Google Analytics first launched in 2005. It immediately became a game-changer in how website performance gets analysed. Since 2005, Google has continued adding new features to improve the function of Google Analytics itself. Some of these features are easy to implement and become well known, while equally valuable others stay lost in the shadows. In this short post, learn about five new Google Analytics features you probably haven't heard of that can boost the performance of your website, improve your Google Adwords campaign results and help you better understand how visitors and customers interact with your website pages.

Point 1: Set up Intelligence events.

Google Analytics lets you set up specific alerts, or reminders, called "intelligence events." These reminders tell Google Analytics that you want it to monitor any changes to your website data and alert you at set times (daily, weekly, monthly or custom alerts are available). It is also easy to adjust the number of alerts you receive and the alert ranges (dates, times of day).

Point 2: Check out the updated Adwords Report.

No surprise here - Google Analytics is fully integrated with Google Adwords, which makes adding Adwords to your website easy. But with this new feature, you can now monitor detailed specifics of how your customised paid search engine optimisation (SEO) keywords are performing. You can get very specific detail - even down to the hours each day that your website traffic increases. You can also use these reports to answer questions about what happens once a casual online visitor clicks on one of your paid links and arrives at your website.

Point 3: Keep track on social conversion report.

With this new feature, you can analyse the ROI (return on investment) of your non-paid social media interactions as well as your paid (SEO) click-throughs. What you need to do is open up your Google Analytics account page, click on "Under Acquisition," then click on "Social" and then click on "Conversions" to view your website's recent social conversations activity. Add "Campaign" to isolate only non-paid social events. You can also take a look at each social media network on its own (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, et al) to see how visitors are coming to your website and whether there are specific periods each month when activity seems to spike.

Point 4: Separate paid search branded terms.

The click through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC) and conversion rate are three different measurement vehicles you can use to monitor the success of Google Adwords campaigns. For instance, Google Adwords offers both branded and generic search terms. These tend to perform nearly opposite from one another (in terms of CTR and CPC) which means it can be helpful to monitor their performance separately as well as together. Google Analytics now offers a new feature to help you separate branded and generic search terms and analyse each on a stand-alone basis. As well, you can use this tool for both Adwords campaigns and other types of paid search-based advertisements you are running.

Point 5: Expand behaviour flow functionality.

Depending on how many pages your website has, analysing how visitors and customers use your website can get complicated quickly. To help simplify your analysis, Google Analytics now offers the option to group like-type pages (such as blog posts and sales pages) so you can see how your web visitors are interacting with your site as a whole. Here you can look for how they come in, where they go once they arrive and if patterns emerge that can indicate your site is working well or needs some adjustment. You can also use behavior flow functionality tools within Google Analytics to adjust your site to make it easier for visitors to find what they need.

In Conclusion

As you begin to implement these five key Google Analytics features for your own business website, you will quickly notice an improvement in your ability to assign value to branding and marketing campaigns. You will also be able to better tailor website content to customer interests and needs. These improvements alone will likely make the time you spend feel more than worthwhile!