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Google Analytics: What is it, Key Metrics and Alternative Tools

Google Analytics Key Metrics What is it Alternative Toos

Google Analytics is a web analytics tool by Google that is offered to website developers today for free of charge. This service primarily helps to track and report website traffic, which can be used for analysis and diagnosis by website developers. Two premium versions of Google Analytics are offered: Google Analytics 360 and Google Analytics for Mobile Apps, which serves the same function of tracking/reporting traffic with added features.


How is Google Analytics Implemented?

Google Analytics has to be implemented/installed on a site by first inserting its tracking code (Javascript Snippet Code) to the entire website. This code loads a larger javascript file from Google’s web server and is downloaded only once by the visitor’s web browser upon his or her first visit with the assumption of browser caching. It also sets the first-party cookie on the visitor’s computer which stores information that is kept anonymous.

However, there are certain limitations to cookies. Since Google Analytics rely on cookies to track and identify unique visitors to a particular site, unique visitor IDs must be held persistently in each cookie. This means that everytime users clear their cookies (39%  delete on a monthly basis and that was 2005), they will be recognised again as first-time visitors upon their next visit at the site. With the problem of cookie deletion, data collection of web analytics can never be entirely accurate.

Related: Publishers – When to Use Facebook Instant Articles


Key Metrics To Look Out For

  • Acquisition -> Traffic Sources

Acquisition Traffic Sources Pie Chart

This metric helps website owners to keep an eye on their traffic sources such as organic search, direct, social etc., allowing them to analyse what is the primary source of the total web traffic. Default segments include sessions count, the percentage of new sessions, bounce rate, pages visited per sessions as well as average session duration. You may also consider setting up and define goals to track conversion rates and more.

  • Bounce Rate

Bounce rate Google Analytics

Image Source: Kissmetrics

It is defined as the no. of visitors leaving right after visiting a single page of the website. This also indicates that the visitors who “bounced” has a page per session of one. Bounce rates are typically high on news and lifestyle sites, ranging from 60-80%. Low bounce rate would likely suggest that users are more engaged to the site. On the other hand, a high bounce rate may be due to several causes, e.g. slow site speed, poor content etc.

  • Average Session Duration

Avg Session Duration Google Analytics

It is the average length of time a typical visitor would spend surfing on your site. This would mean that the higher the duration, the more relevant your site is to your visitors. Quoting Bill Gates, content is king. The best strategy to improve average session duration for a website is to curate rich content.

Related: Personal Data Protection – Crucial Importance to your Safety


Google Analytics Alternatives (View on Desktop!)

Criteria/ Brand

Features

Price

FoxMetrics

Standard – 10,000 People, 1 Site, Full implementation included and 12 Months data retention

 

Professional – 200,000

People, Unlimited sites, All available features,

 

Full implementation included and 36 Months data retention, white label and email and phone support

 

Standard – 10,000 People, 1 Site, Full implementation included and 12 Months data retention

 

Professional – 200,000

People, Unlimited sites, All available features,

 

Full implementation included and 36 Months data retention, white label and email and phone support

Standard – $99/Month or $828/ Year (30% Savings)

 

Professional – $499/Month or $3,500/ Year (30% Savings)

 

Agencies and Enterprise – Personalised Quotation (depending on the size of agency or enterprise)

KissMetrics

Growth – Up to 500 Monthly Tracked People (MTP)* + $100 per 50,000 MTP in Growth to more than 250,000 MTP in Enterprise

 

Analysing of reports – Metrics, Activity, People, Funnel and Cohort (Featured in Power, Growth and Enterprise)

 

(A/B Test and SQL are included in Power and Enterprise)

 

Ranging from 5 Active populations (Growth) up to more than 20 populations in (Enterprise)

 

Campaigns – Unlimited Profiles and ranging from to 250,000 Email/ month in Growth to more than 1,000,000 emails in Enterprise

 

Support will consist of Email, In-app chat and phone for all tiers

 

Dedicated CSM (dedicated support specialist), set-up, onboarding and availability of partner services for all tiers

Growth – $500/Month

 

Power – $850/Month

 

Enterprise – Personalised Quotation

AdobeMetrics

Adobe Analytics Select

1) Data warehouse (Storage of all data at one location)

-Ability to request reports that show advanced relationships and opportunities based on long-tail analytics

 

2) Data enrichment

– Using industry-leading technologies to connect pre-click campaign activity with post-click site engagement.

 

3) Fallout and Flow Visualisations

– See customer movement at any point in the customer journey

-Create new segments based on selected paths, and compare fallout across segments


Adobe Analytics Prime 

1) Segment Comparison – Identification of new and high-value segments through unlimited dimensional breakdowns

 

2) Real-time automation – Acting on real-time data automated real-time and rule-based decision-making tools

 

3) Anomaly Detection –  Identification of a metric that has significantly changed about the previous batch of data


 Adobe Analytics Ultimate 

1) Segment IQ – 

Comparing significant behavioural differences between segments using automated analysis of metrics and dimensions 

2) People Metric – 

Create a comprehensive view of unique visitors using Adobe and non-Adobe data in Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions 

3) 360-degree customer analysis 

– Building of customer profiles with online and offline information

Specialised Quotations

Note

Monthly Tracked People – Monthly Tracked People are unique visitors that engage in an Event on your website or with your product, which gets tracked by you in Kissmetrics.

Population – A powerful way to track and monitor a segment of people. You define Populations based on any profile information or behaviour events, and we automatically track and report on that Population on an ongoing basis

Campaigns – Email campaign automation functionality in Kissmetrics. You can use Campaigns to create and manage the delivery of email campaigns to any customer segments you define.

Related: Unruly – The Best Monetization High CPM Platform for Publishers


Food for thought:

  • How can small and new website owners benefit as well from the use of web analytics tools?
  • How can Google analytics improve further with reference to its competitors?
8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Eugene

    April 20, 2018 at 10:14 am

    How can small and new website owners benefit as well from the use of web analytics tools?

    – Users can:
    1) Track user behavior
    2) Allows for optimization of weblinks
    3) More often than not, free-of-charge unless additional services are required
    4) Analyze important details like bounce rate / average pages per session to determine the user engagement.

    How can Google analytics improve further with reference to its competitors?

    – Google analytics has the problem of cookie deletion, and the data collection of web analytics can never be entirely accurately. Hence, they should try to source for other types of data that they can possibly rely on to calculate the analysis.

  2. Group 6

    April 20, 2018 at 10:14 am

    Small and new website owners can benefit from the use of web analytics tools by looking at the key matrices, like acquisition (traffic sources), bounce rate and average session duration. This will allow them to tailor their content to suit their visitors’ demographics. For example, if they have a high % for their bounce rate and low session duration, they could focus on making their website more engaging. From session duration, the website owner can determine which web pages are more popular and try to use these standards for their other web pages.

    Google Analytics can improve further with reference to their competitors by firstly, changing their revenue mode;. Currently they use fixed cost for premium service while Adobe Analytics cost is based on the data needs (The Digital Group) To charge cost based on the usage would be more fair to the user. Secondly, Google Analytics can improve their customer service by implementing 24/7 support/hotline for their users, similar to what Fox Metrics has done.

  3. Teo Yi Tern

    April 20, 2018 at 10:15 am

    How can small and new website owners benefit as well from the use of web analytics tools?
    1. By Monitoring traffic and conversion
    Better comprehend visitor behavior—that is, time spent on specific pages—which will tell you which pages work, which pages need work and which pages need expansion, all to diminish bounce rates and hone in on target audiences to help small businesses build their brands.
    Small and new website owners can use the tools to find out which pages are doing well and which are not and see how they can improve in that aspect. By using statistics such as the bounce rate and time spent on the webpage, owners can further optimise their websites to ensure that there will be higher retention rate.

    2. Keyword Research
    An web analytics tool to help owner with it is Google Analytics. It has all they need for developing a strong SEO reputation. Using Google Analytics owners can check their backlinks, their competitors’ backlinks, keywords users use to find their sites, keyword ranking, create SEO templates for content and much more.

    How can Google analytics improve further with reference to its competitors?
    Google Analytics is too advanced. For something as simple as creating and tracking a conversion goal, you’ll have to look up tutorials. And there is a lot of difficulty set up more in-depth insights for e-commerce or user interaction and retention.
    One main solution is because we require Google Analytics to be a simpler platform where instructions on how to use it is readily available for users.

    Google Analytics can start to gather traffic data across the entire public web and analyse oher websites as well to see how is the competition.You can choose which sites to look at and drill down on each one. Then you can watch the metrics change over time, benchmarking your performance against others’ to make sure you’re staying a step ahead. Google Analytics is on-site analytics — metrics directly measured on your own site. Since they don’t go deep on off-site analytics, GA can’t tell you the whole story. However, they have recently re-introduced a benchmarking tool that provides a few of the plot points. It’s free, which is a plus. In return, you have to share your data into the benchmarking pool, so unlike Alexa, they require you to have a site and use their on-site analytics if you want to see their competitive intelligence

  4. Group 4

    April 20, 2018 at 10:15 am

    1) They will be able to make rational changes to their website using real data obtained from the data collected by the java script and cookies. This will allow for better user experience. The company can also understand the vistors’ demographics and better target their advertisements. The bounce rate and average session also allows the website owners to know how long their visitors are staying in the website, which suggests whether the retention rate of the page is high or low.

    2) Adobe retains all data for as long as you’re a customer (Google tops out at 25 months), it allows you to add up to 225 different custom variables, and applies real-time data to reports through its “Current Data” platform.

  5. Cheah Ann Ying

    April 20, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Group 9:

    How can small and new website owners benefit as well from the use of web analytics tools?
    The ability to analysis traffic sources helps to analyse the primary source of the total web traffic, allowing these new websites to set their target audience and tailor their content based on the visitor’s preferences, creating more content that will appeal to those visitors.

    Analysis of average session duration allows website owners to know the duration that visitors spend on their site, they will be able to track the relevance of the contents in their website. If the duration is lower than expected, these new owners will require to make content more engaging.

    Tracking bounce rate also allows these owners to know the number of single-page visits. A low bounce rate suggests that user engagement is met, implying that the website has done well in keeping its viewers interested.

    How can Google analytics improve further with reference to its competitors?
    Main competitior: Adobe marketing cloud, facebook
    Smaller competitors: mix panel, heap
    Make it easy to set up for the users. Lower its costs.
    Simplify the platform, as it might be too advanced for normal users. The system too complicated to use, not user friendly.

  6. Loh Ying Jie

    April 20, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Small businesses can benefit from Google Analytics because it is a freemium model, hence it is suitable for them to try it out. They can use it to analyze the key metrics, such as the origin of their visitors. Furthermore, wed analytics can even exclude internal activity via IP filtering because internal traffic can result in massive distortions. This is especially true for small businesses because their employees who visit the site throughout the day will amount to substantial distortion.

    Based on our research, one aspect that Google Analytics is lacking is support. Google Analytics can provide a more streamlined layout and add plenty of functionalities. While it is the best tool in the field, there are more alternatives that are more user-friendly, such as being easier to use for people who are not proficient in IT.

  7. Kai Lin Chang

    April 20, 2018 at 10:19 am

    TEAM 7
    How can small and new website owners benefit as well from the use of web analytics tools?

    Small and new website owners have limited resources and therefore believe that they can effectively keep an eye on their traffic sources such as organic searches, direct and social. This allows them to analyse the primary sources of their total web traffic. They can also utilise web analytics to track the demography and geography of their target audience, allowing them to cater their content, products and services to their target group effectively. This is the most cost efficient method for them.

    How can Google analytics improve further with reference to its competitors?

    Google Analytics has trouble analysing cookies. Users that clear their cookies are re-recognised as first-time visitors upon their next visit at the site. Google Analytics relies on cookies to track and identify unique visitors to a particular site. Competitors analyse the previous batch of data (anomaly detection) to track their target audience ie. Adobe Metrics. They also utilised long-tail analytics to request reports that show advanced relationships. Google Analytics can apply these methods too to get more reliable information on the site’s users.

  8. SINGAPORE

    April 20, 2018 at 10:21 am

    q1) All the small companies can use a variety of metrics to determine the effectiveness of their marketing strategy. For example, they can use the bounce rate to determine how fast users navigate away from their website.
    q2) Currently, some of the features offered by the competitors not present in GA include personalised customer service and longer data retention. In addition, some of the competitors offer a better price range for the services which may push GA out of the market. As such, GA should look at adding additional features that allow users to understand their customers better while keeping price low.

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