If you clicked on this article, you probably have a raised eyebrow right now.
At some point, having Google Analytics became a common, widely-accepted practice in running a website.
We’ve seen generally-accepted realities proven wrong throughout history.
- Bloodletting was common medical practice for thousands of years
- Everyone knew the Earth was flat until roughly the 3rd century
- Cigarettes were once doctor recommended and approved
Today, the notion that MSPs need Google Analytics on their website is going to join this list.
Just as Google is pushing people to upgrade to GA4 360 – meaning users now have to pay to get more than 14 months of historical data – many website owners believe they don’t have a choice.
When we sign a new customer at Tech Pro Marketing – my MSP marketing agency – most are surprised to hear we don’t focus on Google Analytics.
Let me tell you why.
Most MSP websites don’t have large enough traffic volumes
Before I dive in here, I want to say that I’m not against Google Analytics. It’s an amazing tool that provides clear decision-making data on real trends.
Before I started Tech Pro Marketing, I worked for one of the largest payment processing companies in the country. Our website was getting thousands and thousands of visitors every day. To give you an idea, the webpage I worked on averaged around 30,000 site visitors per day.
With these types of numbers, Google Analytics gave us amazing site data that informed our digital strategies.
This is because the Google Analytics platform is designed to work with large, enterprise-level traffic numbers.
Most MSP websites are lucky to get a few dozen website visitors per day. This leaves them trying to find significance within insignificant numbers. More often than not, this ends in marketing strategies being fueled by bad insights – which leads me to my next point.
Google Analytics provides a macro view – MSPs need a micro view
To go back to my job at the large payment processing company, I did a lot with Google Analytics.
I would split test two versions of a landing page based on geographical changes. I experimented with the forms, call-to-action buttons, etc. From here, I would set up this split test in Google Analytics and Google Optimize.
The thing about split testing software is it requires a high volume of data to make the test statistically valid. I found that a substantial amount of the conversions (thousands) were coming from paid traffic sources.
I was able to base my decision on this information and focus on optimizing the landing page for paid visitors. The result was my new page outperformed the original by 300 percent.
To put it in the perspective of a smaller website:
Let’s say we got five conversions out of 150 site visitors. Two of these conversions came from paid traffic, two from organic, and one from social. This is not nearly enough information to inform a conversion rate optimization strategy.
MSP websites with small amounts of traffic would not benefit from this data; they would need much more granular information on those 150 site visitors and the five who converted.
Unless your MSP gets tens of thousands of website visitors every month, you don’t need analytics software that focuses on large sets of data. Instead, you need a program that focuses on the details of the data – or a micro level.
What type of data should MSPs be focusing on?
Just like you always know you’re getting helpful information from MSP Growth Hacks, you should know you’re getting quality insights from your website analytics.
I’ve worked in MSP marketing for a very long time. MSPs get much more value out of website visitor identification software than Google Analytics. This information should tell you who the visitor is, what company they are from, etc., rather than aggregating a macro level of data from a bird’s eye view.
It will also show you trends based on your actual prospects visiting the website, not just visitors in general. The reality is a lot of your website visitors are not your perfect customers. They may be competitors looking for intel, vendors trying to sell you something, people looking for a job, and so on.
Being able to split your traffic between visitors and prospective customers is one of the most important capabilities for growing MSPs.
A tool like this helps you identify leads on the ground level – and incorporate the key insights into your marketing campaigns.
Fortunately, there is software out there that can provide this.
What are some Google Analytics alternatives?
The truth is there are plenty of excellent Google Analytics alternatives MSPS can use to get good, granular site data.
For one, start with Website Visitor Identification software. There are plenty of good ones to choose from. These programs essentially work by matching the IP address of the website visitor against a database of IP addresses used by other entities – providing you with a visitor’s name, email address, demographic information, and so on.
Google Ads Experiments is another great tool that allows you to split-test multiple versions of landing pages. The data shows you exactly where all of your visitors are coming from, so you can be sure you’re getting quality traffic.
Website surveys get a little closer to the ground level by asking visitors questions like; “Why did you visit our website today?” If you can get answers, this information can be significantly more valuable than a simple bounce rate.
How do I get started?
If collected and analyzed properly, website data can be one of the most important business assets for an MSP.
When customers come to us, we get a lot of confused business owners telling us they are struggling to find profitable insights in Google Analytics. The reality is there simply aren’t any at that level. It’s like using a magnifying glass to look at something when you should be using a microscope.
At Tech Pro Marketing, we have our own analytics software that gives us significantly more valuable data than what Google Analytics can provide.
If you’ve been scratching your head at data in Google Analytics, send me a message today. We’ve helped hundreds of MSPs make sense of their website traffic and use it to target customers more accurately – and we can do the same for you.