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!
Happy New Year! 2011 is destined to be a spectacular year for all of us in the #measure community. That’s what folks in the web analytics community go by on Twitter – the hashtag #measure.
As all of you loyal subscribers know, we allocate a large number of megabytes for our blog posts talking about traditional web analytics (WA) tools, like Omniture SiteCatalyst, WebTrends, and our favorite, Google Analytics. For our first post of the new year, we’d like to switch gears and introduce five non-traditional measurement tools that you can begin using right now. Yes, you can literally begin using them right now, because the tools I’m going to introduce to you:
1. Don’t cost anything, or cost very little,
2. Are extremely easy to use, and
3. Require very little work or no work at all to begin using.
Ready? Here we go:
1. DoubleClick Ad Planner by Google
Pay-per-click advertisers working with Google’s Display Network (like us) use DoubleClick Ad Planner to build comprehensive, intelligent and highly-targeted campaigns. Non pay-per-clickers can use Ad Planner to perform research on the demographics of a website. Entering in a website’s URL can return back accurate estimates on unique visitors, reach, age, gender, audience interests, and other interesting data, like, a list of other websites also visited. This competitive website intelligence is all yours for the low, low price of a Google account – if you have one of those, you can access this data as much and as often as you’d like.
Yes, that Bit.ly. That same Bit.ly that has shortened all of those long URLs for you for your Twitter or LinkedIn updates and that has never asked you for a dime also gives you a full suite of analytics on your URL performance. You’ll know which links were clicked, what trends are developing with your clicked links, and top referrers and locations. If you have an E-mail address and can create a secure password, you can have this valuable information.
4. Analyze Words
Everyone nowadays is either on Twitter, follows Twitter, or knows someone on Twitter. Believe it or not, a Twitterer’s personality can be identified by Analyze Words, and you can get a report that details your emotional, social, and thinking style. All you have to do is visit their home page and enter in the Twitter handle that you want to analyze. You can’t tell me that this isn’t cool after you’ve tried it once.
Want to know everything that you could possibly dream of and more about the mobile traffic to your website? Install a very small snippet from PercentMobile, and you’ll be privy to so much mobile-based analytics data that you won’t know what to do with yourself. Models, makes, usage statistics, and fun mobile trivia facts are all yours for free.
There you go – 5 non-traditional tools to start the new year off on the right foot.
Every once in a while, a neat, sleek, and awesome free tool comes along that makes you want to drop whatever it is that you’re doing and start playing with the new shiny object. This is the feeling that ran through my veins when I first discovered PercentMobile – A free report that allows you to track and analyze the mobile activity that your web site receives.
How to Sign Up:
You’ll need a valid domain name (the URL of your site), an email address, a password, and an invitation code. Visit PercentMobile’s Log-In page and click on the “Request One Here” E-Mail link to receive an invitation code. Once you’re signed-up, you can view all kinds of neat mobile data.
You will also have to install a very small snippet of code your site’s mobile pages. If you don’t have a specific mobile version of your site, install it on your regular site pages, preferably toward the top of the source code (mobile phones are a lot slower than your laptop or a desktop computer, so the code should be as high up as possible for a better chance of collecting visitor data).
What you get:
In short, you get everything you ever wanted to know and were afraid to ask about the mobile visitors to your web site.
For starters, you get to see a nice visual of each type of phone that has brought a visitor to your site, including the percentage of visitors from that phone model and technical specifics of each phone when you mouse-over any image. Here’s an example from one of PercentMobile’s display reports from Gothamist LLC:
Below this neat visual display, you’ll find a complete breakdown of Brands, Screens, Providers, and Country / Territory locations. Here is an example of a list of mobile service providers:
Aside from these awesome stats for your own web site, PercentMobile’s homepage is a fun-fact haven for all things mobile. For example, did you know that:
53% of US Mobile Traffic comes from Apple Devices?
17% are Blackberry Devices?
71% of Apple Devices run on OS3.x?
80% of South African Phones have a Number Pad?
5% of Devices weigh between 150g and 200g?
2% of Devices are 2-Way-Sliders?
12% of Phones have a FM Radio?
55% of Devices have a Touchscreen?
80% of Devices are Candybar shaped?
70% of Devices in Iran are from SonyEricsson?
If mobile analytics is something that you’re considering, or something that happens to be important for your web site, I strongly recommend creating a free PercentMobile account. The cool visual display showing a picture of every phone model alone is worth the time and effort of creating the free account and installing the very small code snippet on your site’s pages.