Businesses Still Using Traffic as Main Indicator of Performance in Google Analytics

Google logoGoogle Analytics is a service that’s been available for many years now. You’d think that businesses went from traffic to other indicators in analyzing their online presence. You’d generally be wrong, as 73% of businesses are still using traffic in their reports, according to a new study.

The DBD Media survey of 50 e-commerce sites showed some other interesting facts. For instance, 67% of websites haven’t integrated social media tracking. This is not very good as it shows companies are not monitoring which piece of their content is shared and where. Let’s not forget that social media monitoring could also prevent companies from getting into a crisis, allowing them to quickly see what is said about them.

73% of businesses don’t track newsletter sign ups or account registrations, even if this could in fact provide a database with customers or potential customers. Another not so flattering finding for the companies is that 33% of websites with on-site search function do not track site search keywords that could in fact help them optimize their online presence.

“Google Analytics is today’s most popular web analytics package for ecommerce businesses. A wealth of companies and agencies rely on it to measure website performance,” said Axelle Ros from DBD Media. “But GA’s ability to extract accurate and insightful data is deeply affected by its initial setup, both in terms of code and interface configuration.”

Another study, the fifth annual Online Measurement and Strategy Report, carried out by Econsultancy in association with Lynchpin, and which surveyed 700 client-side and supply-side respondents, shows the main barriers that stop companies from really using Google Analytics at its best.

The main reason is lack of budget and of resources (50% of the mentions).  Lack of strategy was quoted as second reason, by 31%, and siloed organization / lack of co-ordination came third in the list with 26% of the mentions. 24% of the respondents said that lack of understanding, not knowing what to measure, stops them from using analytics to their full power; lack of senior buy-in and ownership was mentioned by 21%, while 20% mentioned too much data as main reason. Another important reason is the difficulty of finding staff, mentioned by 13% (the same percentage indicating poor technology).

So it would seem that in fact companies have a hard time finding specialized people in this field – as they also said they don’t know what to measure – and money is still the main reason that allows or prevents things from happening. Money makes the world go round, the lyric from the Cabaret song, still rings so true.

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