Google Analytics

Introduction:

Google Analytics is a service that is offered to owners of webpages that generates detailed statistics about a website's traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales. It works by offering a free service initially which provides basic statistics, and then by providing a premium account for paid users. Below is an example of the statistics that are provided by the paid version of the service. It is a very useful tool for websites which are newly made, because the owner is able to identify areas where traffic can be improved upon, and act on that.

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Features:

  • Users can review online campaigns by tracking conversions (goals) because the software has AdWords integrated into it. Goals might include sales, lead generation, viewing a specific page, or downloading a particular file.
  • Google Analytics analysis can identify poorly performing pages with techniques such as funnel visualization, where visitors came from (referrers), how long they stayed and their geographical position. It also provides more advanced features, including custom visitor segmentation.
  • Google Analytics e-commerce reporting can track sales activity and performance. The e-commerce reports shows a site's transactions, revenue, and many other commerce-related metrics.
  • A user can have 50 site profiles. Each profile generally corresponds to one website.
  • There is a recently released Mobile App called "Mobile App Analytics" which is modified to track users created Apps rather than webpages.
  • "The best way to grow your mobile base is to know who uses your apps now, on what devices, and where they come from. Mobile App Analytics makes it all clear, with features like Traffic Sources reports and Google Play integration that show you what brought users to your app."

Downfalls:

  • Many ad filtering programs and extensions (such as Firefox's Adblock) block the GATC.
  • This prevents some traffic and users from being tracked, and leads to holes in the collected data. Also, privacy networks like Tor (which is used to access illegal websites) will mask the user's actual location and present inaccurate geographical data.
  • If a user blocks/deletes Google Analytics cookies, it cannot collect data.

Future:

  • Google Analytics is the most widely used website statistics service.
  • Currently in use on around 55% of the 10,000 most popular websites.
  • Furthermore, Google Analytics is used at around 49.95% of the top 1,000,000 websites.