Is Google Analytics The Best Tool For Online News Publishers?
August 21, 2019

While Google Analytics (GA) is satisfactory for understanding KPIs, like Pageviews, Unique Visitors, Bounce Rate, and Returning Visitors, GA is built as a generic website analytics tool, good for general online presences, such as e-commerce companies and corporate websites. However, GA cannot possibly cure the hefty pain points of the online publishing industry. 

Some of the reasons why Google Analytics fails online publishers include:

  • Rudimentary analytics
  • Cumbersome report extraction
  • Simplified chart and statistic sampling
  • Irrelevant, non-industry terminology

GA’s shortcomings are untenable for online publishers who have very specific industry needs. Publishers require a complete, detailed analysis of their entire readership, rather than the condensed analysis that GA offers. Additionally, GA’s analysis is overly simplistic for publishers requiring in depth data, such as a reader’s topics and keywords of interest, rendering GA’s reports on most view content links of no immediate use to publishers. Of course, you are welcome to spend hours every day/week/month trying to make sense of this data by adding layers of tags, events, etc.

Moreover, GA’s “Returning Visitors” metric is inaccurate in measuring loyalty, since simply returning to a website means close to nothing. For a publisher, a “Loyal User” user means a certain investment has been made, mainly in the form of subscribing to your service/newsletter, following a story/topic, attending an event/webinar, downloading your app, or engaging/sharing your stories.

Luckily, online publishers have alternatives to the all too ubiquitous Google Analytics. 

Real-Time Analytics for Newsrooms

Chartbeat, the content intelligence platform for publishers, empowers media companies to build loyal audiences with real-time and historical editorial analytics across desktop, social, and mobile platforms. Chartbeat helps digital publishing organizations understand what, within their content, is keeping people engaged. 

In-Depth Topical Analysis of Publishing and Consumption

Source: Magnet Smart Analytics

Rather than wasting time manually extracting reports about subjects, let advanced artificial intelligence algorithms do the work for you. Magnet is a publisher-specific solution that enables media and publishing brands to deliver more engaging, personalized user experiences. Among its wide array of services, Magnet Smart Analytics offers in-depth topical analysis of your publishing and consumption, allowing you to automatically find answers hidden deep within your data labyrinth.

Source: Magnet Smart Analytics

So, the best way to go for online publishers is to steer away from GA’s “one size fits all” approach and engage with more industry specific, holistic solutions that will lead to more insight and greater success.

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