Most search engine marketers (and Google for sure) would probably agree that the Golden Rule of online marketing is this: make sure your website/landing page appeals to, and engages, your target audience.
In fact, the aim of every action you take on your website, whether it be design, website copy, keyword targeting, or blog post production, should be to help your targeted consumers easily find exactly what it is that they are searching for on your site.
Sure, there are a lot of different ways to do this. You can set measurable marketing goals, hire the right marketing team, and lead focus groups to learn how your target market acts and thinks, to name a few, but all of the actions are for naught if you don’t pay close attention to the data that tells you everything you need to know about your website visitors—your web analytics.
Paying close attention to web analytics is the #1 surefire way to understand how your target market is responding to your website, what changes you need to make, and will help guide you to make sure you are following that Golden Rule of search engine marketing.
But, what do you need within a web analytics tool?
Now that you understand the importance of web analytics tools, it’s also important to understand what a web analytics tool should offer, and which of the tools on the market will work best for you.
Like everything with online marketing, there is no one-size fits all solution, and you will have to decide which platform fits your needs best. There are, however, some basics that every web analytics tool should offer in order to help you manage your marketing campaigns. Every web analytics tool should offer the following tools:
– Analysis Tools – Every web analytics tool should offer the web analysis tools. In other words, they should offer a series of reports that help you understand how many people are coming to your website, where they are clicking, what type of conversion rates you are seeing, etc. The most popular type of web analytics tool is Google Analytics, and if you plan on venturing outside of Google Analytics, make sure the tools offered are just as intuitive and even more robust.
– Content Web Analytics – While it is turning into a bit of a marketing cliché, content really is king these days. People are generally most engaged by quality blog posts, videos, and visuals that help them understand more about what they are purchasing. However, it’s important to really monitor what your customers like best. As such, look for a tool that tells you what pages of are most popular, and which ones get hardly any traffic at all.
– Social Web Analytics – Social media is an integral part of any online marketing strategy. It’s just as important to monitor what type of content people are sharing via social media as it is to see what actions people are taking on your page. This means the web analytics tool you select should include a social aspect as well.
– Mobile Web Analytics – If you’ve been paying attention to the changes the leading free analytics tool, Google Analytics, has been making this year, you’ll notice one thing—they are making it much easier for marketers to find information about how their target market is interacting with their website via mobile device. That’s because there are more mobile devices than there are people these days, and your target market is using them to search for your website. When looking for a web analytics tool, make sure you also have access to mobile metrics.
Who is who in the Web Analytics Tools World?
Most marketers understand the basics of Google Analytics. If you’re interested in branching out for more in depth analytics, here is some information about the other top 5 leading web analytics tools.
Vistastat has a wide range of cool features that help you not only learn essential information about who is visiting your website, but also that help you track and capture leads. If you are interested in really finding out who your website browsers are, and potentially capturing them as a lead, Vistastat is a great option for you.
Features and Benefits
– Intuitive interface that helps you understand analytics, leads, conversions, and more.
– Detailed analytics including visitor total, traffic averages, traffic sources, IP search, unique activity, website summary, and more.
– Detailed live lead and lead history information.
– Detailed conversion reports.
– Vistastat offers a live demo on their website, so you can see exactly how their analytics tool works before you buy.
Vistastat offers 3 different web analytics tool packages including B2C solution, B2B solution, and an Enterprise option. Packages start at $49 per month. To get a more accurate price quote, fill out this form, and one of their sales representatives will contact you.
Hitslink provides a wide range of comprehensive web analytics including e-commerce, social, mobile, and traffic statistics. If you are interested in extremely detailed search marketing statistics, then Hitslink is a great option.
Features and Benefits
– E-mail alerts upon user-definable traffic levels.
– Conversion tracking of PPC campaigns from the order process to revenue collection.
– Ability to segment your visitors and ecommerce in real time.
– Ability to segment by demographics, geo location, behavior, organizations, search info, universities, and more.
– Intuitive built-in dashboards with data visualizations.
– Hundreds of stats to help you with your search marketing campaigns.
– Comprehensive search marketing features including referrals, search terms, and more.
Hitslink offers 3 different pricing plans. The Professional package starts at $19.95/month, the Enterprise package starts at $29.95/month, and the Platinum package starts at $499.95/month. For more information, or to sign up, check out this page.
Webtrends has been around since 1993, and has multiple digital marketing analytics tools to help you understand your traffic, campaigns, and help you understand how to reach customers. Products include detailed analytics, optimization tools to help you increase conversions, e-mail remarketing options, visitor segmentation, search and social advertising options, and more. Webtrends is a comprehensive option for the online marketer.
Features and Benefits
– Trend view, annotations view, and story view options to understand web analytics in 3 different lights.
– Opportunity to learn about precision targeting with optimization data.
– Real time data.
– Plethora of case studies available to help you learn more about online marketing analytics and how to use Webtrends more effectively.
– Sharepoint for Intranet and Internet.
– Multiple-channel measurement including website, collaboration, social, and mobile.
For detailed information about Webtrends pricing, contact a representative at 877-932-8736.
Adobe Marketing Cloud
Adobe Marketing Cloud, formerly known as Omniture, is another excellent source for online web analytics data. The Adobe Marketing Cloud includes Adobe Analytics to help you monitor your website analytics (both desktop and mobile, Adobe Social to help you manage your social media brand pages, Adobe Media Optimizer to help you to help you understand your top advertising options across display, search, and social, Adobe Target which helps you optimize content, Adobe Experience manager to help you organize and manage your content, and Adobe Campaign which helps you manage all of your campaigns across your marketing channels.
Features and Benefits
– Easy to integrate each system in order to understand individual data that relates to your marketing campaigns and website as a whole.
– Free guides and digital resources available.
– Account managers and consultants available to help you with your marketing efforts.
– Excellent social analytics — the best out there, in my opinion.
– One, centralized location to build customer profiles, access content and reporting, collaborate with team members, and integrate data.
Adobe Marketing Cloud is available for download or for purchase. Adobe has multiple pricing options based on if you are a student, a team, an individual, or an enterprise. There are also options to receive discounts by purchasing the Adobe Creative Cloud. For more information about exact prices, contact Adobe directly.
IBM Enterprise Marketing Management
Just like Adobe recently purchased Omniture, IBM recently purchased the web analytics tool that was formerly known as Coremetrics. IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management is an intricate web analytics tool that is best for enterprises, or larger corporations. If you are a single online marketer, one of the above analytics options may be a better fit. If you are managing multiple accounts, however, this is a great tool.
Features and Benefits
– Sophisticated web analytics with real time and historical data to help you understand your traffic sources and more.
– Social media marketing solutions
– Mobile marketing solutions and location-based targeting solutions
– Targeted recommendations based on your website’s past trends and historical behaviors
– Enterprise analytics available
– Various tools that help you with your targeted display advertising campaigns
– E-mail marketing system, IBM LIVEmail, to help keep you in contact with your customers and vendors.
For more information about products and pricing, contact IBM directly. They will provide you with a proposal that suits the needs of your company, or they will send you a demo with additional information.
Ashley R. Cummings is the owner of Searchlight Content and a freelance writer, specializing in online marketing, education, and travel. Connect with Ashley on Facebook or on Google+, and learn more about her on LinkedIn.