If you feel you’ve outgrown Google Analytics Free and want to learn more about Google Analytics Premium (now called 360), you may be in for a surprise. It will cost you upwards of $150k per year! If you are bringing in a few million in sales per year, this may not be a big deal to spend for the extra insight this will afford you (see here). However there are other types of analytics tools that complement Google Analytics Free for a substantially cheaper price. They are not Google Analytics alternatives. However, they do much more than simply expand upon what GA offers, such as guaranteed data freshness, unlimited data, unsampled supporting, and support. Instead they compliment Google Analytics with different types of insights.
One such product which we will discuss here is StickyAnalytics which starts at $29 with Enterprise level plans in the hundreds to the low thousands. Below we will highlight some of Google Analytics’ Free key features and then explain how StickyAnalytics may be used in conjunction with them to derive additional and new insights.
Google Analytics Feature: Geo Info
See the Language and Location of your users. Check the website traffic coming from each location using Google Analytics premium. There is a nice map that uses color gradients so you can be tracking where your users are most concentrated. This will let you better target your marketing. The language info corresponds to what users have set on their browsers.
StickyAnalytics Complementary Feature(s): Surveys
Create a survey to send to a high concentration user location to better understand what makes your site so appealing to that specific geography. Then perhaps you could use this info to try to bring that same “magic” to other geographies, or perhaps you wish to select/develop additional products/content for those high concentration areas.
Google Analytics Feature: Behavior Flow
This greatly expands upon Google Analytics’ basic behavioral website statistics such as website page views. Here you see what pages user’s first land on when they enter your site, how long they stayed on a page, and what page flows were most popular. You can also see what page they exited on using the Google Analytics. The idea here is that you probably have a preconceived notion of how users navigate through your site and you may have even tried to engineer it so they move through a certain way. Behavior flow is constantly tracking online these movements and lets you know with certainty what path(s) are most popular.
StickyAnalytics Complementary Feature(s): Visitor Recordings, Feedback Polls
StickyAnalytics goes a layer deeper behavior-wise. While Google Analytics premium lets you see website traffic reports showing how users navigate between pages, StickyAnalytics helps you to figure out why. StickyAnalytics does this by tracking user interactions and letting you view actual user sessions so you can watch what they do on any page they navigate to on your site. If you see any drop offs or bottlenecks but can’t figure out why this is occurring even after watching user recordings, you can implement StickyAnalytics’ Feedback Polls. Feedback Polls are unobtrusive popup windows where you can ask users simple questions such as, “Is there any info missing from this page?”
Google Analytics Feature: Technology
Find out each user’s browser and OS with Google Analytics premium. This info may help you to spot if there are any issues with a browser/device type or OS. You can also see what type of device a user is on whether it be a desktop, mobile or tablet. You might suspect a technology is causing an issue if the number of signups using a particular technology are not representative of the number of users that come to your site. However there would be no good way to validate this hypothesis.
StickyAnalytics Complementary Feature(s): Visitor Recordings
Visitor recordings is a type of web tracking that lets you see not only what users are doing, but tells you what type of device they are watching on, as well as browser and IOS. Furthermore when you watch individual recordings, you will see the screen as the user sees it, so you will see if it doesn’t look good on any device. And although StickyAnalytics may be tracking all users’ interactions with your site, you won’t need to go through tons of recordings if you know what devices/OS you want to see screen rendering on. You can filter the recordings by technology and watch only those that match the one(s) you wish to check. You may also want to use this info in Adwords to limit the devices on which your ad appears.
Google Analytics Feature: Campaigns
If you are running a campaign, so long as you append proper code to the URL you are having someone click on to come to your site, Google Analytics premium premium can measure the effectiveness of this campaign. This will work whether you use Google Adwords or any other type of advertising such as Facebook, or if you simply want to be tracking organic traffic to your new landing page.
StickyAnalytics Complementary Feature(s): Conversion Funnels, Form Analysis, Visitor Recordings
Although Google Analytics can tell you what sources of traffic are converting best for any goal(s) you have configured (eg. purchased product, entered email, downloaded an ebook), it will not tell you why. To further delve into why some traffic sources convert better than others, again, StickyAnalytics can help. In fact, in this case, there a bunch of StickyAnalytics features that would be helpful. Firstly, both StickyAnalytics and Google Analytics have Conversion funnels so you could use either one to be tracking bottlenecks as well as a traffic monitor of sorts for each part of the funnel. If it looks like a page with a form might be causing the issue, you can use StickyAnalytics’ Form Analysis feature which gives form-specific reporting and analytics. This includes stats on every field in a form such as the time user spent on each field, what fields were filled in and their values, even if the user quits halfway through or used invalid field data. Such might be the case if you created a form with a phone field that accepted only American phone numbers and someone from Japan tried entering his phone number. If you still can’t get to the bottom of this you can also look at recordings, with results filtered by that specific bottleneck page.
Google Analytics Feature: Site Speed
This feature of Google Analytics gives you stats as to how fast your pages are loading and even gives you recommendations as how to improve this speed. Site speed is important when it comes to SEO for website traffic rankings and also on Adwords where you will still be charged for the click even if an impatient user doesn’t wait for the page to load before leaving.
StickyAnalytics Complementary Feature(s): Feedback Polls
If you are not sure if your page is too slow, it can’t hurt to use Google Analytics’ site speed technology and then try some of Google Analytics’ optimization suggestions. However not all may be easy or inexpensive. After you go for the low hanging fruit suggestions, maybe you don’t need to implement any more suggestions because you think your site is fast enough. How do you know for sure if it is? Use a StickyAnalytics Feedback Poll and ask something like “Quick question, do our site pages load quickly enough”.
Google Analytics Feature: Events
Events are action items on your site that you have marked for Google Analytics to be tracking. For example being able to see exactly which links on your website were clicked or buttons were pressed and the number of times each occurred. This especially useful in measuring the effectiveness of click through rates when advertising with Adwords or other similar software.
StickyAnalytics Complementary Feature(s): Heat Maps, Visitor Recordings
StickyAnalytics also tracks events, but what’s really cool is that in the recordings playback page, you can filter to see recordings only of those users that have taken a particular action and then go watch them perform that action. In addition there are some “events” that Google Analytics can’t capture that StickyAnalytics can. For example if some users think an image is clickable and it’s not, you would never know from Google Analytics that most users try to click on this image and assume it is clickable. You would know this is happening if you were to use heat maps. Heat Maps shows for a particular page by using color gradients where users are clicking their mouse and where they are simply hovering. You may be surprised to find what parts of a page users find most interesting.
So in summary you can see how valuable both Google Analytics and StickyAnalytics are when used together. So we believe you will find purchasing StickyAnalytics to be well worth the price and if you don’t need Google Analytics Premium (360), you will have saved yourself a lot of money.