Google Analytics – 11 years later
Google Analytics was launched on 14th November 2005, after it acquired a company called Urchin Software. The day was a milestone for Google as it had entered the analytics space with an enterprise product that was free, “Surprise!” Google struggled to keep up with the demand as within one week of launch, 100,000 new accounts were created but soon it threw out all the other competitors out of the game.
What has changed in 11 years?
Today, Google Analytics has its presence on over 30 million websites, that’s a whopping 1000 fold increase! If you have a business that requires online interaction with the users, Google Analytics is a must. With a powerful user interface, Google Analytics has evolved into a ground breaking digital analytics tool over the years. Features like Event Tracking, Custom Reporting, Advanced Segmentation, Attribution Modelling, GTM, Intel. Events, Behaviour Flow, Advanced E-commerce, Multi-Channel funnels and Real Time reports are just tip of the iceberg. Then there is the almighty API which allows users to use the data in third-party applications.
Google Analytics changed the way we measure performance of Digital Content
Gone are the days when “hits” was the most important metric to measure while assessing digital content. Simply measuring Page Views is not enough. When you want to grow your business online, the Key Result Areas are Know, Reach, Acquire, Engage, and Retain. With wide range of metrics available, Digital Analytics has become far more complex.
To get the contents right, first you have to know your audience right. The relevant contents will then reach the right users and engage them. But before engagement, new users have to be acquired. With a little help of marketing the more engaging contents can reach the users. Eventually, the new users will turn into loyal returning users with increased level of engagement.
Now using GA (interface and API), we can measure
- Extent of presence in Digital Space (Views, Active Users.
- Segmentation of Users (Location, Age, Gender, Interests etc.)
- Behaviour of Users within the site
- Quality of Users (Length and Depth of engagement)
- Acquisition and Retention of New Users
- Performance of Content (Relevancy, Growth of Content)
- Health of the website across multiple device categories
And much more which help us evaluate the digital content precisely.
Google Analytics changed the way Marketing works, made everyone go online
Online marketing is cheaper and agile. Campaigns can be initiated, adjusted and dropped if necessary. The effectiveness of digital marketing can be instantly measured with Google Analytics. GA tracks traffic from various channels or sources. Direct, Organic Search, Paid Search, Referral, Social, E-mail and Display are the new marketing “buckets”. With advanced keyword and search term tracking SEO/SEM is easier than ever. Measuring the performance of various channels, marketing efforts can be adjusted or redirected.
Understanding who is visiting the site in terms of their age, location and gender is the best way to tailor the site to suit their interests and preferences. This helps to shape the Digital Marketing Strategy to get the right campaigns placed at right places.
Google Analytics has come a long way since its release. It has become an Industry Standard to measure digital content. By utilizing, analyzing, and focusing on the various data from GA, we can get deeper insights which can be used to create and improve contents and redefine marketing strategy. With APIs available, third-party applications can also use the data to provide even more relevant information. It is up to us what we do with the data. Of course draw backs are there, for example, not all the data are 100% accurate as it has to go through sampling. But the pros outweigh the cons by a large extent. It is hard to ignore so much relevant information.
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