We all know how much time, effort and money goes into SEO, content marketing campaigns and the day-to-day navigation of the eCommerce world. Being able to keep a beady eye on Key Performance Indicators takes guesswork out of the picture and is integral to ensuring a decent ROI.
A good analytics tool can unearth a treasure trove of valuable information about how your site is doing, what you should reinforce and what you can change to improve. It informs the actions necessary to grow and sustain an online store. You can get stuck into stats like bounce rates, new and returning visitors, time on page and so much more. Let’s take a look.
Let’s start with the big guy. Google Analytics is the definitive starter analytics tool – it’s free to a point and feature-rich. It’s also ubiquitous so community support is readily available when you’re troubleshooting.
The reality is that most people don’t even scratch the surface of GA’s functionality. They check their total traffic, pat themselves on the back and then carry on their merry way. But the tool lets you glean a ton of actionable info without much effort.
For starters, Google Analytics records conversions like newsletter sign-ups, social media shares and transactions in detailed reports for your perusal. Define an action as a goal and GA will track it.
You’ll also get insight into the keywords that deliver visitors to your door as well as where your traffic originates from and which pages are attracting the most visitors. Once you examine successful pages, you can create engaging, shareable content that follows a similar formula. Want to measure a particular campaign? You can do that too and see how things are going over time.
GA is an excellent, well-rounded tool to get to grips with your metrics. If you take some time to explore, you’ll find even more elements relevant to you.
Clicky allows you to see what’s going down on your site in real time. Another advantage to this service is that it has a cleaner, more user-friendly interface than Google Analytics. Some might say it’s a little too pared down and plain. Either way, you’ll feel right at home within minutes of testing out this tool – all the better for making sense of the data.
There’s also a nifty integration with Twitter that lets you get a thorough overview of mentions, sentiment, hashtags and links. You’ll have a finger firmly on your social pulse.
Clicky stats charging users when their website gets more than 3000 pageviews a day. The premium version starts at $9.99 per month.
Formerly known as Piwik, Matomo is not unlike Google Analytics. The tool is open source and free, and it’s also downloaded and hosted on your own server which is not the norm but comes with a bunch of benefits. Self-hosting means you have full ownership over your analytics data. There’s also more security and privacy in this scenario because third parties are not involved.
If you’re willing to part with some cash, Matomo’s premium version is cloud-hosted. With a user-friendly, intuitive UI, set-up is relatively simple and Matomo’s support team assists clients throughout the configuration process.
There’s a mobile app for on-the-go access to stats which is quite popular, as is the unlimited data storage. Matomo provides its fair share of data visualizations. Overlay Maps are a neat feature – they show you how many clicks your on-page links have garnered.
Reports are comprehensive, can be tailored to your requirements and can be set up to drop into your inbox at regular intervals. You can also customize the interface by searching the tool’s extensive collection of plugins. The dashboard is packed with widgets that you can tinker with until you get what you need out of the software.
Crazy Egg is known for its CSI-like heat maps which are especially useful if you prefer illustrated data rather than streams of words and numbers. By producing visual representations of data, this tool is able to give companies instant insights about which aspects of a site are succeeding and which are failing. It lets you know what kinds of content you should keep, what you should discard and what your users are trying to accomplish on your site. This is constructive feedback for UX and UI designers to improve user flows.
The tool doesn’t just allow you to pinpoint hotspots. It can also record mouse movement journeys and show you how far down users scroll. It can take snapshots of a page over a period of time for comparison with snapshots you take after implementing a change.
One of Crazy Egg’s coolest features is the Confetti display. It colour-codes and segments clicks according to source. So red, for example, depicts arrivals on a page via internal links and other colours depict various external sources.
In addition, there’s an A/B testing feature which lets you test different colours, typefaces and images so you can ultimately go with the one users find most engaging. Overall, Crazy Egg is a holistic, fun and beginner-friendly tool.
One of the leading SEO analytics tools alongside Ahrefs, SEMrush is able to deliver more SEO insights than Google Analytics. Keyword and competitor research is a fundamental aspect of SEO campaigns and SEMrush makes the process simple.
You can enter a URL or keyword into the tool’s search bar and unlock a whole range of stats. Traffic is broken down into organic search, paid search, backlinks and display advertising. You’ll have access to information about any given site’s organic and paid competitors, organic and paid keywords, how many visitors they can expect in the next month, and the keyword volume that leads people to their site. Find new keywords to utilize in your strategy and track pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
The best part is that SEMrush’s reports are uncomplicated and easy to extract insights from. Perfect for newbies and experts alike. The tool is free for up to 10 requests a day. After that, you’ve got to cough up at least $99.95 a month.