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We're fed up with WebTrends (for many reasons) and I'm steering my company to go the Google Analytics route.

Anyone have experience with it? Likes? Dislikes?

From what I know so far, the custom report capabilities are better with WebTrends, but ... uhm ... that's about it. You can't beat "free".

We're currently utilizing web logs as the data source for our instance of WebTrends (which doesn't provide the accuracy that JavaScript tagging provides). So, we will have to make a little investment in tagging specific pages (to move away from the log file analysis). But I'm pushing to do this to support Google Analytics, not WebTrends.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Tags: Analytics, Google, WebTrends, analytics, web

Views: 123

Replies to This Discussion

Hello Dave,

I would be interesting in having more details about the reasons why you're fed up with Webtrends and if it is only because you are using only web logs data. I guess you should be on an "old" version of the tool...
Anyway, if you've planned to abandon the web logs and to use javascript tagging, I would say that even if you stay with Webtrends, you can't be nothing else than happy because making the step from web logs to javascript tagging will be definitely a huge change in your web analytics experience you can't be disappointed.

But to answer your question, I think you can go with GA. It is certainly not the best customizable tool you can have but as you said, it is free. And it is a good way to start with Javascript tagging. The google analytics tool is certainly powerfull enough for you to start and the quality and number of standard reports will allow you to address a majority of your needs at the beginning.
Up to you in a second step to look at other solutions if you feel you need a more powerfull tool.

The only concern I can see would be related to the data privacy policy you can have.
Just as Jmarc says, tagging your site will give you much more data to work with than web server logs. This applies to most all web analytic tools (GA, WebTrends, Omniture, ...). I am a WebTrends consultant, so I may be somewhat biased. However, when it comes to differences between free and paid tools, the old adage "you get what you pay for" applies here.
I have also heard that although the short term costs of the GA is low, but the long term costs surpass the license based tools (WebTrends, Omniture, ..)
I believe tagging combined with server log analysis (and correct keyword tagging on Google AdWords) brings the best of both worlds. Server logs provides additional data that no external tagging system can unearth, such as clicks (usually robots) not going through the tagging mechanism. Tagging can be performed internally (clear gif tracking with clear gif hosted on your own server) or externally (clear gif or JS hosted on 3rd party server).

I plan to add reverse tagging pretty soon to one of our Internet properties. Reverse tagging consists of tracking traffic on an external domain (a Yahoo e-store, where the conversion takes place) with a tagged clear gif (it will be a blank style sheet, not a clear gif in this case, but the principle is identical), and having the clear gif hosted internally.
I'm moving all of my clients to Analytics. It's been a long process, but most are nearly there. Was the investment worth it? One word... yes.
We are using Google Analytics for our websites including the Ning social network for Computational Science. The web interface is very easy to use, although sometimes a bit counter-intuitive. It is ok for simple trending, and combined with your ad campaigns it is very easy to use.

We are now getting to the point were we want more raw data so that we can feed our own models and I haven't figured out yet how to do that.
Data Privacy is one of the key issues! and if iam not mistaken google keeps the data for as long as 2 years! so historic data may become a issue ( somebody correct me if iam wrong here). Otherwise it's certainly worth the "free" tag.
We find omniture easy when it comes to JS tagging and more robust! although expensive but worth every cent.

Google Analytics is certainly where you want to start with! this will give you all intrensic information and help you get or prepare a "wish list" for near future in case you think of moving to a paid vendor!



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