Sitecore Analytics v Google Analytics

Sitecore Analytics v Google Analytics
4th September 2015

Sitecore Analytics or Google Analytics - head to head

Sitecore Analytics and Google Analytics (GA) are valuable digital marketing tools. They provide data analysis and reporting to measure website performance and marketing campaign effectiveness. Campaigns can then be optimised to be more successful.

Whilst Sitecore Analytics and Google Analytics are similar tools there are a number of notable differences. The tools can complement each other well and each offers a number of different advantages:

Sitecore Analytics Features

 Sitecore Analytics boast a number of advantages to digital marketers:

  • Free with a Sitecore license.
  • Built into the Sitecore platform. You get real time analytics
  • Works in conjunction with other the Sitecore marketing tools particularly the Sitecore AIDA framework.
    • Analysis
      • A/B & M/V testing
      • Goal tracking through scored content lets you know how engaged an individual customer is
      • Experience analytics – Learn which campaigns or channels are underperforming
      • Path analysis – see how are visitors navigating your site. What content works and what doesn’t?
  • Insights – Sitecore builds a detailed profile for each individual that engages with your brand. You’ll know the emails they’ve responded to, which of your sites and pages they’ve visited and even any social mentions
  • Decisions – predictive marketing, customer segmentation, personalisation and content testing let you decide the best experiences for your customers
  • Automation – Real time analytics can automate your conversations with customers across any channel

There are a number potential improvements that could be made to Sitecore Analytics:

  • interface isn’t as intuitive as GA
  • Like any complex tool it takes time to set up

Sitecore is the world leading customer experience platform. Its success has been built on the way it collects and uses individual customer data. Its analytics let you really drill down into every single customer.

Google Analytics Features

The Google Analytics platform has a number of positive features:

  • It’s free
  • Most marketers have used it and will be familiar with its features. And even if you’re not its user interface is appealing, intuitive and easy to use
  • There’s a wealth of information available from google and other marketing sites or blogs
  • It sits within the Google sphere of products. This means it’s tightly integrated with other Google products like AdWords
  • You can set up goals for conversion activities or tasks

There are number of drawbacks with Google Analytics compared to Sitecore Analytics:

  • As it isn’t a server side operation there’s a slight delay in receiving data. Also data may not be completely accurate. Visitors can ‘turn off’ tracking in Google so GA won’t pick them up
  • Google Analytics is hamstrung by Google’s privacy policy. It can’t report on personal data such as the details entered into a form
  • It’s not session based.

Google Analytics can be extended using its API but this requires significant development effort. Because it sits outside of your platform you will struggle to achieve the level of integration possible with Sitecore Analytics.

Should I use Sitecore Analytics or Google Analytics?

Any digital marketer with Sitecore Analytics at their fingertips is in an enviable position. However to be best in your market you should use both tools. They’re different products that suit different circumstances. Both are market leaders at what they offer.

Sitecore lets you look deeply into individual customers and measure their engagement with your brand. Across whatever device they’re using. You can get a level of detail that’s simply not available with GA. Plus you can use the data collected to automate and personalise content on the fly.

Google Analytics is easy to set up and use. And it’s great for reporting on your headline metrics – Site visitors, sessions, bounce rate, audience breakdown and acquisition etc.

Kagool is one of the UK’s leading Sitecore partners. We’ve lots more information on Sitecore Analytics so get in touch if you want to find out more. If you’re new to Sitecore we offer a free Sitecore demo.