Reporting on website traffic, leads, and conversions is an essential part of any digital marketer’s job. And when it comes to reporting, especially with regard to inbound marketing, there are essentially two platforms that are most commonly used: Hubspot and Google Analytics.
Between the two platforms, there is definitely overlap because both offer similar reports. However, if you really want to dig deep into conversions and see the entire path someone took on your website, you’ll want to use Google Analytics and work with a developer or company who can set up proper tracking codes. While Hubspot provides easy-to-read traffic reports—giving you the ability to see traffic month over month, year over year, or compare custom date ranges—it doesn’t offer all of the same analytical data such as new vs. returning visits, what types of devices your website is being used on, and site stats such as page load speed. To determine which platform is best, you really need to determine how much time and effort you want to spend in setting up tracking, and how much you are going to use the data for future decision-making.
A Quick Look at Each Platform
For most companies, Hubspot’s platform offers an easier interface for both marketers and non-marketers to read and understand. Graphs, charts, and month-over-month percentages are all incorporated into an easy-to-read dashboard that makes it really simple for marketers to see how a website is performing. While Google Analytics definitely offers more information, Hubspot’s platform (in our opinion) is easier to use and understand. One key difference to note is that if your goal is to generate inbound leads, Hubspot offers a great platform. However if you’re focused on PPC, GA is the platform you should use so you can tie it to your AdWords accounts.
It’s worth noting that data in GA is tracked differently than data in Hubspot, so reporting numbers can sometimes differ. Another key difference between Hubspot and Google Analytics is the ability to track multiple websites from a single account. Only Google Analytics allows you to track multiple websites from within a single account. With Hubspot, you need to have a portal set up for each website you want to track.
Here Are the Key Differences Between Hubspot and Google Analytics
- Google Analytics allows you to track what type of device your site is being accessed on; Hubspot does not.
- Google Analytics allows you to see how your website is performing in different regions/markets.
- Only GA provides site performance metrics such as page load speed.
- Google Analytics offers flow maps/charts of how users entered your website and where they left your site.
- Using custom tracking elements, GA allows you to track every single interaction a visitor makes during a session. With Hubspot, you can measure things like clicks and form fills but you can’t measure any micro conversions such as how many times a video was played.
So, What Should Your Company Use?
It’s worth noting that most inbound marketers use a combination of both Google Analytics and Hubspot; Google Analytics is great for granular data while Hubspot is used for closed loop analytics and marketing automation.
If you’re looking for more granular data about each user on your website, such as where they’re visiting from, the device they’re on, where they left your website at, etc.—Google Analytics is the platform you’ll want to use. There’s just no other platform available that offers the breadth of knowledge and data that GA can provide when properly set up.
However, if you’re looking to increase leads and don’t have a need for super-granular data (or you know you won’t use it), Hubspot’s platform is the way to go because of the interface; it’s easy to read and gives marketers the raw numbers they need to provide monthly reports to upper-level managers or internal departments.
To determine the best platform, it’s best to keep in mind the goals you are trying to achieve and your other marketing initiatives. If you’re focused on paid advertising such as PPC, Google Analytics is the platform to use since it can tie directly to your other Google accounts. If you’re focused on building traffic through content marketing and inbound, Hubspot’s platform is the way to go because you can search by campaign and see how your blogs, social posts, landing pages, and other deliverables performed for a single campaign or marketing initiative.
What platform or website tools does your organization use or find most helpful? Tell us below in the comments!