October 1, 2020 (866) 983-4114

Google Analytics Changes – What You Need to Know


Google recently rolled out changes to the way their analytics are displayed, putting an emphasis on Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions, or what Google calls the “ABC’s” with the focus on “how you acquire users, their behavior on your site after acquisition, and their conversion patterns.”

Formerly, Acquisition was labeled Traffic Sources, while Behavior was labeled Content. Here is a picture of the “Acquisition Overview” page. Again, the emphasis is on ‘ABC’:

Google Analytics ABC

Here at Digital Insider we have noticed an immediate impact – and are still only scratching the surface.

One of the biggest highlights we have found so far is the ease with which you can view goal conversions and completions. At Digital Insider we run many different projects, with each project having multiple (and different) goals. Now, we can quickly check which source is completing which goal, simply by changing the drop down box. You will notice this in the upper right hand corner in the above picture, and we will zoom in closer here:

Google Analytics Conversions

  •    Acquisition

The Acquisition tab now shows the “Channel” from where a visitor to your website came from, grouped into 6 major categories. They are:

  • Organic Search
  • Direct
  • Paid Search
  • Referral
  • Social
  • (Other)

You will now be able to more easily isolate which channels are best at bringing traffic to your website (e.g. organic vs paid search), and which areas you need to improve.

  • Behavior

The “Behavior Flow” page shows where people move once they are inside your website (the grey funnel is movement within the site, while red is drop-off). The picture below is from an actual client of ours.

Google Analytics Traffic Flow

The “Engagement” page shows visits and page views by duration, or how many people stayed on your page for how long, and how many pages did they view in that time? Statistically, we would expect to see an approximate normal distribution with a positive skew – meaning that the right tail is longer – for visits because of the large number of visitors who visit the website and leave in a short period of time, and a negative skew – meaning the left tail is longer – because the longer that a person is on the website, the more pages he is likely to visit.

Google Analytics Visit Duration

The “Site Speed” page is an integral part of the process if you want to drive traffic to your website. In fact, we posted this fact in one of our blog posts titled Two Google Chrome Extensions to Help Your SEO. To reiterate it, 79% of people will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load (source). This new page in analytics will show you the average page load time, and how it changes over time.

Google Analytics Page Load Time

Drill down further into the “Speed Suggestions” tab and click into the “PageSpeed Suggestions” column to find advice on how to increase the performance of your website.

Google Analytics Pagespeed Insights

  • Conversions

The “Reverse Goal Path” page is essentially the inverse of the “Behavioral Flow” page – it starts at the end (a goal completion) and works its way backwards, to show how a visitor arrived at the goal page. Analysis of this page in analytics will help you better understand the path that visitors take before reaching a goal-completing page, and help determine an optimal, or “best path”  – the path that visitors take the most – to help optimize your website for goal conversions and completions.

Google Analytics Goal Flow

As we have said before, these features will shed a new light on “how you acquire users, their behavior on your site after acquisition, and their conversion patterns.” At Digital Insider we will continue to dig into this new functionality, and how we can leverage it to better understand our customers in order to better serve our clients.

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