As we now know, the key to any successful digital marketing strategy is through tracking visitor activity, website traffic, and other important metrics to understand if a business is effectively presenting itself online. These metrics will allow you to gain understanding of current interaction with a website, implement changes to improve it, and access current progress along the way. One of the most popular tools to track online analytic data is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is an easy tool for businesses to measure and understand online data. While many businesses are currently using or looking to use some form of analytic tool, many are still confused as to whether or not there are free options available, especially for smaller-sized businesses or startup companies.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a Google-owned platform that can be implemented into a website as a way to automatically collect ongoing data regarding the website’s visitor activity, source of traffic, and online engagement. The most popular metrics used by businesses that are measured through Google Analytics include:
- Page views per visit
- Total visitors per day/month/year
- Average session duration
- Bounce rate
- Percentage of new sessions
- Conversion rate
- Source to find the website
- Type of device the website was accessed from
- Landing pages
- Exit pages
Uses of Google Analytics
Google Analytics allows users to check online performance of visitors to help make better business decisions for digital marketing, content creation, and product presentation. Google Analytics is also effective for tracking the effectiveness of any new changes implemented into a website and whether or not they are resulting in positive increases in visitors and their engagement online. Google Analytics also provides an effective way to compare data side by side with competitors or similar organizations to gauge effectiveness of different search engine optimization or content marketing strategies.
Google Analytics Free vs Paid Versions
Google Analytics offers both a freemium as well as a paid version. There is a large price difference between the free and paid versions so it is important to consider your business’s use for the tool.
Is Google Analytics Free?
The standard version of Google Analytics is free and offers a number of tools and resources that can help your company understand what is and what is not happening on your website. The freemium version is suitable for most businesses and is the analytics standard for digital reporting.
The free version of Google Analytics real time data tracking, custom reporting features, data tracking, and exporting as well as App, mobile, and video tracking. Other features included with the freemium version are:
- Custom reporting
- Real time data tracking and ability to export data
- Segmentation of different analytic data
- Conversion reporting
- Social reporting
- Device reporting
- Multi channel reporting
- Video reporting
- Ability to integrate with Google Search Console and AdWords
Limitations of the freemium version of Google Analytics include:
- Data volume capacities- maximum of 50,000 rows of data
- Limitations of up to 20 custom data metrics
- 24 hour refresh time required for data collection
How much is the Paid Version of Google Analytics?
Depending on the complexity of your business and the types of data you need to measure, the free version may be too limiting for your needs. Larger or more complex businesses might opt for the premium Google Analytics 360 version if your data capacity exceeds 10 million hits per month. The premium version costs $150,000.00 a year and ensures for better data accuracy for websites that experience these higher volumes of traffic. The advanced analytics and custom reporting features of the premium version might also be more desirable to high level marketers as a way to better understand your target audience, scope of competition and ways to better optimize your digital marketing strategy.
Need Assistance with Google Analytics or Your Digital Marketing Strategy?
Alliance Interactive is a full service digital agency offering digital marketing and Google Analytics support services. We can help your business better understand your core audience, and strategize new ways that will help your business increase online traffic and improve conversion rates.