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Google Analytics: What is it, Key Metrics and Alternative Tools

Google Analytics Key Metrics What is it Alternative Toos
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Google Analytics is a web analytics tool by Google that is offered to website developers today for free of charge. This service primarily helps to track and report website traffic, which can be used for analysis and diagnosis by website developers. Two premium versions of Google Analytics are offered: Google Analytics 360 and Google Analytics for Mobile Apps, which serves the same function of tracking/reporting traffic with added features.

How is Google Analytics Implemented?

Google Analytics has to be implemented/installed on a site by first inserting its tracking code (Javascript Snippet Code) to the entire website. This code loads a larger javascript file from Google’s web server and is downloaded only once by the visitor’s web browser upon his or her first visit with the assumption of browser caching. It also sets the first-party cookie on the visitor’s computer which stores information that is kept anonymous.

However, there are certain limitations to cookies. Since Google Analytics rely on cookies to track and identify unique visitors to a particular site, unique visitor IDs must be held persistently in each cookie. This means that everytime users clear their cookies (39%  delete on a monthly basis and that was 2005), they will be recognised again as first-time visitors upon their next visit at the site. With the problem of cookie deletion, data collection of web analytics can never be entirely accurate.

Related: Publishers – When to Use Facebook Instant Articles

Key Metrics To Look Out For

  • Acquisition -> Traffic Sources

Acquisition Traffic Sources Pie Chart

This metric helps website owners to keep an eye on their traffic sources such as organic search, direct, social etc., allowing them to analyse what is the primary source of the total web traffic. Default segments include sessions count, the percentage of new sessions, bounce rate, pages visited per sessions as well as average session duration. You may also consider setting up and define goals to track conversion rates and more.

  • Bounce Rate

Bounce rate Google Analytics

Image Source: Kissmetrics

It is defined as the no. of visitors leaving right after visiting a single page of the website. This also indicates that the visitors who “bounced” has a page per session of one. Bounce rates are typically high on news and lifestyle sites, ranging from 60-80%. Low bounce rate would likely suggest that users are more engaged to the site. On the other hand, a high bounce rate may be due to several causes, e.g. slow site speed, poor content etc.

  • Average Session Duration

Avg Session Duration Google Analytics

It is the average length of time a typical visitor would spend surfing on your site. This would mean that the higher the duration, the more relevant your site is to your visitors. Quoting Bill Gates, content is king. The best strategy to improve average session duration for a website is to curate rich content.

Related: Personal Data Protection – Crucial Importance to your Safety

Google Analytics Alternatives (View on Desktop!)

Criteria/ Brand




Standard – 10,000 People, 1 Site, Full implementation included and 12 Months data retention



Professional – 200,000

People, Unlimited sites, All available features,

Full implementation included and 36 Months data retention, white label and email and phone support


Standard – 10,000 People, 1 Site, Full implementation included and 12 Months data retention


Professional – 200,000

People, Unlimited sites, All available features,


Full implementation included and 36 Months data retention, white label and email and phone support

Standard – $99/Month or $828/ Year (30% Savings)



Professional – $499/Month or $3,500/ Year (30% Savings)


Agencies and Enterprise – Personalised Quotation (depending on the size of agency or enterprise)


Growth – Up to 500 Monthly Tracked People (MTP)* + $100 per 50,000 MTP in Growth to more than 250,000 MTP in Enterprise



Analysing of reports – Metrics, Activity, People, Funnel and Cohort (Featured in Power, Growth and Enterprise)


(A/B Test and SQL are included in Power and Enterprise)


Ranging from 5 Active populations (Growth) up to more than 20 populations in (Enterprise)


Campaigns – Unlimited Profiles and ranging from to 250,000 Email/ month in Growth to more than 1,000,000 emails in Enterprise


Support will consist of Email, In-app chat and phone for all tiers

Dedicated CSM (dedicated support specialist), set-up, onboarding and availability of partner services for all tiers

Growth – $500/Month



Power – $850/Month


Enterprise – Personalised Quotation


Adobe Analytics Select

1) Data warehouse (Storage of all data at one location)

-Ability to request reports that show advanced relationships and opportunities based on long-tail analytics


2) Data enrichment

– Using industry-leading technologies to connect pre-click campaign activity with post-click site engagement.


3) Fallout and Flow Visualisations

– See customer movement at any point in the customer journey

-Create new segments based on selected paths, and compare fallout across segments

Adobe Analytics Prime 

1) Segment Comparison – Identification of new and high-value segments through unlimited dimensional breakdowns


2) Real-time automation – Acting on real-time data automated real-time and rule-based decision-making tools


3) Anomaly Detection –  Identification of a metric that has significantly changed about the previous batch of data

 Adobe Analytics Ultimate 

1) Segment IQ – 

Comparing significant behavioural differences between segments using automated analysis of metrics and dimensions 

2) People Metric – 

Create a comprehensive view of unique visitors using Adobe and non-Adobe data in Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions 

3) 360-degree customer analysis 

– Building of customer profiles with online and offline information

Specialised Quotations


Monthly Tracked People – Monthly Tracked People are unique visitors that engage in an Event on your website or with your product, which gets tracked by you in Kissmetrics.

Population – A powerful way to track and monitor a segment of people. You define Populations based on any profile information or behaviour events, and we automatically track and report on that Population on an ongoing basis

Campaigns – Email campaign automation functionality in Kissmetrics. You can use Campaigns to create and manage the delivery of email campaigns to any customer segments you define.

Related: Unruly – The Best Monetization High CPM Platform for Publishers

Food for thought:

  • How can small and new website owners benefit as well from the use of web analytics tools?
  • How can Google analytics improve further with reference to its competitors?


Google, How Much Data Do You Handle?

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