It was initialised with the provisions of a great search engine. This was then followed up by giving us two gigabytes of free server space for email facilities. And now, the predecessors have set the path for another free software which entails a high end web analytics system. Again, for free. So what’s the hype all about you ask? What are its attributes and what effectual parameters are we looking at in relation to the web analytics marketplace? Read further to get the answers.
Today’s Web Analytics Marketplace
For some time now the marketplace has been bifurcated into businesses that could manage paying for good tracking at the enterprise level for which they would bear expenses of about $40,000 while the other half was inclusive of entities that could shell out in-between $500-$5000 per year. However, it’s not the former that seems to be affected by this contemporary trend set by Google and its analytic system.
As is, the businesses at enterprise level have many needs to fulfil, some of which include caution against breach of security of their information systems along with the high end support. Thus Google with its free to use analytics has presented an irrefutable offer for many but it does nonetheless seem like a far fetched solution for the above mentioned. The back end support from Google has always been so to say, sluggish and it doesn’t seem to be any more perspective bending for the analytics. Conversely, digital broadcasters Google will in all likelihood, outsource the supportive division of the same to a handful of agencies. Furthermore, I can’t seem to digest the fact that large corporations (specifically the big publishers and advertising agencies) would gleefully impart all their sensitive data to a company that in most cases is, or in some others would be their arch nemesis.
The beneficiaries from this type of venture put forth by Google are the businesses that engage in 3rd party tracking and disburse a relatively smaller fee per year or in a few other scenarios, companies that don’t instil the usage of analytics at all. This simply suggests that the vendors which cater to the SME sector better make their mark in the enterprise market if they envision sustenance for themselves. If they decide not to branch out, their existence could be jeopardised in just a year’s time primarily due to the dexterous methods implemented by Google for their analytics system which are at par with many enterprise products available in the market today. The reasoning to the same can be attributed to infrequent need of paid tools at the lower end of the market and now with the advent of the free to use software from Google, their sure to loose out on their share of the pie what with the ingenious well architected software such as Google analytics.
The features are futuristic. It necessitates all the fundamental options such as the page views, visitor counts, path tracking, and technical info aspects like browser/platform/resolutions; all in all a well endowed software to make ends meet. But apart from the above, analytics also presents various options to get a head start on your analysis.
To illustrate, one can track situations (i.e. measure where users opt out of a shopping cart or the sign up process). Demographics are another speciality of this software as it can accommodate information related to the type of city and type of company people seek and in conjunction also provides a global outlook to relay information on where most of your traffic comes from. Another significant outcome of this product is its intermingling option of two or more analysis. Thus if you need to know the number of people visiting your landing page only with the number of people who also brought a product or signed up; this is possible. Other than that, smaller areas of concern such as top entry pages, exit pages, bounce rates and the likes of such are a bolt on of this product to have a good magnitude for your analysis.
Interestingly enough, the most exhaustive tracking is available for PPC campaigns. Not surprising coming from Google. This was all that was rumoured to have been given away by Google when they acquired Urchin. My projected thoughts for Google’s strategic move to acquire Urchin on demand (Google Analytics former name) boiled down to them cutting down on their features and focusing on PPC reporting for their customers thereby isolating the Urchin system and endorse it as a separate product. Nonetheless, this is not what Google had in mind and implementing the total Urchin features set, they now offered the same at no cost where as this was something that people had to shell out $200 per month for. Is it all too good to be true? Let find out.
Too good to be true?
There were a few mishaps at the commencing stages where users were not too happy with the few defects that Google faced due to the high demand of the product. This was attributed to Google passing on too much information too soon for which, the system wasn’t ready. Nevertheless, these are minute errors which would not cost the world to rectify and Google has surely peered into the same since.
Last but not least, the data is not real time but six hours old. But honestly, you can’t complain any more after Google’s gesture of providing you the same for free. Legality factors are the only ones impending on my mind and something that you should be vigilant about.
Not only in my opinion but in the eyes of many web analyses as well, Google Analytics is the paramount solution to the web marketing industry since the advent of pay per click. I cannot emphasise how much it means to me that it’s free and apart from that, its top notch on its features and considering the power that it conveys to your fingertips, you should have no reason to say no to use the analytics. The only drawback I have always felt with web analytics is the pricing structure and now that this element is out of the picture, I have no qualms.
The digital broadcaster making provisions of such services for free has aided the industry massively for which Google is at the receiving end of all the good karma.