Google Universal Analytics: the next big thing?

Today I came across a video about Universal Analytics, Google’s self-proclaimed next big thing.

But is it really? In short? Yes! Here’s why.

What is the difference between Google Analytics and Google Universal Analytics?

Universal Analytics tracks much more than just visits to a website likes Google Analytics does. Where Google Analytics (based on Urchin) tracks visits, Universal Analytics tracks visitors. This allows us to do cross-device tracking which mean even more detailed statistics!


Offline conversions

With the Measurement Protocol you’re now able to ‘plug in’ extra user data, provided by offline/external appliances such as an RFID chip, apps, sensors, etc. Have a look at the YouTube video in my introduction. As a geek, I absolutely love this. The more data the merrier.

Customisable session timeouts

You can now alter this ourselves. Previously this limit was a hard fixed 30 minutes.


Ga.js becomes analytics.js. The include code also changes.

universal analytics code

Custom dimensions/metrics

Custom dimensions/metrics allows you to create specific metrics in combination with your CRM’s database. See this as custom variables 2.0.

External cost structure

External input, external output. We’re now able to import external costs structures so we can calculate our conversions and ROI even more accurate. Back in the old days.. we could only import Google Adwords costs.

And much, much more..

Here’s some more useful and interesting links I found about Google Universal Analytics:

Did I forgot to mention something very important about Universal Analytics? Please leave a note in the comments 🙂


So I’m qualified!

Aah it feels good to say I’m finally Google Adwords qualified! I got my Google Analytics qualification in 2011 but never bothered to go for the Adwords qualification. Then I got an invitation from Google for their Google Engage event (pics) in Brussels and we received some free coupons. Thanks Google! 🙂


A few tips for people that are planning to take this exam.

The Google Adwords certification program is divided into 2 examens (1 fundamental + 1 advanced exam) on which you have the have at least 85%. Both exams have +- 110 questions which you’ll have to answer within 2 hours.

Revising everything you know is crucial for succeeding since there are alot of weird/vague questions which you’ll only know when you’ve read the docs.

Good luck!