Analyzing Your Google Analytics
In the time of Big Data and Obama apparently tapping everyone’s phones, information has become an invaluable commodity. Statistics and analytics have become vital for any online user to sustain and improve their online presence. With that in mind there are various ways to track these important analytics, ranging from in app ones like Twitter’s analytics, to more far-reaching tools such as Google Analytics. Google Analytics can provide a multitude of statistics that can help creators further develop their website and improve upon it.
Google furthered their internet empire by going into analytics and became the leading site for online analytics.
Google Analytics has many great features that have allowed it to become so popular, including the ability for it to be implemented on various popular platforms such as WordPress which is a very popular blogging site. Google Analytics also has the benefit of a “light” version of it being free which is a huge draw, especially for users just starting their own websites. Google Analytics also has as an intuitive dashboard that allows you to select which stats you would like displayed on the home page. This graphing system allows users to filter specific types of stats so they can all be compared together allowing an easy comparison between percentages and values. Additionally for those who use the service frequently they can create specific dashboards for different types of sites with stats that are suited best to those sites. To further ease new users into the application, Google Analytics uses skeuomorphic design in their displays such as maps so that users can quickly understand the data. Google Analytics provides a wide array of statistics ranging from the basics such as bounce time, to more detailed analysis such as E-commerce tracking. Seeing as Google is the main search platform, Google Analytics is able to combine the resources that they have such as AdWords to provide a more in-depth analysis. Overall, Google Analytics is an intuitive tool and with the backing of all of Google’s other apps it is able to provide information unavailable to competitors.
Although there are many advantages to Google Analytics, there are some drawbacks to the platform. Although Google has made strides in making the layout user friendly, analytics can still be overwhelming for newbies. The various terms and tech jargon can scare off someone attempting to use the service for the first time. The only reason I ever started using Google Analytics was out of necessity for an assignment, and even that was daunting. The first page is easy to maneuver but getting into the other areas of stats can cause confusion, especially as I was constantly being told I needed to install something more to my site so I could get that information. There is a definite learning curve to the site as you try to figure out what each graph is actually showing you and how you can get the information that you want. Even for the seasoned users, there are some information that cannot be accessed in the free version, which is to be expected for a light version of a program. With that in mind the next level for Google Analytics is $150 000 per year, which seems like insanity.
Obviously that level is not just for the everyday user and more for companies, but it seems unreasonable that there is no level in between. What comes with the premium does seem useful such as an account manager, training, support and strategy are all included, (all outlined in Figure 1) but the price tag is astronomical. There is also the drawback that comes with all analytics, the lack of being able to know how the consumer is actually feeling. With the data given such as bounce rate and abandoned cart rate, you can assume the feelings of a consumer but you can never know for sure. That uncertainty is an important variable when consulting any sort of online analytics. I believe that Google could benefit from coming out with an even more simplified version of their system that allowed users to input the aspects of their site and using those to create a dashboard for them, with less confusion for new users.
When it comes down to it, there is a reason that Google Analytics is the most widely used site, but there are also areas where it could improve. Analytics are becoming more and more important each and everyday and there must be a way to be able to to analyze the amount of data we are accumulating everyday, and Google Analytics is a great tool for that.