What is Google Universal Analytics?

Blog > What is Google Universal Analytics?

Posted By Create

Tags: SEO, Google

Google Analytics have recently released their new exciting 'Universal Analytics' update - giving you access to improved data processing and more analysis tools. But what actually is Universal Analytics and why should you use it with your website? Read on to find out more.


What is Universal Analytics?

Universal Analytics is the new operating standard for Google Analytics. It is a set of technological innovations that improve the way data is collected and processed in Google Analytics, replacing the 'Classic' set up.

The upgraded functionality introduces a new tracking code which gives users the ability to track behaviour among different devices. Further to this, it offers a new measurement protocol that is able to import data from online and offline devices.

As of January 2015, all analytics accounts registered with Google will automatically have the new Universal update - and now you are able to use this and benefit from all features within your Create account. How exciting! 

Both the Classic and Universal versions of analytics are available to all users at present time, meaning you have the option to choose between the versions every time you create a new property in your Analytics account. 

Please note: You will need to set up new properties to start tracking Universal data - this means you will be starting anew when tracking with this update.

graphic image of Universal Analytics


What are the main differences between Classic and Universal Analytics?

One of the most touted feature improvements over Classic Google Analytics is the introduction of UserID. This allows you to connect multiple devices, sessions, and engagement data to the same visitors!

Other key differences are:

  • Customisation the timing of session timeouts. Rather than being confined to 30 minute sessions with the Classic Analytics, you can now change the duration of these sessions to your own time frame, stretching from anything between 1 minute and 4 hours. This change also applies to campaign timeouts, with the new time frame being between 1 day and 24 months.
  • The ability to exclude referrals. While this may sound like a negaitve addition, it does mean you can now exclude any self referrals you may have on your domain name or website along with any spam referrals that may be skewing your reports. 
  • Creating custom dimensions & custom metrics to collect data that's unique to your business. Custom dimensions and custom metrics are like default dimensions and metrics, except you create them yourself. This will allow you to collect data that Classic Analytics doesn’t automatically track!

For more information on all of details of the changes between Classic and Universal, please refer to Google's official overview.

Please note: AdSense, and Remarketing aren’t enabled for Universal Analytics yet. If you heavily depend on these, you’ll have to wait for them to become available before you make the switch. 


How much does Universal Analytics cost?

Upgrading to Universal Analytics boasts lots of great benefits and continues to be a FREE service, and is available on all current Create packages.

Google's change over to Universal Analytics will soon become mandatory, however they are yet to release the date this will come into affect - get ahead of other users and update your Analytics account today. 

Want to gain further insight into your shopper's behaviour? Dynamically measure user interactions with Google's Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking! This bonus feature is an additional function available to Shop Builder Pro and Shop Builder Advanced accounts. For more information about this advanced analysis tool please refer to our HelpCentre guide. 


How do I upgrade to Universal Analytics?

You can find out if your Analytics account is the Classic or Universal version in your Google account, here you can update to the newest version. Once you have upgraded to Universal Analytics, you can update the connection within your Create account and begin tracking today!

For steps on how to check what version you have, and how to update your website connection, please see our HelpCentre guide "How Do I Set Up Universal Analytics With My Website".


If you have any questions about using the feature please comment on here or contact your Account Manager at any time, we are always happy to help!

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