Google Analytics – Still the best Tracking tool in 2018?

By | August 31, 2019


– Is Google Analytics still the best tool that you can use on your website in 2018? Well, let’s find out. (upbeat music) Hey there and welcome back to another video of measureschool.com teaching you the data-driven way of digital marketing. My name is Julian and today we wanna talk about Google Analytics and if it’s still the best
analytics tool out there that you can use for your
website tracking in 2018. Now, it’s definitely very popular. I actually use it religiously and I have many clients
running on Google Analytics but there are certain circumstances where I would recommend a different tool. Now, what are the
advantages and disadvantages of this number one
analytics tool out there? Let’s dive into some of the pro and cons. So, the number one or that
everybody can think of when they think of Google Analytics is that it’s free. Now, Google Analytics came
out with a free version after they bought a company called Urchin and made that website data available to their advertisers of AdWords so they can make better
decisions on changing around their website
and convert more people and spend more money on advertising but the tool was really powerful already at the beginning, so it widely spread all over the world and is now one of the most
used analytics systems out there for website tracking. That obviously brings a
lot of perks to the system. It is gathering a lot of data, it has huge support out there, so if you have any question, you can go into one of the forums and find out what you
can do about your problem and since it’s connected to AdWords and that is Google’s money maker still they actually invest into the tool on a continuous basis so there are always
new features coming out which is also great but on the con side the free model is not the holy grail and that’s what Google
actually also discovered and they brought out a paid version of Google Analytics in their
marketing suite Google 360. You can pay everything from
$20,000 a month upwards to actually get better and more data into your analytics system but also the other systems that they have out there and really get better data here. So, up to a certain level, Google Analytics is free but once you get more sophisticated, especially the sampling issue that you have in the free
version is pretty annoying, then you might need to think
about different systems that are out there and Google Analytics is just
one of the many paid systems that you can install on your website and get click stream data from. Now, on the pro side it is pretty feature rich. Now, you need to think that the system Urchin was
actually a paid product before and then Google brought it out continuously evolved it, so it has a lot, a lot of features that you can implement and customize in your Google Analytics installation and that’s a good thing, right? Well, only kind of because on the con side, Google Analytics gives
you a very strict model on how to look at the data. Now, this is mainly based on their model of page view data, so when we think back 10 years, analytics and websites
were not that complex and therefore Google Analytics built on that model of page views and sessions and users and they calculate a lot through that. That brought in a lot of problems as well because we had a lot of privacy issues, we have different features that we should be able to track and to use but we can’t
connect that to data, the data is stored in the US so it’s under US privacy laws. That’s what the Europeans
don’t really like and that’s why you can’t send any personal identifiable information into Google Analytics
which is not really suited to our business model. So, yes, Google Analytics
has a lot of features but maybe you are better off with a different tool that gives you more specialized data that can connect to your
business model better and give you better data and more meaningful data for your business and it’s maybe possible to build it into Google Analytics but not the best way to
look at that data later on. So, be aware of these limitations once you start customizing
your installation which brings us to our next point, the plus side, Google
Analytics is customizable, so it’s not just out of the box although you can use it out of the box and just track page views which is not worth much anymore but you can customize a lot, so from event tracking to actually sending user IDs or custom dimensions, custom metrics, you can really spice up your tracking and transfer the requirements of your business model to this tool as well. Now, on the con side here again we have more specialized tools that might be able to
track your business better. In that sense we might have
different business models with mobile apps or gaming that might be suited for a different tool a little bit better or if you need to have very deep insights about
your customers’ behavior because they log into your system, maybe Google Analytics
is not the right tool because it makes it really hard to connect that data back and forth with personal identifiable information because they’re not
allowed to send that in. So, different other tools like Mixpanel or Kissmetrics have a different model in the background and are specialized on these
different customizations that you can do on the tool. So, keep that in mind, once you try to transfer
your business model to your tracking model, and try to input that
into Google Analytics and customize it. And last but not least, the connections. Now, on the plus side, Google Analytics is well connected. We get information
automatically from AdWords, we can send it to Google Data Studio, we have Google Tag Manager available, so well-connected tool. Also, on the third-party front we have different other tools like super metrics that let us pull the data
right into Google Sheets or different plugins on the WordPress side that let us install Google
Analytics really easily. It’s wildly used and therefore it has very
many connections out there to actually pull data in, pull data out and connect Google Analytics
to different systems but on the negative side, we actually don’t get access to the raw data. Now, in essence, Google Analytics just takes up our data and puts it into a bucket of page views and that data is very valuable if you wanted to connect
it to different other tools or wanted to do deeper analysis on this raw data but Google Analytics by default at least in the free version doesn’t give us this data, so other systems might be
more useful in that sense if you think about Snowplow analytics that let’s you build your own data service and when it comes to privacy reasons obviously you also want to keep your data on your own servers and that’s simply something that Google Analytics doesn’t give you once you have the free
version of Google Analytics. So, in conclusion is Google Analytics still the tool that you
should be using in 2018 for your website tracking? Now, it depends. In the end, if you are
heavily into customization and really want to have a business impact with your analytics, then you probably have the manpower and team and resources out there to actually search for a better solution of Google Analytics out there. If you’re not yet at that stage where you really want to make an impact with your analytics and just need standard tracking data to optimize your marketing campaigns, then Google Analytics is still one of the tools out there that is well supported, that is free and it gives you standardized data that a lot of the marketers
out there understand, so I would still install it on our website but also look out for other tools that may make my analytics implementation a bit more customizable, so if I think about heat map tracking, video tracking or simply data that I can send to different other marketing tools so I can make it really actionable that might be for example
Facebook analytics and the Facebook Pixel, then I really want to stress that you don’t just have
to Google Analytics. It gives you some base tracking data but see what other questions, what other data you can get from other analytics systems, maybe try them out and put them onto your website as well. And that’s already it
with this week’s video. If you have any questions about this or anything was missing or if you see any kind
of new advantages or cons that I have missed, then
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave that in the comments below and if you haven’t yet,
then consider subscribing to our channel right over because we’ll bring you new video just like this one every week. Now, my name is Julian, til next time.

10 thoughts on “Google Analytics – Still the best Tracking tool in 2018?

  1. MeasureSchool Post author

    What other tools have you running on your website for tracking and measurement? For us it's still mostly GTM+GA, but have also tried out Yandex, Fb Analytics, Snowplow and other smaller ones

    Reply
  2. kostaftp Post author

    No raw data…
    Amateur question:
    is it not allowed to put one of the "Views" with no filters, therefore they return you in "raw data" ?
    thank you!

    Reply
  3. Ganga305 FL Post author

    Help !!!! Visual Studio Code Live Server appears in my Google Analytics Audience Overview while I'm making changes to my website !!! And I haven't even uploaded the updated website yet !!! What's going on???

    Reply
  4. Aleks Netsivka Post author

    4:13 how did you set up this with emails and names????

    Reply
  5. agnivo de Post author

    Heartfelt Thanks and respect to u, Sir. Love From India.

    Reply
  6. Bman Q Post author

    Julian, did you have chance to try getclicky(clicky.com)?

    I still have it installed on our website(though GTM), but seems like i start to use google analytics more and more.
    I am thinking about cancelling my getclicky subscription.

    Reply
  7. Twil Post author

    Please, make a review of Adobe Analytics vs Google Analytics

    Reply
  8. Bman Q Post author

    Julian hi,

    Not sure if you were ever asked this before 🙂 But what is a good 10-15 min practical challenge to screen a google analytics hiree?

    To make a good test challenge one has to be a good GA professional himself. So I'd like to hear some examples what you think is good test to show knowledge level of candidate.

    Niche – travel ecommerce.

    Reply

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