In this article, we will focus on web analytics tools other than Google Analytics. Although we use (and love) Google Analytics, and we hope that you use it too, there are many useful tools to work with and improve your data-collecting processes. Most of them are free or available at a really low price point, but they are important parts of the puzzle to improve your understanding about your traffic – and customers.
Google Analytics may be the biggest part of your metrics, which is great. Let’s talk about what other tools you might need. But first, let’s clarify:
What is web analytics?
Imagine that you don’t know how many people have seen your new Facebook post. How many likes does your post have? How many people have seen your new Youtube video? These are important metrics – and mostly visible (on Instagram most of the users can’t see the total numbers of a post anymore).
But there is ‘hidden’ (not visible) data too: after how many seconds did they quit your video? How high is your website traffic? Which blog posts reach the most people organically in Google?
Web analytics gives you the possibility to measure everything that happens on your website. Many people click on your “Buy now!” button, but 99% of them have left the cart before purchasing? Maybe there is something that doesn’t work properly. Web analytics helps you to find your strengths and weaknesses.
Reasons to use web analytics platform
You have to work on your marketing plan constantly, and you can do better if you make data-driven decisions. There are two kinds of marketers: one, who follows instincts and senses, and the other, who makes decisions based on data.
If you collect the right information, create personas, and see what your users do on your website, you can create a way more effective remarketing campaign. For example, you can target different leads with different messages, based on their activity. If someone has read 2-3 blog posts and looked after your products, that lead definitely has to be converted to be your new customer.
Identify your key performance indicators and start a conversation with your traffic based on the data you collected.
On top of that, using web analytics tools that give you proper data about your website makes it easier if you think about B2B sales. A strong website with supported data that shows how big your traffic is and what is the average click-through rate in your emails, posts and landing pages can help you to sell these platforms and create a revenue stream from advertisements.
The 5 best web analytics tools
HotJar has a free and a premium version too. It enables you to monitor your website traffic with heatmaps, recordings, funnels and forms, while you can collect feedback from polls and surveys.
With heatmaps, you can see the most frequented parts of your website that grabs your users’ attention. These are the parts your users are most likely to click.
With recordings, you can follow what a user does on your website. It’s actually a screen recording video. Funnels can track your conversion rate: you can add a funnel and describe what you consider a conversion. Polls and surveys are small pop-ups to collect feedback.
The free version of HotJar collects data from 2000 pageviews/day. It can manage up to 300 recordings and 3 heatmaps, funnels, forms, polls, and surveys.
2. Facebook Analytics
“Measure people, not cookies” – says Facebook, and we couldn’t agree more. While most of the analytics platforms are based on cookie settings, Facebook follows the same user through your website, app, messenger bot, etc. Simply: Facebook Analytics measures by Facebook profile. The result is even better persona customization and easier remarketing.
Facebook Analytics is not the same as Facebook Insights. Facebook Insights also allows you to collect data about your Facebook followers and their demographics.
Compared to Google Analytics: FB Analytics is a younger platform (launched in 2017), based on users and not cookies, and this is the biggest strength of this tool. Google’s software is more customizable and has automatized exports, while Facebook’s tool remained manual.
Facebook Analytics is free to use.
Mixpanel is very good in data-visualization: it has a beautiful and easily usable interface. Build funnels, see top user flows, and watch how your traffic is being converted. You can get very detailed data user by user. See information like:
- City name
- Type of subscription
- Activity feed
This can help you to answer questions like: what did the user do after leaving the cart? Did the user browse from mobile but purchase from the desktop version of your website? Should you improve your mobile interface or is that the industry standard?
Mixpanel also helps you to send messages to segmented audiences, thus make your communication and marketing even more effective.
In the free version of Mixpanel, you can store data up to 1000 profiles.
UserTesting has made it to this list because they offer a special solution: they get real humans to use and review your website. It’s all being recorded and commented on, which is great news for you: with most of the analytics tools you can just follow your customer, but don’t know what the user really thinks.
We think UserTesting is a great way to get even more advanced tips on how to upgrade your site.
Pricing is unique to your needs.
As simple as it is, Bit.ly is still one of the best tools to start measuring your CTRs. It is known as a free link shortener, but it also counts the total clicks to the given URL. You can easily hide a bit.ly link behind a button and see how many people clicked that. You can also see a map about the geographic distribution of clicks.
You can also track clicks with Google Analytics, but Bit.ly provides an easier solution. Using a bit.ly link is the most popular in social media: a short link looks nicer in a post.
It’s a great free tool if you have just started web analysis.
Optimonk is an onsite journey optimization tool. You can increase your sales, grow your list and connect with your visitors. It’s a tool you can get feedback with, and it also helps to decrease the bounce rate on your website with customizable pop-ups. Optimonk measures the effectiveness of these pop-ups so you can stay updated on how to optimize your sales funnel.
Summary: use website analytics tools to grow
We could name a thousand more website analytics tools: HubSpot has a lot of tools that are free to use, and there are other good platforms like OpenWeb, SimilarWeb, SEMrush, MOZ, Woopra, or Clicky.
Every website analytics tool has quite the same purpose, but they have different extras, compatibility and UX/UI. There is no wrong decision: start analyzing your site today and improve tomorrow.
Yet it is significant to note that less can be more. Connecting too many tools at once can decrease the performance of the page and it can backfire. The page can show a poor performance precisely because we started laboriously measuring it.
Records your visitors, creates heatmaps.
Data is linked to Facebook profiles, so remarketing becomes easier on social media.
Great tool if you have a mobile app. Tracks the activity feed with great visuals.
A real human will test your website and highlight the main strengths and weaknesses.
A fast and easy way to start measuring your CTRs. Also, looks nice on social media.
Decrease the bounce rate on your website and creates a report about that.