If you’re going to improve your website’s search engine ranking and usability, you have to know what you need to improve. Many digital marketing and SEO agencies have access to web statistics tools, which can tell you how your site is performing and what customers are looking for when they search online. But you don’t have to hire an agency to be able to find that information yourself. There are many effective but affordable tools for hands-on business owners. I’ve listed a few of them below:
Most web statistics tools require you to add a script (a few lines of code) to your website in order to capture information. While this process is easy enough for web developers, DIY entrepreneurs may find it a little intimidating. AWStats, however, is installed on your server, and not on the website. All you need to do is contact your web host and ask for them to install the necessary codes.
Have you ever wondered how visitors use your site? Which areas are the most popular and which get ignored? CrazyEgg is an innovative behavior tracking service that can get you that information. It uses “hot spots” to indicate the most clicked-on and viewed areas of a specific webpage, and how far people scroll down before giving up. You’ll then be able to tweak your site’s layout so that the most important information is more visible, which will help improve the customer experience.
This is the most common and famous web analytics tool by far, and with good reason. Google Analytics is directly tied to the most popular search engine in the world today, and offers comprehensive statistics such as keyword rankings, unique visitors, bounce rates, and more—all presented in easy-to-read graphs and charts. There is some controversy lately about Google hiding the keyword search statistics of registered Google users, but we have yet to see how Google addresses this concern.
GoStats is unique among web statistics tools in that it actually predicts future web traffic based on previous performance. This is great for planning out marketing campaigns or posting important updates (for example, advertising a sale on your website right when you reach your peak number of visitors in a quarter).
Web stat tools offer a lot of information, so much that it can be difficult to sift through them all without your eyes glazing over. Reinvigorate knows this, and presents information in attractive, readable layouts. It’s not just a pretty face, either. Reinvigorate updates in real-time, so you don’t have to wait for your reports to be sent at the end of a day, week, or month. A feature called “Snoop” even notifies you the minute you get a visitor, sale, or signup, so you can take immediate action and contact the prospect or customer.
Used by popular websites such as Lifehacker, Gawker, and Gizmodo, SiteMeter offers you ridiculously comprehensive amounts of information. It offers pretty much every report you can think of, including heat tracking (like that of CrazyEgg) and up-to-the minute stats. Reports can be granularized in multiple ways, such as entry pages, exit pages, locations, and even who is currently on your website at that very minute.
With all these free (or close to it) web stat tools available, business owners and marketers have no excuse for ignorance. Go load up on site statistics and let the website tweaking begin!