From the beginning of August Google Analytics has integrated the Content Experiments, based on the previously existed Google Website Optimizer. Check it on your projects and share with your results by posting reviews.
Google Analytics the most commonly used free tool for web analytics. Because of the great quality you get for free the users range from inexperienced analyst to the most advanced users. The basic dashboard can be customized to the user’s needs to give the right insights in your web traffic. Google Analytic doesn't only measure the chosen metrics but offers the possibility to convert these in achieved goals. You can segment your visitors, measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns and optimize your conversion.
Reviews for Google Analytics
Excellent tool. There is a reason it is now knocking on the door of enterprise class web analytics. Improved significantly between 2012 to early 2013.
If business is serious and has API data integration capability then GA can be a very powerful agile tool linked to SEM (Adwords), Webmaster Tools, Doubleclick, Web Experiments.
Set up correctly and used to its fullest, GA is now an enterprise web analytics tool. Insights can be quick and actionable from Online Channel Marketing insights to User Interface and conversion optimisation insights on your site.
One superb feature that is not often mentioned is the ability to use regex in areas such as filters or advanced segments allowing the analyst to slice and dice data or filter data to different views quickly.
Event tracking is another great feature of Google Analytics and can be quick to implement and give great data for the web UI and conversion managers.
Excellent product forums.
Implementation support and documentation is very good on their product forums site.
As of early 2013 could do with fixes and support of certain features around CSV data export by email scheduler (exporting plus 10 rows) and new enhanced InPage Analytics data. This is minor though considering the whole tool.
Dashboards are good and getting better. More options added such as real time data dashboards and ability to quickly apply custom segments in normal dashboards on the fly, to enable snapshots of different segments' visitor metrics. This is a powerful feature of GA.
Easy to learn as a view user or someone consuming the data - UI is very intuitive.
To learn implementation of Google Analytics will take a number of years, with several projects and GAIQ qualification, to know how to implement in complex business scenarios.
Ease of implementation:
Requires GAIQ qualified individual for complex implementations to fit business requirements.
Base tag easy to install but most businesses will require advanced implementation such as subdomain, cross domain tracking, e-commerce tracking, event tracking, custom variables, virtual page views and filters.
Relatively easier than the other big two to implement these advanced features depending on scenario.
New features 2012- early 2013
- Assisted conversion analysis / Attribution Analysis (More advanced features in Premium version)
- Remarketing ability with Adwords
- Enhanced InPage Analytics
- Ability to import other data sources - for example other SEM cost data
- New Doubleclick code to provide Google segments to Doubleclick
The free tool only lets you have 5 custom variable slots which can limit the amount of custom variables you can record at one time on your site depending on how the slots are used. 10 custom variable slots would be great but there has to be an incentive to go for the premium version.
Google Analytics is the best tool for web analytics when you first start discovering what is going on on your site. It is rather easy to implement and most CMSs have a plugin to install the Google Analytics tags on each page.
The Dashboard is great, very user friendly. I gave less score for actionable insights because with all this data it is for a noob difficult to see what one has to do with all this information. Google offers little support on this (low score here is well). So my advice when Internet is important for your business is to hiring an good analist of consultancy firm to give you the insights on what to do with all the data you gather with Google Analytics. Next you can take actions and really improve your website so you can finally improve your bottom-line.
Google Analytics is easy to use with a userfriendly design. This year the new version has been released with very nice new features too, which makes the tool even more interesting to use. Still adding new features, like social media reporting, page-load-time reporting and multichannel funnels (not yet available for everyone). You can see Adwords-data by enabling autotracking, which gives reports with great insights. Great tool with many integrations with other tools, like Google Website Optimizer, Visual Website Optimizer and BTBuckets.
It provides actionable insights with the default reports, but also with custom made reports you are able to configure the report with the metrics you wish. Unfortunately it is not possible to make custom path-analysis with multiple steps featuring historical data.
There is no support from Google directly, but lots to be found on blogs and forums. And of course there are several agency's who are official Google Analytics Certified Partners like http://www.traffic-builders.com in the Netherlands.
The dashboard-tool gives in the new version more features, but at this point it is not possible to export the dashboard. In the new version you are able to make several dashboards within one account, which is desirable if you have different stakeholders with different needs.
It is easy to use the tool, lots of information to be found on internet too.
Ease of implementation:
The implementation is relatively easy when there are not too many customisations. For e-commerce tracking, cross-domain tracking and other advanced implementation issues the best is to get the help of a Google Analytics Certified Partner.
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