Web Metrics | Search Marketing
Site Strategy

"In a nutshell, Jason created our marketing analytics capability. He was able to figure out what data we collect, where it is, what was missing, and hook it all up so we canget meaningful, actionable data. Our marketing efforts have improved leads and conversions in some cases by an order of magnitude. He knows his stuff."
Chris Foleen, Marketing Project Coordinator, TransCore, Inc.


Friday, May 13, 2011

7 Ways the New Google Analytics Gets It Wrong

Previously I wrote about the Ten Ways the New Google Analytics Gets It Right.  There are a lot of really good things that are going on in the new interface.  But there are also some ways that the new interface is not quite ready for prime time.  I marked these as "backslides" because, in  my opinion, they are areas where the new interface actually makes things harder or more clunky.  There aren't many of these that I've come across.  But some of the ones I have found are pretty critical..

Here are seven ways the new interface has problems:

Backslide #1: No Advanced Segments in Dashboards
Although the new dash boarding feature is pretty great and represents a real step forward, it is almost unusable simply because there is no Advanced Segment selector.  The benefit of multiple dashboards is almost completely lost if you can't created segment specific dashboards.  The old GA had the ability to apply segmentation to its dashboards.  This is a big oversight on the part of Google and something I hope gets remedied soon. 

Backslide #2: Profile Selection Screen UI
I personally find the profile selection screen to be more difficult to use.  For the profiles I use all the time, I've adapted to using the search box.  But for the profiles that I don't frequent on a regular basis, the navigation is harder.  Also, I haven't seen a way to "star" or flag my most common/favorite profiles.  This feature was very handing when dealing with clients that had many profiles.  Now, I just have to dig. 

Backslide #3: Comparing to Past in Spark Lines
The new way of displaying spark lines when comparing date ranges (stacking instead of overlay) is clunky, it makes the page way too long, and it is difficult to screen grab this information into a presentation. This just doesn't look finished to me. 

Backslide #4: Tiny Tabs
Some of the navigation has been moved from the left nav into tabs.  These tabs are not like the old tabs that looked like tabs.  These tabs are tiny text links.  The way these are implemented and organized takes some learning and could be more intuitive. 

Backslide #5: Table Filtering is Harder to Find and Use
One key piece of functionality that has gotten buried is the table filtering.  If you are looking for all .pdf file types in the content report, you need to filter.  If you are looking for visits from phrases that include a brand name in the keyword report, you need to filter.  Filtering used to be a little text box at the bottom of the results table.  Now it is under a button hidden to the right of  the page.  Then the "Apply" button is on the left side of the page. The buttons are neutral color so they don't stick out requiring your eyes to hunt all over the page to figure out how to use this feature.  It was so simple and effective before.  Why did they every change this?

Backslide #6: Counting Inactive Goals (bug?)
Inactive goals get counted in the total conversions counts.  This should be a bug because it makes the goal overview reports worthless.

Backslide #7: No Emailing Reports (down for now)
You can't email reports or dashboards.  I read this is going to be remedied, but why was it cut to begin with? 

Summary of the New Google Analytics
Overall, the new GA seems very "beta" to me.  It just feels like it's not finished.  Some of the issues I mentioned above--no segmentation in dashboards, inactive goals being counted in the overall conversion numbers, no emailing--make this new version impossible to rely on for my purposes.  Until these issues are fixed, the new interface just isn't ready to the primary interface.  Hopefully the old interface will be around for a while. 

No comments:

Post a Comment