One of the most common questions we hear at Quantcast is: “How is Quantcast Measure different from Google Analytics?” First, here’s the short answer.
Google Analytics tells you how people move around on your website and includes:
- Referral page information
- Entry and exit pages
- Page views
- Click patterns
Quantcast Measure tells you who is visiting your digital property or other properties and includes:
- User demographics and psychographics
- The businesses and industries those demographics and psychographics represent
- Cross-platform engagement and retention for your website, mobile site, and apps
TOOL COMPARISON CHECKLIST
This checklist will help you choose the right analytics tool for your business. Look for as many yes answers as you can for each tool.
Ease of use
- Is the platform easy to use?
- Is the user interface intuitive?
- Can employees from multiple departments easily gather the metrics they need?
- Does it take minimal time to learn the basics of the tool?
- Is it easy to install across your web properties so you can get the exact metrics you need to track?
Accuracy of data
- Does the tool provide accurate data in a variety of different use cases?
- Is the data consistent across varying lengths of time?
- Is the data reliable?
- Can you get accurate results even with low traffic numbers?
Some analytics tools are free. For tools that come with a cost, make sure you can answer yes to these questions:
- Does the tool provide a return on your investment?
- Are there multiple pricing options to choose from?
- Are any complimentary services included?
- Can you easily get the support you need through live chat, message boards, email, or phone?
- Is the company quick to respond when an issue comes up?
- Does the analytics tool offer training through webinars, guides, or PDFs?
- Does the tool continue to evolve to increase accuracy, speed, and hyperspecific metrics?
- Does the tool continue to roll out new features that help you better understand your audience?
- Does it offer useful features that other competitors don’t?
- Can you see an accurate snapshot of your audience metrics and demographics quickly?
- Can you customize your data based on your specific needs?
- Can you share your metrics with potential advertising partners in an easily digestible and clear format?
- Can you easily track specific demographics and use cases depending on your objectives?
Next, let’s look under the hood of both Quantcast Measure and Google Analytics to give you a better idea of which tool is right for you.
Benefits and drawbacks of Google Analytics
Google Analytics has been one of the top players in the analytics space for over a decade now, and for a good reason — it provides a wealth of web traffic information.
Google Analytics is free for most users, though Google offers a premium upgrade for large companies. For most small businesses, the free version is more than enough to start tracking data.
Easy to install
Google Analytics is relatively easy to set up. You can install it on virtually any website. And you’ll find thousands of tutorials online that can help you if you ever get stuck.
It’s a bit trickier to set up deeper insight tracking for things like events and goals when you need to monitor conversions specific to your site, but the foundation metrics are solid out of the box.
Google is dedicated to training their Google Analytics users to get the most out of their platform. You’ll find a ton of resources and videos for almost any feature or use case. You can also become “Google Certified” if you take some of their online courses.
Built by Google
While Google Analytics is only a small part of the Google family, the company has spent a lot of time and money investing in its analytics platform, which has been beneficial to its users. Their platform also works very well with their Google AdWords product, making it a good choice for businesses that invest in search engine marketing (SEM).
Overwhelming to the new user
Google Analytics can be a little overwhelming to new users, especially new bloggers and business owners using an analytics tool for the first time. While its extra features might be useful for certain power users, it can be difficult to decipher which features are worthwhile when you start out.
Can’t compare your site vs. competitors
You can’t compare your metrics to the metrics of another site because Google Analytics doesn’t have that functionality.
When you use Google Analytics, your data is sampled. What does this mean? Sampling is the process of looking at a small portion of your total traffic and extrapolating the results; this is inherently less accurate than Quantcast Measure because it doesn’t display every pageview, especially on larger websites and over longer date ranges.
What Quantcast Measure can do
Develop your strategy
Quantcast Measure shows you the behaviors of your audience at scale so you can develop a tailored strategy to give your readers exactly what they’re looking for. For example, if you’re a women’s fashion publication, knowing that the majority of your readers are hikers is crucial knowledge when you post your next series of articles.
Earn more ad revenue
Advertising partners are always looking for ways to ensure they’re targeting the right audience. Quantcast Measure provides comprehensive demographics for just that purpose.
Validate your content
One of the most powerful benefits of Quantcast Measure is the ability to view extremely granular and accurate demographics data. You can discover exactly the kind of person who reads the finance section of your site. Or you can learn that a post that went up last month significantly overindexed with democrats. Add elements like this to your content strategy for expanded readership.
Learn about competitors
Quantcast also offers unique insights into competitor demographics, helping you improve your marketing and sales efforts and get a feel for where your company can improve. You won’t get these insights from Google Analytics.
Still not sure which tool is right for you?
Here are a few more facts to help you make your decision.
- Does not track personally identifiable information but uses large-scale models to infer the demographics of your site’s visitors
- Contains information from over 100 million destinations on the internet and analyzes billions of data points every day to create an accurate view of your audience’s behavior
- Works well alongside Google Analytics
- Helps you develop your business strategy by providing a general understanding of where your traffic is coming from and what users are doing
- Can be needlessly complicated at times and might feel a little too heavy for a small team or blog trying to get off the ground
- May not generate accurate data for sites with low to medium traffic since the tool uses sampling to provide traffic data
One big difference
Each visitor is defined and measured differently in each tool, and this is a significant difference between the two.
Google Analytics measures visits in sessions and unique sessions which can sometimes be skewed by visitors using different computers under the same IP address. They also use data sampling, which is estimating a complete data set by looking at a smaller, representative data set, like counting the total number of trees in a 100-acre area based on the number of trees in a 10-acre area.
Quantcast Measure, on the other hand, counts pageviews and unique cookies visiting your web property. That means Quantcast counts all the trees in the 100-acre area.
Learning the pros and cons of Google Analytics is important for website owners because of how pervasive the tool is. But if you are looking for accurate demographics, psychographics, and audience interest data, Quantcast Measure is the right tool for you.
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