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HomeResourceGoogle Analytics And Why You Shouldn't Trust It

Google Analytics And Why You Shouldn’t Trust It

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Tracking analytics is important for any company. Without doing so, you lack the knowledge of your traffic, your customer base and their incentives, which will subsequently decrease your sales and improvements and increase your costs.

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One of the most utilized analytical trackers is Google Analytics (GA), which digital marketers and web analysts around the world continue to use nearly eighteen years after its inception.

While it is known for improving websites, providing a sizable amount of data and being free and easy to implement, it is not exactly the shining beacon that it is often made out to be. By which we mean the data isn’t always trustworthy.

The Incomplete Data Of GA

For many businesses, the numbers in GA reports are either inaccurate or, at the very least, wrongly interpreted. While this may not have been too much of an issue back in 2005 when it was launched, it is specifically concerning in 2023.

Today, the majority of business marketing is done through social media – with the industry reaching $268 billion this year – and the data that social media analytics can provide are crucial in understanding customer habits and elevating the business as a result.

If these metrics are incorrect, incomplete or insufficient, then your company could be in danger of misinterpretation, leading to stagnation.

The Incomplete Data Of GA Google Analytics

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An Example Of Insufficiency

Google Analytics works by adding a tracker to a certain page so that, when web users visit that page, information is collected about their browsing behaviour. The impact comes in two metrics: the average session duration and the average time spent on the page itself.

There are many reasons why this can go wrong – especially when it comes to conversions from social media – but the most evident is the “three-page rule”. Essentially, the end goal for a company using GA is to understand how long the user is engaging with content (the first page) and then how long a user is spending on the website products page itself.

When a user enters the first page, a timestamp is set and kept until they click on the products page, with a new timestamp beginning on the second page. The issue comes, however, with the elusive third page (when the user has exited away from the website). Having left the products page, no third timestamp is created, meaning GA does not know how long the user has actually spent looking at the products themselves.

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The Need For Accurate Data

As well as this, GA has a bounce rate percentage of tracked visitors who do not proceed onto – or elsewhere – on the website. If a user were to spend a whole hour on one tracked page, Facebook or Instagram, understand and engage with the content and then leave, it would be labeled as a bounce. Likewise, if the user was to engage with the content on the first page and then message your company on Facebook and Instagram, it would still increase the bounce rate.

It is easy, then, to misinterpret this data and subsequently misinterpret what is influencing consumer behaviour. You are then at risk of spending a lot of time, energy, and money going into marketing improvements that didn’t need to be made in that specific area. Businesses need accurate data specific to their marketing needs.

In addition, GA can’t track all user interactions automatically. You need to generate an event tracking with Google Tag Manager or by changing the code. Such tasks can be complicated and time-consuming, delaying data analysis and reporting. Moreover, GA lacks qualitative analytics features, so it only tells you what your visitors do but doesn’t provide data on why they do it. 

Because of GA’s several limitations, the best solution is to find more robust analytics tools. Google Analytics alternatives can help you gain more accurate and complete data. They have more advanced data tracking, governance, and management features. As a result, marketers and decision-makers avoid misinterpreting consumer behavior, shopping patterns, website metrics, and other relevant data. But what are the important features to look for in a GA alternative? 

Find a platform with quantitative and qualitative analytics features, with additional capabilities to build customer profiles, coordinate tag behaviors, consent management, etc. Choosing one with product analytics features is also good for analyzing app usage, conversions, retention rate, and other product-related metrics. That way, you can create reports and customize analytics dashboards for product adoption analysis.

Overall, the best GA alternative offers robust tools, such as event tracking and data management, for optimal data analysis. 

With social media now a massive part of how a company’s market and potential customers consume content, it is unwise to rely solely on GA to glean data. Better analysis capabilities are the answer to a more thorough understanding of the online audience, which will subsequently optimise and improve your company as a result.


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