Gaining online visibility is not an easy task in 2020, especially for startups. It requires a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, with an effective website at its core.
And to provide the best online experience to your customers, you need a fully optimized website, undergoing constant updates and tweaks. This is impossible without effective web analytics tools.
Thankfully, it is not hard to find affordable online website analytic and monitoring tools and services. If you are straining to keep overhead costs to a minimum, there are extremely competent free options as well.
Let’s take a look at the leading free services available online in 2020:
Any list of online analytics tools will always start with Google Analytics – it is crazy good and free as well! It is the absolute market leader here, with three-quarters of all website management professionals relying on it for insights.
It is hard to find any flaws or shortcomings in Google Analytics. For a free service, it provides a huge array of features and services. Easy automation of data collection, customized reports, internal search tracking, and in-depth visitor data – the list is endless.
Google Analytics also offers excellent integration with a host of other tracking and monitoring systems, including AdWords, Google Search Console, Google Data Studio, and more.
If you want a more advanced paid version, you may opt for Google Analytics 360. But for most users, the free version should suffice.
Formerly known as Piwik, Matomo is a free data analytics software platform. It is a downloadable software that provides extensive reports on your website data.
You can gain a ton of insights using it – including search engines used, keywords that led to your site, user activity on site, and more.
Matomo positions itself as an alternative to Google Analytics and it lives up to its billing in terms of features and functionality. Its main USP is that the software is 100% free, based on the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) philosophy.
This means that you have full control over the software once you download it and can use it in any way you see fit. It can even be modified if you have the requisite programming skills.
And compared to Google, Matomo also offers enhanced privacy. If you want to use a cloud-based service, Matomo also has several subscription plans.
(In terms of 100% free data analytics software, your options are pretty limited in 2020. Google Analytics is dominant because it gets the job done for the vast majority of users.
Other paid options come with advanced features, and often a free limited plan as well. The next few tools on our list belong to this category)
With more in-depth analysis of visitor data, Clicky positions itself as an alternative to Google Analytics for small businesses, bloggers, and startups. While it offers a whole suite of analytic tools just like Google, Clicky tries to stand apart using Real-time web analytics as its highlight.
Heatmaps, Spam filtering, individual visitor and action tracking, campaign tracking, uptime monitoring, A/B testing, customizable themes, onsite analytics – Clicky covers all the bases.
And while it is a paid service, you do get a free version, with limited features that cover one website, and up to 3000 page views daily.
But you still get all the basic features, like real-time data, API access, individual visitor tracking, basic interface customization, content/search/referral insights, widgets, and basic segmentation. For a small website/startup, that should be enough in the early stages.
Do you have a product or service that you sell online through your website? If so, Mixpanel is geared towards you – it is a product analytics tool and platform for digital-first businesses. User engagement is the name of the game here – the platform analyses user behavior on your website.
Through event tracking, it helps you gain insights that can improve user engagement and sales on your website. The data is tracked in real-time, helping deliver quick and actionable information.
You get interactive reports, an excellent segmentation option, a customizable dashboard, and many other useful tools and features.
Young startups less than two years old can get Mixpanel for free, subject to certain conditions. For other small businesses, there is a free limited version, just like the one at Clicky.
The free version has tracking for up to 100k users monthly, with features including monitoring and alerts, unlimited data history, and core report functionality.
The importance of site data analytics
How do your customers find your website online? How much time do they spend on your pages? Which pages are they spending the most time on? What devices are they using to browse your website?
You can answer these important questions and dozens more by monitoring your site traffic and other forms of data collected by your website. It will help you improve your website and grow your online presence.
Depending on how people interact with content on your pages, you can improve user engagement and SEO. For example, on a comparison site like NoDepositHero, you would use the click out data to determine which product to place on top of the tables.
Using visit duration and bounce rates for pages, you can boost conversions, adding purchase buttons/links, CTAs, and more. And metrics related to eCommerce can be vital in boosting your sales performance.
Without data analytics, your website is flying blind. In the highly competitive digital marketplace, that is a suicidal strategy. So the importance of data analytics cannot be overstated.