For many new startups, Google Analytics tools are a source of confusion. After all, why invest in additional resources when the platform, itself, is the source of key website data? 

Despite providing users with a range of insights that cover visitor location, exit pages, bounce rates, and a look at some of the best-performing site pages, the platform still lacks certain functionality that allows marketers to dive deeper into customer behaviour and other types of analytical data.

For this reason, Google Analytics tools are becoming crucial add-ons for businesses to go beyond the data provided and optimise many other aspects of marketing, including social media strategy. With more than 27 million live sites using this platform, the scope of additional tools is growing as I type this out. 

To take a look at what sources of data you’re missing out on with the standalone Analytics platform, this post dives into the best software to address whatever you’re lacking!

Heatmaps and session recording tools

Google Analytics can tell you which pages your visitors entered your website on, how long they were there, where they went next and at what point they left your site. But can it tell you exactly where on your page your customers spent time?

With heatmap and session recording tools, this is now possible. You can see exactly what they clicked on each page (which then tells you where you may need to add links), which section of your page they spend the most time on and even how far down they scroll.

Heatmaps provide a static image of page activity, whereas session recording tools give you a visual play-by-play on what your visitors do on your page.

While Google Analytics does have basic heat mapping capabilities, this is nothing compared to the functionality offered by other Google analytics tools and add-ons in the market. 

Social media reporting

One of the biggest gaps in terms of Google Analytics reporting is an overview of a business’ social media performance. 

While the platform can track whether visitors are visiting your site straight off any of your social media profiles, that’s the extent of its capability in this regard. Other tools, however, will give you a better understanding of how your profiles are performing. 

From post impressions to post reach and engagement across all your active social media handles, accessing these insights isn’t difficult – you just won’t find them on Google Analytics. Fortunately, there are plenty of other platforms to choose from, including analytics tools like Sprout to publishing tools like SmarterQueue.

Reporting customisation

Another incredibly useful feature you’re missing out on – in the absence of Google Analytics tools – is customised dashboard reporting. 

While Google Analytics allows you to customise how you view your data, there are certain limitations to what you can do. Dedicated dashboard-led software, on the other hand, such as those that take your data and present it in a way that’s actually insightful, is on a whole other level. 

Certain tools, like Data Studio, even integrate directly with Google Analytics. This makes data transfer and integration so much easier! 

Extracting individual visitor data

Keeping user privacy in mind, Google Analytics veers off from providing individual data on any of your website visitors.

If this information is as crucial to you as it is to me, you can now integrate Google Analytics tools that provide you with data including (anonymous) visitor geolocation, website activity, site engagement, and other types of information that help you get a better understanding of your visitors without violating any privacy laws!

Leverage the best Google Analytics tools for a closer look at visitor data and website performance

Google Analytics tools are excellent resources you can use to address the sources of data and reporting features lacking on the Search Engine’s primary website analytics platform.

By choosing the right software – especially those that integrate directly with Google Analytics – you can now access a range of insights on customer behaviour on your site; a treasure trove of data you can’t afford to miss out on.

For a look at other tools that help you transform your marketing activity, head to the Hype blog for a look at must-have marketing software!