Universal Analytics for Google in CheckfrontAugust 6, 2014, Mia Steinberg
Universal Analytics is an upgraded, more robust version of Google’s established Analytics tracking. We’ve included the ability to use UA in our 3.1 update, and recommend that users upgrade and get to know this fantastic new set of tools.
Why would you switch to Universal Analytics? Because it contains all of the reports you know and love, with a whole lot more accuracy and flexibility to help you get the best data possible. Analytics trackers are treasure troves of information; it’s possible to get a little lost in all the numbers, but discovering how, why, and when your users engage with your site can be a major game-changer.
Universal Analytics has a ton of new features that make things easier for you to get the information you want. Reports are now processed according to your own time zone, instead of the default Pacific Standard Time. You can set session and campaign timeouts, so that user activity will roll over after a certain period of inactivity. There are tons of other custom metrics and dimensions you can fiddle with—enough to make any statistics fan froth at the mouth.
One of the biggest advantages of Universal Analytics, in our opinion, is the User ID feature. Let’s look at a hypothetical but very common situation: a user does a search and finds your website on their phone; a few days later, they use their computer to set up an account and purchase your product, and two months after that they go back to one of your landing pages to look up some information on their tablet. Under the current Analytics implementation, these three sessions count as three separate, unique users—even though it’s all the same person. With the new User ID feature, these sessions would all get reported as activity by one single user. It has the potential to make your reports far more accurate, as it can connect seemingly unrelated data points into the behaviour flow they actually represent. You can also understand how people are using your site on various devices.
Like we said above, analytics data can be overwhelming sometimes—even for the professionals. And nothing can confound you more than data that tells you what you already know, to the detriment of data you’re actually interested in. Universal Analytics has solved this problem by allowing you to tweak lots of different aspects of your reports—so, for instance, if you know you get lots of referrals from a sister site, you can exclude it from the referral traffic reports. Universal Analytics also gives you the option to add in search engines that Google doesn’t automatically recognize; this is fantastic for international users, as they can track their country’s popular search engines and discard the ones that aren’t used.
How to Switch Checkfront to Universal Analytics
Important: you must have Universal Analytics enabled on Google’s side before you switch in the Checkfront app. Checkfront will still track analytics if you use UA but haven’t upgraded our add-on; however, switching to UA on Checkfront while still using Google Analytics will cause errors. To find out how to upgrade to Universal Analytics, go here.
Once you have upgraded, switching to Universal Analytics in Checkfront is very easy; simply go to the add-ons tab in your Checkfront dashboard, click on Google Analytics, and check the box that says “Enable Universal Analytics”. Voila!
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