Looking to take your digital inbound marketing to the next level? If so, then you'll need as much insight as you can get into your website traffic, conversions, leads, and everything in between. Fortunately, there are many tools at your disposal that are designed to save you time while providing the in-depth reporting and analysis you need to make more informed marketing decisions.
Two of the more popular tools available include Google Analytics and HubSpot. By having a better understanding of what these two platforms have to offer and how to choose the solution that's right for your needs, you can transform your inbound marketing strategy and optimize your budget.
First, it's important to understand the main similarities and differences between these two platforms. HubSpot is a dedicated inbound marketing platform that is specifically designed to automate a portion of your business marketing. It essentially works by collecting data on web traffic, leads, customers, and other actions to generate custom reports that can provide valuable insights for your marketing team.
Within the HubSpot platform, there are also numerous modules designed to make your marketing as seamless as possible. This includes not just the analytics tools mentioned above, but workflows, social media, blogging, SEO tools, and more. All of this makes HubSpot a true "all-in-one" inbound marketing tool that can benefit any business, regardless of size or industry.
In terms of pricing, HubSpot offers a number of subscription options to suit an organization's unique needs (this is not a one-size-fits-all tool, and the pricing reflects that). The size of your company will be one of the biggest influencing factors when it comes to costs.
Another powerful reporting tool to consider for improving your inbound marketing is Google Analytics. The main draw of this platform is its price; its basic version is free to use—and there are plenty of great features that marketing teams can use to step up their inbound strategies.
Aside from its free price, many people enjoy the customizable nature of Google Analytics; there are plenty of ways to go about personalizing and tweaking the types of information you wish to collect and analyze, especially when it comes to your audience. In fact, Google Analytics can even be used to analyze specific segments of your site visitors, which can then help you make more informed decisions regarding your site design.
Compared to HubSpot, however, Google Analytics does have some shortcomings. Unlike HubSpot, Google Analytics is not designed to be an all-in-one marketing tool. Instead, it is generally best for use as a supplement to another marketing platform. It's a great tool for learning more about your audience and generating some insightful reports without paying anything, but (unless you're willing to pony up for the premium/paid version), its features cannot truly compare with that of a dedicated platform like HubSpot.
Deciding on an analytics tool
Whether you're thinking about using HubSpot for your inbound marketing analytics or are considering either the free or paid version of Google Analytics, there are some things to consider that may help you reach your decision.
Ease of use
An intuitive design is key when implementing any new tool at your business; the more user-friendly the design, the easier it will be for your marketing team to adopt the new tool. This may also mean that they require less training to confidently use the platform, which saves your business money.
In general, both HubSpot and Google Analytics are incredibly easy to use. However, some have complained that the main dashboard for Google Analytics can be a little overwhelming at first because there are a lot of figures, graphs, and charts. HubSpot's dashboard is arguably more user-friendly and intuitive, and its navigation makes it easy to find what you're looking for.
HubSpot also comes with the advantage of maintaining all your data and reports within one portal, so you can access the information you need anytime and from any device.
Cost is a major consideration when deciding on a marketing tool for any business. If you're looking for a cost-effective tool, both HubSpot and Google Analytics have options to suit your needs. While HubSpot's services will cost more, you will also enjoy more features with this tool than you would with Google Analytics. Meanwhile, the exact cost you'll pay (usually charged per month) will be based on the size of your business, among other factors.
While Google Analytics is free to use for its basic service, the basic platform does not offer anywhere near the same level of tools and features as HubSpot. If you're looking for a free tool to complement a paid analytics tool, then Google Analytics may be a great choice. As a standalone option, however, it leaves a lot to be desired.
Using HubSpot and Google Analytics together
Overall, if you're looking for a great all-in-one tool for your marketing, HubSpot is probably your best bet. While Google Analytics offers some excellent features, it focuses primarily on your website. Meanwhile, HubSpot can help you make the most out of other aspects of your business (like SEO, social media, and more). Both platforms also handle leads and site visit data very differently.
However, all of this is not to say that you can't successfully use both tools simultaneously. In fact, you will probably get the most out of your HubSpot membership if you're also using a supplemental tool like Google Analytics to tap even deeper into your website.
Both HubSpot and Google Analytics can be excellent tools for growing your business and optimizing your marketing budget. And at the end of the day, there's no need to choose one platform over the other because you can use them simultaneously. With HubSpot, you'll enjoy detailed reporting and customizable tools to take your inbound marketing to new levels. Meanwhile, Google Analytics can provide some excellent insights into your website activity.
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