Operating a successful website requires a lot more than having a great idea, great product, and a great team.
It’s unfortunate that we have to earn another level of expertise in order to be successful online, but it’s a reality of the web-driven world. Understanding how your site works, how your audience is behaving online, and how to optimize your site to reach the most people is key.
In order to maintain the efficacy of your site, though, you have to know how to use web analytics tools. There are tools available to you that make sense of the chaos online.
We’re going to identify some of the best tools at your disposal so that you can make your site as effective as possible. Let’s get started:
The Web Analytics Tools You Need
Everyone’s website is different, so you might find that a few of these options don’t apply to you. That said, we think these tools can apply to a broad range of site owners and meet their needs.
Additionally, keep in mind that no tool will do all of the work for you. These tools are created to aid you in your effort to achieve your business goals, not to achieve your goals for you.
So, it’s important that you use your critical eye, understand what the tools are doing for you, and learn them backward and forwards to get the most out of them.
You should also consider mixing and matching tools that provide different features. Any tool will give you a lot of benefits, but each tool you look at has something unique about it.
With those ideas in mind, let’s dig into some of the best tools on the market.
We have to start with Google Analytics because it’s probably the most utilized web tool in the world.
There’s a good reason for that fact, too. If you think about the goal of optimization, it’s to create a site that ranks for popular keywords and reaches the widest audience. Google is the site that most people make keyword searches on every day, so it’s natural that sites would want to rank on Google.
Making good use of Google’s analytics tool, then, is like having a person on the inside, feeding you information about which keyword terms are trending and how your audience is behaving online.
This is an especially useful tool for those who are new to optimization, analytics, and web ownership. The tools are relatively easy to use and understand, and there are more than enough tutorials online to give you the basics.
One of the disadvantages of Google Analytics and most other analytics tools is that they don’t provide a way to see what users are doing in real-time.
Often times, you experience a surge in traffic and want to understand it as it happens. This is useful, too, as you could sort of call an audible and adjust your methods to maximize on that surge of traffic.
Clicky is an analytics tool that provides you the real-time information that other analytics tools do not. The information that users provide you simply by using your site allows you to make inferences about how you could improve.
Why not get those improvements started as soon as possible?
If you’re interested in optimizing the flow and site architecture on your page, Mouseflow is an excellent option.
As the name suggests, this tool allows you to view the actual behavior of users while they’re on your site. Not only can you know which links and pages are experiencing the most success, but you can also see exactly how users are operating within the confines of your page.
This way you can identify specific areas where actual users might be experiencing hangups. If you use the tool right, you could streamline your page to produce conversions at a much higher rate.
KissMetrics is another tool that gives you direct insight into the behavior of your users.
One unique function is that you can examine the data of particular users over multiple visits to your site, getting a better understanding of how your customers make purchases and handle themselves while searching.
Make note that Google Analytics doesn’t offer that feature. While Kissmetrics isn’t free like Google’s tool, the added features will pay for themselves if you use them correctly.
Further, Kissmetrics offers a marketing package that you can use to branch out. More specifically, you can send out emails to potential leads based on their actions on your site.
Social Media Marketing and Analytics
Keep in mind that data-driven decisions don’t have to be limited to the confines of your actual website. Your presence on social media can and should be informed by analytics.
The nice thing about operating on social media is that their marketing platforms typically provide you with much of what you need to establish an entry-level campaign. Even a small investment can land you new clients, followers, and engagements.
Another great thing is that these functions and platforms are very intuitive. While the higher-level functions might require some additional training or the help of a professional, the bread and butter of social media marketing tools are easy to use.
Link-building is an essential piece of search engine optimization. Additionally, the efficacy of those links plays a huge part in how well your site does.
The placement of a link and the page it leads to can have a huge effect on whether a customer engages with your site. ClickMeter provides a tool that allows you to look directly at your links and examine more than 100 metrics that relate to them.
Essentially, you’re getting a diagnostic of each link. You’ll understand the volume of users using that link, how they behave when they follow it, and what you could potentially do better to improve those numbers.
Need a Little Help?
Finding and using analytics tools is great, but there comes a point when you want to see huge improvements in your metrics. When you think you’ve plateaued, it may be time to get a little boost from the pros.
Explore our site to learn more about how we can assist in your digital marketing efforts.