Google Analytics: The Good and the Bad

Source: Digital Marketing Biz

One of the most powerful tools that you can employ on your website is analytics. Web analytics allow you to track who is using your website, where they’re coming from, and how they interact with your content. This can be an extremely powerful tool for businesses, marketers, or really anyone with a website, as it allows you to understand the strengths of your page or the areas in which there is room for improvement. Currently one of the most popular tools for analyzing web data is Google Analytics. Google analytics is a free tool that can be easily implemented into any website in order to track and create reports on website traffic.

While Google Analytics is extremely popular and definitely has many great features, it does have a few short comings as well. Here are some of pros and cons of the service:

Pros

#1. It’s free

Who doesn’t love free? This benefit makes Google Analytics accessible to even small businesses who want to be able to understand how their consumers interact with their content.

#2. It is easy to Implement

First Steps to Implementing Google Analytics. Source: Google Analytics on YouTube

Google analytics can be implemented on any website through the use of a simple piece of code that is provided on the Google Analytics Website. Once this script has been inserted into the website’s code, the user can access any and all information that has been collected through their Google Analytics profile. Here they can view all of their data, displayed in a simple visual fashion that makes the data easy to understand and interpret.

Google Analytics provides users will all of the code they need to start tracking their site traffic. Source: Kristi Hines on Moz.com

#3. It provides you with a wealth of information

Not only does the service provide you with valuable data on who is visiting your website, but Google has also made content available that will help users to better understand and utilize this data. Google has a variety of courses that are available both through the Google Analytics Academy website as well as through their YouTube Channel. These video courses guide the user through the initial set up stages, all the way to interpreting complex data and creating custom usage reports.

Cons

#1. You are limited to a certain number of Goals

Goals allow the user to see what marketing actions are receiving the most interactions as well as which items are frequently purchased if you are an eCommerce site. Goals are a very powerful tool but Google Analytics is somewhat limited int his area. Currently, goals are limited to 20 per site. This may be just fine for many users, but if your website has multiple features or many different products, you make not be able to track them as goals. In addition, once a goal has been created and tracked, it cannot be delated. Therefore it requires a great deal of planning in order to conserve your allowance of goals.

#2. Upgrading can be expensive

Some of the limitations of Google Analytics, such as the set number of Goals, that was previously mentioned can be overcome by upgrading to Google Analytics Premium. However, this many not be an option for the majority of users as a subscription to this service costs $150,000 annually!

#3. The service is constantly updated

This is both a blessing and a curse as it means that there are continual improvements to the service and the types of metrics that you are able to collect, but there is also a learning curve that some may find difficult to keep up with.

Overall, I feel that the pros of Google Analytics, outweighs the cons. This tool can help you to understand where your visitors live, if they are visiting on a computer or a mobile device, how long your visitors are staying on your site as well as which page is receiving the most traffic. This information will help to build a site to better suited to the needs of your specific audience. For example if you find out that most of the people that visit your site or on a mobile phone you may want to put a lot of effort into creating a very mobile-friendly site. If you’re finding that most people enter your site visit a few pages but are not able to get into the body of your sight you made me want to make it easier to navigate remove pages with a better navigation bar. Overall using Google Analytics is a free and relatively easy way to better optimize your website and improve your probability of success.