Google Analytics is a fantastic website performance platform but due to limitations in how it implements anonymity and data storage, it can’t do everything.
What Google Analytics is great for
We really love using Google Analytics for website performance analysis and optimization. It does a great job at finding bottlenecks on websites and seeing high-level performance per channel. It has easy integration with some platforms like Google Ads, Google Search Console, 3rd party call tracking platforms, email platforms, and there are a million ways of deploying GA tracking code to a website.
With GA4, many website user behaviors can be automatically tracked, like scroll tracking, video watch tracking, site search, etc, making it easier to see how to optimize the website. GA4 is also great for cross-platform tracking between apps and websites.
What Google Analytics is not great for
Because it’s primarily a website-focused analytics platform Google Analytics is all about aggregate data, not tracking individuals. Sampling, aggregate, anonymous data is the norm.
Without getting too crazy with your GA setup, you’ll get some duplicate conversions. If a prospect calls and has an offline conversion on a 3rd party call tracking platform sent over to GA and then later fills in a form, you may see 2 unique conversions tracked instead of just 1.
These duplicate conversions are part of what causes over-reporting conversions, which can be a problem. If you’re busy reporting that you sent 50 leads to your client in a month but their sales manager hasn’t seen more than 25, they won’t see you as a source of truth, they’ll think you’re full of BS. Leads need to be filtered well and de-duplicated as much as possible so that they’re accurate.
The biggest gap in Google Analytics is closing the loop between marketing and sales. If the client has eCommerce, this can be a pretty easy setup, but many clients aren’t eCommerce and instead they close deals in their CRM. CRMs generally don’t report sales back to Google Analytics.
What ActiveDEMAND Agency Reporter is better for
Real buyer journeys. With ActiveDEMAND Agency Reporter, you can report on both aggregate data as well as individual buyer journeys. Reporting on specific buyer journeys adds credibility and makes it easy for clients to see the impact of marketing.
More built-in and integrated conversion points deployed fast. With call tracking built-in and other platforms that connect on each individual instead of in aggregate, it’s easier to track more conversions and track the conversion back to the source. With tracking on the individual level, you get fewer duplicate conversions than with Google Analytics alone. You can also cut down the time to onboarding new clients because it’s super quick to get tracking:
- Phone calls with built-in call tracking
- Form fills through your existing web forms
- Live chats through Olark, Crisp, and SiteStaff
Get revenue per channel through CRM. Agency Reporter makes it easy to get CRM deal data back into marketing and tracked to conversion sources. Because Agency Reporter can natively connect to so many CRMs, your agency can rely on the flexibility to close the sales-marketing loop with more clients. This means you can get real revenue stats back into Google Ads, connected through the GCLID. Pull deal data from:
- Microsoft Dynamics
- FreshSales CRM
Why Not Both?
In reality, most agencies will deploy both Google Analytics and ActiveDEMAND Agency Reporter together because Google Analytics is fantastic for getting website-specific insights, while Agency Reporter is key at delivering insights on leads. Since Agency Reporter can both push and pull data from Google Analytics, you can add your favorite Google Analytics tables and reports to your Agency Reporter dashboards and scheduled email reports: cutting down on the time required to build reports.