Analytics are essential for any corporate website, but it can sometimes be difficult to find a service that gives usable information in a format that suits you. Depending on your business, you might need real-time tracking, a video of your clients’ interactions or accessible and attractive reports for non-technical staff. We’ve compared ten very capable and affordable analytics tools: which one will you choose?
The best-known analytics package on the web offers powerful metrics, attractive graphs and a way to dig deep into statistics about your site and its visitors. Really getting to know Google Analytics does take time and is not for the faint-hearted, but on a basic level, Google Analytics is a must for anyone who wants to understand visitor behaviour. If you use Google Adwords, Analytics will give you invaluable information that will help to monitor and improve your PPC campaigns. (The Premium version costs a whopping $150,000 per month, but don’t worry: you probably won’t need it!)
Cost: From FREE to $150,000 monthly
Kiss Metrics is less about traditional metrics about browsers and visitor volume: it’s about tracking people. That makes Kiss Metrics a really useful tool for marketing and advertising, as you can track how people navigate through the site and identify any pages which are causing people to drop off. The idea is to improve user experience and, in turn, revenue. Kiss Metrics tracks users on almost any device and can be extended to track offline marketing campaigns.
Cost: From $29 to $499 monthly
Mixpanel claims to be the most advanced analytics tool on the web: that’s a big claim to make, particularly in the face of stiff competition from Google. Mixpanel’s strength is in its customisation: users can create highly detailed funnel tracking and single out users based on very detailed demographics. This is an analytics package for people who previously had to filter lines of code with complex SQL queries; it’s an attractive front-end which makes the job much more manageable, although it’s still fairly technical.
Cost: From FREE to __ $1,600+ monthly
Real-time monitoring is a fascinating way to watch your stats unfold, and this is an area where Clicky excels. It boasts very granular conversion data and, unlike analytics viewed after the event, it facilitates speedy responses to problem areas. Clicky users should run the application constantly in the background: they are alerted to key events with custom pop-ups and sounds. Users can also be tracked in real time on mobile devices, and statistics can be projected in big-screen format in your office - a nice feature.
Cost: From FREE to $29.95+ monthly
Reinvigorate combines two very useful features of modern analytics: real-time monitoring and heatmaps. Not only can you see your visitor flow in real time, you can generate an image - much like an infra-red overlay - showing where your visitors are clicking. This allows you to visually identify popular products and see whether call-to-action buttons are working at a glance. Reinvigorate is a good non-technical solution for people who feel a little overwhelmed by endless numbers and pie charts.
Cost: From $10 to $100 monthly
Real-time tracking is all well and good, but how do you respond to events in real time? Woopra integrates a live chat feature with traditional user tracking to help boost conversions with direct action. Operators can instigate chats with people who take certain paths through the site, and Woopra can trigger alerts via email or mobile phone based on pre-set scenarios. Woopra only retain data for a limited amount of time on cheaper plans: for the free service, you’ll only be able to access three months’ tracking before it’s erased.
Cost: From FREE to $349.95 monthly
Some analytics packages are great at tracking user interaction, but they don’t handle social conversation well (or even touch on it at all). Mint fills the gap, gathering online buzz and social conversation and showing you where your best referrals are coming from. Mint is a self-hosted application and isn’t provided in the cloud, so you’ll need to invest time into installing it on your own hosting space or Linux box.
Cost: $30 one-off
If you’re more interested in pretty reports than DIY number-crunching, Chartbeat could be your new best friend. It serves your analytics in a format not unlike an infographic, and the service tracks incredible detail - on the Chartbeat home page, there’s even a demo bubble to tell you how many pixels you’ve viewed as you scroll. Infographics are a love-em-or-hate-em format, but if you’re more interested in ease of use than massive wads of data, Chartbeat is certainly worth a look.
Cost: From $9.99 monthly
Go Squared is another real-time monitoring service. It displays visitor data in a compact format that can be customised for different roles in your organisation, filtering overly techy data out for people who don’t need to see it. The service takes your stats and compares them with competitors so you can measure exactly how effective your website is, potentially spotting areas where there’s room for improvement. Go Squared offers multiple output formats, including a big-screen view for colleagues and co-workers, and alerts in real time when conversations start on Twitter.
Cost: From $9 to $99 monthly
If you don’t have the resources to monitor your site in real time, Lucky Orange might be the analytics tool for you. It ‘records’ video of user interaction, tracking mouse movements and page views to let you see your site through the eyes of a potential customer. That makes it ideal if you have a problem page where you seem to ‘lose’ people without converting them. The service also shows real-time visitor maps and embeds live chat onto every page for easy interaction. With heat maps and polls, Lucky Orange is a really nice all-in-one solution for people who need a little bit of everything in their analytics toolkit.
Cost: From $10 to $100