed understanding of visitor behavior, enabling them to optimize their entire web site experience. Being customer focused and improving their digital experience translated into considerable gains in revenue. Check out the full case study of their experience here: PUMA Kicks Up Order Rate 7% with Insights from Google Analytics and Viget

PUMA’s team were extremely pleased with the business impact and we’re delighted Google Analytics could help them. You can read what their Head of Digital Strategy thought of the project:

“Google Analytics lets us help our customers. We’ve seen some spectacular results working with Viget, and we’re thrilled with GA as a tool. For every decision we’ve faced, GA’s been there to answer the call.” — Jay Basnight, Head of Digital Strategy, PUMA

Improvements like this aren’t just limited to big global brands, businesses of all sizes can take advantage of these features with Google Analytics if they’re willing to plan their web analytics strategy around business goals. If you feel like Google Analytics isn’t helping to drive more revenue for your business, you may want to re-assess your analytics strategy. If you don’t know where to begin, you might benefit from a consultation with a Google Analytics Certified Partner.

Let us know in the comments what your biggest challenges are and we’ll run a series of guest posts from our partner network to share advice on the most popular topics.

Posted by Jesse Nichols, Google Analytics Partner Manager

Customize your standard reports

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Designing a good custom report can be challenging, and sometimes all you really want is a slightly different version of a standard report. Using the new "Customize" feature in Google Analytics allows you to tweak our definitions of Standard Reports into your own Custom Reports.

So, what's new?
There is a new button in the action bar on all tabular standard reports in Analytics, labeled "Customize". 

Where to find the "Customize" option on standard reports

Clicking this button loads the custom report builder. From there, you are just clicks away from your own custom report.

An example of a customized standard report

What can I use it for?
Here are some example use cases to get the ideas flowing:
  • New metrics, familiar reports - The best metrics are the ones that provide actionable insights into your business. Try adding different metric groups to your favorite reports to see if how it impacts your view of conversion rates.
  • Drill down into your data - Sometimes, the best route to a particular piece of data is a drilldown not found in any standard report. You could customize the Language report to drill into search terms for a language-by-language comparison of your organic search traffic.
  • Filter to find insights - Ad campaigns can span many networks. Try customizing the AdWords Campaigns report and applying a filter for Ad Distribution Network matches "Google Search" to see your performance on only Google Search. 
What else should I know? 
  • Not all standard reports can be transformed into custom reports. Look for the "Customize" button to see if a particular report can be customized.
We hope you'll gain even greater insights into your data by customizing the power of Google Analytics standard reports to more closely match your business needs.

- Chris Anderson, Google Analytics team

Google Analytics has learned 9 new languages

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Recently we introduced the new and improved Google Analytics, so that you can quickly find even more powerful and useful data to improve your internet marketing efforts.

Now, we are proud to say Google Analytics is available in 9 new languages. This makes Google Analytics quite a Polyglot, and it is in total available in 40 languages now. Newly introduced languages are:

- Arabic
- Croatian
- Hebrew
- Hindi
- Latvian
- Romanian
- Serbian
- Slovenian
- Ukrainian

To change the language of an Analytics account to any of these new languages, you have to activate the new interface, if you haven’t already, by clicking on the “new version” button at the top of the account. Then, navigate to the settings page where you can select the new language.

You may also enjoy reading the newly revamped Analytics help center in any of the 9 new languages.

We are confident this will improve the usage of Google Analytics across the world, and help website owners and AdWords advertisers get even more out of their internet marketing efforts.

Happy data mining!
Google Analytics team

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