What Google Analytics Doesn’t Tell You

Google Analytics is an undeniably helpful tool for businesses. Having the ability to track the activity and behavior of the users of your website can be a powerful measurement and decision-making tool. However, Google Analytics does have some limitations when it comes to getting the information you need. Here’s a roundup of some basic disadvantages of Google Analytics’ limited information and some suggestions for ways you can compensate.

Why Are We Seeing These Google Analytics Metrics?

One of the obvious disadvantages of Google Analytics is that it doesn’t point to why a trend is occurring. You can stare at your traffic report all day, but you won’t be able to see exactly why organic traffic plummeted last week. You’ll need other tools and skills to figure that out.

Acting on evidence of symptoms without discovering the source is an automatic reflex of many people, especially when conversions are taking a nosedive. Before slashing the budget for any campaigns, dig into what’s going on behind the scenes. Are important landing pages of your site malfunctioning and throwing 404 errors that are driving your bounce rates up? Or is something external driving your traffic down, like the entrance of a new competitor on the search page?

The Fix: Utilize free tools like Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools site to stay on top of technical site issues that you may not notice at first glance. Sidestep some of Google Analytics’ limitations by utilizing the annotation tool on reports. This will allow you to mark important event dates that may affect data, such as the launch of a new marketing campaign or the release of a new homepage design. Keeping track of key activities will add value to your reporting system and help you identify causes of change faster.

Google Analytics session graph

Your new best friend is at the lower right corner.

Who Is Visiting Your Site?

Google Analytics won’t tell you exactly who is using your website. As a user of the internet, you may see that as somewhat of a relief. However, much to the disappointment of many Google Analytics newbies, the platform has limitations when it comes to offering deep user insights such as contact info or names.

The Fix: If you’re looking for a way to get a little more information about who is using your site, you can set up unique IDs for users that will allow you to differentiate individual user patterns. This unique ID will connect a user’s sessions between devices, so you’ll be able to get a more accurate measurement of how many unique users are accessing your site and where they’re accessing it from. Learn more about this capability here.

What Are Site Visitors Looking For?

What do users want?  A disadvantage of Google Analytics is its lack of direct insight into what brought customers to your site and what they’re looking for there. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t find answers by yourself.

The Fix: Gather basic information about user behavior on your site. Find out what pages have high bounce and exit rates, and explore the differences that exist between organic, paid, referral, and direct users. Perhaps your highest bounce rate exists among organic visitors on your About Us page. What is it that organic search customers aren’t finding on this page? Making simple changes in the content, page layout, or call-to-action structure could be all it takes to bring your bounce rates down, or perhaps it will take a more extensive effort. While Google Analytics does have limitations, you can still learn a lot about user behavior simply by connecting the dots.

While Google Analytics can’t get into the minds of your users, you can. Finding out what your users need from your site can feel like guesswork sometimes – but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re stumped, hiring a digital marketing team can help. An external team of digital marketers is a powerful way to get a comprehensive picture of the success of existing digital efforts and to identify what can be improved. At Leverage Marketing, we’re experts at digging out the Why, Who, and What that Google Analytics doesn’t tell you. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll help see through the limitations of Google Analytics’ reporting interface and help you make real decisions that grow traffic.

Technology Trends Driving Digital Marketing in 2017


It’s only the beginning of 2017, but it’s clear that digital marketing technology trends will change the way we do business. With a rapidly advancing tech sector, marketing and technology work hand in hand to create new methods for companies to target consumers and change the digital marketing landscape. With 2016 over, there are emerging digital marketing technology trends we can identify that will drive the market in 2017 and beyond.

While it’s impossible to know for sure which technologies will have the biggest impact, we think these are the ones you should invest your marketing efforts in and look for when planning how to use digital technology in marketing in 2017:


As a technology, livestreaming has been around for more than a decade. But in 2017, we’ve finally reached the point in marketing and technology where it’s easy to implement due to faster Internet on smartphones and advanced marketing techniques. With companies like Facebook, Periscope, and YouTube enabling companies to stream their videos easily—it’s up to your marketing departments to decide how best to do it.

Using livestreaming successfully is difficult, as your audience will often dictate how conversations move and what kind of content they want to see. So, make sure your marketing and technology are adaptable to customer needs. Whether you’re holding Q&As about your brand, livestreaming special announcements or product introductions, or hosting a panel, make sure your client is your first concern. Livestreaming won’t be perfect, but you want to interact with your customers through the platforms that matter to them (whether that’s Facebook, Periscope, YouTube, or even Spotify).


Drones are one the most exciting products of the last several years. Companies and consumers are interested in them for many purposes: war, commercial, or personal. Simply put, drones are everywhere. With models that can capture high-quality 4K video and high-resolution photos, they’re perfect for marketers. Whether used for livestreaming or just taking photos, drones are a brand-new medium that mixes digital marketing and technology.

With their ability to fly high in the air, drones are ideal for taking gorgeous shots of real estate and architecture for those firms. They’re also an innovative new way to capture a wedding or other special event from a new angle. With the ability to explore new viewpoints and vistas, drones can take pictures and video for travel and tourism companies.

Drones are a new frontier for marketing companies—they can traverse new areas and shoot photos at angles humans just can’t. Incorporating drones into your marketing campaign is necessary to stay ahead in the game—just make sure you’re following FAA and local ordinances.

Amazon Alexa and Google Home

With the advent of voice recognition that finally works—digital technology and marketing are changing to meet the demands and new challenges of integrating with systems like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Both of these virtual assistant programs can coordinate with your app ecosystems, including Spotify, Nest, IFTTT services, Uber, Google Calendar, and hundreds of services. They can control aspects of your life with an ease that was heretofore unimaginable. But what does that mean for marketers? When you can order the latest gadget from Amazon with your voice, how do you market to consumers?

Without needing to search on a smartphone or computer, keywords become less useful. I’m not saying keywords or SEO are going the way of the dodo, but marketers must search for new ways to reach out to customers ordering from smart assistants. Marketing and technology meet in targeting the individual through the smart voice-controlled gadget ecosystem—learning about them and figuring out new ways to market to them. Marketers must understand how to use the technology in the right means to reach their consumers.


When you hear wearable, what do you think? Perhaps an Apple Watch comes to mind, or Google’s failed Glass experiment—but wearables encompass a broad class of connected devices that are quickly becoming a digital marketing technology trend. Wearables can, of course, be smartwatches, but they can be technology embedded into clothing, fitness trackers, virtual reality devices, and much more.

With focus turning to wearable devices as a new way to consume media and grab consumers’ attention, content marketing needs to shift to meet those needs. It’s difficult to read a lengthy online article on a small wearable screen—some wearables don’t even have screens. Content marketing may need to shift its focus to audio, which wearables will have connectivity for, in the form of Bluetooth headphones.

There will also be new forms of interactivity marketers can work with to engage their consumers. With virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, and Google DayDream, VR is coming into the mainstream. Alternate reality and virtual reality will be new lands for consumers to explore—and places to create content to peruse. There are opportunities for location-based content, weather-based content—countless opportunities we couldn’t imagine ten years ago.


With the new year, it’s clear that new digital marketing technology trends will drive the industry in exciting directions. Whether it’s coming up with new ways to reach consumers with social media and livestreaming, taking advantage of the unique capabilities of drones, or utilizing the extensive connectivity of Amazon Alexa and Google Home, marketers have their work cut out for them this year. Wearables and Virtual Reality headsets represent the new frontier in technology, as content marketing must adapt to the new ways the public consumes content. The possibilities with these technologies are almost endless. Technology and marketing must continuously evolve together as marketing professionals determine how best to utilize digital technology in their marketing arsenal.

Make sure you’re on top of the latest digital marketing technology trends by talking to the marketing masters at Leverage Marketing. Read our Guide to Planning Your Digital Marketing Budget eBook to figure out where to spend your budget to get the best return. We’ll help you understand the sophisticated new marketing technologies and how to take advantage of them.