E N Brown
said 1 year, 2 months ago:
OH!pinion (not a popular one either *sigh) —
I use Google Analytics very sparingly. Always have. Putting all a clients eggs in one big basket is too narrow a view to do any serious SEO work. There are too many (in many ways better) alternatives out there to depend on a company that has such a huge stake in your (or your clients) business endeavors.
GA is riddled with problems too – inaccuracy in the numbers means skewed stats and that is of pretty much NO use for serious business. If a client is using AdWords, sure, Google Analytics can be a great tool. I don’t recommend PPC though as a viable marketing plan for a lot of clients as budget restraints preclude it’s use.
Since Google IS the largest SE and marketing venue on the planet it’s wise to look and keep track of what they do, but NOT always necessary to rely on what they report.
I recommend the use of GA for some purposes but have many other (more reliable) means of gathering information for clients and my own businesses.
As far as the keywords issue is concerned, AWstats does the job quite well along with a couple of others. Getting the BIG picture cannot be obtained when GA is all you put into use. It’s hard to convince some clients that what they see in GA’s reports is not the gospel truth. But, when I start showing them reports I have compiled, they finally get the point!
One client in particular (the CEO, no less) studies GA every single day (they use Adwords too) and I see why GA is a real necessity, for them. Mainstream keywords can be a hard thing to get a fix on for organic search for many businesses, but certainly not impossible by any means. Companies with large marketing budgets can really see what they are paying for with PPC so GA comes in pretty handy, in that scenario.
GA is just one tool and my guess on the keywords thing is that at some point they want to charge (more in the case of PPC) for that information. If Google goes this route (at some point) you’ll hear the resulting outcry on the MOON. Heh.