Google Analytics is a free tool that shows you how well your website is doing and how many visits you get in a day, but it also does so much more. It can tell you how long a visit lasted as well as how many people have viewed your website. And it's seriously free, but you have the ability to upgrade to a paid plan, Google 360.
Why do you Need Google Analytics?
When you use Google Analytics you have the ability to use Google's Metrics which shows the following information: Pageviews, Bounce Rate, Users, New Users, Sessions and Unique Pageviews.
• Pageviews gives you information regarding which pages web searchers are looking at within a session.
• Bounce Rate is critical for finding out how well your online content is doing because it shows how long a visitor stays on the page before leaving.
• Users tells you how many unique visitors your site gets in comparison to Sessions, and how many visitors your site had.
• New Users is beneficial if you are trying to track visitors who have not previously visited your site or if you are reaching out to, well, new users.
• Sessions tells you how long a visitor was viewing your website in a single visit and in how many total visits, and it is the most common metric used.
• Unique Pageviews tracks visibility of content per Session and which pages were mainly viewed.
The metrics outlined above are the most common Google Analytics Metrics and will give you the greatest insight as to how your website is doing. If you are an ad-based site, Bounce Rates and Pageviews per Session will be particularly useful for upping ad revenue.
How Do You Get Google Analytics?
You can install Google Analytics and can set it up and customize it for free. Set up your Dashboard by creating a Blank Canvas, or you can use the Starter Dashboard. Here, you can choose which metrics and reports you want to view each day. View your Audience to gain invaluable information such as Active Users, Demographics, GEO, Mobile, Behavior (new versus returning visitors).
E-commerce businesses can view product and sales performance, set up conversions and goals. The possibilities are limitless and at first you might find Google Analytics highly addictive, but once you have it customized to be able to view your desired metrics and reports, it will become invaluable to you and to your business.
How Google Analytics Stacks up to Other Analytics Platforms
First off, Google Analytics is free, but you can upgrade to a premium version of Google 360 for a monthly fee. You get larger date ranges for gathering data for comparisons from organic searches to direct, social and referral visitors. You can select landing pages or choose different social media sites because users' behavior is different across social media networks. A custom dashboard allows you to see what you want at a glance or you can make it as in-depth as you want, and there are more reports available than you will find anywhere else.
There are viable alternatives to Google Analytics that you can use as a stand-alone or you can also supplement Google Analytics for your website and social platforms with Crazy Egg, Clicky, Woopra, KISSMetrics, GoSquared, to name a few.
• Clicky allows you to track several sites at a time if you opt for the paid plans and it offers a Twitter interface as well as allowing you to set up alerts to track certain actions that occur on your website.
• Crazy Egg allows you to view clicks as a heat map, and it also allows you to differentiate between links instead of tracking all clicks to the same URL as with Google Analytics. Monthly rates vary with Crazy Egg, depending on your needs.
• Woopra features an attractive dashboard with information available at a glance, and it also offers a live chat feature that lets you chat with visitors in real time. It also has refinable filtering capabilities to track any aspect of web metrics. It offers a free version, but with limited capabilities.
• KISSMetrics is unique from other platforms in that it allows you to track user life cycles and segment visitors. It allows you to track individuals' interaction history along with offering solutions for E-commerce, mobile apps, and SaaS platforms. Monthly pricing plans apply.
• GoSquared features a dashboard that allows you to utilize widgets for popular content metrics. You can customize it to provide dashboard notifications, but it offers limited use based on the monthly plan you choose. You can earn rewards by completing certain actions and they will roll over each month but once you have used your monthly allocation within a month, you will have to wait until the next month rolls around to proceed.
All in all, if you don't know how well your website or social media platforms are performing, you are doing yourself and your business a great disservice. Google Analytics and other analytic platforms can help you to see how much traffic your site is getting each day, which page most of the traffic is landing on and staying on the longest, gauges whether your content is engaging or not, and it allows you to turn weaknesses into strengths.
However, analyzing your website on your own can be a daunting task. A full-service business technology company like Technical Resource Solutions in Canton and Woodstock, Georgia has a knowledgeable staff who can create, host, and monitor your website or social media pages and make them work to grow your business more than you ever dreamed possible. Contact them today to see how you can improve your bottom line by becoming more visible on the internet.