Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Monday, November 14, 2005

Web Traffic Monitoring And Conversion Tracking: Google Analytics

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As Gary Price had originally anticipated back in July this year, Google has now officially launched Google Analytics.


Google Analytics is a free service that Google offers to its customers to allow them to track, monitor and measure with great accuracy statistics relating to traffic, conversions and page views on your web site.

Google Analytics tells you everything you want to know about how your visitors found you and how they interact with your site.

You can find out how profitable your keywords are across different search engines and multiple online campaigns. You can identify where your best online customers come from and which target audiences are the most profitable for your specific content.

To make Google Analytics work you only need to place the special snippet of code that Google provides you in side the page templates of your web site.

No need to download anything.

If you don't edit your own site, your webmaster, designer, or hosting provider can probably do it for you in under five minutes.

Google Analytics has been particularly conceived and designed to help advertisers track and optimize their campaigns across multiple sites and even across multiple keyword advertisers.

Do you buy keywords on search engines other than Google? If you do, Google Analytics tracks them - all of your keywords, on every search engine. For both paid search and unpaid search.

In fact, Google Analytics tracks all of your marketing initiatives, Google-based or otherwise. All of your ads, email newsletters, affiliate campaigns, referrals, paid links, search engines, and keywords. So you can compare performance across the artificial boundaries of search engine, campaign, and medium.

Google Analytics makes large and effective use of visualization maps which help greatly in pinpointing rapidly important data.

GeoTargeting in particular, allows you to see your data mapped out on geographical world maps that allow you to associate different stats data to actual regions of the world.

If you are an advertiser and have already a Google AdWords account, you can immediately log in into Google Analytics and start using this very moment. Google Analytics automatically imports all your existing keyword data from your AdWords account. In this way you can see the ROI and other key metrics for every keyword you buy on AdWords, without having to do something extra.

Several useful features make it easy to pin down overall trends as well as to trace transactions to campaigns and keywords, get loyalty and latency metrics, and identify your revenue sources.

A unique feature facilitates the identification of critical pages and bottlenecks where you are likely to loose most of your online customers. The feature, called Funnel Visualization, shows you the bottlenecks in your conversion and checkout processes - attributable to such factors as confusing content or maze-like navigation - so you can eliminate or work around them, and start "funneling" visitors through the steps you want them to effectively take.


Another great feature, pioneered commercially by Clicktracks, is Site Overlay which allows Google Analytics to superimpose visitors and clickthrough data to your individual pages, giving you the ability to see exactly which links on each page are clicked, and with which relative percentages.

Google Analytics comes also with well over 80 predefined reports to analyze your data. Advanced Visitor Segmentation adds eighteen predefined segments for further drill-down into any of these reports, such as geographic location and new versus returning visitors.


Google Analytics is already available in multiple languages including English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Russian.


Google Analytics offers some uniquely interesting propositions. They are:

a) Zero cost. Great web site traffic monitoring and ecommerce tracking software available to anyone for free. This free version is limited to 5 million pageviews a month - however, users with an active Google AdWords account are given unlimited pageview tracking.

b) Highly scalable to any size web site.

c) Interface design. Great visual maps, stats and great use of effective information design principles. Navigating data is a strong point.

d) Advanced. This is not a little free web page counter to put up on your home page. This is a truly powerful monitoring and tracking engine like very few, if any, out there. Google Analytics has all the features you'd expect from a high-end analytics offering.

e) AdWords integration. If you have an AdWords account, you can use Google Analytics directly from the AdWords interface. Google Analytics also calculates ROI metrics from automatically imported cost and keyword tracking data.

f) Easy to use. Google Analytics is easy to use for novice marketers, while delivering all of the capabilities that experienced web analytics professionals expect.

g) Tracks all campaigns. Google Analytics tracks all online campaigns, from emails to keywords, regardless of search engine or referral source.

Well, I must tell you I have long waited this moment, as the market for web analytics really had been quite disappointing until now. I am very glad that Google has taken this opportunity, sparking a live competition with Yahoo&Overture and MSN on providing great web analytics for everyone.

The existing services really sucked in amny ways, had limited data, and charged outrageous races for a really bad quality service.

After some due testing, I am finally happy to say bye/bye to WebSideStory/Hitbox and to Extreme-DM, two services which, after opening up new opportunities for many like me, have fallen prey of their own idiosyncracies: excessive pricing, no interest for the small business, bad usability, bad customer support, just to name some of my wounds.

More information on Google Analytics.

Case studies on the use of Google Analytics.

Sign-up to Google Analytics.

Readers' Comments    
2008-05-07 12:09:38


Is there any way to track RSS Subscription conversions?


2006-01-05 23:09:40


This is a great article!! I heard that Google Analytics was having some problems, and I was wondering if it still is?

2005-11-17 08:48:24

Dave Ryan

The Google Analytics is pretty intresting. I like that they are making marketing with them easier and easier though :)

I made a post about this over on my blog:

And have not yet finished testing it. The fact that its delayed so much makes it questionable. If they can have it represent the data in real time they will have a winner on their hands.

posted by Robin Good on Monday, November 14 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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