Google Analytics = Fixed Ferrari

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Well, the new google analytics has been out for about 2-3 weeks now. And I really was like a kid at christmas when I first got my hands on it. The old google analytics had some great information but you really had to dig hard to find good metrics in there. Plus the interface was a little cumbersome and not very logical. The new google analytics really out did itself. Here’s my 2 web analytics cents, in the style of a fixed ferrari. I always knew they had a ferrari, but it kept breaking down.

Put a V12 engine in. One of the best things about the new google analytics is they obviously did their user research – its way easier to find and manipulate key metrics now. Its almost like they know exactly what i’m looking for. Before, it was like a programmer built the interface, not a web analytics expert. I also particularly love ‘ticker’ style mini charts next to metrics – shows you a quick history without having to drill down. And the new timelines and graphing options provide a superb way to find and compare trends.

Took out the trash on the floor. And yes, google analytics did have a lot of old trash that needed taking out. There were way too many options and confusing categories in the old one. Now, there are way less categories, but they are the most important ones, like visitors and traffic sources, and they contain much more logical sub categories.

Dashboard fixed. Before it was nasty. You couldn’t click on dashboard items or manipulate them, and you couldn’t even decide which metrics you wanted on there. It was either googles way or the highway. Now, you can save anything to the dashboard, and it provides a much better over view of your key web metrics.

Fresh lick of paint. Before, it was rusty and paint chipped. Now, its all glossy red, with go faster stripes. It just looks COOL, it makes you want to spend all day playing around with it and emailing yourself custom report PDFs (I love the email report options!).

However, there are still a few things that need putting back. Even though the site overlay is greatly improved, they took out a key thing. Percentage clicks. It only tells you clicks now, which isn’t very useful for comparisons. And also they took out the ‘exits’ percentage. Google – please put these back! I also think they need to improve the way you choose date ranges. I also think they need a ‘chose timeframes’ text link or something, right by the dates in the top right hand corner - i dont think its obvious that just having a small down arrow there implies thats how you change the dates.

And one more thing – the new graphs look great, but please give us the option to click on a date on the graph and have it take you do that days data. Very strange why you can’t drill down that way, but you can every other way. Easy fix please google!

Other than those 2 things, I just love the new google analytics. Its light years ahead of the old version, and even paid solutions like WebSideStory’s HBX platform. And best yet, its still free!

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