Google Analytics - yea or nay?

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Morticia

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Does anyone here NOT have GA installed on their website?

I never use it and I keep getting emails from Google to update this and that code. Does anyone have any verified research that Google cares one way or the other about being able to track what goes on with your website traffic? IE- if I remove the code will Google take offense?
 

Arks

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I honestly cannot remember! I used it years ago then forgot about it. I never get emails from them, so maybe I turned it off years ago.
 

gillumhouse

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I have it, it is too much information for me to fixate on so I never look. The ONLY messages I get for Google regularly are - you are out of storage. Pay us x.xx for more storage. and then they proceed to tell me I can no longer use gmail and the list of google products that require storage. I never use my gmail (cannot remember my password even) so I am NOT paying them another penny. As much as I use my iPhone, I had to bite the bullet to pay Apple another .99 + tax per month.
 

Morticia

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I have it, it is too much information for me to fixate on so I never look. The ONLY messages I get for Google regularly are - you are out of storage. Pay us x.xx for more storage. and then they proceed to tell me I can no longer use gmail and the list of google products that require storage. I never use my gmail (cannot remember my password even) so I am NOT paying them another penny. As much as I use my iPhone, I had to bite the bullet to pay Apple another .99 + tax per month.
I know this is sidetracking, but I have never gotten messages from Google about gmail storage problems. That is odd.
 

JimBoone

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Does anyone here NOT have GA installed on their website?
I have it installed, at some point may update the code, but Christmas holidays don't allow much play time. Like the rest of you, I suppose it is good information, but beyond my understanding for the most part. Once had another little program when hosted with another provider that provided less info in a simple fashion, I found it more useful for me as just an average guy.

Storage: I think all the services are nice, but can be a pain. Have iPhone, iPad, Windows computer, tried to use their storage plan, but I'm on my daughters cell plan so it seems Apple can't charge me, only the daughter, Nope doesn't work for me. Looked at Google, think I have, but don't use them on my phone. Best for my use seemed to be Microsoft One Drive, somewhat costly, but gives me a running backup in case of computer failure and I can look at most of my computer files and pictures from my phone.
 

KenW

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I have 2 businesses my lodge I don't use Google advertising "ad words" my other I spend a good amount of money with Google promoting my business. I do get call calls all the time from people on another continent. I believe the only motivation is to figure out a way for me to spend more money advertising.
 

GoodScout

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The only report I use from GA is the "Source" and "Medium" report. Every time one of the listing websites or other services call me up for my annual renewal, I pull how many clickthroughs I've received from their site in the past 12 months and decide if it's worth it. On one occasion, I used the data to negotiate a better rate.
 

Forfeng

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If this helps at all, Google has a free Analytics help learning site for learning more about GA. its much better than most of the online courses honestly (and it's free, so a big plus) Google Analytics Academy
 

Momma Smurf

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In normal times, I check GA every day, sometimes more than once a day. It's important to create custom reports. All of these reports appear on a single page of my Dashboard. Easily accessible: Visits and Bounce rate per Source/Medium is very important as GoodScout mentioned. Also Bounce Rate, Visits by City Ave Session Length #Pages Viewed, Returning Visitors, Landing Page Users and Time on Page, Pageviews and %Exit per Page, Entrances and Bounce Rate per Browser. And of course, you can compare any of these reports to past performance for any intervals.
 

scottcrumpton

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Hey all,

I'll try to answer some of the questions here. If I miss something please fire away with further questions as GA (Google Analytics) is my bailiwick and we rely on the data from it daily to help our clients make smarter marketing decisions.

Google would love everyone to use GA as they use the data for their own purposes. The only thing they've said they won't use it for is ranking a website in their index. I'm quite positive they use it in a million other ways though to improve their services and make more money. For innkeepers though, the benefits outweigh any perceived negatives and since the majority of the world uses it, by not using it you're simply at a disadvantage.

That said, a little knowledge is dangerous so if you don't know how to properly interpret the data you could make some wrong assumptions. As a for instance, I've seen marketers tell innkeepers that a low conversion ratio metric (lots of visitors to your website but very few reservations) in GA means your website isn't very effective. The problem is when you're at 100% occupancy for a given day, your conversation ratio for that guest will be 0% so it's a misleading metric and completely useless when used in this way.

Can it be used to track the effectiveness of a B&B directory? Yes, it can and that's a great use for it as GoodScout already mentioned. Taking that a step further, if you set up E-Commerce tracking with a compatible booking engine you can track the dollar amount of a reservation back to the original referrer (the website they were looking at when they clicked on a link to your website). So when that directory makes a sales call you can tell them exactly how much you made from them. Well, "about" how much as you have to extrapolate the data. Meaning, if 50% of your reservations are by telephone you'd likely want to double the number you're seeing.

As for Google stating you need more space, that's an easy fix as most likely your Gmail account is full and you just need to delete some stuff. If you use Google Drive that can affect it as well but again, it's easy to clean it out.

In a nutshell, then, use GA if you want or don't, it doesn't really matter. It can be exceptionally beneficial though especially if you have someone to interpret the data correctly.

Enjoy and ask away,

Scott

Scott Crumpton, CEO
White Stone Marketing
 

scottcrumpton

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Momma Smurf, those are all decent quality metrics but they become largely useless (or at least, secondary) once you have e-commerce tracking hooked up. What booking engine are you using as not all have upgraded their systems to work properly with Google Analytics E-Commerce Tracking?

I've spent over a decade trying to convince them all and even wrote the code for some of them but some are more stubborn than others.

Scott
 

gillumhouse

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Hey all,

I'll try to answer some of the questions here. If I miss something please fire away with further questions as GA (Google Analytics) is my bailiwick and we rely on the data from it daily to help our clients make smarter marketing decisions.

Google would love everyone to use GA as they use the data for their own purposes. The only thing they've said they won't use it for is ranking a website in their index. I'm quite positive they use it in a million other ways though to improve their services and make more money. For innkeepers though, the benefits outweigh any perceived negatives and since the majority of the world uses it, by not using it you're simply at a disadvantage.

That said, a little knowledge is dangerous so if you don't know how to properly interpret the data you could make some wrong assumptions. As a for instance, I've seen marketers tell innkeepers that a low conversion ratio metric (lots of visitors to your website but very few reservations) in GA means your website isn't very effective. The problem is when you're at 100% occupancy for a given day, your conversation ratio for that guest will be 0% so it's a misleading metric and completely useless when used in this way.

Can it be used to track the effectiveness of a B&B directory? Yes, it can and that's a great use for it as GoodScout already mentioned. Taking that a step further, if you set up E-Commerce tracking with a compatible booking engine you can track the dollar amount of a reservation back to the original referrer (the website they were looking at when they clicked on a link to your website). So when that directory makes a sales call you can tell them exactly how much you made from them. Well, "about" how much as you have to extrapolate the data. Meaning, if 50% of your reservations are by telephone you'd likely want to double the number you're seeing.

As for Google stating you need more space, that's an easy fix as most likely your Gmail account is full and you just need to delete some stuff. If you use Google Drive that can affect it as well but again, it's easy to clean it out.

In a nutshell, then, use GA if you want or don't, it doesn't really matter. It can be exceptionally beneficial though especially if you have someone to interpret the data correctly.

Enjoy and ask away,

Scott

Scott Crumpton, CEO
White Stone Marketing
Thank you
 

dumitru

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If you look at Google Analytics data and just pay attention to numbers like number of visitors, then you're just wasting your time.
I have websites (and client websites) where some unrelated page is one of the top traffic sources. But because the page is irrelevant, it skews the overall picture.
So you got 100 visitors yesterday, but 95 of them came to that unrelated (and useless) page.

So Scott is right, you should look at conversions (if you're using a proper booking engine) and at bounce rates.
Combined with the data from Google Search Console, you can find ways to make gradual improvements to your traffic and conversion rates.

This all sounds like fancy mumbo jumbo, but in reality it's quite simple to grasp.

P.S. If you decide to Google Analytics, you probably have to mention that on the Privacy Policy page, if you care about that sort of stuff.
 
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