In yesterday’s post, I shared with you the basics of web analytics – what it is, why it’s important for your business website and how you can incorporate it on your site. There are a variety of tools available online that offer a host of features when it comes to tracking web analytics.
But let me first make it clear that while these tools, and the data provided by these tools are very good, if there is no one to interpret the data, this awesome information is pretty useless. So, when choosing a web analytics tool, pick one that fits your business requirement and your team. Below, I have listed some of the best tools out there that can track how people are interacting with your website.
Web Analytics Tools
Google Analytics is the most preferred free web analytics tool available online. It gives you insight into how visitors use your site, where they came from and how you can keep them coming back. It also lets you measure sales and conversions, and tells you which pages are most popular, so you can give your customers a better experience. This reporting platform is powerful, yet easy to use, giving you a lot of flexibility in customizing and viewing your analysis reports. There is also a premium version available that offers more features.
Mint is a popular self-hosted website analytics tool that is simple and easy to install. It boasts of a flexible dashboard that you can use to get details regarding site visits, referrers, popular pages and searches all at a single glance. The licence to track analytics for a single website costs $30.
Reinvigorate offers simple, real-time web analytics and heatmaps that make it unique. The reporting is done real-time and you don’t have to wait a day or even an hour to know what’s happening on your website. Heat maps show you where on your website users click the most. This will help you redesign your site to remove dead spots and increase user engagement. You can also track all these reports right from your desktop. Prices start at $10 per month, or $100 per year, but they do offer a 14-day free trial.
KISSmetrics offers the ability to track an unlimited number of people. It also lets you track every important event that a visitor does on your website. This allows you to understand where they came from, what they did, what led them to become a customer and everything they do after the transaction. This information will help you understand your customers better and take the required action to improve your site. Plans start at $150 per month but they are currently offering a 14-day free trial (no credit card required).
Over half a million websites around the world depend on Clicky to monitor, analyze, and react to their visitor traffic in real time. They have a free option where you can track just one website, or you can pay more for one of the premium plans that offer more features.
GoingUp is a free service that offers a number of tracking and optimization tools. You can get live web stats that track page views, links, visitors and keywords. There is also a site analyzer that checks your site structure, links and the popularity of your content. It also offers heat maps, and the ability to track particular goals you’ve set and actions made by site visitors.
Woopra gives you a complete life cycle view of visitor activity on your website – in real-time! You can create customer profiles and label them according to the action they performed on your website. You can also do live customer monitoring and observe how visitors navigate through your website. This data is very beneficial for any marketer to refine their online marketing campaigns. They offer a 30 day free trial to test out what they have to offer. They have a free basic plan for non-commercial use as well.
Piwik is another free, open source web analytics software that you can install on your web server. You have complete control over the data and reports as it is hosted on your server. It also has options to let you view real-time activity on your website. This software is available in 48 languages and has been downloaded more than 1 million times!
Social Media Tracking Tools
On Day 24, I shared with you the role of social media marketing in growing your business. Just as various parameters on your website can be tracked, the same can be done on many of the social media channels as well. By getting more insight into how people connect with you on social media, you can refine your social media strategy to make it more suitable to reach your audience.
Social Mention is a free social media search and analysis platform that collects online content from across the world wide web and presents it in a single stream of information. You can easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your business, your product, or any topic across various social medial channels in real time. Social Mention monitors over 100 social media platforms including, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Digg, Google+, etc.
Trackur is an affordable social monitoring tool. As social media marketing is becoming a must-have online marketing strategy, this tool will help you get insights on what is happening on your social media profiles. They track all the major social media channels providing you a wealth of user behavior data that you can use to revitalize your online strategies. They offer a 10 day free trial for all their plans. Their normal rate starts at $27 per month.
Facebook Insights allows Facebook page owners the ability to view various metrics about their content. Factors that are usually tracked include user demographic – age, gender and location, content reach and engagement. With the latest update that’s been rolled out, page owners can also see when their fans are usually online and what types or content are more popular. With these insights, you will definitely be able to alter your Facebook marketing strategy to get more engagement from those who follow you.
Twitter Counter is a free service which provides basic statistics of your Twitter profile. You need to opt for the premium options to get more data and reports. You can also use their badge or widget to display your twitter stats on your website.
Twitalyzer provides you a wealth of twitter related data that you use for your twitter marketing strategy. This is relatively a new player but seems quite robust with lots of metrics and reports to streamline your marketing efforts. They have a free 7 day trial and their subscription plans start at $19 per month.
Hootsuite, Sproutsocial and Buffer are social media management tools with integrated analytics to monitor all your social media efforts. We use Hootsuite to schedule our social media updates and to keep track of our social media mentions.
WordPress Analytics Plugins
This is the basic stats plugin that is available as part of the free WordPress Jetpack. This plugin only tracks the very basic visitor activity, so the data you have to deal with is minimal and there is not much load on your server. This is recommended only if you are just starting out and do not want to be overwhelmed with all the information that other web analytics tools normally provide.
This WordPress plugin will display Google Analytics data and statistics in the form of a widget in the WordPress dashboard. You will be able to view detailed information and statistics about the number of visits, number of visitors, bounce rates, organic searches and pages per visit directly on your WordPress admin dashboard. Authorized users can also view statistics like number of views, unique views and top searches at the end of each article on the website itself.
This plugin adds real-time analytics from Woopra (the web analytics tool mentioned above) to any WordPress installation. The plugin is easy to install and you will have access to all of Woopra’s tracking and analysis that’s done for your website.
This plugin allows you to track your WordPress site easily and with lots of metadata. It will give you detailed statistics such as views per author, views per category, outbound clicks and page views. The installation is simple and is integrated with the Google Analytics API – the fastest and most reliable tracking code.
As you can see, there are a various ways to keep track of analytics on your website and social media channels. If you are just starting out and have a low marketing budget, you’ll want to go for one of the free options, and manage with that until you can afford a more expensive tool. As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, you will have to analyze and respond to the information these analytics tools provide – only then will you be able to give your visitors a better experience and enhance your online business.
Click here to catch up on all the posts in this series.