HubSpot vs. Google Analytics: a comparison of website analytics tools for marketers
Many marketers use both HubSpot and Google Analytics (GA) but aren’t sure which platform is best when it comes to web analytics. You want to know how all aspects of your website are performing, where visitors are coming from, how they interact with your site, and where they’re converting. And you need to create reports on relevant metrics for your manager or clients.
Both HubSpot and GA have their benefits and limitations when it comes to web analytics. So how can you make the most of these tools?
What HubSpot & Google Analytics have in common
HubSpot is an end-to-end SaaS platform that offers web analytics tools for businesses to “grow better.” Marketers of all shapes and sizes—working both in-house and at agencies—use HubSpot to monitor and report on their marketing efforts. Since HubSpot houses everything within one portal, it’s a breeze to access all the data you need. Plus, HubSpot’s user-friendly interface makes it simple to see how your website is performing.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics service that gives you an in-depth look at your website to better understand your customers. Most marketers have used GA at one point or another and have a basic understanding of what insights it can provide. However, since GA is quite complex, many marketers have a hard time gaining actionable insights from the platform.
Before we get into the limitations of each, let’s first consider the overlap between these two platforms.
You can access traffic analytics in both HubSpot and GA. HubSpot allows you to check traffic month over month, year over year, and compare custom date ranges.
Compared to HubSpot, GA goes more in-depth with traffic reporting. For example, you can check what types of devices your visitors are using, and track new or returning visits.
HubSpot shows you page views for your blog posts, landing pages, website pages, and all page types together. You can then check additional properties like entrances, average time on page, bounce rate, exit rate, and CTA views and clicks.
Google Analytics shows you these same analytics, and also shows your unique page views—the number of sessions during which the specified page was viewed at least once.
Both HubSpot and GA tell you which pages users are converting on. You can easily use HubSpot to track conversions with your site content that was built within HubSpot, like CTA clicks.
With Google Analytics, you can go further and track your visitors’ every interaction within a single session.
HubSpot allows you to see the traffic source (organic traffic, direct traffic, social media, email marketing, referrals, etc.) for your overall website, and for individual pages. You can also include offline sources to include contacts that were added through offline means.
Google Analytics displays your traffic sources and mediums. Google defines source as the origin of your traffic, whether a search engine or a domain. Medium is the category of the source, including organic search, cost-per-click paid search, and web referral. So your source / medium on GA can look something like google / organic or instagram.com / referral.
In HubSpot, you can set up user-specific quotas for your sales and service teams. And you can set up goals in contact-based workflows so that when a contact enrolled in your workflow meets the goal criteria, they’ll be automatically unenrolled. For example, if your goal is to get contacts to fill out a specific form, they’ll be taken out of the workflow once they’ve done so.
Google Analytics allows you to set up different types of goals—any actions you want users to take on your website—and monitor your progress. For example, your goal could be a form submission, or a specific time spent on your pricing page. GA also allows you to set approximate goal values to get a sense of how much a goal is worth to your company.
Reporting limitations of HubSpot
The great thing about HubSpot is that it’s super easy to set up and learn. But when is using HubSpot analytics not enough?
If you really want to dig deep into your website analytics, you’ll face some limitations within the platform.
It’s harder to track how visitors interact with your site as a whole
HubSpot can tell you where users are converting on your site, but Google Analytics can tell you more about how they’re interacting with your site overall. You can see an overview of what brings visitors to your site, what content they’re most interested in, and at what point they leave.
Lacking in-depth insights on visitor behavior
While HubSpot shows you how individual users navigate your website during a session, GA gets into the specifics of your visitors’ behavior. One thing you can’t see on HubSpot is how your visitor behavior differs between mobile and desktop users.
GA’s Behavior Flow report visualizes the path your users take throughout your site, and in-depth insights help you pinpoint areas of improvement. For example, if one of your product pages has the highest exit rate, you might be able to adjust the content and add relevant CTAs to guide visitors where you want them to go next.
It’s harder to get a birds-eye view of your website
With HubSpot, you can easily track how your individual web pages are performing, but it’s harder to see your website performance on a large scale. When it comes to seeing the bigger picture and analyzing your site as a whole, Google Analytics is your best bet. With GA, you can get an overview of your site for a specific period of time, or for specific groups of people.
No segmented traffic reports
Unlike HubSpot, Google Analytics allows you to create segmented traffic reports. For example, you can create a custom segment that isolates the traffic you receive from LinkedIn so you can learn more about this user group, like what content they’re checking out the most. Or you can segment by users’ ages if you have a target audience in a specific age group.
GA offers a realm of segmentation possibilities since you incorporate multiple metrics in one segment. You can analyze your Instagram traffic from the UK representing people in the 18-35 age range, for example. Or you can compare traffic from LinkedIn vs. Facebook in a given time period.
Reporting limitations of Google Analytics
While GA can give you an extremely detailed view of your site, it can have a higher barrier of entry compared to HubSpot. HubSpot is pretty user-friendly and quick to learn, but Google Analytics can feel a little intimidating. Here are some other limitations you could face.
It’s harder to see the direct impact on pipeline and revenue
Whereas HubSpot allows you to track your leads and check your conversion funnel’s performance, Google Analytics is more focused on the big picture of your website. The massive amount of data you have access too can be overwhelming, which makes it harder to see how your website performance impacts your pipeline and revenue.
Limited SEO reports
Google Analytics provides some SEO reports including the search terms visitors use to find your site. But HubSpot’s SEO and Content Strategy tools help you better plan your SEO strategy and optimize your content. For example, you can check the average search volume for specific keywords, on-page SEO recommendations, and the number of inbound links within HubSpot.
No reporting at the contact level
One of HubSpot’s key advantages is the ability to create marketing reports that help you analyze your contacts. You can create reports for:
- New contacts created by day in a specific date range
- Average number of new contacts created in a specific date range
- New contacts by source
- Most recently created contacts
- Returning contacts
Since Google Analytics is not a CRM, you simply can’t get these reports at the contact level.
It’s harder to visualize the customer journey
Compared to Google Analytics, HubSpot helps you better answer this crucial question: How do your website visitors become customers?
Whereas Google Analytics gives you a clearer picture of your website as a whole, it’s hard to track individual users and how they become leads. HubSpot, on the other hand, helps you better analyze your prospect or customer’s actions over time.
Why bring HubSpot and Google Analytics data together?
Get a complete overview of your marketing performance
HubSpot and Google Analytics give you different types of web analytics. By bringing the data from both platforms together with a product like Supermetrics, you can analyze your entire marketing and sales performance in one place. Slice and dice your data to see what’s working well with your website, and pinpoint the areas you need to focus on.
We’ve recently added HubSpot connectors to three of our products: Supermetrics for Google Sheets, Supermetrics for Google Data Studio, and Supermetrics for Excel.
Analyze and report on the entire customer journey with ease
By bringing all your HubSpot and GA data together, you can analyze and report across the entire customer journey in a single platform. This helps you “close the loop” on marketing performance and ROI. You can check how many web pages users visit along their journey, for example, and see what users did before clicking on your CTA.
Better understand your channel performance
The more digital channels you use, the harder it can be to get a full picture of your marketing performance. That is if your data is siloed.
But by combining data from HubSpot and GA—as well as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter—you can understand how your campaigns convert across channels. Compare the performance of different campaigns within each channel, and compare how campaigns perform across multiple channels. These insights will tell you which channels have the highest ROI for your campaigns so you can budget accordingly.
Create bespoke sales and marketing reports
Tell better stories with your data by creating customized reports. With Supermetrics, you’re no longer limited to HubSpot or GA’s native functionalities. Instead, you can create full-funnel reports and decide exactly what data you want to visualize in a dashboard.
How to blend data from HubSpot and Google Analytics
Pull your data together into a spreadsheet
Automatically combine your HubSpot and Google Analytics data (as well as other data sources) into Google Sheets. That’s where you can really dig deeper into your data.
Instead of manually transferring your data into an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet—which is a very painful process—a product like Supermetrics will do all the heavy lifting for you.
Easily combine GA data with HubSpot data using Supermetrics
Visualize your data in a dashboard
After you’ve analyzed your data in a spreadsheet, visualizing your data in the natural next step. Whether you’re using Google Data Studio or another tool, Supermetrics eliminates any manual work by automatically pulling your data into a dashboard and refreshing daily. This makes it easy for your manager or client to see your marketing success at a glance.
Manually gathering data from HubSpot, Google Analytics, and other sources is simply not time well spent. Why get caught up in the busywork on copying and pasting numbers and taking screenshots when there are tools that automate reporting?
With Supermetrics, you can automatically combine your HubSpot and GA data together with data from all your other marketing platforms. No more hours spent collecting data—just pick the relevant metrics to include in your reports. You can also send automatic daily, weekly, or monthly reports to your client’s or manager’s email. Automate your data collection so you can focus on creating more value for your business or clients.
It’s not about HubSpot or Google Analytics, but HubSpot and Google Analytics
Rather than contemplating which website analytics tool is better for you, first establish what you need to measure based on your goals. Then combine the insights you need from HubSpot, Google Analytics, and your other marketing platforms to slice, dice, and analyze the data any way you want.
We built Supermetrics so marketers don’t need to choose between HubSpot or Google Analytics, but can instead use both HubSpot and Google Analytics.
If you’re ready to start making better use of your HubSpot and Google Analytics data, start your free Supermetrics 14-day trial today!
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