Seg vs GA: Comparing funnel and website analytics

As a marketer it’s pretty certain you use Google Analytics.

It’s the swiss army knife of marketing tools, used to handle a bunch of tasks to an acceptable degree.

But it’s being stretched past its core functionality, where the underlying tech of cookies and visitor IDs can’t easily cope. 

GA was created in 2005 when Google acquired a software called Urchin. At that point websites were a collection of static pages with online advertising being a new concept. So, all GA had to do was measure:

  • How many people were visiting a website
  • The source that took them to the site

With the growth of online businesses has come a growth in complexity, of the tasks that people are asking of their analytics such as cross-device tracking and complex sales funnels.

So, let’s look at each funnel stage and see where Google Analytics is still a great option and where SegMetrics is needed to maximize your revenue.

Google AnalyticsSegMetrics
UTM dataYesYes
Ad SpendOnly Google AdsYes
Goals completionsYesYes
BouncesYesNo
eCom flowsYesNo
Email interactionsNoYes
Webinar attendanceNoYes
On-site purchasesYesYes
Off-site purchasesIf IntegratedYes
Attribution window30 DaysInfinite
Subscription revenueNoYes
Repeat purchases (LTV)NoYes
Refund rateNoYes
Multi-purchase attributionNoYes

GA: Great at Top Of Funnel

Google Analytics is still great for analyzing your top of funnel.

It can measure who is landing on your website and how they navigate it. You can see whether people stick around after reading an article, the checkout stage that’s failing on certain devices or the goal completion rate of different sources.

So it is invaluable for the acquisition and activation stages of the funnel, for analyzing situations such as UI issues and website elements that stop people from buying.

SegMetrics is not designed to capture these details. 

It will record the UTM data and goal completions for people who complete actions like buying a product or downloading a lead magnet, but won’t collect data on people who never join your funnel

SegMetrics: Best for Middle of Funnel

Once a visitor has left the website they are of minimal interest to Google Analytics.

People get moved into an email marketing platform or CRM. These silos will ignore the context, rarely collecting context such as their original source / medium or the lead magnet that drew them to the mailing list.

GA will only be able to tell you that someone joined a funnel, with no way to see which visitors progressed through your email sequence or MOF activities.

SegMetrics can bridge these data silos.

By using person-based analytics, someone’s top of funnel information and middle of funnel interactions can both be connected to their contact ID.

You can begin to see details such as how prospects from different ad campaigns interact with your email sequence or webinars.

SegMetrics: Best for Bottom of Funnel

Google Analytics was not designed to measure long-term behavior.

It can be set up to measure purchases made on the website with some amount of multi-touch attribution. But, it is weak at tracking whether someone came back to make repeat purchases or maintained their subscription.

This is where SegMetrics excels.

Each person’s transaction history is tied back to their contact ID. Repeat purchases or off-site transactions will all be connected to them, whether they’re months or years later.

It will even record refunds and cancellations, so you can see which groups aren’t converting from a free trial to paid or are sending back items.

SegMetrics: Best for Multi-Purchase Attribution

Google Analytics can tie an individual purchase back to the handful of touchpoints that prompted it within a 30 day window.

But it can’t handle complex sales cycles or compare average lifetime value, while the data is a black box that will often disagree with other platforms.

SegMetrics lets you attribute someone’s lifetime spend back to the original source. SegMetrics users often discover that not all leads are made equal, that some sources or campaigns bring in customers that spend 3-4x times as much over their lifetime.

We call this multi-purchase attribution, the ability to look beyond where an isolated sale came from to see where all of your revenue came from. By connecting it to individual customers, you also avoid conflicting data between silos as you can see exactly where they came from.

Conclusion: Use GA for measuring website interactions and SegMetrics for holistic funnel analysis

We’re not going to say you should abandon Google Analytics. It is still extremely useful, we even still use it ourselves to measure behavior on our own site.

But if you are interested in more than just single immediate purchases, check out SegMetrics.

It can help with a variety of challenges, such as:

  • a long sales cycle from lead magnet download to sale
  • attracting repeat buyers, the 80/20 customers who spend the most
  • seeing where paying subscribers came from not just trial signups

If you are looking to maximize your revenue then grab a 14 Day Free Trial. It can import your historic data, so you can get instant insights without having to wait for numbers to flow in.

It also comes with a complimentary Kickoff Call, where one of our consultants will walk through your funnel with you to show you instant answers and help you get to grips with this new style of analytics.

Rylee Mathis

Rylee Mathis is the Virtual Assistant to CEO of SegMetrics, Keith Perhac. She assists in the curation of DBO content and marketing as well as social media posts and partner outreach for SegMetrics.