Well, it’s official. Google’s Universal Analytics (UA), the next generation of the ubiquitous Web analytics tool, is now officially out of beta and ready for prime time. According to Google, “all the features, reports, and tools of Classic Analytics are now available in the [Universal Analytics] product, including Remarketing and Audience (Demographic) reporting.” This is good news for those of us interested in taking the plunge, but unwilling to sacrifice any of the functionality we’ve come to depend on in the classic Google Analytics (GA).
Of course, it’s not just about feature parity between old and new. From custom dimensions and metrics to new approaches to cross-domain (and sub-domain) tracking, there are a bevy of new features and capabilities in Universal Analytics that will be of interest to most Web marketers and webmasters.
If you’re a Google-watcher, you’ve no doubt been keeping your eye on Universal Analytics for some time. And if you aren’t a Google-watcher, rest assured that we’ve been watching on your behalf. In fact, we’ve been planning for this announcement for quite some time.
That’s why the just-released VitalSite 7.0 includes a new Site Root Script Manager built specifically with Google’s Universal Analytics in mind.
With the new Site Root Script Manager, VitalSite system administrators can manage the Universal Analytics scripts (and other scripts and code) for their websites. Have a bunch of microsites that need separate tracking scripts? We’ve got you covered. The new Site Root Script Manager is like a central script CMS for the properties you host in VitalSite.
If the prospect of editing your site scripts feels like a bit more than you want to take on, no problem. Talk with your Geonetric client advisor and we’ll help you get the codes you need on the pages you want. We’ll even keep an eye out for custom functionality you might want to add to your tracking codes.
Getting Started with a Universal Analytics Migration
Existing clients already using the classic GA code will need to migrate to the new Universal Analytics. This involves some changes to your GA account, and a one-time migration from the classic GA code on your templates to the new UA code in the new Site Root Script Management feature of VitalSite 7.0.
Just remember, any change to Universal Analytics needs to start with a call to your client advisor. Google insists that you follow a particular sequence when you migrate, and doing it wrong carries consequences. To get it right, it’s important that you coordinate the migration to Universal Analytics with your client advisor.
It’s OK To Wait… For Now
If you’re not in a rush to change, time is on your side. Just don’t try to ignore Universal Analytics forever. While Google has moved UA out of beta and into general availability, the classic GA code will still work. But only for a time.
According to Google, they will require that all users switch to the new Universal Analytics code in the future. In fact, if you don’t, Google will attempt to “auto migrate” you. Nobody is sure what this entails yet, or precisely when it will happen, but it sounds more like a threat than a benefit to me.
It’s usually not a good idea to wait for the stick when the carrot is within such convenient reach. So if you’re unfamiliar with Google Universal Analytics, take some time to start learning about it today. Keep your eye on this blog as we’ll be writing more about it. And when you’re ready to make the move, contact your client advisor to plan your migration path.
And if your current CMS doesn’t provide built-in script management or doesn’t yet have a plan for Universal Analytics, maybe it’s time to talk with us about that.