Londes Digital Marketing - Rochester NY

Google Analytics Launches New Analytics Administration Center

June 19, 2013

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m typically reluctant to embrace changes that Google makes.  Maybe it’s my paranoia that Google could be getting more profit-focused than user-experience focused, or the equally likely scenario that I’m just become a premature old man who shakes his metaphorical cane at anything he sees as a mild inconvenience.  But this change is good, and it’s been a long time coming.

First, let’s take a look at the new structure as a whole:

google analytics admin section

Much cleaner than before. In the past, when I wanted to make a change, half the time I’d find myself Googling how to update the setting. And that’s coming from someone who uses Google Analytics on a daily basis doing a lot of advanced custom work. Differentiating where the change you need to make is – whether on the Account, Property, or Profile level was often rather difficult to remember.

The fact that people rarely name their accounts, properties, and profiles properly certainly has made the issue more confusing in the past as well. But now the way Google has this administration section set up removes a lot of the confusion and makes managing these accounts effectively much easier.


Account Settings

The account portion is the highest level of control. It contains all of your web properties that you might want to manage at a very broad level. You can manage data sources, filters, and users globally on all the properties inside your account.

  • Account Settings: Not much to see here. Just your account ID, changing your account name, and how you want your Analytics data shared with other Google products.
  • User Management: Want other people to have access to your account? Manager their permissions here. Note that you can also do this on a Profile level if you just want people to have access to certain profiles.
  • AdWords Linking: This shows which AdWords account are connected with your Analytics properties. You can unlink them here, but if you’d like to add additional AdWords accounts you’ll need to do it through the Analytics section when logged in to Adwords.
  • AdSense Linking: Same idea as Adwords. If you want to feed AdSense earnings data into your account, this is where you can do that. It’s also where you grab the Code Snippet confirmations to make sure the data is passing properly.
  • All Filters: Top level filtering. This is where you’ll want to exclude your internal computers from showing up on Analytics for the entire account, and general big-picture stuff. Filters also exist on the Profile level, which is where you’ll do most of your segmentation.
  • Change History: Summarizes all the analytics changes you make on the account. Or changes other users make. This makes it easier to yell at people when they mess something up.
google analytics admin section

Property Settings

Each “Account” may own several “Properties.” These are essentially different websites or subdomains that you want to measure independently. Each property has unique tracking information. It’s probably the least used layer of the account administration, which always seemed to be just a little confusion in the old system.

  • Property Settings: Set the property name here, and more importantly the default URL. You can also see your Webmaster Tools access here and make sure that’s verified.
  • Tracking Info: This is where your code is. There’s some implementation help in here too, along with how to track multiple top-level domains and subdomains. But mostly just used for grabbing your code.
  • Remarketing Lists: Remarketing lists are lists of users who visit your website, or a segmented portion of your visitors based on filters or website sections. You can then run advertisements via Adwords directly to users on these lists. It’s a very powerful form of advertising, and a staple when it comes to our ppc services.
  • Custom Definitions: We don’t use this one too much yet (plus it’s still in beta), but you should be able to add custom data sources to act similarly to how Adwords data is fed in (associating costs and such).
  • Social Settings: Interested in learning more about your social sources? Enter the exact URL’s here to get additional referral data from your social presences.
google analytics admin section

Profile Settings

Each “Property” may contain multiple “Profiles.” A general profile represents all the traffic to a property, but additional profiles can be created based on filters to provide more information on visitor segments.

  • Profile Settings: This is where you define the profile parameters. Choose time zones, exclude query parameters (excluding internal navigation links, site search, etc), set the profile as an e-commerce site, and choose AdWords import settings. Internal site search settings are also managed here, with the option to track internal search, name the search parameters, and optionally strip them from the reporting URL’s.
  • User Management: Just like at the account level, you an manager users at the profile level. This only gives them access to select portions of your traffic if you don’t want to share the entire account with them.
  • Goals: Manage profile goals here. I’d like to see Google add options for this up a level or two so I don’t have to copy them for every profile, but for now this is where they exist. P.S. If you aren’t using goals, you should be (even if it’s just a usability metric).
  • Custom Definitions: We don’t use this one too much yet (plus it’s still in beta), but you should be able to add custom data sources to act similarly to how Adwords data is fed in (associating costs and such).
  • Filters: Unique filters can be added to each profile. And they usually are, since you’re trying to filter segments of your visitor groups. In addition to the global filters, you can assign additional ones to exclude data you don’t want to see.

This “Personal Tools & Assets” section makes things a bit easier too. Advanced Segments are now much easier to share. We actually don’t use a lot of these. Some custom alerts are set up for goals and conversions on our end, as well as scheduled reports I want to be sure to check on a regular basis.

google analytics admin section

google analytics admin sectionThe regular design isn’t just cleaner and more organized – the navigation is too. Rather than reloading, the page seems to glide between the account settings. It’s just a lot nicer. And the back button there makes it easier to jump back and forth and find what you’re looking for.

So there’s your first-glance guide to the new Google Analytics administration section. Mostly the same old stuff, but much cleaner and easier to use. Hopefully this should take some frustrating out of managing the accounts. Plus it should be much easier to describe over the phone or to clients how to give us the access we need, which is always a plus.

Mike LaLonde

Digital Marketing Specialist at Londes Digital Marketing
With specialties in SEM, SEO, and Web Analytics, Mike helps businesses build and optimize online marketing strategies to maximize the effectiveness of their web presence.


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