Just like an employee, a company’s website has performance metrics. This is all the information used to evaluate its strengths, monitor its progress, and find out where there might be room for improvement.
However, tracking your website’s performance can be frustrating and tedious. You can collect all the data in the world, but you still need the right tools to help you make sense of it. That’s where web analytics comes in.
Web analytics is the practice of collecting web data, such as user traffic and conversion, and turning it into useful information. Armed with this information, you can then optimize your online presence more strategically.
Thankfully, there are many tools to help you do this at any level of technical skill:
Given Google’s status as a tech giant, it’s not surprising that their web analytics tool is the most popular. Google Analytics doesn’t just track the number of people who visit your website, it tracks what kinds of people are visiting, and what they’re doing. Additionally, Google Analytics now includes Google Content Experiments, a powerful website optimization tool.
To make the experience more user-friendly, Google Analytics includes numerous tips and guides for overwhelmed users. And like many of their products, Google Analytics is free!
MOZ gives you a picture of where you stand among your competitors, by showing you who is linking to your site and who is linking to your competitors. You can monitor this information over time, using the highs and lows to figure out what’s working and what you need to change. You can also monitor this information for your competitors, giving you an added advantage.
MOZ plans range in price from $99 a month for the standard plan, all the way up to $999 a month for their largest plan.
This is a user-friendly tool that helps you put the data you’ve collected to work, and quickly. With Optimizely, you can make changes to your website and immediately test them. Optimizely then collects data on how these changes affected its performance, so you know which changes to keep and which to undo.
Which tools do you need?
If you’re a small business, you might not need to spend hundreds of dollars a month on web analytics. Many paid services offer affordable plans that might include everything your company needs. It certainly pays to shop around.