When you ask people about the website analytics software they use, most people will tell you about Google analytics. After all, it’s from Google itself and its free. This is the reason, it is the most widely used website analytics software today.
However, it has its limitations and this is the reason, many experts recommend using various other types of website analytics software to get a good idea of user behavior, traffic sources and various other important parameters about your website.
What kind of data do you need?
Before you dive into the hundreds of website analytics tools available in the market today, you should first figure out your requirements. It will help you in effectively comparing different solutions and also make sure that you can get what you want from a web analytics solution.
Does the tool have the features you need?
The first thing you need to look at is the features you want in the web analytics tool. Divide the features into different categories such as must-haves and nice-to-haves, and other such things.
For instance, some tools are good at real-time analytics, funnel tracking, behavior control — whereas others are great at mouse tracking or mobile tracking, and other such things.
If you can track it you can have it
You need to have a proper tracking plan in place. After all, tools are as good as the way you use them. Therefore, before you start looking into web analytics tools, it is better to have a good idea of the things you want to track. It will help you in choosing the right tool and getting the best value for your money.
Make a list of key parameters you want the analytics tool to track.
For instance, you might want to track the journey of users through a sales funnel.
In other cases, you might want to find why people are abandoning their cart after putting products in it.
In other use cases, you might want to track a particular category page or a FAQ page or other such things.
Does the tool have good support?
Support is essential whenever you are implementing a new tool in your business. If you have technical expertise, things might be a bit easier for you but even then, you will need to get help from the vendor in certain situations.
Not all companies are good at customer support. Many companies are good at the technical side of things but when it comes to customer support, they are generally lacking. This is why you need to think of customer support right at the outset before you start looking at technical capabilities.
Some companies might try to get you to sign up for customer support at an hourly rate. You don’t want to pay for customer support. After all, you are already paying for the product and it doesn’t make any sense.
Make sure they have people in-house to offer customer support and don’t use a third-party solution for support.
Demo before you buy
Before you decide on a solution, it is better to ask for a demonstration. It is better to prepare for the demonstration as most companies will try to get you in with a flashy user interface or flashy features. Those are good but that’s not what you want.
You are after actual numbers and actual analytics to make more sales and to grow your business.
So, make sure you are prepared for the demo with real questions.
One of the most important parts of an analytics solution is that it gathers a lot of data. Some of that data is sensitive and you want to make sure that nobody gets their hands on that sensitive data.
The security of the data collected by the web analytics tool is extremely important. Ask the representative to tell you about their company policy regarding the security of the data collected by them.
Sometimes, web analytics tools vendors use several third-party solutions to enhance their products. If everything is right at their end, they also need to ensure that none of the third-party solutions used by them is capable of leaking sensitive customer data.
Many website analytics tools are available in the market at various price points but before you start looking at tools, you should come up with your requirements to effectively compare those tools and to get the best value for your money.
For instance, some tools allow you to perform a lot of A/B tests to help you discover the right content or right color combination or right on-page elements for a particular sales funnel. These tools usually offer a live user recording feature.
Similarly, some tools allow you to track all the links on various platforms to help you determine the ROI of different marketing channels.
To summarize, the analytics tools are only as good as the strategy behind using them.
So, come up with a strategy and only then you should start researching different options to find a web analytics solution that is perfect for your unique requirements.