Google offers free tools to marketers

Marketers and entrepreneurs are taking advantage of free Web analytics that lets companies bolster their online promotions and hone their internet offerings courtesy of Google, the world’s leading search engine.

Formerly known as Urchin from Google, Google Analytics helps businesses track the effectiveness of online marketing, including e-mail campaigns, internet links, paid-for-search, keywords, advertising banners and e-mail newsletters.

The new offering, described as simple enough for entrepreneurs to get started but sophisticated enough for serious marketers, enables anyone building a Web presence to determine what keywords attract the most visitors, which e-mail campaigns create more customers, and how to design Web pages that hold people’s attention.

Google Analytics comes with a page view limit of 5 million per month, effectively trumping the 100,000 limit formerly available under Urchin on Demand, when the service cost $199 US dollars for a monthly subscription.

However, website owners registered as a Google Adwords advertiser reportedly have no restrictions, meaning even small publishing websites are able to get a free insight into user behaviour, before and after they log-on to their site.

According to the California-based company, Analytics runs on the same computing infrastructure that powers Google.com so it can support traffic demands of any site, from those with a few visitors a week to hundreds of millions.

"We want to give all online marketers and publishers access to powerful web analytics to help them better understand what their customers want. With this knowledge, businesses can create more accurate advertising and build better websites," said Paul Muret, Google engineering director.

“By making this powerful service free, we aim to give all websites - large and small - the tools they need to better serve their customers, make more money, and improve the Web experience for everyone."

Despite the optimism, the combination of server and client-side technology including cookies means all the tracking and analysing data about a visitor is reported back to Google.

As technology consultant Amit Agarwal points out, not all website visitors like to reveal their details to the site owner, so he is offering a simple solution to block Google Analytics from tracking online visits.

The Financial Times, Ritz Interactive and dozens of the Fortune 500 companies are all however existing users of Analytics, which have used the product to improve the user experience and marketing effectiveness of their websites.

AdWord advertisers, who should already find Analytics embedded in their accounts for a more targeted marketing approach, are eligible for free business support- as are all newcomers to the Google experience.

The service, which breaks down Web data into three decision-making categories - the marketer, the Web master and executive, is immediately available in 16 languages.

Users are invited to customise or further integrate Analytics by contacting Google or its select service partners.


 

15th November 2005

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