Web analytics uses visitor data captured for the purpose of analyzing behavior and helping to determine what aspects of a website are working and which are not. As a set of tools for helping site owners to tweak their sites and adopt strategies for maximizing the return on investment, web analytics plays a vital role in achieving and maintaining commercial success.
There are several vendors offering solutions but we are going to look at three solutions we think are the best on the market.
Google Analytics (GA) is provided free of charge by Google and the tool generates very detailed information on visitors and their behaviour on your website. GA is targeted at web marketers instead of technical users such as webmasters; the primary goal of GA is to help maximize revenue return rather than achieving technical perfection.
GA is the most popular web analytics solution and integrates directly with AdWords, Google’s advertising program and the most popular ad network solution on the web.
GA tracks visitors to your site and provides detailed information on who referred them to you: search engines, PPC content, online ads, email mailshots and url links embedded within web-enabled documents such as PDF and Word files. GA provides a granular dashboard which allows you to drill-down from high-level information summaries to gain greater detail at a micro-level. With GA you not only track how users find your website, but their geographical location and time they spent on your site.
With GA you can identify which online marketing campaigns and ads are performing against your preset criteria, such as click-thru to sale ratios, landing page or specific web page click-thru, leads generated or number of downloads.
Lyris HQ (formerly known as Clicktracks)
Though the web analytics market is dominated by Google, 60% of the top 10,000 web sites don’t use Google Analytics which means that the web analytics market is highly fractured despite Google’s dominance.
Lyris HQ, which was known as ClickTracks, delivers an integrated solution providing a range of tools and features which works well with ad networks (including Adwords) and provides excellent functionality.
Lyris HQ lets you see which keywords are generating conversions beyond landing page referrals, providing you with the ability to optimize your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) spend. Lyris HQ also allows you to import your shopping cart data; the solution allows full-customization with bespoke shopping carts as well as Miva Merchant and Yahoo! Stores.
The email marketing features provide effective management of campaigns which allows you to concentrate on optimizing under-performing activity. Lyris HQ uses empirical web activity, such as a user browsing across a specific product page, to create targeted email marketing lists which generate higher conversions. In addition, you can also identify click fraud and PPC ads which are not delivering any value for the cost incurred, as well as identifying exceptional items which are causing variance in your Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
Lyris HQ uses script placed on each web page and can be implemented within the day, while it requires no specialist skill or external consultants to manage and interpret the data.
Omniture SiteCatalyst is a suite of tools for collecting and analyzing data from multiple online marketing channels. Omniture also provides a range of additional solutions which integrate with SiteCatalyst to deliver a complete web marketing and management solution.
SiteCatalyst is split into four main tool areas:
- Visitor Acquisition – delivers simplified management of search engine campaigns using an intuitive interface;
- Conversion – this provides effective management of multiple lines delivered through online channels and proactively recommends improvements to increase conversions. Conversions are directly impacted by connecting online shoppers through serving product suggestions and options. General user behavior on the web is used to create an holistic context for search results which enhances ranking results for individual online shoppers;
- Website Usability – SiteCatalyst includes usability testing tools to perform A/B and multivariate testing combined with survey tools – the results are returned immediately and effectively measure attitude, sentiment and consumer opinion on products and the website itself;
- Online Analytics – advanced segmentation tools allow marketers to manipulate web data collected from all online channels and provides the management interface for additional optional Omniture components and tools which may be implemented in conjunction with SiteCatalyst.