Your website is finally live and ready for cyberspace. But, how do you know what visitors do on your website, or if they even find it? Trying to figure out all of the information your website is generating can get confusing. Luckily, there are plenty of resources that keep track of this important information, and the best part is that some of the tools are free!
While most people have a basic understanding of what web analytics means, others may not even know how to make sense of all this data. In summary, web analytics is basically an ongoing collection of data that is captured by not only your website’s traffic, but also your competitors’ data. Once all this information is collected, you can start developing a plan of action to improve your website and align it with your most significant business goals such as generating leads, increasing consumer engagement, or increasing your visibility online.
Now that we understand the basics of web analytics, here are a few resources (both paid and free) that can help you better understand user behavior:
Most people already know about the most standard web analytics tool out there: Google Analytics. This free tool generates all kinds of reports such as page views, sessions (on new and returning users), audience analysis, bounce rates, keyword search queries and much more. This powerful tool not only helps you understand exactly what visitors are doing on your website, but it can also help you identify and track which pages are actually driving the most sales.
Even though Google Analytics provides a significant amount of data, sometimes you want to know more specific details that this tool may not offer. For instance, what type of keywords are your competitors using, and how do they rank on the search engines?
This resource is the real deal. While the service is not entirely free, SEMrush allows you to generate a basic overview of your competitors’ data (up to 3 times) such as their organic and paid search traffic, their main competitors and even the top keywords they’re advertising on along with the ad text. Here’s the catch: if you want more information, then you’d have to upgrade to a specific plan based on how much information you’d like to have access to. It’s a useful resource that helps you better understand what’s going on in the search engine world, and how you can boost your rankings and online advertising.
Don’t let the price intimidate you. This all-in-one program can actually be very beneficial. MOZ generates detailed reports that help you understand your rankings on search engines, which sites are linking to your website and your competitors, and can even tell you how you rank on Google for a certain search term (local and national). Trying to optimize your website is already a challenge, so this tool is definitely a lifesaver for SEO. Another awesome feature is that it generates crawl diagnostics that inform you of any issues with your website, and how you can fixed them based on the intensity (high, medium, low priority).
Every business owner should have at least some type of social media presence, and if not… what are you waiting for? Yes, tracking your website traffic and improving your SEO is all very important, but social media needs some love too! Fortunately, most social media metric tools are built right into the platform.
This feature is key if you have a Facebook page for your business. It provides weekly insights on all of your posts, the type of people they’re reaching, who is liking the content you publish, the visits to your page and where they’re coming from. Also, if you’re running Facebook ads, you’ll get instant gratification with detailed analysis on how well your ads are doing and how much you’ve spent over time.
Twitter analytics is fabulous! From tweet activity to followers and Twitter Cards, this new feature provides so much information in a fast and easy way. It measures engagement, and allows you to track how your Twitter Cards drive clicks, app installs and retweets.
Twitter Cards help you optimize your rich content on Twitter, and help you measure their effectiveness in order to make your tweets more successful. If you haven’t played around with this feature, I suggest you check it out!
These are just a few of the most popular web metric tools that are available to all kinds of business. Now it’s your job to figure out which one is best for you and your company, and the only way to know is to test them out until you find the perfect match.
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