It’s always helpful to get some feedback on how we’re doing. Whether it’s in our jobs, our relationships, or in this case our website performance, feedback is vital in understanding how we can become even better. That is precisely what web analytics tools provide - an assessment of how websites are performing, and an indication of how these websites can be improved.
The first and most important step in having a high performing website is using a quality tool. Creating your website with a professional website builder can be the most effective method to use to ensure promising results.
Next, you’ll need to turn to web analytics tools in order to understand the specifics of your site’s performance. These tools can provide deep insights so that you can make more informed decisions about your website and strengthen its performance. In order to assure that your website excels, and so you can monetize your website, this article provides a brief explanation of web analytics, and provides a list of some of the top analytics tools on the market today.
What is web analytics?
Web analytics is simply the data behind websites. Web analytics tools allow you to view that data and often organize it into various reports with different breakdowns. These reports ultimately enable you to understand who is viewing your site, how many people are using your products, how long visitors are staying on your pages and more. Using these metrics, you can make data-driven decisions and understand whether to adapt your website design, marketing strategy, products and more. These changes can help you best suit your customers’ needs, thereby growing your business.
How to use web analytics
One of the best ways to ensure that you are understanding and properly utilizing your web analytics is by setting clear site goals. Your goals will be largely dependent on the type of site you have. For example, a blog might be looking for numbers of readers and time spent on page, whereas an online store might be looking for conversions or total collections. By identifying the proper KPIs, or key performance indicators, for your newly made site, the data provided by web analytics tools becomes much more digestible. Once you understand your data, analytics are useful for deciding what you can improve upon in your site or in your marketing plan. Take online businesses and stores as an example. Web analytics allow site owners to understand their customers better and enable businesses to determine what products sell the most and how site visitors landed on those products. Customer analytics help drive business decisions, allowing companies to adapt their strategy based on the data.
Best web analytics tools
01. Wix Analytics
Wix Analytics is a great option for people looking for general website performance metrics as well as those looking for in-depth insights. It provides information on traffic trends and enables you to drill down using a myriad of metrics with its comprehensive reports. Wix Analytics gives you the wherewithal to understand where your website visitors come from, how they get to your site, which site pages they dwell on and more. You can also get insights on your top customers, analyze your revenue, and understand traffic trends which can help you optimize your strategy and ultimately grow your business.
The highlight of this tool is its ease of use and natural site integration. First, it’s free and automatically available on all Wix user’s dashboards. Also, users can quickly view their key metrics using the Analytics widget that is embedded directly on their dashboard overview and can get alerts sent to them when there are important changes in website trends.
Perhaps most importantly, since Wix Analytics is connected with the Wix website builder, it can provide a complete picture of your website and point to specific areas for improvement. Backed with the knowledge of the ins and outs of websites and online businesses, this tool is able to provide important figures like in depth sales data, site interactions and blog engagement that can all be accessed in pre-made reports. It is therefore the recommended tool for those looking to truly boost their business.
Pricing: Free | Customizable reports: $35/ month
Good for: Wix website owners that are looking for a free and comprehensive analytics tool with an easy-to-use interface.
02. Google Analytics
For many users, Google’s analytics suite is a great fit. It offers a lot of information, including live website traffic data, helpful insights about your audience and integrations for other Google products like Adwords and AdSense. Despite the dense amount of information you can view, the layout is fairly straightforward.
One of the things ad has going for it is that this search engine giant offers many features for free that some competitors charge for. The standard version should suffice for most newcomers looking to access general web analytics tools. And of course, there’s also a premium version for more advanced needs, like unsampled reporting, raw data, Salesforce integration, advanced funnel reporting and more.
Pricing: Google Analytics Standard: Free | Google Analytics 360: Custom pricing (request a quote) GA4: Free and Custom pricing versions (learn more about tracking GA4 conversions in our guide) Good for: A go-to for those looking for a free option from a well-known brand. Another option for this, but it only tracks organic traffic is, of course Google Search Console.
03. Open Web Analytics
Another great, free web analytics tool is Open Web Analytic.The open-source framework is a bit more involved in terms of installation, but there are helpful guides to show you what to do.
Open Web Analytics offers a lot of the same features as other website analytics tools, with a few supplementary options. In addition to tracking live site traffic, referrals, and other expected metrics, OWA also provides page heatmaps, that allow you to see where visitors clicked on a page. A helpful feature like this can allow you to reassess your CTA (call to action) placement and adjust accordingly.
Good for: A slightly more technically savvy user looking for a free tool.
04. Adobe Analytics
If you have multiple sources to pull data from, and not just your website, you may find Adobe Analytics to be a suitable option. It allows you to bring data from virtually anywhere and have it all in the same place, making it an incredibly robust tool for those on the more advanced side. From web, marketing and audience analytics to multichannel data collection and custom variables, you’ll be able to collect, assess and take action on everything Adobe Analytics shows you. It’s also a visually appealing tool, which may resonate with some people who aren’t in love with looking at bland charts. Pricing: Pricing isn’t displayed on the website, meaning that the price will likely vary from business to business. They do, however, encourage you to request a demo. Good for: Businesses with multiple data sources looking for advanced features.
If you like the visual-heavy aspect of Adobe Analytics, but want to buy before you try, check out Mixpanel. This tool allows you to easily visualize your data for free. Mixpanel’s tracking features allow you to get insights on your users and follow their journey on your website. You can add users to groups, compare them to others, and much more with the tool’s well rounded set of features. An important and valuable aspect of Mixpanel is the ability to build your own plan. If you want to upgrade, you can select a series of attributes that represent your business needs to create a custom plan and pricing. Pricing: Prices vary depending on your needs. Good for: Businesses that want to get deep insights with a visually pleasing interface look into their users and make them loyal customers.
Chartbeat is a useful analytics platform for websites that are content-heavy, like news sites and blogs. It provides feature-rich dashboards for live traffic, historical traffic, as well as a dashboard for your uploaded videos, making it a great tool to measure how your content is doing. The creators of Chartbeat know that we live in a mobile centric world, so it provides a wealth of features that focus on mobile devices. As such, you can expect to see integrations like Facebook Instant and Google AMP. If your business has its own mobile application, you can even integrate it into Chartbeat and get detailed information and breakdowns. Pricing: Chartbeat doesn’t display its final pricing on its website, but does give you the option to request a demo before committing to its tool. Good for: Bloggers and content creators that want to understand the numbers behind their content.
Kissmetrics uses advanced user-based insights to segment website visitors into groups that can be easily tracked. You’ll receive up-to-date user behavior data via the behavioral analytics platform. You can even take advantage of it’s trigger-based email campaign system to keep your audience engaged. Helpful integrations with social networks like Facebook and Instagram can allow you to target your audience more accurately. Moreover, you can import your shopping history and track customer data use on your site. Pricing: Kissmetrics doesn’t display its price points on its website, but encourages interested parties to request a demo. Good for: Those looking for powerful insights for onboarding, engaging, and retaining their target audience.
While most may know Semrush for its powerful SEO and SEM capabilities, it also has traffic analytics for you to view important metrics of your site as well as your competitors’.
Seeing how you measure up to the competition is one of the main selling points for Semrush’s traffic analytics. You can easily identify your competitor’s geo source market, who their customers are, and their web traffic sources. These metrics are in addition to the already-robust feature set from the Semrush Pro plans, which includes a content marketing platform, branded reports, historical data, and up to 1,000 keywords metrics updates per month. Pricing: Semrush packages start at around $99/ month and the pricing for more advanced packages are available upon request. Good for: Businesses that want to compare themselves with their competition while also getting a powerful SEO and marketing platform.
Clicky is a real-time analytics platform that offers exceptional features at very reasonable prices. As you could expect from most analytics platforms, you’ll be able to access site user data like visitors, location, time spent on page, and bounce rates. You’ll also get access to things like keyword rankings, uptime monitoring, and user heatmaps that you can group by goals, visitors sessions, and more. Pricing: Clicky offers a free plan that gives you basic metrics for one site with up to 3,000 visitors. A monthly pro plan ranges from $9.99 to $19.99, with custom pricing thereafter. Good for: Businesses on a budget that still want strong analytics capabilities.
10. Crazy Egg
Crazy Egg is a popular tool that can help you increase traffic and get more sales, with some unique features. This is a good choice for people who would rather look at videos than cold numbers.
One of the most interesting ways to see how your users are interacting with your site is called user recordings, which records entire user sessions. This allows you to see what your visitors are doing on your site through video playback so you can identify pain points in order to ensure a pleasant experience for your visitors. You can also view users by new, mobile, or most active to see how different types of customers interact with your site. Crazy Egg also allows you to view heatmaps of user data and gives you access to a helpful A/B testing tool to put your data findings into action. Pricing: The premade Crazy Egg plans range from $24/month to about $249/month, with the option to customize a more extensive plan if necessary. Good for: Finding pain points in website flow using visual mapping.
Matomo is an open-source analytics platform that offers just about anything you could want. Real-time data, event and content tracking, heatmaps, A/B tests, and more are all present. Matomo is quick to mention that users own 100% of their data, with “no external sources looking in.” There’s a lot on offer with Matomo, which may have someone seeking basic analytics feeling a bit overwhelmed. That said, the number of data points you can collect is impressive. In addition to visitors and behavior, you can also get deep insights on things like acquisitions and eCommerce, as well as media and web form analytics. Pricing: Pricing varies by the number of monthly page views your website receives. The most basic plan, for 50,000 monthly site views is only $20/month. Good for: Anyone looking for a robust, all-in-one analytics platform.
Reading your analytics
If you’re new to using analytics for your website, it can be intimidating to begin mining the data for actionable changes. This can be even more overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. Luckily, you have some options once you’ve collected some website data through your analytics tool.
Wix Analytics provides helpful snippets of information next to your metrics, and even provides actionable tips to assist you in understanding what next steps need to be taken. These insights are packed right into your dashboard so you won't have to go searching for help. You can also always hire a professional. This can save you time and can help you uncover opportunities that you might have missed. You can use the Wix Marketplace to find a data professional to help you.