What are website analytics, also known as website stats? An analytics program gathers data about visits (not hits) to your website to provide you with statistics (stats) about visitors (again not hits) to your website. Where they came from if they followed a link from another website or through a search engine or directory. It can track links from campaigns to help you analyse the results and understand how successful the campaign was.
To start gathering website data, you need to sign up for an analytics program and there are a few. Some web hosts provide free programs such as Webalizer and AWstats and although they don’t provide much data, it’s a start. Other free programs include Piwik, Site Meter and Stat Counter.
Learn from an expert in this 30 minute video, where Avinash Kaushik, analytics evangelist, shares the practical and tactical steps any business owner can apply immediately to increase return on investment while developing deeper relationships with customers.
The best free program out there in 2013 is Google Analytics. With a little effort to verify your site, you will have one of the world’s most powerful website analytics at your fingertips. By adding some tracking code to campaign URLs, you can begin measureing campaign successes.
Paid Analytics Programs
Other analytics programs exist for companies and businesses needing more functionality or not wanting to give Google access to all their data and who are willing to pay for it. Some of the lesser expensive programs include:
Clicky, Mint, Clicktale and Crazy Egg.
More expensive programs offer more functionality and are also more complex to set up. Most if not all will require you hire expert assistance to install and maybe even maintain. Coremetrics is one such program as is SiteCatalyst (formerly Omniture) from Adobe and WebTrends.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested in improving the performance of your search marketing campaigns and would like to see how we can be of assistance.