Hiring a freelance Google Analytics consultant makes sense in many cases. The implementation of an analytics setup could get done without any long-term commitment. Quasi faster and less stressful than hiring an agency.
Does the expert have to be in the same place for this? Rather not.
Nowadays, Google Analytics implementation can be carried out remotely. The web analytics consultant implements a tag management system on the website and then tests the configurations. The data collection should afterwards be configured and the analysis can begin.
Freelance consultants can work remotely while communication takes place via email or video call. Both client and freelancer can then concentrate on their work without much further coordination. So the location does not play an important role here. The customer is not restrained to a local area and can hire the analytics expert with the best offer.
If you need help to implement and configure Google Analytics, feel free to reach out to me. I am a Google Analytics consultant doing freelance work and can certainly help. I have built modern analytics setups for enterprises and large ecommerce shops for years. Now I work as an independent web analytics consultant and advise companies about internet marketing. You can find out more about me on my about page.
A Google Analytics consultant plans and implements a tracking setup for a web presence, that collects e.g. critical user interactions and transactions.
Together with the client, he or she defines a measurement plan with all key performance indicators (KPI) that generate an actionable insight. The measurement plan serves also as the basis for the Google Analytics implementation and monthly reporting.
The necessary tools are usually Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics.
Google Tag Manager is the most popular Tag Management System, with a market share of 94%. Google Analytics is the equivalent, with a 84% market share in the traffic analysis tool market.
The Google Analytics specialist implements the tracking system (potentially together with a web agency) and configures data collection in Google Analytics and GTM. Additional tools for data visualization or advanced analysis may be added to the mix, based on the business needs.
If a completely new Google Analytics setup should be implemented, a freelancer can easily do the job remotely. This can be done in collaboration with a web agency that manages the website code. Alternatively, i.e. if the source code is accessible, the implementation could be carried out independently.
When working together with a freelancer, you can communicate directly with the person that does the task. This saves time and avoids misunderstandings.
Another scenario in which hiring a Google Analytics freelancer makes sense is when an Analytics setup is to be extended.
Websites are constantly changing and growing. Therefore the tracking setup must be extended as well, to account for newly added functionalities or tracking across multiple websites.
Hence there are regularly new KPIs that are added to the tracking setup. For example new user form submissions, additional custom events or a new logic for visitor segmentation.
Website owners working with retargeting usually don't have all the metrics figured out to segment their audiences when they first start out with digital marketing.
Refining the tracking for visitor segmentation is therefore a typical later addition. As a result, retargeting runs only on visitors who actually signaled a serious interest in the product. It decreases the target audience and increases the conversion rate. Generally, all Google Analytics events or segments can be configured for creating user segments for Facebook, Google Adwords or any other paid traffic source.
For ecommerce websites, this is a common strategy, since visitors already signaled through their product views and filter selections what they are interested in. That's why a digital marketing strategy in the ecommerce sector often focuses on retargeting campaigns on very refined user segments, due to their relatively high conversion rate.
Once an ecommerce store becomes efficient with their retargeting strategy, they may even start multiple websites in the same niche only for the purpose of enlarging their user segments. In such situations analytics consulting and consulting for paid and programmatic advertising reaches business critical importance.
Other typical Google Analytics projects are mostly related to problems with correctly measuring user interactions or analyzing data. In such case, a Google Analytics audit ensures that data collection runs as expected.
Another typical challenge is that data is usually located in various data silos, such as a database, CRM or analytics tool. To solve this, analytics consultants integrate data silos with one another or create a third, encompassing data store (so-called "data lake") for analysis.
Once the data collection runs smoothly and all data is accessible and can be analyzed, all KPIs are ready for reporting.
Another consideration is also to what extent a continuous optimization and test-cycle should be introduced as a process in the company. If a company relies heavily on digital marketing for its business goals and overall strategy it is worth trying to integrate solid processes to ensure marketing decisions are based on data insights.
All these scenarios can be managed by independent Google Analytics specialists just as well as with a marketing agency.
Independent Google Analytics consultants add value solely through their neutral role.
Usually, an agency is hired for planning and executing digital marketing campaigns, such as SEO, paid search or social media. Afterwards, the same agency is then tasked with validating their campaign performance. So a conflict of interest arises automatically since the outcome of the analysis could have an impact on future business.
A freelance Google Analytics consulting service solves this problem because it is only for data analysis. There are therefore no conflicts of interest. The neutrality of a freelancer offers to look at campaign results from a neutral standpoint.
But is the quality of a freelancer the same as with an agency? It depends: If it is an experienced Google Analytics consultant, you probably won't notice a difference. Ultimately, it is the same type of person who analyzes the Google Analytics data, only the desk is at a different place.
The fact that it is freelancing, should not impose that the delivery is of lower quality - rather the opposite.
For many experts in their field, freelancing is the typical next step in a career of an agency employee, due to the increased autonomy. A self-employed analytics expert can control which projects to take on and how to run them, while having to do less administrative tasks.
In fact, freelancers or "iPros" are the fastest growing group in the EU labour market since 2004. They account for 7% of the total workforce in the EU and the vast majority (76.6%) made that choice freely - including me.
Web analytics typically begins with a data collection phase, followed by an analysis and optimization phase. It is a cycle that runs continuously. In each iteration, a hypothesis validated through data and fine-tuned accordingly.
Analytics consulting roles are usually divided into two responsibilities:
- implementation for data collection
- analysis and reporting
You can decide in which of the areas an analytics task falls into. Based on this, a profile for the optimal Google Analytics freelance consultant can be created.
Data collection is often very technical, since the implementation and "data piping" from different sources to the Google Analytics account is undertaken here.
Theoretically, it is also possible to combine data sources without any programming. Dashboard tools can do that pretty well these days. The limitations of the various analysis and reporting tools ultimately decide whether data integration is done with a dashboard tool or customized.
The data analysis role can be carried out very technically as well or not at all, if analysis takes place in a typical web GUI, as with the Google Analytics UI or a dashboard interface.
The required skills for the analysis role may therefore reach from querying relational databases to designing good looking custom dashboards.
So why do I talk about the necessary skills if it is difficult to nail them down and it seems to depend on the project? - The point is that there are usually a variety of ways to solve an analytics problem. It can always be solved in a complicated manner, but more often than not it can be done more easily if we make compromises.
Which way is the best is decided based on expectations, preferences for analytics tools and finally budget. Therefore, it is best to let the analytics expert propose different solutions and then choose the one that aligns best with the project requirements.
I did a lot of analytics consulting for enterprises or medium-sized ecommerce websites. Either Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics are my analytics stacks, along with the respective tag management systems and data visualization tools.
The analytics setups were typically integrated with advertising networks such as Google Ads, Twitter, Facebook Ads and Co.
I often work closely together with Google Ads experts to decide on the best KPIs to improve the conversion rate of our user segments.
Reporting was done either with custom reports or with dashboards by Klipfolio, Google Data Studio or Power BI. Reporting on the performance of SEO campaigns was a typical focus of the dashboards. They included data from various third-party tools or scraped data for a single report.
You can take a closer look at my Linkedin profile to know more.
I do most of my freelancing work from Copenhagen, Denmark and occasionally from Northern Germany, Berlin and Hamburg. During winter, I usually work from my wife's home in Indonesia. The isolation is perfect for me to concentrate on my tasks. However, for the rest of the year I am usually in Europe.
There are many use-cases, where a freelance Google Analytics consultant is the right fit for an analytics project. The neutrality of a remote analyst adds more value since no conflicts of interest in the report's outcome arise. Paired with the flexibility of hiring an analytics expert on a per-project basis, it is a serious option for business owners of all sizes.