2011 has been a busy year for Google. The search company released new versions of its Android mobile operating system and launched their new social network Google+, but perhaps most importantly it released an updated version of Google Analytics. One of the primary tools Trademark Productions uses to track website traffic for our clients.

According to Google, “Google Analytics anonymously tracks how visitors interact with a website, including where they came from, what they did on a site, and whether they completed any of the site’s conversion goals. Analytics also keeps track of your e-commerce data, and combines this with campaign and conversion information to provide insight into the performance of your advertising campaigns.”

Some of the most important changes made to Google Analytics include enhanced dashboards, the addition of the keyword cloud, integration of Google Webmaster Tools, and the added ability to track social engagement. Let’s take a look at these things individually to better understand their importance.

First, the new dashboards in Google Analytics have been simplified to make them easier to use. One of the new features of the new dashboards is that users can now create up to 20 separate dashboards to fit their needs. This gives users the option of setting up unique dashboards for things like visits or source/medium and many others to create a customized experience within Google Analytics.

Because search is so important for getting traffic to your website,  one of the best improvements to the Web tool was the addition of the keyword cloud. Before this, users had to analyze keyword lists to spot trends, which wasn’t always the easiest thing to do. The cloud, though, allows you to visually analyze what the top keywords based on criteria from users like bounce rates, visits, and pages per visit are. Understanding keyword trends is essential to developing a search engine-friendly website and the keyword cloud makes this that much easier.

Another improvement to Google Analytics is the integration of Google Webmaster Tools. Though the statistics from Google Webmaster Tools are not 100 percent accurate, it is a great way to spot trends regarding where your site’s visitors are coming from within Google. And while this integration is extremely useful, it is still limited within the Google Analytics platform; but knowing Google, they will probably update it in the future to improve it.

One of the most useful components to the new platform is the ability of being able to track social engagement. Social engagement is becoming just as important as search for bring traffic to a website and being able to track where visitors are coming from is extraordinarily helpful. Being able to track this engagement is essential for understanding how your social media strategy is working and where you’ll need to improve.

Google Analytics continues to be one of the most important tools used on the Web for analyzing site traffic data. The TM Team has the skills to not only analyze your site’s data, but also help you improve your site’s SEO. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your business!

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