Google Analytics is the most popular analytics tool, but it has a few major disadvantages. Google Analytics is lacking some important capabilities, which can prevent its users from getting really valuable data about their website, and more importantly, about their users, events and conversions, and how to get more of them.
Google Analytics is mainly traffic oriented, and give less emphasis on users, events, and conversions. By using Google Analytics, you will mainly get data about page views, sessions, bounce rates etc. It won’t give you the data you need about your users like who are they, how exactly each of them behaves on your site, what make them convert, and why you get more or less of them.
In this post, we will review the 5 biggest and most important things you simply can’t do with Google Analytics.
1. You can’t track Individual users
As a website owner or an analyst, you probably want to know more about your users like who are they, what’s their IP address, how each of them behaves on your website, and which actions do they perform. Unfortunately, you can’t do any of these things with Google Analytics.
Unfortunately, Google Analytics only allows to use a unique user ID and prohibits sending personal information, username or an IP address. So you can’t really see and understand how specific users behave on your site and get valuable data. You will just have to settle for aggregated data, as featured in Google Analytics.
2. You can’t understand why things work or not
Google Analytics Is all about the “what”. It gives you all the information about the number of sessions, pageview, channels, bounce rate and more related data, but it doesn’t really help you to understand why it happened. For example, if you have a lower number of conversions, compared to a previous period, Google Analytics will only show you the actual number, without any lead to the source of this reduction. In fact, it won’t even alert you to any changes in your data, it only shows you the numbers as they are.
Knowing the “why” is much more important than just get the numbers, and see the “what”. You would want to know why you have fewer conversions, or why you suddenly have much more traffic this week, or why you are getting a lot of traffic but fewer conversions. By using only Google Analytics, you will not get the answers to any of these questions. In fact, if you will not check every little piece of data by yourself, you may not even notice some of these changes. Oribi will show you the “why” not just the “what”.
3. You can’t view and analyze multiple dimensions at once
When analyzing your website data, it’s important to see the different layers of data, in a different order. For example, I like to see how many users comes through different channels, from which country or state, and with which type of device. After analyzing this data, I might want to switch the order and now see by device first, then source and then geolocation.
Unfortunately, Google Analytics supports viewing only 2 dimensions at once, which can really limit the ability to understand your traffic, users, and marketing and growth efforts.
For example, it’s impossible to see how many people reached a certain landing page, through a certain marketing channel, and on which platform. So you can’t know how many users converted on your home page and got there through a Facebook ad while using a mobile device. All you can do is see two dimensions at once, like how many page views you have on each page, with the addition of the traffic source (the source is the chosen secondary dimension in this case), or any other secondary dimension.
4. You can’t completely focus on events
As mentioned before, Google Analytics is much more traffic oriented, than users, events, and conversions focused. Since it’s not all about events, it’s a much less efficient tool to really understand your website events and conversions data, who’s performing them, and why they are being used or not.
If you can’t really analyze your events and conversions data, you can’t really know how to optimize your marketing efforts, landing pages and your sales funnel, which also means you can’t really use the data to improve your results and get more users.
5. You can’t get support
Understanding how to set up and analyze Google Analytics can be a very time consuming and confusing task for many users. Sometimes all you need is just a little guidance from someone who has the answers to your questions. Unfortunately, Google Analytics doesn’t supply any user support at all. There is only a help center which contains endless articles about how to setup and use Google Analytics, and a help forum, which you can ask questions at, and possibly get answers from other experienced users.
The lack of support can be really frustrating sometimes. Trying to set up and understand your way around Google Analytics can be complicated, especially if you wish to really dig into your data. Unfortunately, it’s completely up to you, unless you will go through endless and sometimes unclear articles to get answers to your questions or hire an external advisor.
The only way you to get support from a Google representative is if you pay about $100K per year for the premium version of Google Analytics, which will grant you access to a personal support, along with some extra features and abilities.
How to overcome these lack of capabilities?
Luckily for you, Google Analytics is not the only Analytics tool available, and definitely not the most effective one. Especially if you want to really know how to improve your results and grow. There are other tools, like Oribi, which can help you focus on users, events, and conversions and mainly on how to get more of them. You will off course get a full support and an answer to any question you might have.
Oribi offers a free trial period and takes minutes to set up. Give it a try, and see how simplified and useful an Analytics tool can be. Click here to create a free account.