Google Analytics 2018 – What’s new?

Google Analytics is shifting and changing. What is new in 2018?

Let’s take a look at the first changes we can see.

In this video we’re gonna talk about the newest changes within Google Analytics for 2018 all the more. Hey then welcome back to another video of measure school teaching you the data-driven way of digital marketing. My name is Julien and in this video we’re gonna talk about the newest changes about Google Analytics in 2018. Now in 2017 Google has brought us quite exciting changes to Google Analytics.

Think about the interface that has changed some more AI features that were put into place in terms of like the the stuff that is going on with the intelligence features, but then we also had some bigger changes in the ecosystem of Google Analytics with the inception or the growing of the tools of data studio optimized and other tools like Google tag manager as well. So it’s not only Google Analytics and what’s actually getting bigger. What we can also see in the whole space of Google Analytics or analytics tools posada is a new player in town which is Facebook and Facebook analytics has famously come out and said ok we are gonna take our Facebook pixel data and make that available to the advertisers as well in an analytics platform. It’s not yet at the point where Google Analytics is but definitely it brings something new to the table which Google Analytics it dresses with some new features.

So what I want to do right now is just to show you the blog posts that they have written about the new ways to measure users in Google Analytics and this is the key here. Users is something that Google Analytics wants to be more Centrex centric upon so they have given us some new user features and these go throughout the interface. So let’s take a look quickly at these new features and the first one being that when we look at our overview or in our real-time reporting or so we are always greeted with sessions right here and when we look at my favorite report so for example under all traffic I go to the source medium report. Here I see that front and center and mostly sessions and this is what Google Analytics was built upon mainly sessions and the pages that get sent to Google Analytics.

Now if you want to know what sessions and users actually mean in Google Analytics then check out this one video I did about explaining how sessions actually work in Google Analytics and how Google Analytics processing processing engine actually works. But what a lot of people trip them up are these sessions because they don’t actually know what that means. The number goes up somehow and or down somehow and what it actually means in the end is what is more natural and what Facebook analytics actually does is to present you with user metrics. Now users are harder to measure, because like Google Analytics does this mostly through cookies, but what they have decided for this big interface shift is actually that you can go into your property settings here and tick on this box right down here, saying enable metrics and reporting, and this changes the model a bit the presentation of what you see. So if you go back to our old traffic’s report here we see now that, oh we don’t see it. Why don’t we see it? Just go back. Did I enable this correctly? I didn’t click on safe, that’s something you should do. Okay success and now we should go into our reports and see front and center that the users are now what dominates this report instead of the sessions. 

So here we have our user column first and our sessions are back here which makes much more sense in terms of what we view as data in Google Analytics and in our metrics as in general. I think that this change will be good for beginners because they see users front and center but at the same time they won’t necessarily understand what drives these user metrics because user metrics are mostly based on cookies unless you have installed the user ID feature. And the second change that I brought to the interface here is they propped up these audience of reports a bit. So you might be familiar with the user Explorer pod we did another video when this was incepted and what we can see here is a client ID. Now the client ID is actually a unique ID that gets generated every time somebody comes to the website and this is generated directly by the cookie or by Google Analytics tracking code. If the user doesn’t have a cookie yet set he would get this new ID. So we have this number of IDs here and once we click on this we can actually see this report of how many times the user came to the website and where he came from, but we can also look into what he has looked at in terms of events that he triggered or pages that he looked at. The cool thing about this is that now the user report has been propped up to actually have more information. In here one of the interesting information is a D lifetime value so LTV you see here the revenue and so on which is cool in terms of again the user scope of things so if we have actually used information Google Analytics would be able to give us the lifetime value. So these are actually connected to the whole user scope in Google Analytics and we also have some new information down here. So for example custom dimensions that you send into your interface, we sent the customer the custom dimension user ID if we have it available and that would also be something that you would now see in the reporting of this user Explorer report and we have an acquisition date as well. So when was the first day that the user was actually on our website, so we can look at this and see what is happening in terms of the user right here. So we have new reports available, we have this new user scope which gets shifted into the interface a bit more and it’s obvious that this is also something that Facebook analytics does very well because they know which users actually are on a website. They can match it up with their database and Google Analytics still does that through cookies but they have the user ID feature. Now if you install user ID features so we have that installed on measure school although the user ID is very very small the pool of user IDs you would actually get more accurate reporting obviously, where you have a user ID that you could backtrack to your CRM system and can say okay this guy with the user ID 190 did this on our website and, we could actually see okay how often did he visit and so on. So it gets more accurate and user ID is something you need to explicitly send in via a Google tag manager for example or on the tracking side so you can make use of that as well. 

Now another feature that is new in the interface are the audiences. So we have this new audiences feature what does it actually mean, well in you might know that in Google Analytics you can build audiences based on the segments that you have on here, so if you have a new segment or you build a new segment here you can choose to go on to actions and build this into an audience and what does that does is actually make it available to AdWords. So when we go back into our interface here, we can look into our AdWords linking and here we can see our connected AdWords account and we can also look into the audiences that were built actually. At this point here we have our audiences that we have built and sent over to Google Analytics and you can now remain in Google Analytics and look at them in Google Analytics. So it was like a segment but now we can have this dedicated report where we can send in these audiences and what you would see then if you have this enabled is this little icon as well, so you’re not only sending it to Edwards you would also be sending it to analytics. So let’s say here are mine on converters and I would like to not only make them available to AdWords but also add a destination here and make this available to analytics. We would publish this and now this data would be sent to Google Analytics as well and we would have it available here under this audience report as well. Now there’s no data in here quite yet because this is not retroactive so I just enabled it but we should get these different audiences that we have sent in to Google Analytics and get the familiar metrics that you might know from the other reports. So you can get insights from your audiences that you have defined. So again this is something that has been added just recently quite cool and other for the people who use audiences thoroughly to look at their data in Google Analytics as well and have that available. 

Alright and the last part that is actually only on the blog course I couldn’t identify it yet in my actual interface is the conversion probability. Now this is a report that you should be able to then find under the audience reports as well. So right here you already see a lifetime value, this is something again that is built through the user scope. We have code analysis also, something that it’s not really new but gives us these reports but there should be a new report coming out, I don’t know where it will be. We have under the new versus, maybe under the behavior report, it should turn up. Unfortunately we can’t see the menu here in the screenshot but that should give us more analytical intelligence in terms of a probability for people to convert. Hopefully we will be able to then build this obviously into audiences as well and send us over. So people who are most likely to convert based on the user behavior, based on the machine learning that Google Analytics does in the background, we would be able to see these metrics right here. Unfortunately this is not yet in my interface. Maybe I need to look this up in another interface, another account that I have access to, and maybe we will see that there, but I’d love to hear from you if you have that available what your impression is from the report down in the comments below.

Okay, this is a property probability report and I hope we can see more of these features coming out in Google Analytics but also the other reports that we have available, maybe make this more accessible through what we have available in the Google Data studio and also have a bit more functionality to send data in Google tag manager. So I’m really excited to see what Google Analytics comes up with in the next few months and weeks to come and it’s gonna be an exciting year in 2018. I hope to see more of these new changes in Google Analytics but also the Google Analytics suite and keep you up to date and what’s happening in 2018. Predictably we can see that Google Analytics is shifting the model once again so Google Analytics is just a model that we view through their lens. The data is together, they give us these reports and they say, ok this is a session, this is a user and so on. So they’re changing the model gradually and giving us a more user centric view, which is really interesting in terms of the features that they might be developing in the background to Edwards and to whole google analytics suite really and slowly giving us more intelligence reports so the whole AI features, not really AI but machine, learning that they have running in the background, giving us intelligent insights on the reporting that we have already or the data that we have already available and making that accessible more and more. I’m sure they are playing around with a lot of different modeling in the background and could give people more and more tools over the next few years and upcoming months so I’m seeing that shift wants to a user model but also giving the users more insight really going from a just reporting tool to an insight, will be a big shift in Google Analytics in 2018. 

All right that’s already it with our newest updates to Google Analytics and also what’s in store for 2018. I’m really excited to see this work in the future. If you have any kind of questions, please leave them in the comments below and be sure to subscribe to our Channel right over there, because we’ll bring you new videos just like this one every week. Now my name is Julien, till next time. Alright guys, thanks!


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3 years ago

Hej Julian, thanx for the insights on the new user-centered reporting in GA. But what about the new data security regulation in the european union that is beeing launched starting from May 2018 (GDPR, ePrivacy Regulation). Is it going to be compliant? Or will the data easily be classified as personally identifyable data? Is a third party cookie involved, a data processor needs to have a consent for? Do you know anything about it and the consequences?

Fede Nah
Fede Nah
3 years ago

Great Video Julian! I was reviewing the new user explorer feature but I really couldn´t find something usefull to do with it. Did you find any insights using this report?

3 years ago
Reply to  Fede Nah

if you are using the User ID feature in combination with the PII Viewer Extension it might bring you more value

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