Many of us have become users of Google Analytics, though it’s a such a powerful tool set that few gasp all the features.
The head of Web Analytics for Google references a survey that shows the adoption of 13 “essential” features, which are key to really understanding how people use your website.
So how are people using Google Analytics?
Winning – features most used
More than two-thirds of Google Analytics users have set up Custom Reports.
Event Tracking and Advanced Segments are popular, but the rest of these features are only used by a minority of users.
Losing – features least used
Content Experiments is a major laggard, though it seems that this might be less to do with the adoption of A/B testing and more linked to the difficulties in implementing Google’s kit.
Other Google Analytics features such as Intelligence Events, Data Import and Enhanced Ecommerce are in need of more love, with fewer than one in five users bothering to make use of them.
Why the lack of traction?
Why some of the most powerful features are being ignored by analysts.
The trouble is that there aren’t enough analysts!
Organisations are simply not hiring dedicated analysts to work in this role.
Even for very large brands spending a great deal of money online, what I find is that ‘analysis’ of their data is delegated to a person with other duties.
In other words, a non-professional analyst who may spend a couple of hours per week looking at reports. In that scenario, only the basic features are ever scratched.
It seems odd that, in 2015, there is a deficit of analysts, given that web analytics is a relatively mature space.
The entry point for using analytics is essentially free, but there’s always been the need for humans to interpret the data, to provide real insight.
So are we just paying lip service to web analytics? Businesses of all shapes and sizes will be able to tell you how many visitors they have, but what else should they be looking at?
Regardless of business sector or website type, all sites must get the following three things done right if they are going to use data to improve their business.
The first is Segmentation, as you really cannot perform any useful analysis if you are grouping all your visitors together.
Then there is Campaign Tracking. Although I don’t list it as a ‘ground-breaking feature’ in my survey, getting Campaign Tracking right is fundamental to understanding which half of your marketing budget is going down the drain.
And third: Multi-Channel Funnels & Attribution Modelling. In other words, understanding your marketing mix (MCF) and their value to your business (AM).
Will 2016 be the year of advanced analytics?
Seems like most of us have work to do, and maybe some hiring too.