New Google Analytics Version 5 Introduction – Default Visitors Overview Page

Adrian Tan

Google officially unveiled their new version of their Google Analytics – termed as the Google Analytics V5 (obviously a step up from the previous V4). You can read more about their announcement on the Future of Google Analytics and also sign up for the beta here .

With the V5 release, industry practitioners and experts have generally been waxing lyrical about the improvements and the new features. Numerous blog posts have been written, tweets have been flying about, videos have been made and wild orgies of celebrations have been held (ok, the last part might not be true considering that the industry is mainly staffed with engineers).

Here at clickTRUE, we have had special previews of the Google Analytics V5 for a considerable period prior to the actual release – due to our Google Analytics Certified Partner Status. Although we have been anticipating the actual launch for a while (very much like how a typical teenage girl awaits the coming of the next Justin Bieber concert), we are aware that the general user may not have the same level of  excitement. In fact, there might be some trepidation with using the new interfaces.

Thus, what we hope to achieve here is to walk users through a more in-depth view of specific sections of the Google Analytics V5 platform. We will be starting with the first thing users see when they  first click on their website from the account home page…

Account Home View - Google Analytics Version 5

and go into a totally new looking report – the default Visitors Overview page

 My Site Tab - Google Analytics Version 5

Reactions at this stage may range from "WOW" to "WTF". Not to worry, here comes the walk-through:

Default Visitors Overview Page – A Cleaner Look

Where previously with V4, the user was brought to the dashboard with its multitude of figures and charts, Google has now deemed it not suitable to subject novice users with such a first hand look. It might be akin to telling your date all about your family, sexual and financial history on the first night out -scary.

too much info on the GA v4 dashboard

 I guess the engineers at Google have learnt from their many experiments (as well as bad dates) that it pays to play it cool at the first introduction. Thus, a cleaner and smoother look with a focus on just giving data on visitors. Marketers are normally obsessed about their web visitors – How many are there? (number of visits and visitors) Where are they from? (countries and cities) What are they? (new visitors vs returning visitors) Do they like me? (number of pages viewed, time spent, bounce rate) Are they on the latest iPad/mobile devices that will mean that I will have to get off my lazy ass and work on porting over our website to a mobile version? (system and mobile they are on)

The Visitors Overview Page answers the above questions:

Answers to typical questions on visitors found here

More Options For Graphs – Addition of Total Visitors as a Metric & Hourly Charting

How did Google miss out on the Total Visitors as a charting metric previously? I don't know. But with this addition, anal retentive marketers can now compare their visitor-ship to their hearts' content. Also, hourly charting allows them to obsessively track their website.

google analytics v5 chart options metrics

These two additions come at the expense of the old "Compare to Site" feature though.

More Flexible Advanced Segments

Previously, it was mandatory for a user to include the "All Visits" segment when choosing more than one advanced segments. Now, there is no need. Select multiple segments without constraint! Also, there is a little pie chart that shows users the percentage of visits that belong to each segment chosen. Nice.

more flexible advanced segments on Google Analytics

Changed Export & Email Functions

There is no longer a export to PDF function. Instead, you get exporting to CSV, CSV for Excel or TSV. Google has also taken off the Emailing feature.

streamlined export functions on Google Analytics

I guess they have streamlined these portions as there are more intuitive (in my opinion) alternatives. With PDFs, a user can just print the webpage. While with emailing, users can just copy the URL string of that particular report and email, facebook, tweet, blog, share to whoever was interested. 

My Thoughts

I think it is the engineer mindset at work here with the revamping of the Google Analytics interface – cutting out unnecessary, redundant features, making the finished product that much more cooler. Respect.

Look forward to our next post (caveat – if we have time to do screenshots and write the commentary) as we go though more sections of the GA V5 .

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