I’ve been managing websites for 6 years and I have come across some excellent statistics software to help manage websites. These have helped me follow my simple rules: know your audience, understand their needs and help shape your website around them.
In order to help others on their journey to statistics heaven, I wanted to share my 4 favourite tools and what they help me do.
Obviously going to be my first choice mention. If you are lucky enough to be able to install Google Analytics do it. But don’t stop there, understanding your audience is more than just getting to know what pages they are visiting. Use events to your advantage – know where they click, when and why, and track your search bar because it helps you understand what people are wanting for and where they go after that.
Google Analytics is a free tool that offers much more than just bounce rate and page views. When used correctly can be effective at measuring marketing campaign success, social media effectiveness and how well your shopping cart is getting on.
Not only that but Google Analytics is now part of a wider Marketing Platform of tools including things like Data Studio, Tag Manager, and Optimise to really help you understand your audience.
dead still here and worth tracking. Search Console (nee. Webmaster Tools) is the major go-to tool when they want to find out how they rank on Google’s market-leading search engine. But don’t stop there, Bing and Yahoo still exist (I know, I’m still shocked too) and Bing’s Webmaster Tools monitors the Bing Search Network which covers a few search engines but most importantly tracks Bing and Yahoo!.
Search is one of the key ways that your audience is going to find you, no matter the size of business and ensuring your website is visible on Google, Bing, and others will pay benefits in the long run. The statistics software like this are purely designed to help you.
I use this in more professional settings rather than personal ones, but this uses magic (and some code) to do some awesome things like screen recording, form tracking, heat mapping and more. Well worth it if you want to understand more about what your audience is doing on certain pages and if they are coming across issues on your website.
Using this I have been able to assess where people are looking at pages across a website property, bring in new important changes, and update whole websites using heat mapping. If you don’t use it now, then I recommend you use it for future changes. There are constant changes to this platform and it’s going to become a great tool.
Not used on websites but it still plays a huge role in making your website work at its peak performance. I use this to understand the desire and response of my audiences. What makes them tick? When do they click-through to the website? Do images work on tweets? What are the best times to post?
This helps me understand how to get people through to websites and fine-tune any content I have to suit. Importantly it helps me know if landing pages work, are people coming from social and staying or converting. What do I need to change either in the social media status or on the website to make it work better?
This post was originally written and posted in 2016 but updated on 17 May 2020 to reflect changes in each of the tools used.