Leave it to the fine folks at Google to use words like “universal” when referencing something they have created. It wasn’t enough to rule the world; now they have something that is universal. Actually, the reference is to the universality of the new features which allow users to track website metrics indicating how a website performs when viewed on multiple devices. Yet, even though Universal Analytics was launched by Google over a year ago, many users are still unfamiliar with it, and not sure why they should upgrade to the new version.
There are a few fundamental differences between the old Google Analytics and the new Universal Analytics that users should make themselves familiar with. In addition to the new version providing more insight into how website visitors are behaving when using different devices, it also offers additional tools that are valuable for measuring site performance.
The Main Difference
When a website is tracked with Google Analytics only, it cannot track the same visitor that is using different browsers or devices. However, with Universal Analytics, the tracking code will use a cookie that will track the specific user across different browsers and devices.
Universal Analytics helps to solve the mystery between multiple devices. When a user accesses your website that is tracking with the old Analytics code, but then hops over to another browser or device, your website may track this user as a multiple user, not the same visitor. This can cause problems with tracking data. But now, with Universal Analytics, some of that mystery is unveiled.
Universal Analytics provides new data in a world where users are constantly online, not only from one browser or one device, but across the board with multi-devices. Users today are not only browsing the web from a computer. They are also looking online via their smartphones, iPads, tablets, and more. The world of mobile devices is constantly expanding, and now with Universal Analytics, you can track data per user easily.
The Setup Process
There are two ways to set up a Universal Analytics property in your account: set up a new property, or upgrade an existing property to Universal Analytics. When creating a new property inside of Google Analytics, you will be asked which tracking method you would like to use: Universal Analytics or Classic Analytics. After you have a Universal Analytics property set up in your account, implement the version Universal Analytics tracking code that’s right for your technical environment. Or, if you are upgrading an existing classic version of Google Analytics, follow these rules.
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