Google has created business and consumer applications for just about any occasion imaginable, exemplified by its popular programs like Google Maps and Google Analytics. Because of their ease-of-use and zero cost, many people have come to rely heavily on these solutions.
Yet like all things in life, Google Analytics isn’t without flaws, and users should take its downsides into consideration before placing all their data in one Google basket. Here are the nine sins of Google Analytics that may have you thinking twice:
1. All Your Data are Belong to Us
This has been a contentious point with many Google Analytics users, as they fear their information will be exploited or sold to third parties since it is being compiled by a company that offers other related applications, like Google AdWords, that could use it.
2. Trouble Getting Support
While there are options for finding solutions to problems with Google Analytics, they aren’t always from reliable technicians, unless you want to pay. Unfortunately, the only online customer service offered is from other users like yourself. Attempting to find valid answers in a forum can be hair-pulling and futile, while using the Google Analytics Authorized Consultants can be costly.
3. Mediocre Reporting
Google Analytics is free and they say you get what you pay for, but the limited reporting features are frustrating nonetheless. Reports aren’t as customizable as those featured in other competitive solutions. For example, the conversion data is provided in percentages instead of actual figures.
4. Limits to Defined Variables
Google Analytics only allows for one user-defined variable for segmentation. While there are steps to get around this problem, they are tedious.
5. Slow Data Delivery
You may not always need to receive data on a real-time basis, but when you do, waiting hours on end to retrieve important information can prove taxing.
6. Lack of Log Files
Having the ability to call your analytical history is a major advantage. While data is stored on Google’s servers, it isn’t readily accessible for the user, which is frustrating when settings are changed. Other analytics programs that support log files feature filters for added analytical capability.
7. No Spiders
8. Paid Campaigns Erroneously Show as Free
Google Analytics offers auto tagging capability to track paid or organic traffic, but unless campaign tracking links are used, the paid campaigns will appear free.
9. Revenue From Email Unknown
For eCommerce users, if you want to find out the generated revenue from your house email or its influence on conversion rates, you will have to use campaign-tracking codes.
For the basic user, Google Analytics will likely be quite satisfactory, and is probably ideal for the majority. But for more advanced users, such as those that need greater volumes of data to be processed and with more detailed analysis, Google Analytics definitely has its limits. Based on its shortcomings, what alternatives do you propose? Please leave a comment to discuss.