Universal Analytics: Switching to the Next Version of Google Analytics

Back in October 2012, Google announced Universal Analytics as the next version of Google Analytics. The tracking code has been overhauled completely, and there are plenty of back-end improvements.

And they just opened up the beta to the public.

Even though there aren’t any new reports (yet), you’ll need to switch over to Universal Analytics sooner or later if you want to keep getting access to the improvements in Google Analytics.

Full disclosure: moving to Universal Analytics isn’t a quick upgrade. You’ll need to set up a new property and replace all of the Google Analytics code on your site.

First, we’ll cover how to get Universal Analytics running.

Then, I’ll walk you through the changes so you can make the call on whether you want to switch right away or hold off a bit.

How Accounts Are Structured in Google Analytics

Before we jump into how to set up Universal Analytics, we need to clarify a few things about Google Analytics accounts.

Remember, there are three levels when you log into Google Analytics:

  1. Accounts – Keeps your sites organized and separated.
  2. Properties – This is where your data is sent. Each property has a unique ID (that looks like UA-XXXXXX-X) so your data is sent to the right place.
  3. Profiles – These allow you to control how your data appears in your reports.

When you pull up a report in Google Analytics, you’re looking at a profile that has pulled data from one of your properties. And this property is within one of your accounts. This is what they look like in Google Analytics:

Google Analytics Accounts

So what does this mean for Universal Analytics?

Setting up Universal Analytics

You need to set up a whole new property for Universal Analytics. This will send all of your site data to a new location. You won’t lose your old data. It will just get split up between two different properties. However, you will be starting over from scratch with your new “Universal” data.

Google might come up with a way to migrate all of your old data into the new Universal Analytics properties. However, for the time being, I recommend using both versions of the tracking code (standard Google Analytics and Universal Analytics). This way, you will be sure to have as much data to work with as possible, regardless of how Google decides to manage this transition.

How to Create a New Property for Universal Analytics

Step 1: Log into Google Analytics and click on the Admin button on the top right.

Google Analytics Admin

Step 2: Pick the account that has the site for which you want to use Universal Analytics.

Google Analytics Pick Account

Step 3: Click on the “+ New Property” button.

Google Analytics New Property

Step 4: Make sure you select the “Web Site” option, which will let you choose between Universal Analytics and regular Google Analytics. Select Universal Analytics.

Google Analytics Pick Universal Analytics

Step 5: On the same page, enter in some basic information about your new property. Give it a new name, the domain you’ll use it on, the industry you’re in, and the time zone you want to use. When you are ready, click the “Get Tracking ID” button at the bottom.

Google Analytics Property Info

You’ve created your new Universal Analytics property. Woohoo!

Installing Universal Analytics

With your new property, you’ll have a completely new version of the tracking code, which will look like this:

Universal Analytics Tracking Code

As soon as you’ve created your new property, you’ll be taken to the tracking code that you’ll need to install on your own site. Make sure to place it right before your </head> tag.

Here’s the thing: ALL of the Google Analytics code has been revamped. The tracking code, events, custom variables (which now are called custom dimensions), social plugins, the ecommerce tracking code – all of it.

Every line of Google Analytics code on your site will need to be updated.

So if you want to use Universal Analytics and Google Analytics at the same time, you’ll have to track everything twice.

Let’s say that you have already have the normal Google Analytics ecommerce tracking set up on your site. To get Universal Analytics working also, you’ll need to install the new Universal Analytics Tracking Code and set up the new Universal Analytics ecommerce tracking. You’d be recording each transaction twice. Once for your Google Analytics property and once for your Universal Analytics property.

To migrate completely to Universal Analytics without using the old Google Analytics, simply replace all your Google Analytics code with the new Universal Analytics code.

For a complete breakdown on all of the new code, check out the Google Developer’s Guide on Analytics.js (Universal Analytics).

What’s New in Universal Analytics

The interface is almost identical to the current version of Google Analytics. Unless you’ve spent a lot of time in Google Analytics, you probably won’t notice the changes. The official overview is here.

These are the few major differences in Universal Analytics:

A. More Control over Settings

If you’re willing to dive into code, you can take control of all sorts of things. For example, visitor sessions last 30 minutes by default, but a few edits will change the session length.

Universal Analytics lets you control more of these settings right from your account. To find these new settings:

  1. From one of your reports, click on “Admin” in the top right.
  2. Click on “Tracking Info.”
  3. There are tabs for each of these within the “Tracking Info” section.

Session Timeouts

A session dictates how long a visit lasts (and impacts many of your metrics like pages/visit, conversions, etc.). If a visitor doesn’t generate any new data within 30 minutes, the next piece of data they generate will be part of a new visit.

Now you can change the duration of the session to whatever you want. The minimum is 1 minute and the maximum is 4 hours.

Campaign Timeouts

We use AdWords auto-tagging and campaign UTM parameters to keep track of which campaigns visitors are coming from. By default, this information lasts for 6 months. So if I visit your site today using one of your campaigns, wait 5 months, visit your site again by entering in your URL (a direct visit), then purchase something, Google Analytics will attribute the sale to that campaign.

Remember that Google Analytics attributes conversions and revenue to the most recent traffic source that isn’t direct.

Just like session timeouts, we now can change the duration of campaign timeouts from within Google Analytics. The minimum is 1 day and the maximum is 24 months.

Adding Search Engines

Google Analytics tracks quite a few search engines by default (the whole list is here). Now you can track search terms from search engines that are not on this list without needing to mess with any code.

If you get a lot of traffic from a search engine that isn’t recognized by Google, all the traffic comes up as referrals instead of organic search traffic. So it’s worth adding extra search engines to Google Analytics when it comes up. Google’s official documentation on this is here.

Excluding Referrals

Aren’t referrals a good thing? Absolutely. But there are a few cases where you’ll get bad referral data.

For example, just about every site I’ve ever looked at has self-referrals. This is a referral from your own domain. When you haven’t installed the tracking code on every page of your site, it’s possible for people to visit a page without being tracked. Then, when they move to a page that is tracking visitors, it will look like they came from your own domain.

But be warned, this will impact how sessions are calculated throughout your data. If you have a complicated install or want to be careful with your sessions, read through the documentation here.

Excluding Search Terms

We now can exclude search terms from our data.

Subsequently, any traffic that uses that search term will be classified as direct traffic and NOT organic search traffic.

Some people might use this to clean up their search data a bit. On a lot of sites, the majority of search traffic comes from branded keywords. In those cases, you’re not really pulling in search traffic – people are just using Google as a navigational tool to find your site. But permanently removing this data from your reports might be going a little overboard. A better option is to create a new channel for branded search traffic in your Multi-Channel Reports.

Here’s all the information on excluding search terms.

B. Custom Dimensions and Metrics

In the standard Google Analytics, we had the option to create custom variables. Basically, they let us assign whatever data we wanted to visitors, sessions, or one-time events. Then we could pull this data up in Google Analytics.

In Universal Analytics, custom variables are called custom dimensions. We also have the option to create custom metrics. Regular Google Analytics accounts are limited to 20 of each. (Premium accounts are limited to 200 of each.)

There is one constraint with these. Every time you record a dimension or metric, you have to record it WITH another data type in Universal Analytics (like a pageview, event, or ecommerce transaction). You cannot record dimensions and metrics on their own.

To set up a custom dimension or metric, you need to complete two steps.

Step 1: Define the dimension or metric within your Universal Analytics account.

From one of your reports, go to Admin and then “Custom Definitions.” From here, you’ll be able to create new dimensions and metrics from within Google Analytics.

For dimensions, you’ll need to assign a name, a scope, and make sure the active box is checked.

So what’s scope? Scope dictates what level the custom dimension will apply to. Here’s how they break down:

  • Hit: the dimension is added to a single action only.
  • Session: every action made during that session will have the dimension added.
  • User: the dimension is added to the current and future sessions from that visitor.

Metrics are a bit easier, you’ll need to define the minimum and maximum values while deciding whether it’s an integer, currency, or time.

Google has a pretty lengthy guide (along with some examples) on custom dimensions and metrics here.

Step 2: Install JavaScript on your site to track dimensions and metrics.

Setting up the dimensions and metrics doesn’t send data into Google Analytics. It just helps Google figure out what’s going on when you do send data into your account. So you’ll need to install on your site the code that sends the custom dimensions and metrics when they’re triggered.

Remember, you can’t fire a custom dimension or metric by itself. It needs to be attached to a pageview, event, ecommerce transaction, or some other data type that’s already getting sent to Google Analytics. Check out the code here for examples on how to do this.

C. The New Measurement Protocol

The Measurement Protocol lets you send data into Google Analytics from just about any device you want. Using an HTTP request, you now can send data from call centers, point of sale systems, or other devices.

Most small businesses won’t need to set this up. But if you’ve been looking for ways to get data from other systems into Google Analytics, this is one of the best options to do it.

More information on how to get this working is here.

D. Other Odds and Ends

There also are a few more changes that have been made with Universal Analytics.

  • Universal Analytics uses a new cookie to identify users and it lasts 2 years. This expiration gets pushed back with each visit.
  • The new user cookie also works across all subdomains so you no longer have to do a lot of customization to track people between different subdomains. It’s built right into the standard tracking code.
  • Content experiments, 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.
  • The ecommerce tracking code is a separate block of code now. Previously, it was embedded into the standard Google Analytics Tracking Code.

Should You Switch?

Whether you should switch to Universal Analytics depends on how much customization you’ve already done to Google Analytics and how experienced your team is.

If you haven’t done much with Google Analytics beyond installing the standard tracking code, setting up a few events, and ecommerce tracking, getting Universal Analytics going won’t be too much trouble. In this case, I’d start collecting data with a Universal Analytics property as soon as possible. The current changes won’t impact your business much, but we’ll all be forced to switch sooner or later as the old version gets phased out. And, hopefully, Google has some bigger improvements in the pipeline.

But other sites have gone pretty deep with Google Analytics. They have hundreds of events set up, virtual pageviews, custom variables, and modifications to the tracking code.

If you have an in-house analytics team that manages all of this for you (or even a single developer that handles the analytics implementation), cut them loose on it. Send these links over to them and have them start working through the transition.

I’d keep all of the old Google Analytics code working for now, just in case Google puts together a decent migration. There’s no sense in permanently splitting up your data unless you have to.

But what if you have a complicated install and you don’t have anyone to help you with the transition? Then I’d hold off for the time being and wait until Google releases more features. You also might want to find some room in your budget to get a Google Analytics Partner to help you through everything.

What other changes have we missed? Definitely let us know in the comments!

About the Authors: Zach Bulygo is a blogger for KISSmetrics. You can find him on Twitter here. You can also follow him on Google+.

Lars Lofgren is the KISSmetrics Marketing Analyst and has his Google Analytics Individual Qualification (he’s certified). Learn how to grow your business at his marketing blog or follow him on Twitter @larslofgren.

  1. Hy, I also noticed Universal Analytics. I am really excited to check out this. But moving to Universal Analytics is time consuming task as you said and I need to manually change code

    Thanks

  2. Hi Lars, this is by far the most complete description I’ve read about Universal Analytics. After reading your post I can say that for me these new features within the Universal Analytics are not enough to go through the hassle of changing all the codes. I guess I’ll wait. Thanks.

  3. This article is awesome. In a past life, I wrote guide content inside of the Google Analytics team, and I must say, this is much better than anything I put out there.

  4. An excellent explanation of Universal Analytics with some particularly helpful links yo help you set things up.

    I’ll definitely be bookmarking this post for future reference.

    Thanks Lars.

  5. A very comprehensive post thanks.
    I’ve just installed the beta into a few test sites today. Going to give it a week to populate them with some data then really going to get my teeth stuck into them.
    Can’t wait.

  6. Universal Analytics also allows you to blend online and offline interactions. For example, if you had a loyalty card, you could track an individuals in-store and online purchases using Google Analytics.

    We created a demo to help show the full potential of Universal Analytics. See how we tracked coffee, tea and more into Google Analytics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C27yMQOS8n0

  7. Thank you for sharing this information. How does it effects on SEO? Is there any negetive impact on existing SEO?

  8. Great intro. Can’t wait to get my hands dirty.

    In many ways migrating to Universal Analytics is a good time to start using Tag Management to send events and seamlessly integrate with many other analytics tools. Lots of work to do upfront (on a case by case basis) but in the long run, it will pay dividends in terms of future costs and speed of getting analytics implemented and reducing reliance on IT support.

  9. Looks like kissMetrics can kiss away its overpriced business model. With the combination of server side tracking and universal analytics, there is no need to pay for Kiss any longer.

    • So far, the updates in Universal Analytics haven’t included any of the main benefits of KISSmetrics.

      For example:
      -Being able to update or add historical data.
      -First-touch attribution only extends to 60 days before purchase in Universal Analytics, there are no limits in KISSmetrics.
      -Because you can’t track multiple purchases, you don’t get metrics like Lifetime Value, Monthly Recurring Revenue, or Churn. You get all of these in KISSmetrics.
      -You can easily add any data you want to KISSmetrics using a MySQL database or CSV file.
      -When people become a customer, all of their historical and anonymous data gets connected to their customer profile.

      • Are you sure that this:

        “When people become a customer, all of their historical and anonymous data gets connected to their customer profile”

        Is legal? Storing anonymous data on a personal level isn’t.

      • Yes, it’s legal.

        No personal data is collected on anonymous traffic.

        People are only identified AFTER they become a customer or user. For example, they might give you their info by creating an account on your site, purchasing something, or signing up for an email newsletter. At this point, we combine their previously anonymous data into their customer profile. But for everyone else that hasn’t signed up yet, they remain anonymous.

  10. Does anyone know how well the new Universal Analytics code works with Analytics trackEvent push code?

  11. Thank you for information about Universal Analytics. I was thinking how can I implement new analytics code into my site and now I’m very happy to know it :))

  12. Hi,

    Great post. Can anybody tell me how to push offline conversion as custom dimension?

    Thanks in advance.

  13. Great post! Very detailed info here. I’m planning to set up cross-domain tracking for 2 different domains for a friend. Domain 1 is using the Universal GA code but domain 2 is using the Classic version. Will it still work? Also how would I add setDomainName in the Universal code? (see below) Thanks

    ga(‘create’, ‘UA-xxxxxxx-2′, ‘domain1.com’);
    ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

    • Right now, it’s not even possible to migrate an old Google Analytics profile to a Universal Analytics Profile. So you won’t be able to setup cross-domain tracking using each version. This may change in the future.

      But in general, it’s best to use the same version of the Google Analytics Tracking Code across all the domains and subdomains that you’re tracking with a single profile. Each new version gets major updates and you’ll want consistency across your data.

  14. Hi,

    Can anybody tell me how to push custom metrics in Universal Analytics.

    I have tried this way:

    ga(‘set’, ‘metric1′, 1);

    And

    ga(‘send’, ‘Lead’, ‘Offline’, ‘Lead’, {‘metric1′: 1});

    But its not seems working.

  15. Great information, but I think I’m missing something regarding using Universal Analytics and Google Analytics “at the same time.”

    If I create a 2nd property (under my GA account), then install the new tracking code (by replacing all the old tracking code on my site), how can Google continue to track information associated with the old property?

    Wouldn’t tracking for the old property stop as soon as the new tracking code was installed on the site, and only continue for the new property?

    Thanks!

    • Hey Jack!

      Yes, by completely replacing the standard Google Analytics Tracking Code with the new Universal Analytics Tracking Code in a new profile, the old profile will stop collecting data.

      If you want to collect data in both profiles, you’ll have to use both versions of the Google Analytics code at the same time. This means you’ll have two versions of everything. If you were to track an event for example, you’d have to track it twice (once for each version). And you’ll need to install both versions of the Tracking Code on every page of your site.

      • Hi,

        In fact i have put both traditionals and Universal analytics codes on the site, but i am experiencing that universal is collecting higher numbers from my old version.

        What could be the reason for this?

    • Rachel Factor Mar 07, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      Hi Jack,

      Hopefully you get this, but it’s pretty old. I have an issue where a client wants to place both tags on their site so they can have remarketing functionality in classic GA and demographic data in Universal GA. Did you ever figure this out? Was it possible to run both tags on your site? I would really appreciate any help on this issue.

      Thanks,

      Rachel

  16. Another question, but slightly off topic. My site was created a couple years ago and contains the following GA code:

    ———————

    _uacct = “UA-1234567-1″;
    urchinTracker();

    ———————

    When I go into my GA account and view the tracking code available today, it looks quite different. My question is, what happens to my GA history (if anything) if I replace the current code above with the new code (below)?

    ———————

    var _gaq = _gaq || [];
    _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-1234567-1']);
    _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);

    (function() {
    var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true;
    ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
    })();

    ———————

    Thanks!

    • That’s a very old version of the tracking code. Regardless of what you decide to do with Universal Analytics, you should update it to the asynchronous version of the standard Google Analytics Tracking Code. This won’t impact your historical data at all.

  17. Excellent guide the new Google Analytics, thanks for the input, it is certainly a great help to understand everything new we can do with this update. thanks

  18. Wow. This is the most useful article I’ve seen in a while. Thanks for posting!

  19. Hi,

    I am using both traditional and universal codes on the site, the admin tweaking powers are great, but i am experiencing higher numbers with the new universal analytics compared to the older version.

    I am using both the codes together, still getting this difference,

    Anyone out there who is experiencing the same, do tell me?

    anshul

  20. I’m new at this, and this may sound dumb, but… I added the Universal Analytics code to an XHTML 1.0 Transitional page, and when I run it through the W3 validator it shows an error that the at the beginning is missing the type=”text/javascript” and therefore the page won’t validate. Will this be a problem? Thanks.

  21. I’ve been using Google Tag Manager to implement both the old Google Analytics tag and Google Univeral Analytics and it works great! I also see that the numbers of Universal Analytics is slightly lower, but that would mean that it works perfect since UA looks at an user visit through multiple devices/ browsers/ platforms.

  22. maria del riccio Aug 30, 2013 at 5:28 am

    Hi,
    I have implemented UA on a couple of sites but I see a big discrepancy between the traffic reported in UA and on the Asynchronous version. The UA account is reporting much less traffic.
    I have been googling a lot but haven’t found anything about it. Does anyone have the same experience?

    • I have the same issue. I have both tags on my site and the old account is reporting 60-80% more traffic across all pages on the site.

      Have you figured anything else.

  23. Hi,

    Is it possible to track the visitors who has subscribed for a blog wither through email or through Rss feed without using a third party tool.

    For example:

    Blog Subscription
    via RSS Feed
    via Email:

    Regards,

    Lav

  24. Hi, Is it possible to get visitors details by industry/organization in google analytics ?

    Can we get visitors location on a smaller scale i.e. lesser then city i.e. USA -> Chicago – > naperville, so here i need to see “neperville” in my google analytics report. Is it possible to do this?

    Please reply for this.

  25. Hi, I have the same question as the last comments on this post. I have also implemented both versions of the codes but the UA numbers are far less than the GA numbers. Does anybody have any information regarding this?
    thanks
    Riana

  26. Found the issue, the PC data for both were very close. We weren’t tracking mobile website and mobile pages correctly. So my conclusion is that the two profiles data should be close.. if not, try and find the implementation issue.
    Riana

  27. Hi ,

    We are planning in implementing universal Analytic’s for our clients. My question is can we have both classic as well as UA codes for e-comm tracking?

    Would that be an issue? Please help.

    Thanks, in advance.

    • Hey Lakshmi,
      You actually have to replace the Classical Analytics code with the new Universal Analytics tracking code. You can only use one. I hope this comment helps!

    • Sorry I should have read that comment a little longer. For ecommerce tracking to work within Universal analytics you have to implement it using jQuery instead of the _gaq method. Thus, the new version of ecomm tracking will not work for classical analytics and vice-versa.

  28. Great thorough post on Universal Analytics. The other big problem with transferring to Universal from Classical is the change in the way tracking is done. Now the _gaq methods are no longer used and you must use jQuery to implement tracking codes.
    I wrote an article on how to setup event tracking within Universal analytics for those who are interested. http://ppcblast.com/event-tracking-w-universal-google-analytics/

    Thanks for the post!

  29. Hey again Universal Analytics lovers. We just recently released a new post on tracking in Universal Analytics. This is the ecommerce tracking tutorial for UA.
    Let us know what you think and thanks for the reads.
    http://ppcblast.com/e-commerce-tracking-universal-google-analytics/

  30. There is another solution to retagging your site that eliminates the conversation on whether or not UA was worth the effort. Our team created a free open source JavaScript library called Airlock.js that automatically turns your asynchronous Google Analytics calls into Universal Analytics calls. It also works with tag management systems (we built Satellite TMS which is now Adobe DTM) This removes the burden of having to re-implement all that event tracking when upgrading to Universal Analytics and allows you to focus on taking advantage of the new features UA offers until such time as you want to retag everything. http://www.searchdiscovery.com/airlock/

  31. It is totally fine using both the codes – UA and Standard GA. It is mentioned in google developers section. Refer – https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/

  32. With Google providing a new Universal GA code , would like to know if existing events tracking codes will automatically work for the new GA code or is there a need to update the events tracking codes as well. If it is the latter, how does one get to update the new event tracking code(s)?

  33. Did you try to just set a dimension and later fire an event? Somehow it doesn’t work for me – results don’t show up.

    But documentations says:

    “In some cases, you might want to send a custom dimension or metric with all the hits on a given page (or for the lifetime of the tracker object). In this case, you can set the custom dimension or metrics using the set command:

    ga(‘set’, ‘dimension5′, ‘custom data’);”

    First I set a dimension, then I fire an event – now I expect that my dimension will get send to GA too – but it won’t. Any ideas why?

    • I ran into the same problem. I changed my code from ga(‘set’, ‘dimension1′, ‘Employee’) to ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’, ‘dimension1′, ‘Employee’). That should trigger to send the custom dimension on every pageview.

      Hopes this helps you!

      • Oops! Not quite the right code, try this ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’, {‘dimension1′: ‘Employee’})

  34. Hi,

    Is there any way to shift from Universal analytic to Classic analytic in Google Analytic?
    Reason : Trying to track demography info in universal analytic in GA. Got to know that this is not possible.

    Appreciate your reply
    Hareesh

  35. Hi all,

    Does anyone have an idea when remarketing list will be supported by Universal Analytics? Or can I just revert to the last version where I can use Remarketing list?

    Thanks

  36. This article is great thanks for the explanation very complete but…

    ///Looking at your website (kissmetrics.com) website, I noticed that you already installed the Google tag manager code, however, the snnipet is installed right after the head tag, conr=trary to what you mentioned in the article above, Is there any particular reason why this is happening

    Thanks!
    Oscar

  37. Should the tracking code be before the tag or right after the tag?

  38. Hello

    I noticed my comment did not appear as I expected. Here is the corrected version:

    Should the tracking code be before the closed ‘head’ tag or right after the opening ‘body’ tag?

  39. Hi Lars,
    we have switched to Universal Analytics about 24h ago, and today we have around 50% less traffic and events triggered than before.
    Is there any way we have missed something, or did something wrong?
    Thank you,
    King Regards

  40. For us marketeers the new Analytic`s it`s great, I love the flow data. I also at the same time get emails from clients who are genuinely confused with all the additional options, it`s a little to much for them to take in.

  41. Is there a difference between GA Version 5 and Google Analytics Universal?

  42. I have not used Universal analytics for any of my sites. This information is going to help me a lot as I want to use universal analytics in one of my website.

    Thanx for the information

  43. Great post Zack! We’ve had to create quite a few more accounts & profiles for clients lately and I’ve been hesitant about whether or not we should them adopt Universal Analytics right away. This’ll is a great resource which I’ll be happy to share with them.
    Thanks for the great article.
    - M

  44. Thank you for explaining it so clearly and showing how to change these options. It was exactly what I was looking for. So many others explained bounce rate etc but did not give information on how you could actually change the settings.

  45. This is very detailed and makes me want to double check all my analytics installs – always a good thing that we don’t do enough of.

  46. Good post I stumbled upon whilst looking for a live date for Demographic data, that up until now has only worked with the old Google Analytics script (yes kind of silly that the new features don’t work with the new script yet).

    Anyone heard when the new universal analytics code will deliver the new demographic data?

  47. I’ve been eager to try out Universal on some of my highest trafficked properties, but the process of adding/switching is too much of a hassle at this point. Also, it’s still missing many of the core features like AdSense integration and Google Content Experiments at this point. In a perfect world, I’d be able to flip a switch, update my code, and it would be like Google Analytics + Awesome Universal Stuff. I suppose that would be too logical. :)

    On the bright side, I am really eager to have accurate referral data – that would be outstanding if it works as planned. Love the idea of adding search engines, too, when GA can’t put those in the right bucket. (Wish GA was also rolling out improvements to better dump traffic in the right channel buckets without my marketers having to think about proper UTM parameters all the time.) Particularly excited about the Measurement Protocol stuff and its implications for importing things like call center data, could be really revealing I think.

    The splitting up of the data thing, and losing GCE in the meantime, it’s definitely a big obstacle to me making the switch right now.

    • Heather, thanks for the great feedback. Please let us know if there is any way we can help you out. Looking forward to hearing more from you :)

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