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#Measurefest 2014- Page Speed and Universal Analytics insights

Measure Fest is an annual conference held in London for analytics, marketing measurement and CRO. Here’s a super quick highlight of Dara Fitzgerald and Neil Barnes talk on Universal Analytics and Page Speed.

Dara Fitzgerald on Universal Analytics

Dara’s talk proved to be an eye opener for universal analytics, there is so much to learn and the talk emphasised the sheer scale of it. Knowing the following pearls of wisdom will certainly save you a few headaches. If you’re switching over to universal analytics take this into consideration.

Session handling:

Classic GA and Universal GA handles sessions differently and the latter will show higher figures, that is because referral traffic is handled differently. For example if your user is redirected to your website and then back again in the case of a transaction websites, when the customer comes back this will be classed as a new session. So you will have to keep this in mind, especially if you’re reporting year on year.


When considering to switch over to Universal Analytics they key is to take your time. Classic GA will not stop providing data for at least 2 years. So the important thing is to fully immerse yourself in Universal Analytics before switching over.


Neil Barnes

Neil stressed the importance of a websites loading time in relation to rankings and UX and placed it as one of the most important KPI of your website.

“More than 3 seconds to load will result in 40% abandonment”

“7% reduction in conversion due to a 1 second delay”

The first impression:

You should approach your website the same as you would when you go on a on a first date, you don’t want to make a bad impression, and you certainly don’t want to be late! So don’t let your website be slow and tedious to render on your customers browser.

Within Google Analytics, one of the most underutilised tools on there is ‘Site Speed’ under ‘behaviour’. Here you will find in-depth and valuable speed data on all your pages. A snapshot overview is to look at the average page load time.

“Take in to consideration that page load is calculated from 1% of your total audience”

This is a rather small data set, and this can be increased by altering the Google Analytics code to allow for more of your audience to be taken into account. Other than increasing your data set, have a look at the suggestions that are made within Google Analytics called Speed Suggestions. By following these suggestion will surely help you increase your loading times.

For a different view on the matter, check Sohaib’s blog post on page speed here




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