The Ins & Outs of Google Analytics

April 16, 2019



Our businesses are complex things. There are countless aspects of our company to manage, from finances to marketing to expansion, and everything in between. Every single piece of our business, from bottom to top, needs to be understood and analyzed in order to properly grow and profit, and the greatest tool at our disposal is data. We keep track of records of sale, employment records, records of anything we can get our hands on, all because we can use them to analyze what’s working and what isn’t. Now, imagine if there was a single tool that could bring all of that valuable data into one spot, and help us dive even deeper into the growth of our business in every single sector. Imagine how much time and effort could be saved if, through machine learning and algorithmic analysis, we could seamlessly convert our online business into a number crunching machine. Google Analytics does exactly that, and it’s a tool that every online business should be using to truly understand their digital representation.

Google Analytics is a feature within Google’s larger Marketing Platform, and works hand-in-hand with other software like Google’s AdSense in order to analyze more and more data. As we all well know, Google has been at the forefront of Internet growth and development for two decades now. In this time, they have developed massive databases, filled with information about nearly every user that passes through Google. With data on a user’s geographical location, age range, interests, and so on, this is a particularly useful tool for marketing. Knowing your customer and visitors allows for you to cater your brand specifically towards that market. This builds in a snowball effect, strengthening your brand while also bringing in more customers, and this strength will grow exponentially over time.

The massive size of these databases helps us beyond simple marketing, however. Storing all of this information on users can be used to strengthen analysis of data as well, and this is where Google Analytics comes into play. As a business that operates online, we will benefit greatly from diving deep into the numbers about our site’s visitors. How long did they stay for? What time of day did they visit? How did they pay for their visit? How did they reach our site in the first place? These are just the first of many questions that we will need answers to in order to build our business in a profitable way. Luckily, Google Analytics provides some of the most advanced machine learning available online in order to answer these questions, as well as questions we may not have even though to ask in the first place.

Machine learning is when a computer program, usually a rudimentary artificial intelligence, combs through significant portions of data in order to identify certain patterns and come to conclusions based on the data. Because computers can analyze data so much faster than humans, machine learning allows for more precise results backed up by large quantities of evidence. They produce these precise results in a much shorter time frame than a human could work, and they are thus able to analyze more complex issues than a human could. At the same time, this means that we no longer require an employee to dig through these archives and perform an in-depth analysis, thereby freeing them up to perform more crucial tasks to grow our business.

These benefits of machine learning are massive, and as I’ve already said, Google’s massive databases allow their machine learning programs to perform extremely detailed and accurate analysis. Google Analytics is a program that brings this unprecedented power to our business. By signing up for Google Analytics and linking your business’s website, you will immediately be given an in-depth analysis of your active audience, advertising effectiveness, the flow of user interaction, and so much more. You’re even given the ability to input custom data markers, allowing you to track any specific aspect of your business that you please.

As Google keeps track of this data for you, the machine learning programs are enabled, and immediately set to work plotting the data and deciding what effects any given component of the site is having. From there, the artificial intelligence can bring your attention to critical details, pushing you to fix or improve an important aspect of your site in order to retain more customers. The machine learning also works alongside the Google AdSense program to bolster your marketing work, pushing your advertising out to the right audience and bringing in more viable viewers.

Some data needs to be shared with your entire team, and most decisions require approval and analysis before finalization. Luckily, Google Analytics is built to encourage this kind of collaboration. The automated creation of data reports in easily read graphs and charts allows for any team member to grasp the scope of the data with minimal effort. Google’s widespread infrastructure allows for the data to be easily shared online, whether it be through email or by Google Drive. Additionally, the inclusion of configuration APIs means that any of the data and the way it’s presented can easily be modified, allowing for your team to build a simplified Analytic experience, if so desired.

Google Analytics comes with two versions. The standard version is completely free, while Analytics 360 has a monthly price. The free version has some limitations, but is perfectly designed to handle smaller businesses that don’t need information across multiple properties, integrated sales data, or other complex features. Larger corporations may find the free plan lacking, in which case they simply need to contact Google’s sales department and sign up for their subscription to Analytics. The monthly invoice is a small price to pay for the massive boosts to the analytical prowess of Google’s machine learning.

Google Analytics is a crucial piece of online software that any business, big or small, should be using to understand their company. The power of in-depth machine learning and valuable data can allow for decisions to be made with more confidence and direction. With these benefits, it’s clear that Google Analytics will push our businesses towards greater and greater profits.

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