Measuring and analysing your website traffic takes the guesswork out of tracking your digital marketing efforts and optimising online performance. You need the right data at your fingertips to know what needs tweaking on your website – and this is where good analytics tools come in.
To get you started, we take a look behind the scenes of some of the top analytics tools to see how they compare.
- Google Analytics
Launched in 2005, Google Analytics (GA) is the undisputed ‘daddy’ of analytics tools – at least in terms of take-up.
The fact that it’s free, and offers the ability to pair easily with Google’s AdWords platform, has made GA the go-to tool, especially for those new to analytics. But the system also offers a full suite of features, including the option to track referrals, time spent on site and bounce rate. It’s pretty intuitive and you can tap into a wealth of support, such as free tutorials, to teach you the ins and outs of the system.
Another robust tool, Clicky offers a similar depth of data to the GA platform, with the key difference being that every report gives up-to-the minute real-time data, allowing you to be even more responsive.
Users can customise their control panel to suit their needs, and one particularly nifty feature is that you can expand on specific data sets. For example, when looking at site visitors, you can drill down to see how many looked at specific pages, how many downloaded items and how many followed outbound links. You can also compare data over different time periods, which gives you a good picture of how your site has performed historically.
Clicky features heat maps – unlike Google Analytics – which allow you to see what’s grabbing your visitors’ attention on specific pages. If you see that users are distracted by clutter or less-important information, you can actually do something about it.
You can check your numbers from your smartphone, and it’s free for a single site with less than 3,000 daily page views, which is ideal for most mortgage broker businesses.
Unlike other tools, Mint is a self-hosted analytics program, which means you need to be comfortable installing it yourself, but you then have the ability to configure your data as you wish. The first step before you purchase is to make sure your server is compatible.
Popular with social media managers, Mint is comparable with other tools in terms of the type of data it collects, but has a very clean interface, which means visits, referrers and popular pages can all be taken in at a glance.
At an affordable US$30 for a single site licence with no referring costs afterwards, the pricing is another drawcard. You might want a bit of help with the initial setup, but if you’re focusing on social media as well as your website, Mint might just be worth the effort.
- Adobe Analytics
At the premium end of the spectrum you’ll find Adobe Analytics, an enterprise tool offering real-time website and mobile app analytics, with detailed segmentation across all of your marketing channels.
A sophisticated solution, it also comes with a fairly hefty price tag, which typically ranges from US$50,000 to US$500,000 per annum. Hence it’s more of an option for larger companies or businesses that need high-level customisation or very specific data.
Rivalling Adobe Analytics in the enterprise space is Google Analytics 360 Suite (formerly Google Analytics Premium) – also worth a look if you have a bigger budget and a need for detailed analytics across multiple platforms.
While the depth of your pockets will largely dictate the tool you plump for, a top consideration should be the metrics you need to measure. These should guide you when choosing the most appropriate tool. Remember that trial and error is often the best way of arriving at the most effective solution. If you find a particular system isn’t delivering what you need, then it’s time to migrate to another platform.
With analytics insights you can make decisions about your digital marketing strategy with certainty. While each tool takes a little bit of time to learn, it’s worth it in the long run.
For more information about measuring your website traffic, please contact us.