Site statistics and website analytics are the most common and important terms used in the digital arena and maybe you’ve already heard these terms many times before. But, ever wonder what exactly they refer to and how they are useful to your business?
Today’s marketing landscape is slowly moving closer to understanding your customers’ demands. According to Search Engine Titans “over the last two years, 90% of global data has been produced by digital search / search engines (organic and paid results) and social media content”. Internet marketing is more than just electronic mails. Customers usually end up on the website through multiple paths – these include banner ads, pop-up advertisements, links from different social media sites and search engine results. In order to understand what facet is effective and not, you will need to track all these behaviors.
Website Analytics Defined
The term website analytics, also known as site statistics, generally refers to the analysis, measurement and reporting about the website. Web analytics contain very essential information which enables webmasters to gain better understanding of the website’s performance and develop effective strategies to optimize their marketing campaigns. To simplify, it is a report on – who visits your site, how they’re able to get to your website, what they do when they landed on your pages and where they go afterward.
Website Analytics: the Backdrop of your Online Strategy
When looking at your website’s data you will come across several information and technical terms. Your website analytics will help you track and know your audience through the demographic data, the information about the browsers these visitors use, user behavior, Order Value, Returned Visitors, Average Session time and the number of visits you have on your website. But it isn’t enough to know who your customers are and where they are coming from, right? Of course, you want to know which marketing efforts, where you’ve spent your money and good deal of time, are most successful!
A staple of ideal website analytics will include the behavior of your audience. This way you can possibly determine which pages are highly visited, how long your visitors spend on your website and where these visitors exited. Additionally, a good web analytics will also contain your campaign data where you can tell what specific campaign drives your visitor to your website and what keywords they use when searching your site. Indeed, site statistics is more than just plain information you are getting about your website. A good tool will help you track and measure the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts with great accuracy in real time.
Knowing the Real Value
Site statistics is not just about installing script on your website nor setting up reports to know how your website is performing. Truth is? It requires analysis. The statistics and numbers your product delivers should be interpreted before they can have a real value to make informed decisions. The analytical data it provides will give greater understanding to online business owners in developing strategy for their websites. This understanding can help them redesign and tailor their website and online services to the online user’s needs or to influence their purchasing behaviors. It allows website owners to optimize their online strategy and set realistic goals.
Bottom line – Every Website Owner Needs Website Analytics
Website statistics can surely give you huge amount of information about your site but choosing the right tool for your business can often be overwhelming. Here’s a treat for you! We have rounded up the top criteria to consider before finally going through the Web Analytics tools selection process.
Evaluate the Must-Have Features – product reviews from authority sites and forums might be good source of introductory research especially if you are not yet familiar with its overall market. You can further simplify the process by evaluating the following core functions and features.
– The data sources should match to your specific needs. So, it helps to consider the access to multiple databases and file types the product contains.
– Visualization is another must-have feature. You don’t want to waste time reading and interpreting all the information in your report, learn to evaluate which data are particularly important to you. A good product must allow users to filter data and summarize detailed data for visualizations.
– Security is a very essential feature a web analytics product should have. The product must require both role-based and user based security so you can designate who can use, create and administer applications. The tool should also involve security along with other important security mechanism form database, network and computer’s operating system.
– Delivery mode should also be considered when choosing the right web analytics tool for your business. Real time integration and offline updates are commonly overlooked but very essential capabilities of a good analytic system. The tool must allow for tabular and print reports which can be exported to different graphics like PDF. A tool that features a simple visual task which can be completed through Excel or Word document is a strong candidate! BI product that features performance monitoring of data usage and report also offers a huge advantage to assessing the needs of your infrastructures and removing the common bottlenecks.
Consider the Cost
In many cases, business owners make careful monetary considerations. They must determine the anticipated budgets for the initial program, sustaining the tool and expanding it for the following years. We understand you have other practical priorities and website analytics tool doesn’t have to be an additional burden for your part. There is a wide selection of free to mid-priced products you can choose if you cannot afford a large investment for now. When choosing a product, be upfront to your budget. Buy a license that does not only deliver quality report and analysis but also meets your company’s budget requirements.
Know the Learning Curve
Some of us are not willing to spend great amount of time and money to learn the technology. In addition to fees, you must consider the training the system will require. Go ahead and start evaluating the product. Does it provide ease of analytical use? Does the platform gives friendly client user interface for consumer, mobile and web-based users? There are good products in the market which allows users to use their data processing service for free and has analytic feat
ure associated with them. You can look at those products with inline analytics where you can simply export results for interpretation and visualization.
Understand your Preference (when product meets your expectations)
The best way to know if you are getting the right web analytics tool for your business is when the product meets most of your preferences. Do you prefer a commercial license, opens source or cloud premise software? How about the infrastructure options you want to integrate with the software? Does it work with your preferred operating systems? Choosing an outstanding product that matches your preferences is going to become increasingly essential to your business. So you need to have a clear definition of your requirements for the projects.
Learn the Production Environment
Have you heard of issues about missing data and cross validation? Learning the production environment of your product is about avoiding the common challenges you may encounter otherwise you will be frustrated during the “process”. A good tool must handle missing data and auditing functionality. You must be smart in evaluating the platform’s capability because once you’ve made your buying-decision then all you have is work with what you’ve already got.
Conclusion: Top 3 Web Analytics tool for your Business
Given the above criteria, here are our top three web analytics tools you may use for your business.
Google Analytics is one of the most popular and highly recommended web analytics tools use worldwide by thousands of webmasters today. And there is a very large list of users who are highly satisfied and can confirm this. This platform typically enables visitor segmentation and Search Engine Optimization through referral and geographic resources. What’s make it even more exciting to webmasters? It provides drill-down reports while watching the traffic patterns of their web page contents giving users the best details to analyze the success of their marketing campaigns and SEO.
Hubspot is promising software which allows you to close the loop of your online strategy through revenue reporting and attribution. The software boasts the key website metrics to measure both quality and quantity of your website traffic. Additionally, the best thing about Hubspot is the detailed reporting which does not only allow you to print and visualize your website information. It includes competitor’s report so you can be able to see and even compare your data with the other companies in similar industry. Although there were several reports of users having personal issues on the learning curve of the system, their hard work always paid off as they were able to achieve with what they wanted to do with their websites. Plus, whenever customers faced difficulties in using the software, Hubspot customer support team is quick to respond to any queries.
Crazy Egg doesn’t require you a huge investment for a quality web analytics service. It also provides a very detailed reporting where webmasters can quickly determine where site visitors are clicking on their landing pages. Its click tracking service is said to be phenomenally insightful which generally helps them make changes of their marketing campaigns accordingly. You can easily find positive reviews about Crazy Egg being superior to Google Analytics overlay. Another relevant functionality of Crazy Egg that we find interesting is the ease of system integration with optimization. Well, if you want to give this web analytic tool you can sign up for their free trial version and cancel your account anytime if it doesn’t meet your requirements.