Google’s golden egg: Analytics

It’s mindboggling to realize with Google Analytics – social reports just how much information you can access about your customers and site visitors if you just take the time to look. No wonder digital advertising has taken off. While traditional print media (as we discussed in class last week) still has the potential to reach a consumer who may never have gone looking for your site (or something related) on the web — it can’t come close to providing the kind of realtime, aggregated feedback.

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The potential for commerce – particularly most small businesses that would never have the resources to hire consultants to help analyze their transactions and effect of marketing – is staggering. YET, those small businesses will still need the skillset and time (the latter of which is often lacking for small businesses) to fully grasp the capability of such software. PLUS the Analytics work hand-in-hand with mastery of the Google SEO schemes – another daunting prospect for any small business. And what good are analytics until you actually have eyes on a page? Which all leads back to SEO.

Google does a good job explaining the basics: Google 101: How Google crawls, indexes and serves the web.\ But I still anticipate for the near future, there will be extraordinary potential for web professionals to provide services to businesses needing to leverage the web.  It’s like the placement specialists of old, whose job it was to get their clients’ product on the grocers’ shelves. Anyone may be able to build a web page in the 21st Century, but only those manufacturers who meet the specifications of Google’s store and master the execution will ever get displayed. 

Questions:

  1. How much do you share with a client whose website you’re trying to improve? Do you show them how to use Google Analytics and risk they stop using you? Or do you trust that the scheme is so overwhelming that they’ll always want to pay someone else to keep track?
  2. What is the threshold for hiring inhouse web analysts vs. consultants? Benefits, detriments?
  3. I’m not clear on whether – at the free level – if Google Analytics breaks down sponsored ads versus organic referrals (or is it mute because once you buy Google Ads do you get access to more tools?)

 

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4 thoughts on “Google’s golden egg: Analytics

  1. I can not answer your questions because I have no experience with Google Analytics but I really liked your comments. I especially like your vision of the future where everyone can “design” a website with pre-designed templates but not everyone can understand and use the tools to take these pages to have good ratings. Another point in favor of why we are studying for a Masters degree.

  2. I can tell you have a journalism background! What good are analytics until you actually have eyes on a page? Excellent question. In my opinion, you can take this two ways — 1) If you see that you don’t have any visitors to analyze, why is that? 2) It loops right around to your point of how much SEO can be correlated with Google Analytics. Should you be bidding on certain keywords? Where is your page showing up in search results? Etc.

  3. Teaching a client how to use Google Analytics can be of benefit to an analytics professional. Explaining how to retrieve site data and interpret the metrics can lead to requests for assistance with site improvements. Clients will also trust your insight as an expert and ask for your input on site changes. Many clients do not have the time to thoroughly learn the Google Analytics product, but a basic understanding of it can make them more accepting of your suggestions and give them a sense of control and involvement.

  4. Good question about how much to share Joni. There’s always a balance between truly helping out a client and doing such a good job that you’ve worked yourself out of a job.
    I would think in this case, showing how to use Google analytics would help. Your job after all wouldn’t just be showing the performance measurements but actually improving it. If you are doing your job correctly and are improving their rankings then it could only help if they can see for themselves how well it is doing (if you’re horribly in your job, maybe not though)
    I think there’s a lot more to it than just being able to access the numbers. Someone who is really good knows what they really mean. When a good journalist gets data, it’s usually public information that anyone can get. What the journalist does is make sense of it and give an analysis which explains why it’s important.

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