Google Analytics: The Universal Soldier

Google’s new version of their analytics product came out of beta on April 2 — once all the Pokémon were cleared from Google Maps.

What does this mean to your ministry? Well, if you are using Google Analytics (GA), it means it is time to upgrade. What does the upgrade get you? Here are the highlights:

  • Better cross-domain tracking — key if your donations don’t happen on your main domain.
  • Custom dimensions and metrics — measure anything that’s important to you, not just page views.
  • Track interactions from offline sources — not just for websites anymore.

There’s more, but trust me, Universal Analytics is better for your ministry. Not to mention at some point Google will phase out the current version.

A few thoughts before you upgrade:

1. Do an audit

Is your setup working for you? Are you tracking what you need to in order to know if you are meeting your ministry goals? Are you exporting GA data to Excel and manipulating? Can you build a custom report for that? The old data adage of “garbage in, garbage out” applies.

2. Switch to a Tag Manager

Tag management streamlines the deployment of new tracking tags to your site. As you begin to experiment with remarketing, optimization and advanced visitor tracking, tag management will mean you don’t have to ask IT every time you want to set something up. It also means IT can be sure you aren’t breaking anything. Masterworks recommends Google Tag Manager; it’s free and does just about everything you could want.

3. Set up eCommerce tracking

If you haven’t already, set up eCommerce tracking for your donations. You’ll start to see what pages not only bring visitors, but bring value.

Masterworks has completed a number of analytics audits for ministries, and every time we’ve discovered some piece that can better measure ministry goals. We are also exploring how to use our warehouse of offline data to enhance the online data via new Universal Analytics measurement and user-tracking protocols.

It’s an exciting time for online measurement. Drop me a line at and we can get you into a new analytics setup today.