Julie asks, "What are the best affordable analytics tools for small businesses and solopreneurs?"
In this video, we'll walk through the Google Marketing Platform as the platform of choice, plus give you a decision to make: time or money.
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What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today's episode, Julie asks, What are the best affordable analytics tools for small businesses and solo printers?
affordable? is a decision affordable is a question and the question is, what do you have more of? Do you have more money? Or do you have more time now for small businesses and solo printers? Believe me, I understand as a co owner of a startup, you have nine but if you had to find one or the other, which can you find more of that will help guide the decision. Now let's talk about the things that you could be using that are very, very low cost or free for managing the analytics around things like social media, digital marketing, etc. By far the greatest value at mostly zero dollars is the Google marketing platform. So let's go ahead
bring up this slide here, the Google marketing platform, or I call it the Google Analytics ecosystem. Because a lot of these tools are based on
Google Analytics as a sort of the centerpiece is a nine part framework of how to organize Google's tools, the free ones that they give you or the ones that are pay as you go for marketing your business and begins Of course with Tag Manager, which is the most essential tool for deploying all sorts of tracking and tagging on your website. If you have any aspirations to use things like Facebook pixels or retargeting or YouTube video analytics, you must be using Tag Manager. Tag Manager is essential. It's free, and it is the the foundational piece that you need from there, of course, is Google Analytics itself. And there are millions and millions and millions of blog posts about this product. There is the official starter course at analytics Academy with Google. com that I recommend everybody go
Through, it's the trainings free as well.
And it is just such an incredible, powerful tool that most marketers deeply under utilize. There's always new stuff to be tried out there. But there's so many different features that you could learn, spend a lot of time learning and mastering this tool and making it do all sorts of stuff that out of the box, it can't do. But with the right integrations that can do, for example, suppose you have a coffee shop,
and it's a brick and mortar coffee shop, you could because people have done this, there are methods for doing this, push weather data temperature, precipitation data into Google Analytics and use that to to calculate and store the data about weather and see how it impacts your business see about coffee, coupon, redemptions, and things like that. You can do all sorts of crazy stuff. The only thing you're not permitted to do in Google Analytics is store personally identifying information you have to use marketing automation software or CRM for that you may not do that everything else is
is fair game.
The next tool is Google Search Console, which is if you are doing anything at all with search with SEO or search marketing, you must be using Search Console search console is essential for being able to determine how you are doing in Google search engine not shown on here because it's not part of the ecosystem. But equally important is the Bing Webmaster Tools environment. And you may be saying why being
used as being all actually many, many of these smart assistance use Bing as the back end. So if you have any aspirations to voice search,
you gotta gotta get your site on being as well. The third tool is optimized if you have any aspirations to do a B testing on your website. So this button be blue or red, you need to be using Google Optimize also free deploy as many tests as you like, and test out different stuff on your site. A paid tool is Google surveys. Google surveys allows you to survey the general population of
I think six or seven different countries, mostly Western world countries, so UK, US, Canada, Germany,
remember the rest of them off the top my head, but allows you to run general population surveys asking everything from which logo do you like better to? Have you ever
stayed at a hotel that costs less than $50 a night or whatever, then you can ask all sorts of questions to get market research.
This requires just as much training and learning as Google Analytics. A lot of people think they can just kind of whip off a survey and and it's easy. It's the tool is easy. Being a good surveyor is is a separate academic discipline. So at the very least, consult with people who know how to do market research well on the data collection side, Google Sheets and of course, any spreadsheet really is probably where most solo printers start I would recommend taking a good look at Google Sheets can bring a tremendous amount of data into it.
It is web aware from the beginning. So you can use certain advanced functions in it to pull in data from third party sources, which is super handy. You can turn it into kind of a,
a, an all in one If This Then That with a lot of different API's if you have the technical knowledge to be able to use it in that manner. There are Google's cloud databases, which if you are an advanced practitioner, we can remember we're talking about affordable, not talking about easy you can push a lot of data from those third party sites and services into Google's advanced databases. Those are all pay as you go. Now, most of the usages that small business will use are going to be at the free level because you're not even going to get close to the first usage level for costs on those things and essential tool for small businesses, especially if you are a marketer and you're reporting to like the owner is Google Data Studio to be able to make dashboards that summarize data very easily.
And put it in one spot. Google Data Studio is great even here solo printer because you could pull it all and things like AdWords data or with certain connectors, Facebook data on all these different things on to one dashboard and literally make that the homepage of your browser. So you never have to go hunting through a bunch of different applications can have one dashboard that keeps a pulse on your business. And of course, to round out the suite is Google AdWords was now called Google ads. I still call it AdWords because Google Ads people don't remember what that is.
It is pay per click and display marketing. It is pay as you go. And it is how you roll out everything from retargeting. ads search, ads display ads, native ads, video ads and retargeting ads within the Google ecosystem. So all of this is part of the analytics ecosystem. All of these are great, affordable tools for analytics for small businesses and solo printers. Now, there are a few others I mentioned that are not in the Google marketing platform that are worth discussing. If you want to do advanced visualization and you don't mind that
The data is made public
Tablo public is a great way to do that you can do all sorts of analysis and visualize complex data very, very quickly, and it is free for the public addition. The monthly edition itself, for private data is not bad. It's like 35 bucks a month for the personal desktop edition. But it is a subscription.
And then if again, if you have time, but not money, the our programming language and its interface our studio is hands down the the greatest secret weapon that you could use for your business. It is difficult to use it is it is not user friendly. It is a programming language. But if you want to be able to do things like advanced statistics, descriptive analytics and then machine learning and AI R is probably one of the best languages so to our or Python. I happen to lean towards our personally because
I like its programming style better. But this is a good one.
Round up of the affordable and or free analytics tools
I would encourage you to squeeze as much juice out of these as possible particularly the Google marketing platform before you go investing a lot of money into other tools see if what you're trying to do can be done within the Google marketing platform first and yes there are some things that it's not going to be able to do social media monitoring for example is not something that is going to be very good at you could look at a tool like Agoura pulse for that for that social media landscape monitoring for accounts that are not yours you should look at a tool like talk walk for the for that but for your own stuff. And for the you know, top to middle and and middle part of the funnel. Google the Google marketing platform is where you should spend a lot of your time and frankly should be the database of record for most small businesses except for anything that contains personally identifiable information for
Sales and CRM. Honestly. For most small businesses, the free version of HubSpot is pretty darn good. So it's worth looking into. Thanks for the question, Julie. It's a great question. If you have follow up questions, please leave them in the comments. And of course, subscribe to the YouTube channel. In the newsletter I'll talk to you soon. Take care want help solving your company's data analytics and digital marketing problems. This is trust insights.ai today and let us know how we can help you.
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