Google Analytics is one of those services that we frequently set and forget on our websites. That is, if we're receiving the tracking data, then we don't worry too much about how it is configured. After all, if it isn't broken, don't fix it, right?
You've probably missed Google's transition to a new service known as Universal Analytics, although it's been available to the public for several months. Your web properties are likely still receiving tracking data and providing you with statistics in your dashboard, because Google hasn't deprecated the old Google Analytics yet. At some point, however, they will, and if you haven't transitioned your properties by a certain undetermined date in the future, Google will 'flip the switch' for you.
Why the change?
Well, Universal Analytics includes improvements to how Google collects data, and what data it can give to you in return. You also will also have more control over your analytics data. For example, you can set custom metrics, sync online and offline data, add different search engines, set up exclusions for specific referral sources and search terms, and much more. Ultimately, there will be increased value for you as you can have more data for your marketing purposes.
So, what do you next?
Technically, Universal Analytics is still in 'beta,' which means Google is stopping just short of declaring it an operating standard. That will happen at some point, though, and remember, Gmail was in beta for'_well, for a really long time. While there are ,Google's tools are among the most widely used. Google continues to improve at what they do best: giving you the data that you need to effectively operate the online presence of your business. Universal Analytics promises to be a worthwhile tool for your marketing strategy.