Delete Google Analytics - a Crazy Idea you MUST consider

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 Presentation from BrightonSEO, April, 2014, by Ammon Johns that caused some buzz, and some thinking. Updated 25 April 2014 with extra slides to give more of the presentation that was spoken and implicit, but not directly written in the original slides.

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Delete Google Analytics Here is a Crazy Idea First, a Sanity Check Yes, Google Analytics has many advantages It is an incredibly easy option It is the most widely used analytics package It integrates superbly with AdWords Its FREE! The Easy Option Because: It is easy to install on-site It is easy to share access to It is easy to convince clients to use There are free articles helping you use it better Like IBM, nobody gets fired for suggesting it Some Equally Sane Counter-Points These factual downsides wont make you swap... The most common is the most blocked Your data has value you should not give away Javascript based tracking is the worst Javascript is especially poor on mobile Prepare for the insane reasons Since I already know that the sane, rational, factual counter-points never convince anyone to change it is time for the crazy ideas By crazy, I mean insanely smart! Google Analytics is Hurting You Using G.A. is bad for your business GA is easy In business, the easy way is usually bodging Clients pay you to do good work, not easy Business value is in doing the hard things well. You make it easy for the client, not yourself. GA being easy is Googles advantage, not yours. GA is widely used Widely used is the first to be blocked Mass market product There is no USP in being/doing the same By using defaults, you lose having an edge GA is not actually a great product Log-files are better, but clunky Many other tracking solutions had better features: Crazy Egg Click Tracks Nedstat / Digital Analytix Server Mods to write logs to database GA is not really free Google is buying your data The real cost is an opportunity cost It costs you a USP opportunity It costs you a value opportunity It costs you a learning opportunity But deleting GA is insane! 1. Do I know what Im asking? 2. Do I know what it costs? 3. Am I totally insane? Yes, No, and what does that matter as long as Im right? What I am Asking Mostly, I am asking you to think. Think about USP, about Value Dont use Google Analytics only because you have never properly evaluated alternatives Think about what you could do Full data warehousing Smarter information capturing Sites that can react to data Better data and analytics Client lock-in through superior stats What will it cost? I dont know, but neither do you. It will cost time and effort (But not as much as youd fear) It is a very, very justifiable investment If you are not willing to invest time and effort in your business, how long will you have one? Am I insane? No, Im eccentric Thats a term applied to those of us who may be crazy, but are highly and enviably successful with it. The thing is, the idea is not insane. It is one of those big ideas that is scary because it involves stepping off the well trodden path and being creative and innovative. The USP The minute I told anyone what my presentation was about - asking them to delete Google Analytics - they had to know why. They were hooked, instantly, by curiosity. That could be you talking at your next client pitch Alone, it wont sell you, but I guarantee that they will listen to every word you say and not forget you. If the rest of your pitch is good, this one decision will get it heard and remembered. Think about this fundamentally: You tell clients that data and analytics are important Yet you yourself follow everyone else, without thought. You dont bother to differentiate on this most important aspect. You use the exact same system as the worst offshore company of clueless wannabes out there. WTF? There are hundreds of alternatives There are paid alternatives for those who really believe data is fundamentally important - enough to consider investing in. And there are free alternatives for those who let cost decide and define what analytics solution is best. Tell us alternatives! Tell us what to use! Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves! Im not going to tell you what to use Im pointing out two absolutely unquestionable facts 1. There are better alternatives. That GA is not the best is unquestioned. 2. You should be aware of them You should be continually keeping up to date on what solutions there are and deciding to use GA on a case by case basis because it is the right solution not by default. GIGO - analytics needs thought How are you tracking people without cookies? How are you tracking cross-device usage? How are you tracking repeat customers? How are you tracking referrals? There are many questions you need to be asking and by accepting Googles definition of analytics you fail to find or devise your own definitions. Flaws in Analytics Need Thought Tracking visits is simply tracking hits on pages You should be tracking, measuring and managing things relating to engagement. This part is where javascript excels - adding depth of data Track who scrolled your page past X point Track who had your page have tab focus for 60 seconds Any package is a definition Any solution is someone elses definition and answer. No package that you install and accept without thought is good. The point is to think about data, how it is collected, how to get more or better data. Making your own, even out of other solutions with tweaks, gets you thinking, and improves your results Reasons to Delete GA You can have a much better solution You can unleash your creativity You can have a USP with client lock-in You can help remind Google whos boss You can have a better, stronger business Thanks for Listening Lets discuss it! Questions and Comments Please Ammon Johns, Internet Marketing Consultant Twitter: @Ammon_Johns Web: www.ammonjohns.com

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