Saturday, August 23, 2008

Google Analytics Features and the Difference between Google Analytics and Web Tracking Tools.


In the year 2005 Google acquired Urchin and used their software to their Google analytics tracking. Google analytics is used for tracking and creating business plans for free. There are three different types of in Google Analytics web tracking. There are executive Google analytics accounts, marketer (GA) accounts, and webmaster (GA accounts). You can also choose between marketing optimization and content optimization within your Google Analytics tracking account. Google analytics offers a vast amount of data including, where in the world came from, keyword reports, search engine reports, visits, page views, direct visits (visits from search engine queries), referral visits (visits from other websites that link to you), time on the site, and more.

Google Analytics is easily integrated with Google Adwords campaigns and Google Adsense campaigns. You can track your data using conversion tracking. This is crucial to success with your campaigns.

Google Analytics is known for not showing the spider (bots that crawl the internet) searches in their web site statistical reports. This is a question that I have often heard from clients at my hotel web marketing company that I work for. They ask, “Why do other online analytical reporting software like Statcounter, Urchin, Web Trends, Hitwize, and statssheet.com, show such different results than Google Analytics?” The answer lies in the fact that Google knows their own search bots/spiders, and these aren’t counted in the statistical reports. Also, definitions are different between different reporting programs. A page visit in GA may be counted as something different in another program. Google Analytics counts a page visit as one even if the user visits the site twice within a half hour time span as long as the browser that the user is on is still open. This could differ in other programs. There are two types to methods that analytics web site programs use. Cookie based web site reporting and IP based web site reporting. With Cookie reporting, (Google Analytics uses cookies based web site tracking) web sites that have cookies turned off in their browser will not show up in the reports. Also, search engine bots and spiders will not be counted. With IP based tracking, more page visits are going to be counted.

Google Analytics is a great way to track web site hits and varies greatly from different web traffic reporting programs. I will explain each program more in detail and other ways in which they differ in part two of this article. Keep reading to follow along.

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