Every marketing professional will tell you that it is vital you test and measure everything you do. By testing an action and measuring it’s effectiveness you can protect yourself from making big losses and as such it allows you to take informed risks.
Measurement also allows you to identify opportunities for improvement, ways to get more out of what you already have, and physically shape your own success.
When it comes to your website, as well as other online activities such as social media interaction, it is essential practice for you to have a solid analytics process in place.
There are lots of excellent services out there, but for us Google Analytics is by far the leader in this area. There are two pretty simple reasons for this:
- It’s easy to register and set-up, and
- It’s easy to use and provides everything you need
Regardless of what business you are in you are likely to be driven by profit, and Google Analytics makes it easy for you to convert your page views into exactly that – profit.
The beautiful thing about Analytics is that you can hook it up to other products within the Google ecosystem such as AdWords, AdSense, Website Optimizer and Webmaster Tools.
There is a massive amount of features that Analytics can offer you, regardless of the extent of use you require:
- Measure the success of your advertising display, search, new media and offline advertising efforts
- Compare your site usage using metrics with industry averages and track flash, video and social networking sites and applications
- Uncover trends, patterns, and key comparisons with funnel visualizations, motion charts, mapping and more
- Create the reports, dashboards and segments that make the most sense for your business
- Share data easily with administration controls and simple email reports
Analytics contains “Enterprise-class” features, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an “Experts-only” application. In fact, the simple layout and easy customization of Analytics means that even the least computer-literate users can find their way around.
Track your sales and conversions and measure site engagement goals against your own user-defined threshold metrics. Optimize the performance of your AdWords campaigns and show publishers which site content generates the most revenue with AdSense reports. Track email campaigns, banner ads, offline ads and more, and trace transactions to campaigns and keywords, get loyalty and latency metrics, and identify your best revenue sources.
Cross Channel and Multimedia Tracking
Use advanced segmentation capabilities, create simple or detailed custom reports to suit your own business requirements, find everything from one easy-to-use dashboard, access the API and Developer Platform, use Advanced Analysis Tools, benefit from Analytics Intelligence, use Custom Variables and easily export all of your data using popular methods such as email, Excel, CSV or PDF.
Sharing and Communicating
Schedule or send ad-hoc personalized reports via email that contain exactly the information you need to share, and control how sensitive data is shared and which reports are available to users on your account.
View your data in simple ways such as using Motion Charts, Geo Tagging, Funnels, Spark Lines and Score Cards.
Integration and Reliability
Google Analytics uses 1st party cookies to ensure reliable tracking and protect visitor privacy. It runs on the same globally renowned infrastructure that powers Google, maximizing data integrity and privacy, and is part of a suite of industry-leading advertising and analysis tools that includes AdWords and Website Optimiser.
Google Analytics App Gallery
There are now new and exciting ways in which to extend the functionality of Google Analytics. The App Gallery includes a huge selection of apps with every kind of functionality that you could dream of.
A selection of apps available include solutions for providing Voice of Customer (VoC) survey feedback and solutions for working with Analytics from within Excel Spreadsheets that you can also brand as your own. There’s Analytics for when you are on the go with mobile device friendly versions and advanced ways of optimizing your organic search strategy.
The only thing to remember is that most of the content provided in the App Gallery has been developed by other companies or Google users, and not by Google itself. As such they make no promises or representations about the performance, quality or content of the apps.
There are some pretty big names that publicly use Google Analytics including Agency.com, The American Cancer Society, BuildDirect, Costco, The Huffington Post and Yelp, not to mention the countless small operations such as blogs and small local businesses.
There is one thing that you can be sure of if you choose to use Google Analytics as part of your digital communication strategy, and it is that you will have the power of the gods at your fingertips. Generally, when an Analytics user doesn’t achieve good results, it is because the user did not use this powerful application to its true potential. You get out exactly what you put in, so it is worth investing some quality time into integrating Google Analytics as part of your online strategy.