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Is it (literally) a priceless tool for tracking and scrutinizing online traffic or is it too complex for the average entrepreneur? Two readers offer their own analysis.
Can't Live With It
"When a business uses Google Analytics , at most it's simply tracking the number of page visits that its website has. But very few businesses actually know who these visitors are, where they are coming from and what they are doing once they visit the website. I was working with a business owner whose blog was drawing a decent amount of web traffic, but sales weren't increasing at all and he didn't know why. He thought he was sending his blog traffic over to a landing page that sold his product. It turned out that less than 1 percent of his blog readers actually went to his landing page. He didn't know how to use Google Analytics to tell him that. In everything from wording (bounce rate is a bit vague) to layout (in order to get a detailed analysis of how your marketing is doing, you need to visit multiple screens), it's not very user-friendly."
--Greg Digneo, founder, Cloud Marketing Labs, Northfield, N.J.
Can't Live Without It
"Every blog we design has Google Analytics code in it, simply because you can't afford not to have it. It comes with a whopping price of zero dollars and includes tools and reports to give you everything you ever wanted to know about your website's or blog's traffic and marketing effectiveness. It seamlessly integrates with Google AdWords, letting you see where your advertising dollars are going--which is huge in today's economy. Some of our Fortune 500 customers are using it too, saving tens of thousands of dollars. Before Google Analytics became available, you had to pay some serious money for other tools only to get a fraction of what's included with Google Analytics at no charge."
--Pavel Ushakov, founder, BlogConsulting.com