Saturday, 6 April 2013

Website Traffic Analytics Softwares: Alternatives and Competitors of Google Analytics

Website Traffic Analytics Softwares: Alternatives and Competitors of Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the best online analytics tool and software to track your website traffic and stats. Almost every website or blog owner uses Google Analytics to monitor their website traffic and statistics. Google Analytics provides loads of great information on how your website is performing. Google Analytics lets you know whether your traffic is going up or down, how people are finding you, what search terms they are using, what your conversion rate is, and so on.

But Google Analytics has a problem. Google Analytics cannot truly measure how long a visitor stays on your site, unless they perform another action like a new page load. Many visitors will show up as having stayed on your site for zero seconds, even though they might have spent minutes or more, reading a page or watching a video.

How to choose best Analytics Tool for your website or blog?

Keep following things in mind before choosing analytics tool for monitoring traffic and stats of your website:

1. Does it do real-time tracking, so that you can see what’s going on on your site right now?

2. Does it properly measure time on site, even if only one page is viewed?

3. Does it make a distinction between a “bad bounce” (short, one-page visit) and a “good bounce” (long, one-page visit)?

4. Does it allow useful sorting and filtering of the stats, so you can make intelligent decisions based on your analytics?

5. Does it allow easy goal/conversion tracking?
 
There are a lot of alternative analytics solutions available online beside Google Analytics. These analytics tool are giving tough competition to google analytics and proving themselves an alternative of google analytics. Some of these analytics tools are listed below:

1. Mint

Mint is a very stylish “less is more” kind of analysis software. Where many others pile on feature after feature, Mint strives to show you the most relevant data about your website in a simple “at a glance” kind of way.

The “less is more” principle is take a tad too far, sadly. The standard view shows you the visitor count (total and unique), the top referring websites, your most popular pages and the most popular search terms people are using to find your site. You can edit each view for a certain date-range or to show you recent terms/referrers rather than popular ones.

Interestingly, there’s also a separate view for traffic coming through image searches, which could be a very interesting feature for certain types of websites like portfolio sites, sites about design or any other image-heavy sites.

Data digging is almost non-existent with Mint. It also doesn’t show bounce rates, time on site or any other useful user engagement metrics. My impression is that Mint shows you mainly “vanity stats”, but fails to give you the tools necessary to sort your data in such a way that it can lead to intelligent changes on your website, that improve your business.

The basic functionality of Mint can be expanded with so-called “Peppers”. These are plugins for Mint, which are provided by the developers themselves as well as third-party providers.

2. Clicky

I’ve been using Clicky for quite a long time now. In the beginning, I had mixed feelings about the user interface, but once I got used to it, I recognized it’s merits. The standard dashboard gives a very comprehensive overview over all of the core data: visitors (today vs. yesterday or any other date-range you set), visitor actions and bounce rate, top content, top search terms and traffic sources.

One thing Clicky does reall well is allow you to dig down and segment/filter your data in many ways. It doesn’t just show you some fancy graphs, it let’s you get right down to the stuff that matters the most: you can find where your best converting traffic is coming from, you can see which pages are grabbing your visitors’ attention and which aren’t and much more.

Clicky also offers a simple way to set up campaigns and track earnings. An interesting feature is that it allows you to set up custom twitter searches, so that you can monitor mentions of your site or brand on twitter, from within the Clicky dashboard. The service also integrate with a service called SheerSEO as well as Visual Website Optimizer for rank tracking and split testing respectively. Plus, it comes with a very well-made WordPress plugin.

Clicky calculate bouce rate differently from most analytics solutions and they’re proud of it. Clicky considers every visitor who spends more than 30 seconds looking at a page as an “engaged” visitor and doesn’t count them as a bounce, even if they don’t view a second page on your site. This makes a lot of sense, since you can’t really say that someone who visits your site, reads a whole post and then leaves was “bouncing”. They just found what they were looking for. With this, Clicky has more relevant bounce stats, especially for blog-style sites where the goal is not necessarily to get every visitor deeper into a sales-funnel.

3. Chartbeat

Chartbeat has a very strong focus on what’s happening right now, as opposed to the emphasis on historical data analysis that most tools have. On a second-by-second basis, it shows you how many visitors are on your site, how many of them are reading or writing (e.g. comments), the geographic location of the visitors, an action stream and much more.

Like Clicky, it also comes with twitter monitoring, so you can see who’s talking about your site or brand, at any given moment.

One very interesting and potentially useful user engagement metric is that Chartbeat shows you a graph of the average scroll-depth for your visitors (i.e. how far down a page they are scrolling).

4. Statcounter

StatCounter is one of the better-known free Google Analytics alternatives and it’s been around for a while.

Compared to the other solutions listed here, StatCounter is ugly. But, just because you don’t get the “oooh, shiny!” effect when you log into StatCounter, doesn’t mean it’s a bad product. The basic data is all there and you can get insights into visits, visitor paths, popular pages, entrance- and exit-pages, incoming keywords etc.

In terms of segmentation, goals, campaign/funnel tracking and fancy stuff like that, StatCounter lags behind the competition. As with Mint, StatCounter fails to deliver the kinds of insights that will actually help you make meaningful changes to your site.

5. Piwik

Piwik is advertised as an open-source alternative to Google Analytics and this seems an accurate description. It’s completely free to use and fairly easy to install. Currently only available as a self-hosted script (which has it’s advantages), there’s also the possibility of a hosted version of the service in discussion.

While the Piwik dashboard is nowhere near as fancy looking as some of the competitors’, I immediately took a liking to it. It’s a bit reminiscent of the WordPress admin interface and it just seems to have all the data and all the buttons in the right places. I found it very easy to navigate the data and set up some basic goals for performance tracking. It’s also a breeze to add as many websites as you like to one and the same Piwik installation. Much like with Mint, the Piwik dashboard is very customizable and additional plugins are available to add to the system.

One of the best features is that you can very easily set up and track goals. Beyond the basic stats, I would have liked options for deeper and more detailed segmentation, which is often lacking.

6. Open Web Analytics

Open Web Analytics (or OWA) is another free, open source web stats solution, like Piwik. It’s also self-hosted and it’s available as a WordPress plugin, which creates one instance of OWA to track the specific WP site it’s installed on. Installed separately and independently from WordPress, you can use OWA to track multiple websites.

The user interface is reminiscent of one of the older Google Analytics interfaces in the choice of colors as well as the general navigation. It’s not a carbon copy of GA by any means, but it offers the same general navigation options and if you’ve used GA for a while, it won’t take long until you feel right at home with this new interface.

Open Web Analytics is very feature-rich, especially considering that it’s free to use. It can track goals along several steps of a conversion funnel, it offers separate stats filtered by pretty much any factor you can think of and it even offers heatmaps and mouse-tracking. However, be warned: with those last two options active, OWA will gobble up server resources like nobody’s business. A shared hosting account will not find this agreeable.

7. GoSquared

GoSquared is all about live analytics, much like Chartbeat. And while I do feel a little bad about saying mean things about nice apps, I can’t help it: the “pretty but useless” syndrome is present here, as well.

Like Chartbeat, GoSquared shows you a second-by-second view of what’s happening on your website. This includes traffic sources, top visited content, referral sources and social media monitoring.

Historical data is almost completely absent from the GoSquared dashboard. As I said, it’s all about live analytics. That means you’ll only get useful data on high-traffic sites to begin with. It also begs the question of how one is supposed to make use of all the data presented.

8. Woopra

Woopra has been around for a long time and has undergone several transformations since the early days.

In the latest version, Woopra is moving away from “standard” analytics solutions and into the stomping grounds of Kissmetrics and Mixpanel. Woopra’s defining feature is an integration of on-site analytics and customer relation management: the goal is to track individual visitors as they use your site and services, even across multiple devices.

Woopra is extremely attractive and highly customizable. You can either use it online or download a desktop client or mobile app to track what’s going on on your site.

The customization options are this service’s strongest point: to any set of data you’re looking at, you can add any kind of filters you can think of. Do you want to look specifically at the conversion rates from people who discovered your site through twitter and viewed at least two pages? No problem. Do you want to attach a specific label to anyone who leaves a comment on your site and also pass their name and email address to Woopra? With a bit of custom coding, it can be done.

To top it off, Woopra also comes with a live chat feature, which lets you display a “chat with us” widget on your site, or lets you automatically invite visitors to chat when a certain set of criteria are met. For example, you could set the chat window to pop up when a visitor is spending a certain amount of time on the checkout page, to help them with any last questions or objections they might have. As I’m sure you can see, Woopra is powerful, if it’s used right.

The biggest disadvantage to Woopra is the per-site pricing model. If you want to monitor several websites, you need to purchase a separate subscription plan for each one.

9. Reinvigorate

Reinvigorate looked very promising, back when I was using the beta version. It still looks exactly the same, now. And that’s a bad thing.

Reinvigorate still feels like a beta product, even thought it’s been on the market for a while now. It has a very attractive looking user interface and it comes with a built-in heatmapping feature which can be very useful.

Unfortunately, in terms of actual traffic analysis, reinvigorate is mostly frustrating. It offers a great overview of the basic stats such as number of visitors, visit lengths and so on, but it doesn’t let you go any deeper than that.

10. Clearwebstats

ClearWebStats.com is a free service for webmasters to track and display web data from most websites. How much is your website worth? Find how many unique visitors are
visiting your site daily. See how your competitor web page is. Check your competitor site daily ads revenue from Google Adsense. This service allows you to see website data like never before!

11. Mouseflow.com

Mouseflow is a new online tool for performing advanced web analytics and realtime user studies on websites. It is a hosted service that can be used on any public face website.

Mouseflow records whole visitor sessions including mouse movements, clicks, scroll events and key strokes. Website administrators can play back the visitor sessions directly in the browser, just as if they were looking the user over the shoulder.

12. Leadlander

LeadLander provides you with the ability to view which companies are visiting and viewing your web site. Your can identify and monitor prospects in real time using LeadLander's
unique customer analysis engine.

13. Clicktale

In-Page Web Analytics: Reveal the mystery of what visitors are doing inside your webpage. Advanced capabilities such as watching movies of your visitors' browsing sessions to
analyze their behavior, scrolling Heatmaps show where visitors look and how far down they scroll, linking analytics shows every interaction, hover, hesitation time, and much more, and forming analytics reveals problem fields in online forms that cause visitors to leave.

14. Crazy Egg

CrazyEgg helps you visualize your visitors. What that means is that it gives you a clear understanding of where people are clicking on a web page with visual heatmap and visual
overlay. It is mainly a testing platform that helps you improve your web site.

7 comments:

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