Niranjan Chatterjee’s Weblog

August 9, 2012

Google Analytics

Filed under: Google Analytics — niranjanchatterjee @ 10:41 am
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Google analytics is the new wonder tool of marketers. They are now religiously utilizing this tool to evaluate their efficiency in attracting real customers to their virtual points of sale. While the points of interaction with virtual customers is set up in the virtual world of internet, the sale is very much real and it generates turnover much like any sale that takes place at a brick and mortar point of sale. As these websites or virtual points of sale as they may be also called are gaining in importance it is being equally important to keep a track on the volume of traffic towards the website and other details such as number of repeat visitors and volumes of purchases made by such visitors and a summary of their tastes and preferences. But before we get into further detail of how Google Analytics works it would be better to briefly discuss the power World Wide Web wields in today’s marketing as that would put the exact impact of this new tool from Google in proper perspective.

This is a networked world where people tend to interact more in the virtual world than in real world. Indeed, the advent of World Wide Web has opened a whole new vista of interaction between individuals where without moving even an inch from one’s seat an individual is able to virtually  move across the world, cross oceans and climb mountains and get in touch with whomsoever they want situated continents away. True, men could contact across continents even before the advent of the web but such interaction was essentially a one-on-one type where the sender and the receiver of information knew each other and desired to interact with each other. But internet opened up a whole new possibility where many-to-many interaction became a reality with everyone carrying on their conversation at the same time while retaining their individual communication lines insulated from other communications being carried on simultaneously. This many-to-many yet one-on-one characteristic of internet interaction has made World Wide Web has made it such a potent tool in the hand of advertisers and marketers.

Now marketers can set up a website which acts as a virtual lounge where potential customers can virtually stroll in, browse through the wares on display and decide on what to buy and what to just gaze and let go of. A website now has the immense potential of being visited by potential customers not from a restricted geographical area but from all over the virtual world. Time, place and distance are no longer hurdles that need to be crossed. Any potential buyer can click on the website at any hour of the day or night and can virtually visit the website which might be interactive, might be not but there is absolutely no necessity of any human presence to manage such visits as would be necessary had it been a brick and mortar showroom or shopping arcade. Moreover, many potential customers can simultaneously visit a website and none would be intruding into others privacy or disturbing in any way

So, marketers all over the world has latched onto this extremely powerful medium of interaction and Google Analytics has become the much preferred tool of monitoring virtual footfalls in virtual points of sale.

It must at this juncture be clarified that mere recording the number of visitors in a particular website would surely indicate the level of its popularity or reach among prospective customers but it would not help a marketer in stocking his website in a more rational or intelligent way. That is, if a marketer does not have any idea about the purchasing pattern and tastes and preferences of visitors it would be next to impossible for them to stock their websites with those items that are most searched for by prospective customers. Google Analytics gives marketers an opportunity to get such detailed data about visits to websites and marketers have understood the power of this new tool and are eagerly lapping up every bit of benefit that this new tool has on offer.

An analysis of traffic to a website and more specifically what is actually attracting traffic and what is not or what has the negative potential of actually diverting traffic away from the website must be accurately known to marketers that have put up the website so that they can plan to advertise their wares accordingly. Google Analytics helps a marketer to track all visitors that have visited the website and the marketer if they feel the need to do so can also directly send mails to all visitors to the website to carry on their interaction at the next higher level.

Google Analytics not only allows marketers to analyze buyer preference but also can evaluate the efficiency of advertisements they put up on the net to attract customers to their websites. By tracking the number of clicks and also the number of conversions from first click on the advertisement right up to the actual sale of the product allows the advertiser to accurately quantify, sometimes in money terms the efficiency or otherwise of an advertisement. This helps marketers to spend their budget in a more focused manner so as to get maximum return out of every dollar spent on advertisement.

With such a specific and accurate measure of return on funds spent on advertisement, marketers have now got a tool to accurately forecast the benefit of advertising and have also got a handle to determine the nature and content of a successful advertising campaign. This will help advertisers much more than one can apparently imagine.

The first benefit would be to immediately identify what works as an advertisement and what does not. The second and equally important benefit marketers are going to gain from this tool is it would help them to demystify the often vague and verbose language used by advertisement professionals about long term gain and creating a brand value and all similar high sounding words that can hardly ever be converted in money terms.

Google Analytics provides marketers with a very potent tool to confront advertising professionals who now have to actually justify each advertisement they have put up and charged money for as each one of such advertisements can now be measured in terms of actual conversions they have been able to achieve.

Even if we assume that advertisement professionals and marketers are not adversaries but comrades in arms fighting to grab a larger market share, Google Analytics has provided both with a very efficient metrics to monitor how efficiently every single dollar is spent on advertising.

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