Table of Contents
- How Many Goals Can I Make?
- Free Google Analytics Does Not Have the Power of Paid Analytic Solutions
- To Get Real Web Analytics You Gotta Spend A Lot Of Money!
- It Is a Stand Alone Product, AB Multi Variant Testing are not Possible
- Professional Support Is Not Available With Google Analytics
- Tools of the trade
- You Cannot Export Your Data from Google Analytics
- Google Owns Your Data and Uses It for Self Serving Purposes
- Google Analytics Uses Third Party Tracking Cookies
- There are no “advanced” features or metrics in Google Analytics
- Will my Site Slow Down?
- Helpful Links
You can make 20 goals per profile. You can have up to 50 profiles in your account. That means you could have up to 1000 goals with a maximum of 10 steps (pages) per goal.
Direct Link: Go to Google Analytics Goals
Google Analytics has all the features other paid packages have. The 2 biggest complaints I hear is delay in data and data privacy. Other than those 2, Google Analytics has all the horsepower of Omniture or WebTrends in the right hands. Can you segment data? Not only can you segment data this software takes it a step further into advanced segmentation. With the new enterprise release in Oct/ Nov 2008 you can segment data in many ways. Create segments as you work through your data real-time.
Check out one of my favorite features; Custom Reports:
a) Set Parameters of Custom Report
b) Custom Report Result
The purpose of this simple report is to compare the most viewed landing pages to the conversion rate. I have highlighted the interesting data. We learn from this report that our index page (1st entry- almost 70 million page views) is not the best converting. The 3rd and 9th entry are better converting pages. In this case the account is likely reaching its daily DB limit which will cause (other) to appear http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=72297.
a) Contact Google to increase data limit. It is likely skewing the landing page conversion data in the 1st and 9th entry.
b) Take a look at the rendering of the dynamic landing page in the 3rd entry. Why is it converting so well? Go to top content and drill it down for keywords. Look at design elements compared to index page.
This is one simple example of custom reporting, there are many others you can create in seconds by dragging and dropping metrics, dimensions, and sub dimensions.
The cost of analytical software is not the investment. Whether you choose Google Analytics or another paid web analytic solution you will always need someone that can analyze and report effectively. The most important investment you’ll ever make is someone who can put your data to use. It is a great option to bring in a talented analyst to help report on valuable findings and empower others to do the same.
In my opinion here are the best paid web website tracking programs on the market:
Great comparison (2007)
Tip: Learn more by finding a web analyst mentor you are comfortable with; Video- Phone or Contextual.
Website optimizer is another free product that provides a means to AB and Multi variant test you web pages. You can use Google’s web analytic software to discover what you want to test then create your experiments.
- Direct Link: Go to Website Optimizer
- Learning link: Using Google Analytics to Create an Optimization Plan
I would argue the most supported web analytics package in the world is Google Analytics. Enter the phrase into Google- e.g. “Google Analytics free tutorials” where you’ll find a growing list of contributors. Now, if they don’t help you there are Google analytics Authorized Companies and Individuals trained by Google to resolve your problems.
- Direct Link: Paid Support
- Business Notes- Keep track of your updates or use notes as queue cards for reporting online. Embeds notes right into user interface.
- Goal Copy- Very handy when you need to copy any goal from one profile to another. You can also copy from one slot to another then modify.
- GA Profile Switching – Update to Profile Switching Greasemonkey Script.
- Track Social Media Metrics Only - 2 easy ways to track social networks.
- Enhanced Google Analytics – Integrate Google Analytics with Google Docs using Greasemonkey
- Fire Cookie- Take a closer look at cookie data, make sure data is reporting correctly to Google servers.
- Google Analytics for WordPress- Automatically loads the tracking script on every page of your blog.
- Web Bug – What data is being sent to the web server.
Common User Problems Include
- Training your staff on how to make the most out of this software.
- Confirm tracking code is installed accurately.
- Make sure you configuration is optimized for your campaigns.
- Qualified Trainers to answer support requests by email, phone, or onsite.
- Advance tracking and Integration.
This is way off the mark. There are a couple of ways to export Google Analytics data:
a) Use the export button in the top left hand side of each report screen. You can export your data in PDF or XML formats.
b) With the new release of the Google Analytics API tool you can export as much data as you want. You can also use that data to integrate into other programs you use to enhance your ability to make data driven decisions. http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/gdata/gdataDeveloperGuide.html
The truth is you have choices before you decide Google Analytics is for you. If complete privacy of data is an issue you can use the paid URCHIN software which is a similar user’s interface. Web analytics prospectors should always weigh in on the pros and cons before committing to a solution.
Google may have other uses for the data collected by your website. I have been involved in many discussions on the hot topic of SEO and bounce. Based on Google trends data, many web analytics users have simply said “Who CARES what they do with it?”
This is a common misunderstanding amongst uneducated website analytics users. Only first party tracking cookies are supported. Google and GAAC’s (Google Analytics Certified Companies) actually helped develop first party cookie tracking. This method of tracking is widely viewed as the industry standard in web analytics software. First-party tracking is considered by many to be the most accurate way to track visits and activity.
Learning Link: GA Concepts for Cookies
As of the enterprise release this myth has been debunked beyond any doubt, in the eye of an experienced Google Analytics analyst. One of my favorite features is advanced segmentation.
With the collective efforts of GAACs, Google Engineers, user groups, and user feedback I believe Google Analytics will continue to grow at unprecedented rates. This is a genuine product driven and developed by user feedback. If someone says hey let’s do it, it’s a comment. If dozens say let’s do it, it gets attention. If the majority says let’s do it, software engineers listen.
If you are still using the old “urchin.js” script you may experience problems. Google recommends that you always use the most current tracking code version. It is recommended that you place GA code right before the closing </body> element. That way if there ever is a problem with Google servers (currently 99.99% uptime) your website visitors will not be affected. This is because rendering of the page will happen first.
- Make Profit-Generating Improvements to your advertising and website.
- Learn Custom Reports
- Advanced Segmentation & filtering on the fly
- Google Analytics API Finally Launched!
- Web Analytics Data Reconciliation Checklist- by Avinash
- FAQ’s Google Analytics data sharing options
- Exporting Analytics Reports?
- Start Testing Today with Website Optimizer
- Creating Custom Reports
- How to Convert more Visitors
- The 10 / 90 Rule for Web Analytics Success- by Avinash