Web Analytics Overview

Web analytics have turned into a must have for expanding businesses this day and age. They measure, analyze and then report web data in order to optimize a companies effectiveness and really identify their true target market and where the “clicks” are coming from. The Forrester article offers insight on which version of web analytics could be best for one’s company based off their scoring system which included 75 criteria that they grouped into three categories which were current offerings, strategy, and market presence. They measured six specific analytic companies that had a strong presence in the game and that were committed to focusing on analytics. Based off their ratings, Adobe, AT Internet, IBM, and Webtrends were seen as leaders in the industry. Google was seen as a strong performer and SAS Institute as a contender. The Forrester article explains that Adobe is the leader due to the way they are able to package web analytics into a broader digital analytics offering. They already dominate the market with the largest number of clients and maintain focused on improving their platform with a large team and high expectations. Web analytics have helped many businesses in their paths to success. Swisscom, for example, had an uplift of 40% since using web analytics because the analytics have really helped them bring the right stuff to the right people. They are able to use the analytic data to see what people look at and what they do and do not like. In this video, a Swisscom employee explains how all these attributes combined are fundamental for success in the online industry.

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/adobe-marketing-cloud/swisscom-success-story-video/

Based off the Forrester reading and online research, it is clear to me that understanding web analytics is extremely vital in any marketing job. Since digital marketing has become one of the most cost beneficial ways of marketing, the need for web analytics and employees knowing how to use and understand analytics are extremely important.

It was interesting to see that even though Google did not qualify as a industry leader, just still how much market presence they have. The Forrester article talks about how Google has maintained focused on ease of use but also ensuring rapid time-to-value. They also offer cross-platform connections with other Google products. However, they aren’t quite a market leader yet as they need to develop more enterprise functions and features. They also need to expand it’s service offerings according to Forrester.

So why choose Google analytics?

According to http://www.google.com/analytics/why/, Google outlines three main points on why to choose them.

The first claim they make is that you can find the audience you want. You are able to analyze visitor traffic to your website to completely find who your audience should be and their needs. You are also able to trace where the customers came from by tracking the routes people took to reach you. This can help you work on improving the visitor experience. Lastly, you can learn what people are looking for and what they like which can help tailor your marketing to the right people.

The second claim is that you will have more profitable actions. With Google analytics you will be able to have a good insight on which marketing campaigns promote visits and sales to the website. Real-time reporting allows you deliver your messages at the right moments to reach the correct audience. Also with site speed tools and alerts along with in-page analytics, slow page loads and site crashes with high visitor volume can be avoided.

Google’s third claim is that taking action has never been easier. Their platform is made to help you compare different approaches to see which works best. You are able to change, re-measure, and still continue to test your marking plans to figure out what works best. Google analytics also lets you create dashboards and reports that can be customized to fit the needs of different teams. This makes it easy to share with colleagues and different departments.

Overall, Google makes strong points as to why to choose their version of analytics. They seem to be focused on maintaining a high level of web analytics and improving their platform. Many businesses have had great success using Google analytics as it is continuing to gain more populartiy among analytic companies. One example of success with Google analytics is AccuWeather. According to https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/case-studies/accuweather-measures-holistic-analytics-with-google-analytics-premium.html, AccuWeather has seen success in many ways using these analytic tools. One way is by tracking how many individuals opened up their weather email alert. AccuWeather was also able to gain a better understanding of their mobile market by collecting the incoming traffic information from mobile devices. Then, using the Measurement Protocol tool, AccuWeather was able to effectively collect information on how it’s audience engages through email, offline campaigns, and other devices. After collecting that information, they can then run Google analytics premium to see the bigger picture of what marketing campaigns will work. They have been able to gain a better understanding of their mobile audience and plans to apply more analytics to other parts of it’s business to uncover new insights, leads, and customers.

After going through the Google analytics academy, I learned tons of new information on how Google analytics works and the importance of digital analytics for a company. One point regarding the importance of analytics is the ability to gain quantitative and now due to new technologies, qualitative data. With quantitative data, they are able to track mobile applications, cloud connected point of sale systems, CRM systems, video game consoles, and even home appliances like a refrigerator. With qualitative data, they are able to explain why and they can get valuable insights on their user experience part of the interface. There are four main components to the Google analytics system. There is the collection component to collect user interaction data from websites, mobile applications, and any other digital environment like a kiosk. The second step that occurs is data processing once all the information is collected. This step turns the raw data into something useful. This step also used the third component to the Google analytics system which is applying the configuration settings to the raw data which can help exclude or include data that may or may not be needed. The final component and step to the Google analytic platform is reporting the information. The rest of the academy teaches you how to create an account and report your data in any type of way. The academy continually stresses their easy to use interface which could prove to end up helpful when using Google analytics ourselves.

In the end, I am excited to get started using Google analytics and understanding what types of marketing strategies are most successful digitally. I definitely underestimated the capabilities of Google analytics at first and just how easy it is to track devices and gather important information that can help a business move to the top of an industry.

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