“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Peter Drucker wasn’t speaking about Web analytics, but he might as well have been. Web analytics are critical to the success of any online business; without them you’re literally flying blind. If you’re not using these tools you could be missing out on important insights on how to improve your business. We’ve compiled 13 must have tools for professionals serious about measuring and managing their online presence. There is no other form of marketing and commerce more readily measurable than the Web, so let’s get our math geek on and start digging into some actionable analytics.
The leading, totally free, Web analytics software gives you an in-depth look at your site, top to bottom.
- Segment your audience by traffic source, operating system, location, number of visits or dozens of other attributes to see how different visitors user your site with Google’s Advanced Segments functionality.
- Get ecommerce data including revenue, product sales, quantity and more when you configure Google Analytics to provide ecommerce reporting.
- Multi-channel funnels show you which marketing efforts contributed to driving visitors to you, regardless of the final source that landed them at your site.
- Real-time analytics are beginning to scratch the surface of the real time data at your finger tips about who is on your site and what they’re looking at, right now.
Providing detailed funnel analysis to help you truly understand what drives conversions.
- Allows you to define custom events to track on your website – perfect if you’re having trouble with other analytics packages that don’t fit your site just right
- User-level data lets you see individual visitors’ journeys through your conversion funnel.
- Step-by-step analysis lets you evaluate each part of your funnel in detail to identify weak spots, and decide where to focus your optimization efforts
- Set revenue/conversion objectives and manage to them in almost real-time
Another powerful product from KISS Metrics, Insights gives you the ability to collect qualitative data from your site visitors quickly and easily.
- Ask survey questions and collect responses from visitors without needing them to leave the page
- Collect email opt-ins and build your interest list while collecting valuable feedback.
- Configure your survey to appear in response to a number of different visitor behaviors, including time spent on the page, where arrived at your page from and even if they’re about to close the page
Powerful heat maps that let you see what’s resonating with visitors.
- Heat maps show you where users clicked. Use this information to understand what’s hot and what’s not with your visitors.
- Scrollmaps show you how far users are willing to go down the page before giving up. Ideal for determining whether your visitors are seeing what you want them to see.
- Overlay reporting lets you see actual click counts on each aspect of your page, giving you a global sense of how visitors engage with your site.
Recorded videos of user sessions on your site gives you real insight to your site’s usability, and identify areas of friction for your visitors.
- Lets you record and view screencasts of user sessions on your site. It’s like riding shotgun with them as they use your site.
- You can identify user paths, see click patterns and see how they navigate through your site to complete a transaction.
- Identify areas where you can improve your user experience. Confusion, hesitation, yo-yoing between pages and where users exit are all captured in video form.
Personally, I think Survey Monkey is the best surveying platform on the Internet. It lets you easily get feedback from your customers, email subscribers or social audiences.
- Easy-to-compose surveys make it quick and painless to deploy surveys to your user base.
- Branched surveys allow you to pursue alternate lines of questioning based on user responses.
- A variety of sharing options means you can collect data from email subscribers, Facebook Fans and other audiences.
Easy-to-install A/B testing to help you test and optimize your site.
- WYSIWYG test editor lets you setup and change site tests without a lot of coding.
- Real-time results tracking lets you run tests and gain insight quickly – leading to faster optimization decisions.
Instantly lets you know when your site goes down, saving you crucial downtime – and lost revenue.
- Mobile apps provide on-the-go monitoring of your domain for downtime and latency.
- SMS and email alerts let you know any time your site becomes unresponsive.
- Free! They’ll watch your first domain free of charge. Win!
Real time analytics dashboard for your website.
- See what your visitors are up to on your site in realtime. Learn which pages are most popular, right now.
- iPhone app and SMS let you know when traffic spikes, letting you take advantage of the opportunity as it happens.
- Engagement data lets you know what users are doing on your site, not just which pages they’re viewing.
- Also incorporates some social media tracking – watch how traffic spikes drive chatter on Twitter, and vice-versa
Easy-to-use polls and surveys from the team that made WordPress.
- Create and view survey results via their iPhone and iPad apps.
- Filters let you drill down into how certain segments of your respondents answered the survey.
Google Website Optimizer
Google’s robust A/B testing platform – allows you to test different page variations against each other, and tells you which converts better, based on goals you set.
- Set up A/B testing or get fancy with complex multi-variate configurations to see which test combinations perform the best.
- Test multiple versions of elements (multivariate testing) at the same time to speed up testing and results.
The real-time dashboard that measures the business analytics you care about.
- Gives your business a real-time dashboard with insight into the analytics that matter most to you.
- Build your dashboard with widgets from the most popular Web services including: Magento, Pingdom, Shopify, MailChimp, Google Analytics and more.
- Awesome wordcloud function allows you to investigate key words that occur frequently in qualitative responses
Level Up Your Analytics
There you have it, 13 powerful tools to help you better understand your website. Give them a spin and see if they can provide you with a new view into your business. It’s 2012, there’s really no excuse for not tracking and understanding the data that drives your business. It’s time to level up your analytics game and take your business to the next level. So get some fresh data and some fresh takes on what really works and doesn’t work on your site. You may find new revenue isn’t too far behind.
Have a favorite tool that isn’t listed here? Did you find success with one of the tools above? Let us know in the comments and we might give it a spin ourselves.