Hooked on Google Analytics
Last week, Josh and I had the pleasure of spending 3 days at Google HQ with other GAACs learning about new and upcoming features and tools, as well as how our peers are utilizing all that Google as to offer. Some of what was covered is now included on the GA site and our blog, and other stuff is, well, coming soon. Sorry... can’t blog about the super secret stuff.
It was easy to see why Google was ranked the best place to work. Free food (everywhere), the gym, dogs at work, and onsite oil changes are all great perks. Josh and I especially liked the communal bikes! This is post, however, is really about what struck me most about our time at Google:
Vint Cerf is amazing. Hearing him talk about the beginning and future of the internet was just plain cool. I did get a warm fuzzies when he mentioned he got his PhD from my alma mater. He was inspiring.
As if hiring the “father of the internet” wasn’t enough, Google demonstrates its commitment to providing the world with online tools that are accessible (free!) and easy to use. Sure, it’s a business, and about ad revenue, but their tools – from AdSense and Adwords Editor to Website Optimizer and Analytics – truly democratize online marketing. EVERYONE has the ability to perfect their websites and their ad campaigns.
Google recognizes getting it right takes time and energy. That’s why they -- and our -- clients need help. Google listened to its users and customers, and specifcally regarding GA, their latest enhancements reflect their commitment to address GA’s earlier limitations. My favorite additions are custom reporting and the API, though motion charts did get a “wow” out of me.
These are all wonderful tools, but the fun part for me is doing what no computer can. It’s using data, fancy charts and graphs to “tell a story”, to communicate the success (or shortcomings) of our online marketing programs to clients. Using the data to ensure our clients make smart marketing decisions. No more “hail mary’s”, especially when marketing dollars are hard to come by.
The data will only get you so far and thanks to Google, we now have better data than ever before; but, it’s what you do with the data that’s going to separate you from others.