Google Analytics has become the website analytics package of choice for many business websites in recent years, mainly because it's a high-end level service and, more importantly, is free! By providing in-depth data on website traffic and onsite activity, Google Analytics would be the recommended option for most business websites and particularly those that are also using Google AdWords as a marketing tool, since the integration between the 2 packages is very powerful.
Google entered the analytics market in 2005 when it acquired Urchin, one of the leading analytics software companies of the time. Following this acquisition in March and much speculation about what Google would do with the company, they rebranded the analytics service and launched it as Google Analytics in November 2005. However, by launching it as a free service, Google made a significant impact on the market by offering a quality package for websites that was accessible to every business.
Google Analytics has grown significantly since then and has been adopted by many websites. Additional new features have been added and a new interface is also now available which continues to develop and improve the features and functionality of the analytics service. However, it's not a perfect solution - but then no analytics service is - so business websites need to weigh up the pros and cons of using this tool:
- Advantages of Google Analytics
- It's free!
- It's a top of the range analytics package developed from the highly regarded Urchin software
- It's relatively easy to install and set-up for the more standard requirements
- It's being continually developed and enhanced with new features
- It can be seamlessly linked to Google AdWords to provide additional reporting insights.
- The disadvantages
- Google holds all your website analytics data on their servers, which some users feel uncomfortable about
- Google's privacy concerns mean that individual IP address data is not provided and some other data is more limited than with more expensive 'server side' analytics packages
- There is no support desk but it's a free service and help pages and forums do exist.
If your website isn't yet tracking analytics data, then Google Analytics should be the first option to consider. We can help advise you on the use and implementation of this service for your website, if required. In this section of the website you can also find out more about the installation of Google Analytics, how analytics data can be used, and some general analytics tips and advice. You can also find out more about the Google Analytics training that we provide companies.
To find out more, please follow the links to the right, or get in touch for an initial, no obligation, discussion. Alternatively, if you are thinking of using website analytics for the first time, or have already started tracking your visitor data, we can provide you with a FREE analytics assessment to give you an idea of the key elements you should be tracking and reviewing to increase the performance of your website.