If you have an online business, or use social media as part of your business strategy, regardless of the online activity you engage in it is important to measure the results to determine how successful your approach has been, and how different elements might be adapted, maintained, or disparaged in the future.
Luckily there are a range of analytic tools to enable you to do this. But there isn’t a comprehensive tool for sole use that will tell you everything you need to know. Using numerous tools simultaneously is optimal, since it is the only way to get the full picture and it provides in-depth insight into your customers, your own performance, and your competitors. But unsurprisingly there are many different tools in the marketplace (some are free) and it can be a little overwhelming.
I’ve listed my favourite top tools to help you measure your online results. Some of them you may have already heard of and be using, others may be new to you. The key with all of them is not to just set up and leave but to get into a habit of checking them on a regular basis:
- Google Analytics: Provides rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness; for instance, you can discover where your website visitors are coming from, what they are doing whilst there, and how often they return. Features include: automatic updates to notify you of important changes in data patterns. Analyse subsets of your traffic with a fast interactive segment builder. Flexible customisation – Get the data you want and present it in the way you want. Track sales and conversions; measure your site engagement goals against your own defined threshold levels. E-commerce tracking. Mobile tracking. Data export API. It’s free and widely used.
- Yahoo web analytics: Similar to Google but adds a bit more depth to your analysis in terms of profiling, filtering and customization. You can get deeper insights into the demographics and interests of your visitors. It also gives better access control options and a simpler approach to multi-site analytics, raw and real time data collection. It’s also free and although not as popular as Google Analytics a useful tool.
- Google Website Optimizer: This allows you to rotate different parts of your website content to identify which sections and placement convert into the most clicks, and ultimately, the most sales. Through this you can find the most optimal content combination as well increase the effectiveness of your website and boost customer satisfaction. It’s also free.
- wroi: With this tool you can track the clicks, leads and sales from all your online advertising from a single place. You can identify which ads, keywords, landing pages and placements convert and which don’t. You can then work out which ones are high in costs but low in sales. Prices start from $24.
- Clicktale: Lots of great features including visitor recordings, Campaign tracking, heatmaps, real time monitoring. It also provides visual conversion paths and why customers abandon your website. You can also improve conversion rates of your online forms from discovering which are left blank, take longest to fill, or even cause them to leave. Prices from $99.
- HyperTracker: An automated tracking management tool. Precisely pinpoint your most productive ads, visitors and products. This tool provides you with various statistics to analyse the success of your campaigns. Track unlimited campaigns for their entire lifespan. They have a free and paid features.
- CrazyEgg: Enables you to build heat maps and track your visitors every click based on where they are specifically clicking within your website. From this you can identify which parts of your site are most popular, clickworthy, and draw most attention. Similar to Clicktale but cheaper. They have a free month’s trial and prices start from $9.
- Compete: Want to know how your competitors are doing in terms of attracting customers to their site or how they are faring against you in terms of traffic? Compete enables you to find out what keywords are sending users both to your website and to your competitors. A very good spying tool where you can see your competitors analytics. Prices from $199.
- Kissinsights: Get real time feedback from your customers and website visitors. You can manage all of the questions you ask customers through a single dashboard. Free plus paid additional features.
- 4Q by iPerceptions: 4Q is a website survey tool which allows business owners to evaluate the online experience, measure customer satisfaction and quickly implement website improvements based on real visitor feedback. Has a free trial and price start from $19.
- Facebook Insights: If you are using Facebook to engage with your customers, this tool is invaluable. It gives detailed information about your follower counts, likes, comments on posts and more. I wrote a blog post on how to use Facebook Insights here.
- Twitalyzer: a useful that evaluates the activity of any Twitter user and reports on relative influence, signal-to-noise ratio, generosity, velocity, clout, and other useful measures of success in social media. Free trial and prices start from $4.99
Hopefully now your convinced about the power of web analytics, don’t just go rampantly signing up to everything. The above tools are just a taster of some of the best. But there are many different types of web analytics that serve various purposes. Before doing anything, firstly consider the statistics you wish to track, and then find a tool that works best to fulfil these needs.
How are you currently measuring your success? Which tools are you using? Please do leave a comment and share your favourites.
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