Overview of Google Analytics Interface Updates

Google Analytics recently rolled out a new and improved user interface. At first glance, I cursed Google for ripping me from the comforts I came to love. Traffic Sources and Content were old friends of mine. Who the heck are these Acquisition and Behavior characters? After about a solid 30 seconds of boycotting GA due to label changes, I got suckered back in and started clicking around. I was instantly sold. The changes made here are a tough love push by Google to force users to start thinking outside the box of visits and standard web metrics. Google is shoving the start-to-finish picture in your face and saying, “If you want to use our product, you will start thinking about your analytics this way, and you will become a better marketer.”

So let’s get down to it…

Navigation Changes:

The first thing I noticed were the changes made to the left hand navigation:

Google Analytics Left Hand Navigation Changes

The image above shows the old view on the left and the new view on the right. There are 4 major changes:

  1. Labeling:
    1. Traffic Sources is now Acquisition
    2. Content is now Behavior
  2. Two standard reports were removed:
    1. Bye bye, Sources
    2. Adios, Advertising
  3. Two reports that used to live further into the interface were surfaced:
    1. Keywords came up for air
    2. AdWords moved up in the world
  4. Two brand spanking new reports (which we’ll dive into a little later):
    1. Welcome, Acquisition Overview
    2. Now presenting, Acquisition Channels

Summary Tab: The ABC Funnel

Google’s new UX focuses on the following ABC user funnel:

The ABC Funnel

The new Summary Tab can be found alongside the Site Usage, Goal Set 1, Goal Set 2, Goal Set 3, and Ecommerce explorer options in the top navigation of many reports. It’s a breakdown of the start-to-finish, ABC funnel above. This information was available in the old format but you had to navigate from tab to tab in order to see it.

Google added the Summary Tab so users could have a quick and easy to view interface that shows the whole picture instead of just pieces of the story. My favorite part is definitely the goal conversions portion – it’s easy to toggle through different user defined goals and it adds the Transaction count piece which was previously only available by traffic if you created a custom report…. thanks Google! The screenshot below shows the location of the Summary tab (it’s the default for most reports) and the layout of the data:

Google Analytics Summary Tab

Two New GA Reports:

Acquisition Overview Report:

This view is a great quick visualization to compare your channels, sources, and mediums within the ABC funnel:

Acquisition Overview Report

Acquisition Channel Report:

This report provides a more detailed data set to compare your channels, sources, and mediums. Here, you’ll see the summary option and the more detailed Site Usage, Goal Sets, and eCommerce navigations added back into the fold:

Acquisition Channel Report

The game changer in these reports is the ability to customize channel groupings. Outside of the Multi-Channel Attribution Funnel reports, this feature was not previously available. Previously, we were only able to see conversion metrics for our custom channels and that was it. Now, we can view our custom channel groupings within these two new reports and all the wonderful data points they have to offer. So if you want to customize your Brand Search vs. Non-Brand channels against your Search/Affiliate/Display channel, you now have the full funnel view, not just the end game.

Google Analytics Education

Most of the sections in the new Google Analytics UX will have a little graduation cap icon. Click on these caps to unlock education sections that will help you better understand the area you’re in and assist you with interpreting the data you see.

Google Analytics Education

What Do You Think?

You may notice more tweaks than the ones I listed above – these were the ones that particularly stood out to me. Personally, I love the changes. A conversion-oriented layout helps drive businesses to focus on the big picture rather than getting caught up in individual metrics. Web analytics provide a story that should lead to actionable insights and there’s no one-stop metric that can tell it all. Thanks for the shove, Google Analytics. Cheers to better marketing!

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