A majority proportion of the internet community now use Google Analytics as a method of measurement, it’s ease of implementation and lack of cost have made it one of the forefront contenders as a mid level analytics product. There are however a couple of other great Analytics options out there creeping up on it’s market share. Here are the best designed and freshest ones to watch.
If you’ve been reading recently, I’ve had an unhealthy obsession with all things realtime. Following on from my post on alternatives to Google Analytics, and heatmapping tools to improve your conversions there have been a few additional services that have most definitely caught my eye, both from an online marketing perspective and from the perspective of a web developer.
Whilst a good proportion of the web community are happy enough with watching Google Analytics on a daily basis, for those of us spending money on advertising, the added benefits of watching exactly what visitors are doing in realtime are obvious. Mistakes in a landing page design or checkout processes on an e-commerce site can easily be rectified before you blow your entire Adwords budget for that day.
Chartbeat offers a free trial of their software for a short period, and are then priced at ten dollars a month thereafter, which is quite competitive considering their offering.
The software comprises of two main dashboards – the real time one and historical data one.
Within the real time dashboard – their unique features include scroll mapping (which allows you to see how far down someone scrolled on your site – and where they paused), page density (which shows how many visitors are on what part of your site at any one time), the monitoring of moving, reading and idle visits and finally a dip into social metrics such as retweets and brand metrics across the Twitter platform. Would have been nice to see some integration with Facebook data here as brand monitoring on Twitter is pretty much a simple RSS feed. Nevertheless good to see this in graphical format.
Created by Shaun Inman, mint has achieved widespread respect amongst the web community. A single site license costs you $30 but offers a few added extras that you don’t get in Google Analytics, such as Birdfeeder. This allows you to see clickthroughs and feed subscription statistics all from one single location, which is exactly what Google’s acquisition of Feedburner should have done. <rant> The fact that we still have to login to a separate website to see Feedburner stats baffles me.</endrant>. It also breaks down searches from Google image search and regular search much more clearly than Analytics, which you have to mess around with filters for.
Out of all the analytics options out there, Woopra has an interface that is irresistable. It is currently still in Beta, and during this period signups will be getting the product for free. Developed by former Google employees, it boast features such as data sharing via an API, and runs via a thin desktop client (across all platforms).
In other words, it gets all of its data from the web so you have all the processing power of your desktop left for the interface. Data is obtained live, and features the ability to actually talk to visitors on your site if you so wish. As with reinvigorate many different goals can be set, with alerts to let you know when that visitors has clicked on your buy now buttons. Definitely one for the bookmarks.
Clicky is another Web2.0 Analytics package that offers real time stats. They also monitor things like your Twitter follower count over time, so you can accurately compare spikes in traffic to spikes in Twitter followers. There’s also an on the go iphone version available. The system is free for websites with less than 3,000 pageviews. After that there are paid plans available. Overall Clicky is fairly simplistic, but that may be an added plus for some clients, as it is a gentle introduction to website measurement.
With many corporate institutions rejecting Google Analytics on their data ownership policies, piwik has cropped up out of the woodwork as a result. It is full open source, and runs on PHP and MySQL, which shouldn’t be a problem to setup for the majority of web users. The interface is purely web based and both webmasters and bloggers are well supported with a myriad of plugins for easier installation. The dashboard is relatively simplicitic, but this is made up for with it’s speed.
With my initial play about with it, it was uber fast between screens – perhaps due to me not collecting much data, but with many open source projects, care generally hasn’t been taken with optimisation in the core code base. With Piwik, if you are looking for a speedier alternative to Google analytics with a simplistic interface you wont go far wrong.
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