What do you like most?
The depth of community and shared experience. I have been using it on a great number of different size websites for over 10 years, after it was bought by Google and launched with its new name November 2005. The results are predictable and reliable, though the options for implementation have kept simple at their base the options for tracking have grown a lot since then. Having the pleasure of working with the first Product Manager of Google Analytics, Brian Clifton as a client for the last couple of years.
The killer feature apart from being free is simple start and scales from blog to enterprise level. I like being able to keep different Property Views with different filters and dashboards helps keep test configuration out of the main View for auditing.
What do you dislike?
Without starting with questions or having dashboards and custom reports set up, you can sink a great deal of time into diving into the data and endlessly filtering the data without fixed aim. But if you only dig in when you need to research it can be very efficient. I also have set up dashboards in Google Data Studio after it was released so that I can lay them out and not need to be distracted with other options to dig into.
Its event management works for one off events but I find it harder to tie events together in GA than in a tool like Amplitude, Mixpanel or Kissmetrics when dealing with SaaS applications.
What business problems are you solving? What benefits have you realized?
The problems we use it for most with clients are:
- Examining the sources bringing traffic and the balance between Search, Direct, Referral, Ads and Social.
- Looking for sections of website that are not perfuming well to A/B test and improve them
- Examine for the clients if Brand or Research traffic is showing more effect.
- Building tracked funnels for sales or lead conversions
For which purposes do you use the product?
We provide technical analytic audits for our clients, ahead of website or strategy builds. Following this we identify the trends and metrics in their own data and targets that they should focus on to see change. Reducing options down to a handful of key indicators.
What is your primary role when using this product?
When using Google Analytics we mainly set it up and improve visibility for our customers on their larger websites. Then reflect the changes in the work we perform back into business and analytics data to help gauge change. Result is managing accounts for other businesses, making sure they understand what they are seeing.
What is your relationship with this vendor?
I trust them and the service they give, though it is not possible with the Free version to get in contact with a representative very easily. In the years on use I have not had any troubling issues that were caused by a change they made.
At which company did you most recently use this product?
We most recently used the data and apis heavily to pull and test data for the SaaS Google Analytics auditing tool http://verified-data.com we were building for a client.
I personally am always watching my own business website and the effects of different design and marketing changes.
Are you a current user of Google Analytics?
Certainly, it is one of the first default things I install on a website project or ask for at least 2-4 weeks (preferably 2 years) data from a new client to start making assessments.