How much does google analytics cost

ᐅ Google Analytics for beginners: advantages and benefits 2020

The first blog article on the Google Analytics Blog is dated June 15, 2006 and in addition to a warm welcome, this first article refers to the first product update from Google. Not surprisingly, the integration of Google Ads data into Google Analytics. In the meantime, Google Analytics is (probably) the global market leader in the field of digital analytics tools, at least based on the implementations. Builtwith, an American tool provider, currently counts 29,134,826 Google Analytics implementations on its site (as of August 2020).

2020: Update Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has started

On October 14, 2020, Google presented its new version Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This is probably the biggest change to Google Analytics in its entire history. Google has converted its successful web analysis tool to a new technology (Firebase) and thus not only changed how Google Analytics collects data, but also restructured the entire reporting. In our article Entry to the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property you will find all relevant information about GA4, the advantages of Google Analytics 4 and the differences to the classic version of Google Analytics (Universal Analytics). All of the following content relates to Universal Analytics, which will certainly be the standard in web analysis for a while before the migration to GA4.

What are the benefits of Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is basically a free tool that is comparatively easy to integrate on the website. The free version offers extensive analysis options. The focus of the data analysis is on evaluating your own (digital) marketing campaigns, examining the behavior of users on the site and logging target attainments on the website. Google Analytics has many reporting options, strong visualization approaches and allows companies simple but also complex integrations. The many resources, help pages and a very active analytics community support you with questions / problems even without a direct contact from Google. It is not for nothing that Google Analytics reaches millions of implementations worldwide.

 

 

The advantages of Google Analytics in detail?

  • Google Analytics is free: Google Analytics is free of charge for up to 10 million hits per month
  • Google Analytics can be "easily" integrated: Google Analytics can usually be easily implemented via the Tag Manager, various plugins, for example MonsterInsights Plugin (formerly) Yoast on WordPress, or directly in the source code
  • For many, Google Analytics is the standard in web analysis: For many users, Google Analytics is the de facto standard in digital analysis and is used by many German e-commerce companies such as otto.de, mediamarkt, conrad.de, but also by countless publishers and BTB companies
  • Google Analytics is "easy" to use: Very user-friendly => high usage rates => many findings from data
  • Google Analytics has powerful analysis tools: Google Analytics allows many different evaluation options, such as standard reports, dashboards and custom reports
  • Google Analytics has good visualization options: Google Analytics offers many different visualization options with tables, pie charts, comparison charts and pivot tables
  • Administration and user management also allow more complex set-ups: Analytics has extensive administration to optimize set-ups, assign user roles and optimize data quality
  • You can integrate many tools into Google Analytics: There is a very simple integration with other products, such as Google Ads, the Search Console, Google Adsense, DoubleClick or Demographic Data
  • Google Analytics data can be integrated into many tools: You can integrate data from Google Analytics in (SEO) tools such as Sistrix, Searchmetrics, Ryte, ScreamingFrog or in Google Data Studio.
  • Community: Strong Google Analytics community, numerous Google Analytics blogs and forums
  • Google Analytics is a central product of the Google Marketing Platform: Google Analytics integrates with other Google products, such as Google Tag Manager, Google Data Studio (BigQuery), Google Optimize, Surveys and Search Ads
  • There is a premium version with Google Analytics 360: Via Google Analytics 360 there are (not free) Service Level Agreements (SLA), fewer sampling problems, i.e. higher processing limits, as well as support

Here you will find our detailed guide “Everything about segmentation with Google Analytics: use extended and sequential segments like a professional”.

 

Challenges and disadvantages of Google Analytics

At the same time, there are always some challenges when using Google Analytics. These include, among other things

  • Hosting & data protection: Data storage in US
  • Sampling: Very user-friendly in terms of speed, but problematic for segmented analyzes. You can find more about sampling and sample increase with Google Analytics here.
  • Data limits: In the free version, there are countless restrictions and limitations on Google Analytics
  • Real time data: Data are (at least officially) only available with a 24-hour delay.

Special topic: Google Analytics & data protection

Consent Management for Google Analytics

The subject of law is of course in constant flux. According to the ECJ, the BGH decided in May 2020 that website operators need active and informed consent from users in order to set unnecessary cookies on users. Necessary cookies in this definition are cookies that are technically necessary for the operation of a website and its functions, such as a shopping cart function, etc. This means that you need the user's consent to "operate" Google Analytics Collect tracking via Google Analytics. Tracking is not a necessary cookie. You want to know more about this topic, then you can also find more information here, such as that

Want to learn more about Google Analytics ?: We have a number of videos on our Youtube channel. We also have a course with which you can learn Google Analytics online, if you want even with a degree as a Google Analytics Professional or of course our Google Analytics seminar

What are the most relevant restrictions in Google Analytics?

In the following there are a number of restrictions and limitations when using Google Analytics. These are structured according to administrative restrictions, data restrictions, restrictions

Account, property and data view restrictions

There is a limit of:

  • 100 Google accounts
  • a maximum of 50 properties per Google account
    • in turn, there is a maximum of 20 user-defined dimensions in each property
    • and a maximum of 20 custom metrics
  • a maximum of 25 data views per property
    • here again a maximum of 20 destinations per data view
    • 5 calculated measured values ​​per data view
    • 20 dashboards per data view
    • 5 content groupings per data view

More information about the administrative restrictions can be found here on Google.

 


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Restrictions and Limitations on Data

Other restrictions also relate to the amount of data to be processed and the limits on sampling data within GA

  • Maximum of 10 million hits per month: In the free version, there is a limit of 10 million hits per month per property. The hits include, for example, page views, events, but also e-commerce transaction hits. How high the monthly hit volume is consumed per month can be found in the settings at the property level. For example, we used “17 301,752” hits as of December. We have put together more about your property hit volume here.
  • Sampling from 500,000 sessions: In the free version, sampling is carried out whenever it does not refer to standard reports (without segments, table filters, etc.). Sampling occurs from 500,000 sessions at property level. In comparison, the paid version does not sample until more than 100 million sessions, but this is better at the data view level. The specified number of sessions always refers to the selected period. Note: For all flow reports: user flow, behavior flow, event flow and the goal flow, the sampling actually starts at 100,000 sessions. More about sampling and the methodology of Google Analytics can be found here.
  • 1% sample for side timings: For the Page Timings report, 1% of all page views are evaluated by default for large pages (refers to the property level). The following table shows in detail how this data is collected. This sample can be increased in the source code or via the Google Tag Manager.
    • ga ('create', 'UA-XXXX-Y', {'siteSpeedSampleRate': 100});
  • More information on the sitespeed sample rate can also be found here:

What is the difference between the free version and Google Analytics 360?

Most companies use the free version of Google Analytics. But especially for companies that consume more than the 10 million hits per month mentioned, that need access to raw data, that require service level agreements and contact persons for Google Analytics, GA in the paid version is almost indispensable. There are very detailed checklists online that compare the GA travelcard with the paid variant. Very good checklists for comparison can be found here at:

The price for the paid version starts with up to 1 billion hits per month from € 105,000 per year (current knowledge). According to Google, billing takes place on a monthly basis. The main differences lie in one

  • faster processing of the data: 4 hours instead of 24 hours as in the free version
  • More dimensions and measurements: 2oo instead of 20 user-defined dimensions and measurements
  • More calculated readings: instead of 5 calculated measured values ​​per data view, the paid version has 50 calculated measured values ​​per data view - see also here
  • integration: A link to Salesforce is possible in the Google Analytics 360 version
  • Data sampling: For non-standard reports in the free version, 500,000 sessions are calculated at property level (based on the period). with Google Analytics 360 100 million sessions at data view level for the defined period
  • Target funnel: In the 360 ​​version there are individual funnel definitions. Events in a target funnel can also be used here; in the free version this is only possible on the basis of page views. Tip:In the free version, you may have to work with virtual page views as a solution
  • Attribution: In addition to the standard multi-channel funnel reports and the attribution tool in Google Analytics, the 360 ​​version also offers data-driven attribution as an option.

 

Digital Analytics and Google Analytics

Before we perhaps deal with the Google Analytics tool in more detail, I would like to classify the tool in an overall context of digital analysis. The goal is to use this tool so effectively that you not only collect numbers, but also derive real insights to optimize your business model.

Why digital analytics?

Definition of digital analytics: The aim of digital analytics is to collect, analyze, interpret and visualize the data to understand in detail the behavior of users on your website, but also on apps and mobile websites. Even if the focus of web analysis tools has so far been on the behavior of users, according to the Forrester Wave from Q3 2017, in the future it will also be more and more about using the collected data to personalize the user experience, to collect the collected data in a data warehouse and to integrate web analysis with “online testing technologies”. Furthermore, a complete digital analysis, but also as a basis, includes an understanding of corporate goals and the competitive environment in order to understand the entire context of the company.

From data to real insights: digital analytics in 4 steps

Step 1: goal analysis

The foundation for the success of digital analysis is the analysis of the company's goals and what role does the website play in fulfilling the goals? Any analysis should create a link between the User behavior on the website and the fundamental business goals of a business.

Every website (or app) should therefore help to achieve 3 goals

  • Sales growth
  • Cost savings
  • Increase customer satisfaction

Analysis on two levels

  • Macro conversion: The main goals of the company -> (transactions / seminar registrations / contact requests, dealer searches carried out)
  • Micro conversions: Intermediate goals that users should achieve on your website, which can lead to a macro goal in the medium or long term (newsletter, configurator operated, product video viewed ...)

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Step 2: quantitative analysis

the quantitative analysis of data using web analysis tools such as Google Analytics, Matomo (Piwik) or tool providers such as Webtrekk etc. Examples of questions could be asked here

  • Which pages have users viewed?
  • What sources do the users come from?
  • How high is the bounce rate for individual landing pages?
  • How many conversions did the users make?

Note: Are you more interested in Matomo? Then the 121WATT Matomo (Piwik) seminar may be of interest to you!

Step 3: Qualitative analysis of users

Through the qualitative of users, we gain a deeper understanding of the motivations and behavior of our users and develop further approaches and questions for test scenarios on our website. Tools that are helpful here, for example:

  • Live user surveys, for example with https://rapidusertests.com
  • User Videos - Clicktale
  • Heatmaps - Crazyegg
  • Survey Tools - Survey Monkey or Google Survey

Step 4: Competitor Analysis

Competitor analysis tools such as:

  • Sistrix or Searchmetrics for analysis in the area of ​​search engine optimization
  • SEMrush for the analysis in AdWords but also approaches directly in Google AdWords
  • Similarweb for a general online marketing audit

Only from this comprehensive analysis does digital analytics not only produce data or metrics, but also a real deep understanding of your own users and the market environment.

How do I integrate Google Analytics?

Technical implementation

There are different approaches to integrating Google Analytics on your own site.

  • (1) Integration directly in the source code
  • (2) Integration via plugins (e.g. WordPress)
  • (3) Integration via the Google Tag Manager

(1) Integration directly in the source code

The possibility, as at least in the past Google Analytics came on its own side, was the integration directly in the source code. Google recommends the integration in three steps, I have added two more steps here so that you can check straight away whether the integration sends data to you. And the last step describes one way you can check that all of your pages are postponed.

(2) Integration via plugins, such as with WordPress

Another option is to have your Google Analytics installed via a WordPress plugin. One of the most popular plugins is the Yoast SEO plugin. In the meantime, however, Yoast has relocated all of its Google Analytics functionality to the MonsterInsights plugin. You can find out how you integrate Google Analytics here. But please always remember: If you install Google Analytics via (e.g.) plugins, it is essential to check whether you have implemented Google Analytics in another way. Please check immediately after the integration whether

  • You even receive data (Google real-time reports)
  • what happens to default values ​​like the GA bounce rate.Note: We have written a very detailed article on Google Analytics and the bounce rate here. The bounce rate is a good indicator to check the reliability of your data.