Yesterday, it was announced on the Google Analytics Blog that Universal Analytics (UA), which was launched in October 2012, is now out of Beta. This is great news for users of Google Analytics, since Universal Analytics now supports the same set of features as classic Analytics, in addition to the list of existing new features of UA.
If you want to read more about the benefits of Universal Analytics you can read our blog post here, but the long and short of it is that is allows more advanced tracking and attribution analysis across devices.
We have spent the past year testing and learning about UA, but not actively promoting it to our clients. Until yesterday there were some key features, specifically remarketing audiences, that UA did not support and we were not willing to give up.
Now that UA supports the same set of features of classic Analytics and future feature releases will be focused on US audiences, there is no reason not to convert to the new Universal code. You won’t lose any information, especially since current profiles can be transitioned while still maintaining your historical GA data.
While it is not required that sites be updated immediately, GA users should start planning now. The transition does involve swapping out the GA script on the sites for the new UA code. In light of these changes, we also suggest transitioning to Google Tag Manager as well. If you are not familiar with GTM, it is a product that allows for various tags used on a site (analytics, testing, marketing, etc.) to be controlled through a web interface, so the task of updating the tags to be handled by non-IT personnel and separated from standard code release schedules. It’s easier to implement and make changes with Google Tag Manager, and we have seen great success deploying GTM for our clients.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the Universal Analytics or Google Tag manger.