With so many tools out there for analyzing traffic to your Web site, it’s hard to know which ones are right for your site. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a roundup of four products designed for different goals. All of them offer free tools and some have pro upgrades, so try more than one to see which features work the best for your objective.
Google Analytics is good for standard metrics such as page views, unique visitors, bounce rate, time spent on the site, geographic traffic map, and much more.
- Fast, easy implementation: Paste the Google Analytics tracking code into each of your Web site pages and immediately begin tracking.
- Custom dashboards: Customize your information into a dashboard that you can e-mail to others.
- Automatic integration with Google AdWords: Learn which of the keywords you purchase on Google AdWords are the most profitable.
- Internal search: Find out how your visitors search your site, what they look for, and where they end up.
- E-commerce tracking: Identify your revenue sources by tracing transactions to campaigns and keywords.
Compete is good for checking out the competition. Compare your site against multiple competitors in one easy-to-read report.
- Reports on the competition: Enter up to five competing Web sites for a detailed report comparing their amount of visitors and growth percentage for the month and year.
- Identification of rival search marketing strategies: Find out which keywords are sending traffic to a Web site or a category, which sites get the most clicks from a keyword, and how two sites compare for competing keywords.
- Ranked lists: See where your site stands with customizable ranked lists of up to 500,000 domains.
- Cool browser companion: The Compete Toolbar automatically creates three alerts for every Web site you visit. Trust Scores warns you of potentially malicious Web sites; Site Profiles tells you the site’s popularity, rank, and growth rate; and Deal Light lights up if there are any special promotions or coupons offered on the Web site.
- iGoogle/Netvibes widget: See the latest stats, including the number of unique visitors for up to three sites at a time.
- Site profile extension: Instantly find out how popular a Web site is, identify its rank, and view how fast it’s growing through an unobtrusive extension located on your status bar or navigation panel.
Quantcast is good for accurately measuring your audience reach and composition, information that can help you attract advertisers. Quantcast delivers demographic data on gender, household income, ethnicity, education, and more.
- Complete three-in-one analysis: The “holistic” model combines panel-based and directly measured data with its own algorithm.
- Media planner tool: Rank Web properties based on their delivery of audience characteristics defined and prioritized by you.
- Video and widget measurement: This free service measures the usage of your videos, widgets, and games, both on your Web site and elsewhere on the Web.
- Insightful rankings: Unlike many services that offer just the traffic ranking of a Web site, Quantcast delivers a one-sentence summary, such as “The site caters to a slightly female, older, fairly wealthy following.”
FeedBurner is good for blogs, podcasts, and commercial publications that use feeds. FeedBurner is quickly becoming the go-to source for measuring and monetizing feed-based content. The company was recently acquired by Google, so keep an eye out for changes or additions to its current offerings.
- Blog/Web site dashboard: A comprehensive picture of a publisher’s feed audience and Web site or blog audience is provided.
- Podcast optimization: Improve compatibility with various RSS formats and use simple add-on tags for Digg, Share on Facebook, StumbleIt, and other social bookmarks. There is also an element form for iTunes Podcast Directory compliance and more.
- In-depth feed reporting tools: These tools include circulation, reach, and uncommon uses (places where content is resyndicated beyond your known subscriber base).