Get Involved: 5 Types of Web Analytics tools to start using today!

- February 2, 2011

2011 is the year of taking action. The time to sit on the sidelines and watch your reports and web site data fly by is over. We in the web analytics industry and all of us here at MoreVisibility feel that the time is now for you – the website owner, developer, and marketer – to take charge and get involved.

Many web pages, web sites, and web ecosystems out on the internet are still not using any web analytics, customer feedback, or business intelligence tools, which are now widely available, cost-effective, and easy to learn. Other websites appear to be using a web analytics tool, but a quick look at one of their page’s source code quickly confirms a fearful intuition of a broken implementation.

It’s no surprise to us that we are seeing a direct correlation between online success and an involvement in web analytics. If you’re not involved, the time to start getting involved is today. Below, we’ve outlined five types of web analytics tools for you to go out and open accounts with, and install them on your websites today to start getting involved in the wide, wonderful world of data mining and web analytics.

1. Traditional Web Analytics Tools
You know of, or you have at least heard of the names by now: Google Analytics, Yahoo Web Analytics, WebTrends, Omniture SiteCatalyst, CoreMetrics, LyrisHQ…the list can go on seemingly forever. As a Google Analytics Certified Partner, we obviously endorse and recommend Google Analytics. Prefer not to use Google Analytics? You have several other options to choose from.

2. Social Media Analytics Tools
Most of the traditional web analytics tools, like the ones listed in the previous paragraph, specialize on collecting information about your website properties. There are some other tools – Klout, Twitalyzer, Radian6 – that specialize in calculating how influential and how effective your social media presence is. If you’re on social media or if you’re even thinking about being on social media, start using one of the social media analytics tools – today.

3. Voice of Customer Tools
If you provide an outlet of expression for your customers, you may surprised to see the type, and, the volume of feedback that you’ll receive. Advance warning: most of the feedback will most likely be negative – it’s a lot more appealing for someone to tell you how bad you are than it is to sing your praises. When you use OpinionLab, SurveyMonkey, or ForeSee Results, you’re allowing your audience to tell you what’s wrong and what can be improved upon, which is information that is priceless. Your customers – your constituency, is telling you what they want. You ought to listen to them if you want to grow your business.

4. Mobile Analytics Tools
Everyone is on the go now a day. Almost all of my colleagues at work have some type of iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android-based smartphone. More and more people are accessing websites with their smartphones or their iPads. More and more people are also side-stepping the traditional websites and are using apps to interact with services. Using a tool like PercentMobile, Bango Analytics, or Mobilytics will help you understand how your mobile audience is consuming your brand – in some cases, far more effectively than some of the other types of tools mentioned so far.

5. Experimentation Tools
It isn’t good enough anymore to simply have an online presence. Having the same website promotions, graphics, buttons, and content that you did back in 2004 isn’t going to cut it. You have to try new things, sticking with those that work and ditching those that don’t – it’s the only true way to improve and become even better than you already are. Google Analytics users have already heard about Google Website Optimizer for running simple or complex A vs. B experiments. There’s also Optimizely and Omniture’s Test & Target available.

For any of the tools in any of the categories, we don’t necessarily care too much about which tool you wind up using. We do care that you are taking action and getting involved in web analytics this year. Why wait? Start exploring those tools today!

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