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Best Analytical Tools for 2015

Article by: Tina Rawlins
November 19, 2015

If you have a website, you should also have an analytics tracking system. An analytics tracking system uses cookies and javascript programming to track the pages a user visits on your website. Some analytics tools track simple metrics (such as the number of viewers to a page) and can graph a chart of your visitor history in measures of days, weeks, and months. Other analytics tools are geared toward tracking how many visitors accomplish a defined task such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or clicking a certain button on your website.

While adding analytics tracking code to your website may seem like a daunting task, in fact, it can be quite simple. If the tool you use switches between two pages to deliver multiple experiences to determine the best user interaction, you may require more difficult code implementations. Many platforms provide support for you to add the most common tracking code for Google Analytics. After a few days, you can begin to see trends in reports from your analytics system to start to adjust user experiences with your website.

One of the key reasons to research website analytical data is because of the large shift from browsing on computers to browsing on mobile devices and tablets. Developing websites to work responsively with various sized phones and tablets can be expensive. It is important to understand which devices are most used by visitors of your website.

google

Google Analytics is free and is very powerful. It is the most popular way to find website visitor behaviors especially for sites which have a large amount of search traffic.

Website: Https://analytics.google.com

Cost: Free

Requirements: Setup requires adding a piece of javascript code to every page on your site that you want to track. Additionally if you want to track the user filling out a form or completing another action, then you will need another code for each action.

I recommend creating a list of things you want to track on your website. You can tag them as individual actions.

Thinking about getting a mobile app? Find out how many people are viewing your website from an iPhone vs Android device before investing thousands of dollars on developing a mobile app or responsive website.

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kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is an affordable online analytics service for your customer funnel. This advanced analytics program allows you to see, in depth, the key points of interaction that bring conversions and revenue to your bottom line. If you take any orders on your website, then this is the right advanced analytics package for you.

Website: http://www.kissmetrics.com

Cost: Starts at $200 per month.

Requirements: This system also requires integration into your website to track users and their actions. The smallest package also includes email support services.

Kissmetrics can be used to measure customer conversion from email campaigns and also help identify the best path through your website that converts at the highest rate. When building your business you want to increase you biggest sources of revenue and using a tool like Kissmetrics can help grow any business online. If you determine to have an online advertising budget and your hope is to generate revenue online through direct sales, this tool could help you fine tune your online business strategy.

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mixpanel

Mixpanel offers analytics for mobile and web device users. If you focus on mobile interaction to find your customers you may be interested in how people are using your app. Mixpanel tells you how your app is being used. MixPanel wanted to help companies understand how often people return to a website and report what they do on their return visit to your site or mobile app. If you care about your reputation and growing an audience of followers and consumers, this tool can help you understand if changes to your website are also impacting user behavior.

Website: http://www.MixPanel.com

Cost: Starting at $0 depending on traffic levels

Requirements: To get the most value out of this tool you must be looking for more than just traffic to your website. This tool is most valuable when working with a programmer to make schedule changes to a website and/or mobile application that drives lead form fills or purchases.

The mantra of Mixpanel seems to be “actions speak louder than page views”. In my experience, this is true. I can find cheap traffic on the internet but if that traffic stays less than 2 seconds on my website, it probably won’t add value to my business overall. Focusing on the actions that visitors take on a website is a much stronger way to increase business visibility than traffic alone. I would much rather know over a year’s time what actions led to more form requests for content or how to engage a second time with individuals who downloaded information or purchased an item from my website than just view numbers of total traffic.

Here are a few useful links for learning more about how to integrate Mixpanel with your site:

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chartbeat

Chartbeat offers analytics with a publisher focus. If you have a lot of content and a lot of contributors, you can try Chartbeat for headline testing and audience insights. This tool provides analytics similar to Google Analytics, audience insights about behavior, page optimization reporting, and headline testing. Most website designers write a strong headline for a website only once. However, if you are using pay-per-click or Facebook ads to drive paid traffic to a website, then you may want to test multiple headlines for the page they land on. This is called headline testing and is used to try to influence readers to fill out forms, make a purchase, or schedule an appointment to speak with you about your business.

Website: https://www.chartbeat.com

Cost: Contact Tool Website

Requirements: This tool is best for those looking to improve actions taken by paid traffic visitors or websites that already have a high volume of traffic. Most page testing should have at least 1,000 to 5,000 visitors to have significant test results between two user experiences.

  • Analytics Feature: Track the second-by-second, pixel-by-pixel attention of your visitors, wherever they are.
  • Content Optimization: Real-time visual feedback lets you measure the effect of each text, layout, or story index change instantly so you can capitalize on the stories that readers are spending time with—or adjust the ones that aren’t gaining traction (yet).
  •  Meaningful historical data: A lot of data doesn’t always mean actionable data. The value of this tool is best seen when viewing the reports to understand which changes in your website content increase traffic performance on your website over a set period of time.

analytics

Chartbeat is an interesting analytics company because they partner with their customers and advertising teams to identify the best content to promote in the initial testing phases. The goal is to help a company identify ads and website user experiences that have the highest return on investment and improve transactional interaction or lead generation with website visitors. Pricing varies based on the needs of your website so you will have to contact Chartbeat directly for pricing and contract terms.

In summary, you are empowered by analytics to find out more information about your website visitors. Using analytics systems can help you track both visitors, their actions on your website, and give you information about the devices on which they view your content. When you have collected your first 14 and 30 days of data, then you will begin to see insights you can use to grow your content and your business.

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Tina Rawlins

Tina Rawlins | Social Media and Internet Marketing Consultant 

Tina Rawlins is a highly respected and experienced eMarketing strategist....

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