Website owners and their webmasters are generally aware of what Google Analytics is and those that don’t might wonder about the pros and cons of Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a popular statistics gathering program that websites use to track traffic, visitors, and just about every kind of detailed data a webmaster needs to know. Although it’s primarily a system designed for the marketing community, the average webmaster and site owner can benefit greatly from the data collected.
Figure 1 : Overall Google Analytics User Interface
This allows for more precise design, services offered, communication, optimization and more. Just slapping a website up and not looking into what is going on with it would be inefficient and for a company that would be hazardous. Statistics are essential. Having as much detailed statistical data enables one to better predict the future of one’s endeavors as well as accommodate one’s clientele. The efficiency garnered from precision statistics leads to less overhead, more productivity and higher profits. It decrease liability and improves communication and relationships. It affords for a solid foundation from whence one’s business can stand on and provides a blanket of security.
Figure 2 : Some Unique of Google Analytics Feature such as “Alert”
Google knew that the public and industry needed statistical analysis and therefore created the Google Analytics based on the Urchin Software Corporation which Google acquired in 2005. Urchin had grown to be the most popular statistics gathering software and Google knew a good thing when they saw it. They then went to work tailoring it to the demands of today’s ever growing web demands and the results are that it is now the most popular statistics system in the world. The majority of top websites use Google Analytics and many incorporate it with Google’s other programs like Adsense and AdWords. Not only that but other affiliate or marketing based systems depend on sharp statistical analysis and that’s where Google Analytics comes in the strongest. One needs to know the volume of the traffic, where it comes from, what keywords and keyphrases are needed to grab the public and stay ahead of one’s competitors. Google Analytics covers as much ground as possible in this regard to the point that some if not most of their clients can’t live without it.
The only downside to Google Analytics is that it’s part of Google’s massive infrastructure and sometimes can fall prey to bureaucracy and too many of what are called the “good idea fairies” where someone seems to come along every now and then with an idea on how to do things or change things even when things are going well. Menu options have to be clear and not subject to the operator or webmaster going on a wild goose chase to find where data is. The old adage of Keep It Simple Stupid often gets overlooked when major companies get the better part of the industry pie. So far Google Analytics hasn’t gone overboard but there has been incidents when things just get confusing to the point of backlash from the subscribers.
Google Analytics is free which is amazing as it just put a major dent in the paid website statistical analysis industry. However, Google can’t lose money with it as it generates capital for so many areas of the web and more. You can adjust the software to do what you want and cover what you want. You can see from where your traffic comes from and why. International, local, national, it’s all there and for free you can’t beat it.
All in all Google Analytics is awesome and will get better as more feedback is acquired. As the web changes and new technologies emerge you’ll find that the software will be adapted to them such as the mobile devices and other handhelds. You’ll find more area covered as well as territories change and populations grow and shift locations as well as needs and desires. Any day a new technological breakthrough could upend the internet applecart and new statistics will be needed. As commerce expands Google Analytics will be on top of things to make sure you get the best data available so as better to take advantage of things. So for the most part the advantages of Google Analytics far outshines it’s small disadvantages. Some say there are better statistical programs around but are they free? Are they as extensive as Google Analytics? That’s up to you to decide but Google Analytics is a great program to get your feet wet.