Metrics

Website metrics allow you to analyze the visitors to your site. You can see a huge amount of data about how a user gets to your site and how they act once they are there. Some common measurements include how long a user spends on your site, words they searched to get to the site, and the most popular sections of the site.

 

Google Analytics is a  free tool to help you track the visitors to your website. It is often referred to as the industry standard in analytics tools. Adding GA to your site is very simple and involves copying and pasting a short script on each page you want to monitor. GA has tons of different metrics to measure, but isn’t in real time. It updates often, but you don’t see your web traffic as it happens. You also can’t see information about a specific user. You can get very specific in looking at search terms that people use to get to the site, and where they are coming from though. The main problem with GA is that it is a lot of information to wade through and can be hard to find what you’re looking for.

 

Clicky is a clean, user friendly website. They have a free service that can handle up to 3,000 daily page views. For about $30 a year you get a ton of features including viewing a real time stream of people on your website, analyzing videos and reports on how engaged your users are with the site. You can also sign up for periodic emails that can be customized to send you the information you want. This package can handle up to 10,000 page views per day and can track three websites. They also have a $60 a year Pro plan that allows you to track goals, advertising campaigns, Twitter key word monitoring, and a few other features. They also have packages for websites that get more than 30,000 views a day. 

Piwik is an open source web analytics program. It is interesting because its open source and you download it to your own server. Because it’s open source, you own all the information that it mines for you. It allows you to get real time analytics reports.

 

Compete and Alexa aren’t really analytics programs, but they require no code and can show you how popular your website is along with a few other statistics. Compete allows you to compare three websites to each other for free and look at a quick site analysis. You can see your number of visitors over different periods of time and see the percent up or down that it has changed in popularity. Alexa will let you see how your site rates in popularity in the US and within Alexa, and the number of sites that link to it. If you click on the Alexa Traffic rank number it will take you to a graph that shows your number of visitors and percent change.

Omniture and Coremetrics – These services are completely comprehensive paid analytics programs that can cost thousands of dollars a year. They could be useful if your site started getting hundreds of thousands of viewers a day and/or you started selling on your website.

 

 

CrowdToPublic choice: If you want a free program we recommend Google Analytics. For a few dollars a month though, Clicky has great features and is easier to read.

 

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