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Is Google Analytics really free? If it is, is it any good?
Hi, my name is Pin and I'm one of the digital marketers here at Mint. In this video, I want to talk to you about one of my favourite digital marketing tools, Google Analytics. If you're unsure what Google Analytics is, it is commonly known as GA. It is a website tracking tool that you install on your website. It has the capability to track metrics such as:
- How many people visited your website
- Where did they come from?
- What pages they're viewing
- How many pages they're reading on average
- Did they buy anything?
- And not to forget, the conversion rate.
And to answer the question from the title of the video, yes, Google Analytics is 'free' and is extremely powerful. Matter of fact, it is one of the most important digital marketing tools that we always recommend having for every client's website. If you don't have one, or are not sure who in your team has access to it, I strongly recommend you look into that as soon as possible.
Talking about free, not surprisingly, there is a caveat. I'm someone who believes that there is no such thing as a free lunch, I'm sure you would agree to that. The same applies to Google Analytics - it is free for a reason.
The default off-the-shelf Google Analytics settings are generic, and oftentimes not very helpful to most businesses. The free standard implementation only includes very basic tracking and does not carry a whole lot of value in terms of improving your business or website. That is also why a lot of businesses have installed Google Analytics, but not really sure what to do about it.
On the other hand, if you want more advanced or custom tracking on your website, you'll need to put in the work, which means additional resources are required, hence, not really free.
Some of the custom trackings that we like to implement for clients include:
- Number of leads
- Number of purchases
- Number of add to carts
- Number of newsletter subscriptions
- Number of clicks on your call-to-action buttons and a lot more...
So, what I'm trying to say here is, though Google Analytics is free to create and install on your website, it does take additional resources, such as time and very importantly, expertise, to set up the tracking that makes sense for your business.
You might have heard about this phrase before too, garbage in garbage out. If you have not set up tracking the right way, you'll have bad input and naturally, end up with a questionable output. Or, if you have not set up anything, you will then have zero output, which defeats the purpose of having Google Analytics installed on your website in the first place.
Another assumption that I often get is, businesses often see Google Analytics as this magical tool. Once you have it installed, the number of users will increase, website engagement will improve, ROI will skyrocket.
Surely, this is not true at all. Google Analytics is a tool that tracks important metrics on your website. Numbers you see on Google Analytics do not mean much until you actually analyse them, and put meanings behind them. I really like this quote by Haminshu Sharma, one of my favourite Google Analytics experts. He said, "What you see in Google Analytics is not what you get. What you analyse is what you get".
And guess what, good analysis is not good enough either. With the learnings from your analysis, you're required to make decisions on what actions to take next. Because without actions, your website and user experience will obviously stay the same.
In other words, Google Analytics does not do the work for you. Taking a set-and-forget approach is probably not a good idea if you're looking for success on your website.
My takeaway for you today is:
Firstly, yes, Google Analytics is free. However, you need to consider extra resources such as time and expertise to make it work for your business.
Secondly, no, Google Analytics is not some magical tool that does all of the work for you. However, when tracking and analysis are done properly, you'll get insights that are actionable. With those actions, you'll be able to improve your website and user experience over time.
If you like what you see and want to chat more about Google Analytics, or any other digital marketing topics, talk to Mint.
See you guys in the next video.