What is Google Analytics 360?
Google 360 is an ecosystem built by Google to help understand WHO visits a website, the JOURNEY they make when they get there, as well as helping you get to INSIGHTS and ACTION quicker. The platform includes everything from Tag Manager 360 and Analytics 360, and Display & Video 360 through to Search Ads 360.
Google Analytics 360 is a super-charged version of the free product. Most companies start with the free version to simply measure how much traffic they are getting to their site, but as a company’s online presence expands and investment in digital marketing increases, the reliance on Google Analytics grows. Today, it is the most popular web analytics tool on the market worldwide. We’ve had clients who dabbled in other web analytics platforms, but they’ve always maintained Google Analytics, or even switched back after a period of using another platform.
Recently, we’ve had a flood of clients enquiring about Google Analytics 360 – the paid for version of Google Analytics. From questions around how much it costs, to what do you get that you don’t with the free version, and ultimately: Is it worth it? So we have put together an article below to help answer some of those frequently asked questions.
Is Google Analytics 360 worth it?
Google’s easy integration with their other platforms – Google Tag Manager, Data Studio, Optimise, Search Ads, and Double Click, have allowed Google to grow and maintain their market share across most of their products, and as companies continue to invest in online and their audience, and data silos start to expand, this starts to reveal some growing pains.
- A Solution to Data Sampling
Companies start to see sampling in reports when the data they are querying is too large, and as a result Google analyses a subset of all data. There is a quick way of seeing if the report you are trying to run is based on sampled or non-sampled data – if it is sampled data you’ll see the small shield to the right of the report title turn orange. Sampling creates lots of questions; a highly trafficked website is more likely to experience sampling and businesses will start to realise that daily stats don’t match combined weekly stats, which don’t match their monthly stats, which don’t match yearly stats….
One of the biggest advantages of GA360 is the ability to expand the quota on sampled data, with sampling only being applied at 100M sessions at the VIEW level, rather than 500K sessions at the PROPERTY level in the standard version (within the date range you’ve selected). Less sampled data = more accurate reporting!
- Roll-Up Reporting in Google Analytics
Alongside this, the other main reason that most of our international clients will move to 360 is the roll-up reporting option. This allows a business to access an aggregated view of all the data from analytics properties, so that they can compare the performance of their French site vs the German site, while generating a report that combines data for both as well e.g. All conversions and conversion rates for EU markets vs Asia markets.
- Adding Expanded Data Layers in Google Analytics
Data layers are also expanded with 360 – so you’ve enhanced customisation of your visitor data with an allowance of up to 200 custom dimensions, 200 custom metrics, and 200 custom audiences (this is 10x more than the amount available via Google Analytics standard). Custom dimensions allow you to add layers of data to Google Analytics e.g. tag members vs non-members, loan calculator users, high value vs low value users, or those interested in women’s jeans vs men’s shoes. Custom metrics allow you to create your own metrics or calculations e.g a measurement of how long it takes people to fill out a form via Event 1 time stamp minus Event 2 time stamp, or the conversion rate from blog reads to newsletter signups.
These are the 3 main reasons that we find drive a client’s decision to move to Google Analytics 360, but they aren’t the only benefits, and it depends on the problem they are facing that they’d like to fix. Some additional problems that can be addressed with GA360 are as follows:
- Product integrations with other Google products are easier and more streamlined, including integrations with Google Big Query, Display & Video, Search Ads, Google Cloud and Salesforce.
- Data freshness – reports are updated in as quickly as 10 minutes, so you can analyse data in a near real-time basis.
- Additional reports like the custom funnel report and advanced analysis report become available with 360, with the custom funnel report allowing you to apply a funnel visualisation report for event tags. Advanced analysis reporting allows you to visualise and explore your data through better reporting visualisation:
Is Google Analytics 360 free?
The standard price for Google Analytics and Tag Manager 360 is $150,000 per year and invoiced monthly. Pricey when compared to the free version, but when considering you can expand your customer data, build better and more accurate reports, and pull more valuable insights on your customers, a proportion of these costs can be recouped through smarter decision making when it comes to inbound marketing activities, user experience analysis, and conversion quality improvements.
For more information on Google Analytics, both standard and 360 versions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below and we’d be happy to help!