Now we can say this is official, Universal Analytics it’s here!! Read the announcement.
What’s Universal Analytics
Universal Analytics is the most recent version of Google Analytics. Tested in a beta version for around a year now, Universal Analytics became the official version last Wednesday the 2nd of April.
The new version of Google Analytics brings a lot of new handy features, such as follows:
- Installation significantly more precise: less dependance on cookies, plus an improved version of the code.
- Multi-platform measurement: the new user-id feature allows identifying a user across different platforms (iOS, Android, Website, Play Station, Xbox, etc), if and when we are able to recognise the user.
- Measurement protocol: this functionality enables importing offline information from any device that can send information to Google Analytics. Merging offline-online through the User-ID feature or just importing offline conversions to your Google Analytics account will make your reporting life much easier.
- Custom Dimensions and Custom Metrics: 20 Custom Dimensions and 20 Custom Metrics to store information about the user and create your own report. Awesome!!
- Session and Campaign expiration: this can be modified now server-side and be defined with a custom value if we require so.
Every account will have 2 years to be migrated to Universal Analytics.
What do I need to do to migrate my account to Universal Analytics?
Migrating the account to Universal Analytics will imply just two steps: migrating the interface and replacing the Google Analytics code with a new version.
Migration of the interface
This step will prepare Google Analytics servers to receive information in the new ‘language’ of Universal Analytics, as well as setting the system up to migrate your current users to the new version.
The migration will be smooth and won’t imply losing any information about visits or users.
You will either experience one of the following two scenarios: having to migrate the account manually or an automatic migration from Google Analytics. How to identify them?
- If you need to migrate the account manually, the following option should be available within the admin section of your Google Analytics account
- If the account has automatically been transferred to Universal Analytics, you must see the new version of the code within the tracking code section, such as follows:
If your account has been migrated, jump to the next step!
To migrate the account you need to follow the interface set up.
When clicking on the Transfer button and confirming, you need to wait 24-48 hours before moving the next step, as the account has to be ready.
Migration of the code
As soon as our account is ready to migrate the code to Universal Analytics, we need to plan what we need to migrate.
Every single piece of code of Google Analytics must be migrated to a new version
To do this, we must collect what we are have currently installed with regards to Google Analytics:
- Page Tracking Code: this is the default Google Analytics installation, formed by introducing a piece of code in every page of the site.
Sub-Domain Tracking: the implementation of sub-domains in the previous versions required an additional line of code, but we don’t need to worry about Universal Analytics. It’s captured automatically!
Cross-Domain Tracking: a new way to implement multi-domain tracking is available in Universal Analytics, so you should check the Google Developers documentation before doing it.
- Event Tracking: event tracking will be replaced with a new version of the code which is almost identical, receiving the same parameters Category, Action and Label.
- eCommerce Tracking: the code for measuring transactions is also similar to how it’s currently implemented, but the code changes a little bit.
- Social Plugins Tracking: similar to event tracking, this has to be replaced with a new code that utilises the same parameters.
All of the Google Analytics tracking must be migrated to the new version, and you have all the information detailed in the Google Developers website. Don’t worry, as in most scenarios it will be not more than copy and paste!
Are you ready to migrate your account to Universal Analytics? Please share your findings and don’t hesitate to include a comment if you have any question!