Is Artificial Intelligence Replacing Google Analytics?

20.09.18 | Web Marketing

Par François LaPalme

Google Analytics is an undeniably useful analytical tool that helps you measure your website performance. It has allowed companies of all sizes to gain a competitive edge by effectively harnessing their data to enable more evidence-based decisions, insights, and process optimization. However, the new opportunity that is overtaking traditional data analytics is the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in marketing decisions. By deploying these automated data analysis strategies, companies can sort through, utilize, and derive value from unprecedented amounts of data about their traffic.

It has been well-established that Google Analytics gives companies the ability to track their ROI by allowing them to sift through their traffic over a dozen or so dimensions. With this tool, you are able to see at a given time where your traffic is coming from geographically and what your traffic looks like on a page you are measuring or a social media channel you are evaluating. However, as the amount of data available continues to increase exponentially, a tool like Google Analytics becomes severely limited in how much data it can process at one time and, thus, ends up lacking in several key areas.

The limitations of Google Analytics

First and foremost, while Google Analytics allows you to assess a finite quantity of traffic across certain dimensions, it cannot accurately help you pinpoint why a particular trend is occurring. If, for example, your conversion rate dipped for a week, your company may reflexively cut spending on the respective campaign. The issue is that Google Analytics cannot indicate the external factors that might have impacted this dip in your conversion rate, and the innate reaction may not be the optimal action to deal with the outside factors that impacted your traffic.

Similarly, Google Analytics won’t give you in-depth, cross-sectional insight into who is using your website. An important part of deriving meaningful and, more importantly, useful insights comes from an ability to assess specific demographic profiles. That tends to be difficult to evaluate in depth with Google Analytics. Lacking this pertinent identifying information about user profiles leads a company to make sweeping generalizations about their traffic rather than using pinpointed insights to generate several demographic profiles that would allow for precise and personalized marketing actions.

The final issue is the lack of insight into what brought your customers to your site, what they were looking for, and what made them stay or leave. These answers can’t be gleaned from simple traffic metrics.

The power of artificial intelligence

AI, when applied to digital marketing, resolves these issues in one fell swoop. By measuring an essentially unlimited number of data points over any number of metrics, you can derive enormous value from the traffic on your site. And by enriching your data with external factors like special events, market insights, and weather, you are capable of making much more informed decisions about why a trend may be occurring. Are you selling purple umbrellas to an audience that is majority male, or has it has been a particularly sunny month in a certain geographical area? This kind of determination cannot be obtained solely from looking at the traffic because that will only tell you there is a dip in the conversion rate. Conversely, AI is capable of integrating your traffic data and extracting patterns that might otherwise be missed, allowing you to better inform your campaign decisions. Through this enrichment and analysis of hidden patterns, you can have a better grasp on who your key demographics are, how they may change, and how they behave on your website in order to optimize your site for their needs.

The advantages of AI for marketers

With this deeper understanding of the who, what, when, where, and how of your traffic, you are capable of making complex decisions about your traffic. You will be able to optimize and personalize your website to extract the maximum value from certain profiles and external contexts as well as identify the best ways to optimize your content and web pages.
The power that comes from harnessing AI lies in its ability to sort through vast quantities of data and extract powerful and specific patterns that would otherwise be missed through traditional analytical tools.

About the author

François LaPalme

VP, Marketing Strategy

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