Business demands data. Entrepreneurs do business, but they do so much more. They build businesses.
It’s important for entrepreneurs to get their hands on the best data possible to turn build their businesses rapidly, sustainably, and effectively. Google Analytics is an essential tool for this kind of data.
According to Neil Patel from Forbes.com here’s what every entrepreneur should know about Google analytics.
1. It’s popular.
At the time of writing, 29,614,741 websites were using Google Analytics.
That’s a lot of websites. It simply goes to show that the data provided by Google Analytics is one of the best in the industry.
Google’s domination of the analytics industry is simply a side effect of their domination of the search industry. They have proprietary access to all the information that goes into search.
The best that any other reporting software can do is to use Google’s data to create further and more actionable insight.
2. It’s free.
Before you try to cajole your CFO into buying a massive, expensive, enterprise-level analytics system, take heed. Google Analytics is free.
Think about it. You pay absolutely nothing to get your hands on the most valuable and detailed data on the web. It’s completely free.
A warning is in order. Yes, Google Analytics costs nothing, but accessing and analyzing this data will cost you. It takes time and/or personnel to learn, access, interpret, utilize, and apply the data.
Just getting an online introductory course to Google Analytics could cost a couple hundred bucks. One in-person seminar costs nearly $800. And that’s just to learnone aspect of one area of Google Analytics.
If you hire someone to do your analytics investigation and setup, that will cost you, too. True Analytics gurus are in high demand, due to their specialized knowledge and powerful experience.
3. It’s powerful.
Most people who have used Google Analytics know how to log in and look at the basic data — a number of how many people visited your site.
But that is hardly scratching the surface of Analytics’ power. Analytics can tell you where your most valuable visitors live, how old they are, what they search for, what they click on, how they spend time on your site, and where they leave your site.
And that’s only scratching the surface, too!
To truly plumb the depths of Google Analytics, you’re going to need to spend a lot of time and effort learning and growing, but the benefits truly pay off in powerful data.
4. It’s complicated.
How would you like to mine your data to search for the dwell time of individuals from India who search for your site based on a specific product name in conjunction with non-branded terms?
You may or may not need data at this level. But just in case you do, Google Analytics makes it possible. That’s the level of detailed complexity that Analytics can deliver.
But it doesn’t do so automatically. Analytics is really good at producing raw data. But accessing, analyzing, visualizing, and applying this data is quite another story. Before you can get to actionable insights, you need to appropriate the raw data of Google Analytics into a more digestible format.
5. The simple stuff is easy to see.
If you want to become an Analytics ninja, you’ll do more than just find out sessions, users, and pageviews. That’s standard dashboard stuff.
6. The powerful stuff is difficult to produce.
I hate to break it to you, but your website traffic is kind of a vanity metric. What value does this information add to your business? Not a whole lot. You can’t take specific action on the raw data of site visitors in the month of October now can you?
Google Analytics does so much more. But, just like finding precious metals in the ground, it takes a lot of digging and hard work.
Take, for example, setting up a goal in Google analytics. You can compare two pages to see which one performs better, but in order to do so, you have to creategoals.
I explain how to do so on my blog, but the thing to remember here is that creating the kind of data that is truly powerful and valuable is not easy.
7. It takes time.
If owning Google analytics is your goal, be prepared to invest time in it. Even you’re a quick learner, there’s so much to discover in Google Analytics that it will take a long time. The list of features is long, but the benefits are immense. Either way, it will require a substantial number of hours to just get introduced to the tool.
Entrepreneurs need data to build their business and become successful.
In order to reach that level of success, entrepreneurs also need data. Google Analytics is the leading source of this data. But how do you embrace the magnitude and potential of Google analytics, and deliver it to your brain so you can take action?
There are a couple solutions. First, you can invest in yourself. Learn the tool, discover its potential, and implement its power.
This takes time. Alternatively, you can hire someone who has the brainpower, time, and experience to give this data to you. This takes money.
The middle way is to use a third-party software that takes the edge of some of the complexity, and allows you to overcome the learning curve at a slightly faster rate.