Ep. 9 – Google Analytics Pros, Cons and Alternatives


Google Analytics Pros and Cons

Today’s episode helps you understand the pros and cons of Google Analytics since it is by far the most popular analytics tool. Whether you run a blog, or a website, or you’re an online shop, you will most definitely want to use web analytics tools.

Host:                                     00:00                     Podcasting from Southern California, this is On The Net, your go-to for everything you need to know about how to get your business online and keep it there—brought to you by Lunarpages.  We’ll help you navigate the mystifying ins and outs of doing business in today’s digital era.  From web hosting to ecommerce to security and protection, if it has to do with your online presence, we’ve got it covered. Let’s get started.

Host:                                     00:31                     Hello everyone.  Welcome to On The Net, where it’s all about your online presence.  Thanks for joining us!  This podcast is designed to make doing business online easy for web designers, developers, bloggers and online business of every shape and size.  Whether you are new to buying web hosting or running a web site, this podcast show will be able to answer your most burning questions.  We just spent the last 4 episodes talking about building an online presence and increasing your online conversion rates.  Today’s podcast is dedicated to understanding the pros and cons of Google Analytics since it is by far the most popular analytics tool. Whether you run a blog, or a website, or you’re an online shop, you will most definitely want to use web analytics tools to help you make business decisions.  Businesses and organizations are collecting and storing tons of data but without proper analysis and visualization to turn that data into valuable insights about how a site operates on the internet,


Host:                                     01:26                     It really doesn’t have any business value. Most developers and publishers turn to Google Analytics for a deep dive into their online properties. Not only is it highly beneficial when designing and publishing a successful website, but also for tracking your video, and social networking sites and applications and also for measuring your advertising ROI. Did we mention it is a free resource, easy to install and that it can be used on diverse digital platforms such as websites, mobile applications, kiosks, basically anything with an internet connection? What’s not to love? With a variety of widgets, charts and layouts, getting a quick snapshot of what’s working and what isn’t, is really simple. Google Analytics allows you to link within each widget to dig deeper within the report the data came from. Cool, huh? If you find Google Analytics interface intimidating and need help getting started, Google Analytics has a solutions gallery with dashboards and tips from other Google Analytics users.


Host:                                     02:19                     You can link data between all Google digital marketing channels to work to your benefit. For example, if you are advertising with AdWords, you can connect your Google Analytics account with your AdWords account to analyze results much more efficiently through Google Analytics. You can easily create granular, custom segmented web analytics reports based on channel, event or transaction using the interface which is immensely time-saving in comparison to standard reports.  Design it with your preferred dimensions and metrics for display. For example, you can create a customer acquisition report, or see your top performing landing pages for organic traffic or do a device comparison report to better understand the differences between your mobile and desktop customers, and so much more. We’re not done yet. You can improve your optimization efforts by setting up the Conversion Funnel Visualization report, which comes standard in Analytics.  It can help you understand where potential customers are dropping off in the checkout flow.


Host:                                     03:16                     Despite the many benefits, there are some limitations to using Google Analytics too. With so many dashboards and plethora of information available, some users may find the UX/UI of the platform confusing or overwhelming. To pick up all the intricacies and understand all the reporting options, you need to learn. For instance, users without technical know-how can find creating events on Google Analytics a problem because it requires that you add a JavaScript snippet to your website for each goal. While Google Analytics Academy does provide in-depth information and training, you still have to invest time and get your hands dirty using the tools frequently to be comfortable with them in the long run. If you are looking for hair-splitting accuracy in your reports and complete accuracy with data, then Google Analytics is not for you. It is not 100% accurate with high traffic as it engages in sampling.


Host:                                     04:06                     Lastly, it is free until you have more than 20 custom metrics and have no more than 200 views per web property. After that you have to shell out big bucks on a ludicrously expensive upgrade to Premium version. Fortunately, Google isn’t the only worthwhile analytics solution available. If you are looking for a free software alternative to Google Analytics, then go for Piwik because of its fully customizable analytics dashboard. Just note, you have to host the analytics on your own server. Piwik is already used on more than 1,000,000 websites. Medium-to-large businesses, e-stores and vendor sites who can spend a little money can turn to Kissmetrics with its feature rich and streamlined layout. It also supports A/B testing. If you are tired of looking at numbers all day long, you can try Mouseflow, which tracks user behavior using recordings and heatmaps and can also record user interactions on your site.

Host:                                     04:57                     For users who want more security and control over their data, there are many other tools like, Crazy Egg, Click Tale, MOZ, WebTrends, Woopra, etc. to choose from. You need to try out each web analytics tool to find the right fit for your business needs. That’s it for this week. Do tune in next week to listen to our podcast on what “Every Web Owner Should Know About SEO”. You can listen online but you can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes to get future episodes delivered to you automatically.  We will also take comments since we are just starting with podcasts and if you have any suggestions on future shows or questions on things we cover in future shows, please complete the form below. Until next time, here’s to wishing you all the best with your website endeavors. Thanks for listening and take care. Thank you for listening to the latest edition of Lunarpages podcast on net.

Host:                                     05:58                     Remember, it’s all about your online presence. If you like what you heard, please share our podcast. Join us next week as we take on another need to know topic around doing business in the digital era.



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