Google is breading place for new ideas; while not always earthshaking, every once in a while they'll release a new feature that'll change the way we work. Last week, the company added a 'new' feature to their famous Analytics suite called 'In-Page Analytics'. Could this 'Site Overlay on Steroïds' be one of those groundbreaking ideas? Let's find out how epic this new feature is.
A new beginning
As my intro suggests, In-Page Analytics isn't entirely a new feature in Analytics, it's basically a revamp of the good old 'Site Overlay' button that was stuck somewhere among the content reports. I have to admit, I never really used that feature. Not that I failed to see its purpose, on the contrary, but rather because I never had much esteem for it. I always thought of Site Overlay as something under construction: it was clumsy, it didn't load up very well and at times I just didn't understand what the percentages all meant...in other words, it sucked. With 'In-Page Analytics', I really get the feeling this is going to change and that I'll be paying much more attention to how visitors are navigating through our websites in a different way.
As you log into In-Page Analytics, you can immediately see that things have radically changed: a menu on the left-side of the screen shows top content data for every page you analyze. Click percentages can now be filtered out, so if you have too many links on a page, you can easily get rid of those 0.00000000000000003% values and focus on the bigger boys. You can also apply advanced segments & filters just like the way you do when you look at any other report, so if you'd like to know where your visitors went after looking for stuff like 'whip cream' on Google, well you can. The one thing you have to be aware of is that In-Page cannot distinguish between multiple links pointing towards the same page. So if you've got 4 links on a page conducting your visitors to your 'whip cream' page, they'll all show the same percentage. Google says they are working on fixing this little issue however.
Down the slide
What really knocked my socks off was the blind page content analyzer. Basically this is a little banner displayed over the page you're analyzing, that dynamically shows the remaining % of the selected metric at the bottom of the page. An example: how many people actually scrolled down the page to click on stuff other than at the top? This feature can answer that. The best part is that the displayed % changes as you scroll down on your page. This will be super useful for blogs or web pages that force you to sustain a longer relationship with your mouse scroll.
Take out your swords
I haven't had the chance to play around with In-Page Analytics much, but from what I've seen so far, I like it. There's nothing revolutionary here, but I'm not against adding a new weapon into my arsenal. In-Page Analytics is definitely a feature I'll use in the future; I can't wait to read what usability experts have to say about it.