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Guide To Compare Best Web Analytics Tool For Your Business

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Web Analytics

Web Analytics has become an indispensable tool to measure and improve performance of digital properties. With more and more organisations acquiring digital assets such as websites, mobile applications and connected devices, Web Analytics softwares provide a systematic approach to measure the effectiveness and popularity of these digital assets. Using Web Analytics, organisations can measure the number of visitors visiting their websites, track how long visitors are engaging with their website, determine which content on the website is more popular, how much business is generated through the website and many more of such parameters.ibm

The Web Analytics market has evolved over the past two decades and has matured now with many reputed software giants in the world such as IBM, Google, Adobe etc. deploying their engineering capabilities to develop and standardise these Web Analytics products.ADOBE

Today, a large number of good and reliable Web Analytics products are available and the user has a wide choice in selecting a Web Analytics software.

Basic Web Analytics functions

A basic Web Analytics software provides following data:

  • Bounce Rate
  • Click Through Rate
  • Geo Location
  • Conversions
  • Length of visit
  • New vs repeat visitors
  • Pageviews, visits or sessions
  • Referrer
  • Unique Visitors

How to compare best Web Analytics products for your business?

The main factors for short listing Web Analytics products are:

Information requirement

The volume and variety of information that an organisation requires from the Web Analytics tool is the first factor in selecting a Web Analytics product. A local business may require basic web data whereas a global brand with worldwide operations might require a huge amount of metrics to be determined. So the first step would be to estimate the volume and variety of data pertaining to the digital assets.

Budget

The next step is to fix a budget for the Web Analytics project. The costs of Web Analytics products vary from 0 (free ) to 500 000 USD per year. Also there are implementation and consultancy costs. Some vendors charge a flat monthly fee whereas some charge as per the actual usage. There are also charges for accessing raw data after a certain period of time.

Deployment

Web Analytics softwares are available on- premise or in the cloud( the SaaS- Software as a Service model). In the on- premise deployment, the customer has to maintain the software and hardware himself. He requires an I.T. team of his own to run the software, whereas in the SaaS model, the vendor himself provides storage and maintains the software. Thus the SaaS model is preferred unless the customer himself has a large I.T. infrastructure.

Support and training

It is a good idea to evaluate the support and training infrastructure of the vendor. Normally training is included in the cost, whereas some vendors charge extra for training. Most vendors provide 24*7 voice, chat or email support. However it is better to check the support availability in the customer’s geography and language and also issues like time zones.

Advanced features

Recent Web Analytics tools have advanced features like social analytics, real time data, multi- channel analytics, Mobile integration, tag management, testing features, integration with offline data, unique visitor tracking etc. Social Analytics is required if the business has a large presence on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc. and the effectiveness of campaigns in these media needs to be tracked. Multi channel analytics integrates data from all channels and does conversion attribution on this aggregated data. Tag Management automatically manages and optimises tags and reduces webpage loading time. It also reduces marketing response time as tags are deployed rapidly without having to depend upon manual coding by the I.T. staff. Tag Management is typically required by organisation having a diverse digital landscape, with many campaigns like social, display, SEM, remarketing etc. running simultaneously. Some vendors offers tools that can integrate on- line data with off- line CRM or ERP data of the organisation and give a more holistic data analysis.

If these advanced features are required by the businesses, then vendors should be evaluated for capabilities in these technologies. Thus the organisation’s size, scale of operations, the number of digital channels used by the organisation etc. are factors that determine the Web Analytics product.

Web Analytic Vendors and Products

  1. Google: Google acquired the Web Analytics company Urchin software in 2005 and the social media management software vendor Wildfire in 2012 and developed the products Google Analytics and Google Analytics Premium. Google Analytics is free and is very popular. It is a good Web Analytics tool for beginners. It has got all the standard functionalities and is a benchmark in Web Analytics softwares. For support, Google Analytics has large amount of on- line literature, videos, tutorials etc. whereas dedicated support is not there. Although Google analytics is free, the deployment through any of Google Certified partners will cost some money. Also the data is not real time with 24 hours time lag. Google Analytics Premium is an advanced version of Google Analytics with a flat fee of 150 000 USD per year. It has got feature like multi channel analytics, integration with off- line data etc. The data is almost real- time with only 4 hours lag. There is also dedicated 24*7 support. It is scalable for large enterprises and is called ‘Enterprise Web Analytics’. Google also offers the tag management tool ‘Google Tag Manager’.
  2. Adobe: Adobe has the product SiteCatalyst. This product has all the advanced features like social media and mobile integration. Unlike Google Analytics, SiteCatalyst charges as per actual usage. A low traffic website will normally pay 5000 – 15000 USD per annum whereas an Enterprise Level implementation or a full suite of Adobe add- ons will cost 500 000 USD per annum. Adobe was the first company to offer a tag management tool.
  3. IBM: IBM acquired the Web Analytics companies Coremetrics and Unica in 2010. The special feature of IBM Web Analytics suites are add- on modules like Coremetrics Impression Attribution, Lifecycle, Enterprise Analytics and Intelligent Offer. IBM intends to integrate digital analytics with marketing automation, third party apps and off- line marketing channels. The cost of this suite starts with 1700 USD per month negotiable. The IBM suite is also a full liner with all advanced features like Social Analytics and Mobile integration.

at internetAT Internet, Webtrends, comscore are other advanced solutions each having some special feature or competency.

For small or medium businesses, the deciding factors for evaluating a solution would be simplicity of use and cost. They may not require advanced features which may overwhelm them with their complexity. There are many other good solutions listed below which could be evaluated.

  1. Mint: This is a basic Web Analytics tool with simple UI and reporting. It is very cheap with a one- time cost of 30 USD. It lacks advanced features like testing , social and mobile integration etc. It is ideal for beginners and small businesses. Add- ons are available for advanced features.
  2. Mixpanel: Mixpanel has got several versions of their product like Free, Start- up, Business, Premium & Enterprise with differing features and prices.
  3. Kissmetrics: It integrates CRM with its Web Analytics platform.
  4. Foxmetrics: Tracks unique visitor’s behaviour
  5. Woopra: It allows chat with real- time visitors.
  6. Autonomy: It is more focussed on ‘voice of customer’ and customer experience analysis on differnet channels. Suited for customer service call centres
  7. Piwik: This is a free tool with quite useful features like mobile tracking and testing.
  8. Clicky: Offers a free version. Advanced versions are also quite cheap. Offers real- time information, good UI and reporting. Good for beginners, small and medium businesses.

Summary

A Web Analytics tool has to be selected based upon the information needs and budget of an organisation. A beginner might be interested in a basic tool, whereas an existing user might want to add more features. Also there are several niche categories of Web Analytics tools offering specific features like real- time interaction, CRM integration, multi- channel analysis for customer experience etc. There are several good Web Analytics tools available to select from.

Image Courtesies: 1. IBM 2. Google Analytics 3. Adobe 4. AT Internet

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