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Analytics Beyond Google

By Lisa Carolan

EX2-Analytics-Beyond-Google

Google has been the dominant global search engine provider for two decades now. But over the last twenty years, the firm has expanded into many other areas, particularly concentrating on how people access information and how to measure and track their activity.

In 2005, Google purchased Urchin Analytics (UA), re-releasing it as Google Analytics (GA) and changing its focus from back-end, server log analysis to front-end, Javascript based user analysis. GA is currently used by more than 50 million website owners and webmasters to track visitor activity on their websites.

GA adds a few snippets of tracking code into your website code. This enables Google to monitor the activities of your website visitors. The information gathered includes what they did while visiting your website and how long they stayed on which pages, allowing you to “map” visitor traffic.

This data can be analyzed to offer insights into which pages of your website lead to more interaction and even a sale (conversion), and which pages visitors tend to land on and then leave instead of advancing into the sales funnel. GA also provides basic social and physical attributes (such as age, gender, job, interests) about each visitor.

GA does face a number of competitors, as many smaller software firms also offer their own analytics suites. While the basic functions of the various web analytics suites are similar, some analytics suites offer a more visual analysis of the data, and some are designed to be more practical as easy-to-use sales and marketing tools. Most of the smaller analytics companies highlight that, unlike GA, they do not use your data in any way, and all website and customer data is 100% owned by the customer.

Matomo Analytics

Matomo, which was formerly called Piwik, is a popular open-source analytics platform that allows you to get a real understanding of your website visitor data with minimal time and effort. As an open-source sales and marketing tool, Matomo offers several features not available with GA. making it easy to collect and analyze a variety of important information about your visitors. You will be able to keep your thumb on the pulse of key performance indicators including visitors, goal conversion rates, downloads, keywords, and many other important metrics.

Matomo also allows you you monitor the user-experience of visitors to your website in several different ways. Based on data about your visitor’s behavior, Matomo’s Conversion Optimization features, including Heatmaps, Sessions Recordings, Funnels, Goals, Form Analytics and A/B Testing, allow you to understand exactly what your visitors are doing on your website and why. You can compare visitor behavior across landing pages, for example, so you can see how effective each landing page is in converting visitors to move to the next page and further down the sales funnel.

Matomo’s analytics will also help you improve your SEO, and you can also create Visitor Profiles, as well as minimize clutter with a customizable Tag Manager.

One major advantage of Matomo is full ownership of all of your data. Unlike GA, Matomo does not access or use your data in any way. This means that businesses can be certain that their data is fully protected and the privacy of users is respected. There are no external sources monitoring (and recording) the private relationship between the website owner and the visitor.

Another notable advantage of Matomo is that it includes and analyzes all of your visitor traffic. Unlike GA, Matomo does not default to only sampling a portion of your traffic above a few thousand visitors, so you always get real numbers, not projections. No data sampling allows you to perform more fine-grained analyses and come to more accurate conclusions. Having 100% real data instead of projections increases your confidence in your conclusions and gives you greater freedom in planning.

Kissmetrics

The Kissmetrics web analytics platform is focused on understanding the whole customer lifecycle. If you understand why a customer is looking for a particular product, then you can offer him or her both the product he/she wants and the ideal customer experience they expect.

The Kissmetrics tool suite allows for fine-grained behavioral analytics, which can be used to develop highly targeted email or social media campaigns with very high conversion rates.More than 1000 businesses across the globe are using Kissmetrics today to understand what people are doing on their websites and with their products. With this understanding, they can deliver behavior-based engagement to create strong long-term customer relationships and maximize sales over the long run.

Moz Analytics

The Moz Analytics platform offers all of the usual metrics-related tools, including total visitors to website, visitors per page, time spent on page, and page engagement, with an uncomplicated, user friendly interface. SEO firm Moz has a well-deserved reputation for making analytics and SEO accessible to less technically sophisticated users.

With the Moz platform, you have access to domain authority, spam score and broadly focused Open Site Explorer link metrics. All of these metrics are useful performance benchmarks for an SEO campaign, and should be regularly monitored to see if you need to make any changes to an ongoing campaign.

One well-known drawback to Moz is that it does not pick up and add new backlinks quickly, and lack of backlinks will negatively impact your SEO ranking (Google Page Rank). Not surprisingly, many small and mid-sized enterprises use Moz together with another web analytics platform.

Hotjar

Hotjar specializes in visual analytics, and produces a suite of metrics that are designed to use visual cues to promote understanding of the data. Hotjar allows website owners to receive feedback faster, in a more natural environment, and at less cost than most competitors. Website owners and marketing teams use the Track Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS®) and the Voice Of Customer (VOC) tools to help understand specific visitor behaviors as they engage with the content on the pages of your website.

Hotjar visual metrics allow you to empathize with your users and see what page(s) they stopped on, and even request feedback to find out exactly why. The ability to ask visitors the right questions at the right time enables you to produce actionable insights about your site that will improve your conversion rate and boost sales.

Where Google Analytics may have the largest market share, you can see that other analytics tools are able to find ways to innovate, and help you discover more about your customers.

Topics: Digital Marketing

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