Google Analytics vs. the world (the world of other Web Analytics packages that is).

From my previous two posts on what's wrong with Google Analytics and Flash web sites, you may have become accustomed to seeing the Mad Analyst as a truly Mad Man.

That won't be the case in this post, because I am madly in love, and want to let the world know about it!

I want to declare my allegiance to the future king of Web Analytics applications, Google Analytics. OK, that may be overdoing it a bit. Google Analytics isn’t the end all be all (there are still several places where it can improve) but it’s damn close and they never stop trying. And best of all? It’s free. Yes, FREE.

Google Analytics is such an excellent tool that it is our standard practice to add the Google Analytics tracking code to the web site of every client we have; even if it is not the primary tool that client uses for web metrics. But it doesn’t take long until it is.

Here are the top 3 reasons why I love Google Analytics:

1) If you read my last rant, you know I can’t stand creating pages that have no purpose other than to count traffic by a particular source. That’s not the job of a page. The GA method for tracking campaigns is straightforward and can be done in seconds (I use it several times a day, so I should know). You don’t have to go through some lengthy campaign set up process within the tool (I’m looking at you HitBox) you just need to have a plan for how you want to drill down into the data you’ll receive.

You can simply go to Google Analytics URL builder and plug in your variables – voila you have a tracking string to add to your URL. If you want to tag multiple campaigns at a time, the logic is so straightforward that I was able to set up an Excel process to create multiple strings in a matter of minutes; which can be an awesome thing if your client has 20 different Friendly URLs out there in the print world.

And now, when you look at your traffic sources, you can see what traffic came from these campaigns. You don’t have to wade through “referring sites” or guess the percentage of direct traffic. And you don’t have to count page views for fake pages. It’s all right there.

2) Advanced segments (Enough said)

3) Hmmm, I thought I had one more reason why everyone should add the GA tracking code to their site regardless of what else they use.

Oh yeah – IT’S FREE!