Data. Numbers. Analytics – Keeping a track of it all can be one tedious, overwhelming process.
But thanks to Web Analytics tools, number-crunching and making sense of data has become quite simple!
What used to be the exclusive sidekick of Data Scientists has now become a friend of every digital marketer. Web Analytics is about figuring out what works and what does not. It helps figure out actionable tactics and aids in making informed decisions while planning the next move.
Before I tell you anything about these tools, you need to know a few basics that might help you along the way.
Assumptions don’t work.
Before you press the buttons for change on the basis of your assumptions, just wait for a second.
Maybe… a little longer than a second?
As a digital marketer, your decisions should involve qualitative and quantitative (yes, both!) analysis of your website’s data.
You already know that? Good. Then let’s get started and look at what you should be doing from 1 to 3.
Also, read when to use qualitative vs quantitative data
Don’t look for hits. I mean, don’t look ONLY for hits.
Focus on the goal.
Website visits should translate into conversions, so shift your focus from hits to conversions.
As a digital marketer, you need to constantly ask yourself questions like: What is the conversion rate? How many views are dripping through the funnel? Are there any bottlenecks?
Decide your goals based on what action you want your visitors to take:
Set your goals based on the actions YOU want the visitor to take. And once that goal is set, it’s time for step 2.
“Why did you leave me?”Your Ex might not give you a proper answer to this question, but Web Analytics tools certainly will.
Look for pages with high exit rates. This will give you an insight into user behavior and help you optimize content.
Once you understand why people leave, you will know what puts them off – and you can figure out how to retain them.
It’s as simple as that. Now if only you could apply this to your personal life, wouldn’t things be easy?
If your website isn’t user-friendly, congratulations! You’ve successfully pushed away millions of users already.
Terrified? No worries! Just avoid these 5 bad UX elements in your design and you’ll be well on your way to major improvement:
Make a note of what you need to sort out, fix those problems, and then look at how it impacts your website data. You’ll be surprised!
Depending on how you plan to use the tools, you can get a lot of details from the data gathered by various Web Analytics tools. However, I’ve listed a few important details that you should have your eyes on.
You can find out the keywords that people search for, which lead them to your website via search results.
This helps you to:
In fact, the blog post you’re reading right now was written by drawing insights from keyword variations that marketers searched for, i.e., “Web Analytics Tools”.
Analyze and redesign your strategy based on your content performance report.
You can, for instance:
Maybe, a new and refined approach designed with the help of insights from Web Analytics tools will make your content work!
And even when it doesn’t, you’ll definitely know about it from analytics tools.
When, where, and why does the user stop his/her journey on your website?
Knowing this is the best thing for an internet marketer.Instead of dismissing your entire strategy, just get rid of the element that isn’t working. Is it the price? An annoying payment procedure? Or a compulsory action that the user doesn’t want to take?
Identify that, redesign the experience thereon, and see the difference!
John Wannamaker, one of the pioneers of Marketing, once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half.”
Well, you don’t have that problem! Measure the success and failure of your online campaigns, understand what works, and experiment with new things.
Set up UTM tags on various URLs to tag which of the articles/campaigns are working. I use this approach whenever I’m doing a guest post. This helps me to know whether that post resulted in driving traffic to my blog or not.
Here is a Step-by-Step guide on UTM tag Builders.
Websites are universal. But not all businesses are.
If your business is one that caters to just one country or city, your Web Analytics needs to reflect data based on your location.
There’s isn’t much of a point if the website of a local store in Ohio gets most of its traffic from Ho Chi Minh City, is there?
Here’s why location is so important:
I know you’ve heard this before, and I’m sure you’ve read it everywhere, but I’ll say it again
Mobile is the present and the future. Do not ignore it.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you are reading this on your phone or tablet. There are millions of people using mobile to access the internet and complete tasks on a regular basis (almost 53% of mobile-users worldwide). In fact, in the next couple of years, there will be a 10% increase in the number of people accessing the internet on their mobile phones!
Now can you imagine the damage you’ve done to your business if your website is not tailored to meet this requirement?
Check what devices and browsers your audience is most on, and optimize accordingly.
And now that you’ve understood what Web Analytics Tools can do for you, let’s take a look at some of the best ones.
And here’s why:
Besides this, I’ve listed 10 Web Analytics tools in two sections: Free and Paid.
The best thing about Clicky is its simplified dashboard which makes it very convenient to check statistics and take quick actions. Plus, it offers:
I particularly love their “Spy” feature, similar to the online feature on Google Analytics. It’s easy on the eye and offers a detailed view of what users are doing on your site, from where they were referred, the country they are in, and the browser and platform they are using to access your content. All of it, in real time.
Ramsay Taplin gives a solid review of Clicky and goes to the extent of saying that it’s better than Goggle Analytics! Blasphemy, is what it is!
And what makes it absolutely irresistible is that it’s fast. You can see that special care has been taken to make information visually appealing and easier to read.
Here’s what Piwik’s features are:
Piwik, apart from giving you complete control over data, is really helpful if you intend to create your own plugins. This is basically because it’s a plugin-based tool.
These features of Woopra make it worth trying:
What I found the most interesting was its “Appconnect” feature. With it, you can utilize the services and features of 3rd party applications through Woopra. This can also include analyzing user behavior and triggering third party applications. For example, triggering a live chat based on a certain user behavior.
Trey Ratcliff reviews Woopra in a quickvideo which you can check for a detailed review.
Here’s what impressed me about Heap Analytics:
This is a tool that efficiently tracks everything – video play, file downloads, form submissions, and literally anything you can place a tracking code on to! Heap records all bits of data and this helps you answer any question you have later.
And now we move on to paid tools – the ones that bring out every marketer’s deepest apprehensions. But trust me, the ones I’ll be listing out will be worth every buck.
Martin Bryant explains how Heap Analytics brings a clever approach to tracking interactions on your website.
So why should you pay for Mint?
Mint enables you to have more control over your site’s analytics and the ease of its extremely user-friendly dashboard is a huge plus. It’s quite refreshing! (No wonder they call it “Mint”!) It also uses native web charts instead of flash.
A few features of Kissmetrics:
One of the most important features is “Path Report,” which will help you analyze the pattern of user interaction with your site. A few features, which are essential to Google Analytics, like “Traffic Data” are missing in Kissmetrics.
Leslie Poston tells you How to combine Kissmetrics with Google Analytics.
Here’ are a few features from MouseFlow:
The scroll heat-map feature is the best, because it tells you how far your users scroll down through your content, with the complete mouse trail of a user. Besides, there are attention, geo, movement, and click heatmaps as well.
Why Crazy Egg?
You can read the in-depth review of Crazy Egg by SeriouslySimpleMarketing.
Features which make Clicktale click
I love their form analytics the most – it shows which fields the users have filled, and which ones they leave out. This becomes highly significant when it comes to analyzing exit rates.
SeoChat reviewed Clicktale, and this is what they had to say about the tool.
You can check out detailed reviews of these tools before you invest in one. However, to make your life easier, here’s a checklist that provides a comparison of all the above mentioned Web Analytics tools (there are 10 of them) for your easy reference.
Never ignore web analytics – it’s often what makes the difference between an ordinary marketer and a powerful, savvy digital marketer!
If you have any suggestions to make or points to add, comment away!
These 10 Tools will help you make the most of Web Analytics data and help you make better decisions.
Disclaimer: "PMI®", "PMBOK®", "PMP®", "PMI-RMP®", "CAPM®" and "PMI-ACP®" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
The Swirl logoTM is a trade mark of AXELOS Limited.
ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited.
PRINCE2® is a Registered Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited.
MSP® is a Registered Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited
Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) and Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST) are registered trade marks of SCRUM ALLIANCE®
Professional Scrum Master is a registered trademark of Scrum.org
The APMG-International Finance for Non-Financial Managers and Swirl Device logo is a trade mark of The APM Group Limited.
The Open Group®, TOGAF® are trademarks of The Open Group.
IIBA®, the IIBA® logo, BABOK® and Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® are registered trademarks owned by International Institute of Business Analysis.
CBAP® is a registered certification mark owned by International Institute of Business Analysis. Certified Business Analysis Professional, EEP and the EEP logo are trademarks owned by International Institute of Business Analysis.
COBIT® is a trademark of ISACA® registered in the United States and other countries.
CISA® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and the IT Governance Institute.
CISSP® is a registered mark of The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium ((ISC)2).
CISCO®, CCNA®, and CCNP® are trademarks of Cisco and registered trademarks in the United States and certain other countries.