alternative analytics tools

Analytics Tools Not Called Google

Google Analytics gives businesses an unbelievable amount of information about their websites and site visitors. It enables us to make smart decisions about content, campaigns and the methods with which sell online. Oh yeah – it’s also free.

Despite how much Google Analytics shows us and how many of us rely on it, this tool does not solve every riddle. Here are several other options for evaluating the performance of our web properties and marketing programs. Please note that some of these tools answer particular questions that Google Analytics does not. Other tools answer the same questions that Google can; they are just doing it much better.

Clicktale

visual heat map analytics
What Does It Do?
Clicktale tells the story about how your website is used with a well-designed set of visual features (e.g. heatmaps, videos, funnels and scroll reach graphics).

How Can We Use It?

  • Monitor how visitors utilize key pages with video recordings. Clicktale allows you to peek over your visitor’s shoulder to see what they do, where they stumble and how smoothly they move from page to page.
  • Review heatmaps that track mouse movement over key pages. While mouse movement does not necessarily indicate where the visitor is looking, it is pretty close.
  • Get a better handle on how page length affects visitor experience. Clicktale can show what percentage of people scroll all the way to the bottom of web pages. This can help you determine the degree to which all page content is consumed and what elements absolutely must be placed above the fold.

How Much?

 

UserTesting

online user testing tool
What Does It Do?
The founders picked a pretty good name. This tool provides the ability to conduct user testing with websites, landing pages, applications, social media contests/games and mobile properties.

How Can We Use It?

  • Find out how people experience a website or application. Any thing you can access on an Internet-enabled device can be monitored.
  • See how well your visitors can complete common tasks. Assign users with specific instructions (e.g. “Go find and purchase a toaster.”), and get a video recording plus written feedback from your own customers who agree to participate or subjects from UserTesting’s roster that match your criteria.
  • Get the answers before going live. Many marketers utilize this service to ensure their pages, applications and sites will perform well right out of the gate.

How Much?

  • $39 per participant. You should expect to see some clear trends after only a few test subjects.
  • UserTesting also offers a $10 discount on all participants for first-time customers. Get all the pricing info here.

 

Clicky

real time web analytics
What Does It Do?
Out of all the analytics products presented here, Clicky is probably the only one that could truly replace Google Analytics. Clicky provides website analytics in a clean, mobile-friendly, real-time interface to monitor website performance.

How Can We Use It?

  • Know more about real “bounces”. Google Analytics defines a bounce as anyone who sees one page and leaves immediately. In many cases, such a scenario would indicate a successful visit; the visitor was able to accomplish her goal with a single page view. Clicky defines bounce rate differently: percentage of visitors who see only one page AND are on the site less than 30 seconds.
  • Make sure your data is your data. There is a reason Google Analytics is free. Google uses this data to make their products better. Regardless of whether you think Google is nefarious or simply opportunistic, you can keep your data private with a paid tool like Clicky.
  • Access data that Google does not provide. Clicky provides reports on keyword rankings, video analytics and detail on every individual visitor. Agencies can also white label Clcky reports so they appear as *your agency name here* reports.

How Much?

 

Visual Website Optimizer

multivariate testing tool
behavioral targeting
What Does It Do?
Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) offers the ability to conduct multivariate and A/B split tests on website pages. No matter how you define your call to action or website goals, testing tools like VWO can help to increase return on investment.

How Can We Use It?

  • Conduct sophisticated tests with little coding knowledge. As long as you or someone who helps manage your site can place a single line of code to enable testing, you can use VWO’s visual editor to move page elements around like you would in a Word Document.
  • Create multivariate tests with multiple combinations. While these tests take much longer to deliver a statistically significant result, multivariate tests operate on the philosophy that not one or two elements make a page. Rather, it’s a unique combination of elements that can produce a dramatic improvement. Google Content Experiments does not offer multivariate testing currently. Here is a helpful side-by-side comparison of VWO, Google Content Experiments and Optimizely prepared by Rich Page.
  • Target unique content to specific visitors. VWO can reroute visitors by geography, referral source (i.e. search vs. online ad), browser and operating system. Automatically customize the experience for custom visitor segments.

How Much?

 

Crazy Egg

click pattern analysis
What Does It Do?
Similar to Clicktale, CrazyEgg utilizes heatmaps to show you where people clicked.

How Can We Use It?

  • Find out exactly where visitors are clicking. Are they clicking on navigation options, buttons or hyperlinks as they should? Or are they clicking on page elements that do not link, thus highlighting usability issues.
  • Determine priority of page elements based on the number of clicks each has received. You may have a text link and a button linking to the same page. Find out which is more effective in moving the customer down a desired path.
  • Find out how visitors from different referral sources behave. CrazyEgg’s Confetti reporting allows you to see how the clicks from Google visitors differ from clicks from Facebook visitors.

How Much?

 

Paditrack

PadiTrack Online Sales Funnel Optimization
What Does It Do?
Build conversion funnels for the purpose of determining how to improve a lead generation or online sales process. PadiTrack helps us visualize how our site visitors move closer to a sales transaction, where they stumble, and what campaign/content modifications have a definitive impact.

How Can We Use It?

  • Find frequent points of abandonment. PadiTrack funnels not only show the number of successful steps from one point to the next in a funnel, they also make the rate of abandonment very clear. Use this data to hunt down problem children in the conversion process. Perhaps it’s a faulty call to action or a distracting advertisement or the lack of credible factors on the page. While PadiTrack will not tell you what the problem is, the tool can at least show you where to look.
  • View funnels by referral source or compare funnel performance over time. Google does not allow you to apply segments (e.g. traffic from new visitors, traffic from an email campaign, traffic from a specific keyword) to their funnel visualizations. Similarly, funnels in Google Analytics are available from the time you create them. With PadiTrack, you can apply funnel data retroactively to go back in time and evaluate performance.

How Much?
PadiTrack is free to use.
 

Litmus

email client testing
What Does It Do?
Litmus is a must-have testing tool for email marketers. Find out how your email renders in every email client (i.e. Outlook, Apple Mail, Gmail and even Lotus Notes!)

How Can We Use It?

  • Ensure your email design will actually make you look good. A common problem with email design is a lack of continuity between clients. An email that looks amazing in AOL may look inbred in Yahoo Mail. Litmus allows designers to upload their email design and then view it in desktop and mobile clients.
  • Find out what email clients are most popular among the people on your list. With Litmus email analytics, marketers can determine how many people opened an email with Outlook, Gmail or any other client. You can also find out how many recipients read, skimmed or took a cursory view of your message.

How Much?

 

Tip: Google Tag Manager
With the exception of UserTesting and Litmus, every one of these tools requires placement of a code snippet on your website to work properly. If you really want to utilize a variety of the amazing tools out there, this requires a pretty heavy amount of coding and script. One service to minimize effort with placing this code is called Google Tag Manager. The Tag Manager makes things much more efficient by referencing all of the necessary snippets from a single line of code. Simply create an account, tell Google all the scripts you need to place, and manage them ongoing through the Google Tag Manager interface.

What other analytics tools do you use to measure the performance of your websites and digital marketing campaigns?

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