To run a successful small business, potential customers need to find your website and engage. Without concrete data, though, it can be difficult to ensure your site is effective. Web analytics tools provide valuable insight on optimizing your online presence.
Every visitor to your website brings their own data that website analytics software can gather and analyze. The site analytics data collected by such platforms can help you understand and improve your website’s performance.
Unlock the Best Website Analytics Software for Success
Web analytics tools feature software that tracks, measures, and reports website activity. Resulting insight includes site traffic, the source of visitors, and clicks.
Equipped with this data, you can unlock insight into what is working on your website and what needs improvement. The analytics information can help you maximize the user experience and drive more business.
To help you track your website’s performance so you gain a better understanding of your site traffic and user behavior, here are some of the best website analytics tools available.
1. Google Analytics
In existence since 2005, the highly rated Google Analytics often tops the list of web analytics tools. This free site analytics software tracks website activity and audience engagement across devices and platforms.
Using Google Analytics, you receive vital customer journey data in the form of comprehensive reports that include information on engagement such as sessions and bounce rates. You can see what keywords are bringing the most visitors to your pages and what aspects of your website design are not working well.
Google’s website analytics software offers the following benefits:
- Free to use
- Shows detailed user insights, including demographics
- Provides performance data on content and products
- Constantly being updated and improved
- Interfaces with other Google products
Drawbacks to Google Analytics include:
- Not GDPR compliant
- Updates are frequent and can be confusing
- User interface tends to be complex
- Personalized support is difficult to access
2. Adobe Analytics
Adobe Analytics is a highly rated, paid web analytics tool that allows for mixing, matching, and analyzing data from any digital point during the customer’s journey. This gives you a complete picture of your customers and their interactions with your business.
With Adobe Analytics, you get real-time reports featuring in-depth analysis and predictive intelligence. This gives you actionable insights you can use to build stronger customer experiences. The data you receive also helps you create better digital products.
Adobe Analytics offers the following benefits:
- Provides real-time site analytics featuring actionable insights.
- Gathers a complete picture by collecting and measuring data from multiple channels.
- Segments customers for better understanding and customer service.
- Able to track campaign details and optimize your website accordingly.
- Totally customizable in terms of focusing on specific data.
- Flexible in terms of integration.
Drawbacks to Adobe’s website analytics software include:
- Paid platform (price on request) best suited for scaling.
- Can be challenging for beginners to set up and maintain.
- Customer technical support sometimes lacking.
Considered an end-to-end customer journey analytics platform, Woopra tracks everything your website visitors do in real-time. Of web analytics tools, Woopra is well-suited to help you acquire and retain more customers using advanced analytics.
Woopra provides live visitor stats, including where they live, what pages they are on now, where they’ve been on your site, and their Web browser. You can chat live with individual site visitors—a great customer interaction feature for e-commerce.
Woopra offers the following benefits:
- See real-time site analytics
- Allows for analyzing website visitors’ journeys and behaviors while they are happening
- Ability to access the effectiveness of campaigns, including content with the most views
- Detailed trend and retention reports
- Limited free plan up to 500k actions monthly
Drawbacks to Woopra include:
- Lengthy set-up time
- May be difficult for beginners to use this website analytics software
- More advanced pricing starting at $999 monthly is cost-prohibitive for small businesses
Clicky is a website analytics software designed to help you track visitors on your website in real-time and immediately see results. You can observe what current visitors are doing on your website, including monitoring page views and analyzing their journeys.
Unlike other website analytics software like Google Analytics which require that you install a tracking script, Clicky is privacy-friendly. The software’s default setup doesn’t log any personal data, there are no tracking cookies, and IP addresses are anonymized.
Clicky website analytics software offers the following benefits:
- See data in real-time
- GDPR compliant
- Simple-to-use dashboard shows all information in one place
- Mobile version allows for checking stats anywhere
Drawbacks to Clicky site analytics:
- Only free to use if you have one website; otherwise plans start at $9.99
- Retrieving data by date range can be slow
Highly rated Matomo is a Google Analytics alternative focusing on privacy protection and data ownership. It is one of the web analytics tools that is GDPR compliant. There is 100% data ownership, which means that users can use the analytics without their data being used for outside marketing.
The best web analytics tools give you vital information to take your content marketing to the next level.
Matomo offers comprehensive data analytics, including real-time updates and activities like behavioral data and heat maps. The platform is open-source and offers cloud and on-premises hosting options. Pricing depends on your monthly visitors and if you’re hosting on your site or Matomo’s. If you host on your server, Matomo is free. Hosting with them starts at $23 per month.
Matomo’s web analytics software offers the following benefits:
- Offers complete privacy and data ownership protection
- GDPR compliance
- Provides real-time updates/activities
- Free if you host on your website
Drawbacks to Matomo’s site analytics platform:
- User interface can be complicated at first
- Monthly charge if you don’t host yourself
Chartbeat is a content intelligence platform that provides real-time analytics and insights. It focuses on digital publishing by delivering insights on improving content. Tools include the ability to understand how your audience is connecting with your written and video content in the moment across multiple channels, platforms, and devices.
With Chartbeat, you can instantly see how fans are reacting. This helps you see what they are engaging with and how, which helps you know what content resonates. You are also able to use the tool to assess performance and trends over time. They offer customizable pricing plans.
Chartbeat’s site analytics platform offers the following benefits:
- Provides real-time analytics and insights
- Measures the impact of headlines immediately
- Quickly shows what people are looking for on your website
- Delivers reader behavioral insights to help improve content
Drawbacks to Chartbeat’s platform:
- May be hard to adopt for beginners
- Somewhat limited historical statistics
Kissmetrics focuses on tracking human behavior through analytics to increase revenue. This helps you understand, identify, and improve metrics for your online business by showing you how your customers use your website to make purchases. The platform also allows for email campaign automation.
With Kissmetrics you will learn what marketing campaigns and search terms are bringing visitors to your site and how various landing pages are performing over the short and long term. You can also use the platform to see churn rates and other customer behaviors over time. Prices start at $299 per month.
Kissmetric’s platform offers the following benefits:
- Features real-time reporting that tracks every time a visitor comes to your website
- Shows how customer behaviors change over time and identifies patterns
- Capable of email campaign automation and segmentation
- Integrates with Shopify
Drawbacks to Kissmetric’s platform:
- Doesn’t offer a free version
- May be difficult to use if you are new to analytics platforms
- User interface requires some improvement
Mixpanel is a mobile and web analytics platform designed for e-commerce sites that measures pageviews and analyzes how people behave on your website. You get real-time data that shows the most popular features on your site and how visitors are using them.
Of web analytics tools, Mixpanel is focused on products. Use the platform to gain insight into your most popular products and check conversion rates during the customer journey. You can also see at what points users drop and use the information to build retroactive funnels. They offer a free starter plan with limited features; then pricing begins at $20+ monthly.
Mixpanel’s platform offers the following benefits:
- Provides event and custom event tracking options
- Real-time reporting offering instant feedback on conversion rates
- Features easy to build funnels
- Simple-to-use interface
- Offers a free plan
Drawbacks to Mixpanel’s platform:
- Pricing once your company scales might not be ideal
- May be difficult to set up if you are new to analytics platforms
9. Hotjar web analytics tools
Hotjar is a real-time data analytics tool focusing on heat maps and data segmentation. Using this platform, you can quickly see an overview of how people interact with a website page. This includes watching how far they scroll, what they click on, and what they ignore.
Using surveys, session recordings, user interviews, and feedback widgets, Hotjar stands out among web analytics tools with its ability to gather information from visitors regarding their experience on your website and convey it to you, providing actionable insights. They offer a free plan with limited features and paid plans as you grow your business.
Hotjar’s platform offers the following benefits:
- Gives real-time views of where visitors are scrolling, clicking, and interacting
- Allows for analyzing the effectiveness of content and CTA phrases
- Provides insight as to why visitors behave the ways they do on your website
- GDPR compliant
- Free plan available
Drawbacks to Hotjar’s platform:
- History data can be complex and limited
- Prices rise as your company scales
HubSpot features a variety of marketing tools, including analytics. This enables you to gather all your data and marketing in the same place. The platform measures traffic, as well as provides email automation and lead management.
HubSpot’s integrated multimedia content management platform allows for creating and distributing content and features built-in CRM (customer relationship management). This provides context surrounding users’ needs and interests. They offer a free website analytics plan with limited features and paid plans as your business grows.
HubSpot’s platform offers the following benefits:
- Provides an integrated multimedia content management platform for creating and distributing
- Allows for easily combining marketing and analytics
- Includes email marketing automation
- Enables you to turn marketing analytics into quantitative data
Drawbacks to HubSpot’s platform:
- Analytics aren’t as in-depth or advanced as other web analytics tools
- Prices rise as your company scales
- User experience can be complex
Elevate Your Site Analytics Game
The best web analytics tools give you vital information to take your content marketing to the next level. Armed with critical statistics such as user behavior and popular content, you can use this information to hold the interest of website visitors. Now that you have the details on the best web analytics tools available, use these platforms to build an engaging website that works as hard as you do.
A version of this article was originally published on July 23, 2012.
Photo: Getty Images