The Complete Beginner's Guide To Web Analytics

  • Author: Lauren
  • Lauren Fisher,

 If you're like us and you're obsessed with keeping track of your stats then you will want to know all the best analytics tools, which is why we've put together this in-depth list of all the best ones out there. While Google Analytics (GA) is the first stop for many and we certainly suggest you start there, the landscape is changing to include real-time apps and mobile and there are some great apps to take advantage of those trends.

The beauty of all these tools is that they are very easy for beginners to install and get to know and we'd certainly suggest that anybody with an online business or looking to get involved in online marketing get learning these tools as quickly as possible.

Contents

1) Some Google Analytic Basics

2) Google Analytics On Mobile

3) Real-Time Analytics

4) Mobile Tracking Tools

5) iPad App Reports

6) Google & Web Analytic Reports

Some Google Analytics Basics

While there are many analytics tools out there, there's no doubt that Google do it best for the average web user. It can all seem a little daunting though when you start using it, but thankfully there are a lot of great resources out there to help including these video tips from Google itself. Learn these basics and you'll be set.

Have Reports Emailed

As the video says, we are all really busy and one of the best things about GA is that you can create custom reports that get emailed to you with the best basic information.

Analyzing Your Adwords Traffic

So you have started spending some money on Google Adwords, but you don't know if it is actually driving you new business or leads. This short video explains how to start analyzing your Adwords traffic.

Realtime Reports

We have a whole section on other real time stats providers below, but as you would expect GA is pretty good at this and this short video explains some of the ways to go about it.

Goal Flow Data

Getting slightly more technical in this video, but it does show the potential that you can get out of the service by setting up the funnels and goals correctly to track absolutely everything that your visitors are doing.

Google Analytics For Agencies

This is the first video in a longer series of videos that show some of the best features for agencies. The videos are about an hour long each and there are ten in the series but if you manage to get through all of these you'll have a great understanding of what your agency can offer.

Advanced Segments

The beauty of GA is the huge detail that you can go into when customizing your reports. Learn all about advanced segments here.

Google Analytics On Mobile

While the web interface for Google Analytics is absolutely brilliant and lets you drill down into all sorts of detail. We find ourselves using app versions of the site on a more regular basis. You stay logged in on your phone, it often presents the data in a more friendly format with a nice bird's eye view and it generally feels like a quicker approach. You'll always end up back on the desktop looking at reports and drilling down into specific pieces of data, but the following mobile apps really do a great job or giving you the information you need while on the go.

Analytiks

Price: $1.99

If there was an award for most beautiful app, this would win hands down. Not only does it display the normal data in a simple to understand and beautiful way, but it also displays infographics of the data to show you what is happening over time. You will have to pay $0.99 for this app, but you'd have to say that it is more than worth it just to look at the sheer beauty of your stats.

Analytics Pro

Price: $5.99

If you need something a little more high powered and that offers you more detail, then Analytics pro is the app for you. It varies in price, but you can usually pick it up for $3.99 and it is money well spent if you need to keep an eye on a few big sites while on the go. You'll find enough free versions of an app so only really buy this if you are looking for more detail than the average user.

Real-time Analytics

For all of us addicted to analytics, it seems that getting them every couple of hours is no longer good enough and the new trend is towards real-time analytics. How many people are on my site right now? How are people engaging with the deal I posted five minutes ago? Here are some of the tools that work best for real-time analytics.

Chartbeat

Price: $9.95/month, $49.95/month, $99.95/month, $149.95/month

This is a relatively new service, but it gets rave reviews and is incredibly easy to use, even for people who are new to analytics. What it does a wonderful job of is displaying the data in a way that is easy for anybody to understand no matter how limited your technical knowledge is. As you can see from the typical user interface below, you can see visitor numbers, who is clicking on links and where your traffic is flowing to in real-time. You'll find that after using it for a couple of days, you have a much better understanding of how your site works.

Go Squared

Price: Free, $9/month, Custom

Another great real-time tool that helps you find out what people are doing right now on your site. It pulls in a lot of data that is similar to Google Analytics. The main focus here is on where the visitors are coming from and their geographical breakdown rather than a lot of the action on your site.

Realtime Analytics - Obsessed

Price: $0.99

If you want to get really geeky and get real-time stats for your mobile, this is the app that you simply have to download. Fire it up at any time while out on the go and you can see exactly how many people are on your website.

Clicky

Price: Free, $4.99/month, $9.99/month, $19.99/month

Alongside historical data which reaches back as far as one year (the exception being visitor log and the action log pages which only go back 31 days), Clicky lets you see how your website is performing in real-time, and lets you see how well a page has performed in just a single click. You can also compare visitors from different demographics like browser use, country and language.

Woopra

Price: Free, $11.95/month, $39.95/month, $149.95/month, $349.95/month

Offering a stylish and flexible dashboard, Woopra main draw is to track actions that easily noticed like videos played and ad click-through rates, helping you learn more about your visitors. Another useful feature is the ability to receive notifications whenever a certain action occurs like when a visitor gets a 404 page, or when a customer makes it through your signup process.

seevolution

Price: $29/month,$79/month,$149/month (Free 14-day trial)

With real-time analytics offered as the basics, seevolution main draw is the inclusion of heatmaps, which track clicks, mouse movements and scrolling from all your visitors, showing you your web page's 'hot spots.' You may notice that this is similar to another analytics tool, CrazyEgg, but seevolution also has a live click heatmap, which is handy if you want to see how users react to any changes to your site's layout.

Mobile Tracking Tools

Mobile App Tracking

Price: Free, $0.05/$0.04/$0.03 per non-organic install

As the name suggests, Mobile App Tracking … tracks your mobile apps. Alongside tracking your app installs, the service uses what it calls a 'unique device fingerprint' that lets you see how your ads are performing on the mobile web. Its tracking also extends to other areas like social media, email, QR codes, press releases and cross-promotion.

InMobi Tracker

Cost: Free

InMobi offers tracking reports in real-time and over multiple ad networks, allowing you to track conversions across iOS, Android and mobile web. It uses cookies to track any post-click conversion (app downloads, sales, etc.) across all mobile channels.Crashlytics

Cost: Unknown

With the focus very much on style, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Crashlytics is just that. But instead of tracking how an app is performing, it tracks something different: How many times an app crashes on iOS (with an Android version coming soon). Considering how many apps there are for the iPhone and how few tools focus on this, it's a godsend for those who want to make sure their apps are performing consistently, or want to make sure a small problem doesn't put users off. The app is in beta mode so you can sign up for it on the main site.

iPad App Reports

Flurry

Cost: Free

We've spoken about Flurry before and when you start using it, it's easy to see why. With a comprehensive analytics database that lets you see how customers engage, how long they spend on the app and how they engage is invaluable when you're. Also, it's free so you can see why Flurry's is the most popular app and mobile analytics tool out there.

appFigures

Cost: Free, $4.99 per month (+$1.49/app), $139 per month

appFigures main pull is that it tracks and graphs all app store application downloads, featuring them all in one main interface. Not only does it translate reviews, but it tracks how your app is doing in each market so you can tell if your app is a hit in a particular country and adjust your advertising strategy to suit this trend. If your app is purely local, then appFigures' use will be limited, but for the most part, you'll gather some useful info from it.

Localytics

Cost: Free, $95/month per app, $895/month for all apps

Another popular choice that regularly features in lists like these, Localytics identifies the ways that you can improve growth in areas like in-app purchases, subscriptions and advertising. The app also provides a real-time database and it only takes a few minutes to integrate it into your apps so you can get started quickly.

Apsalr

Cost: Free

With the focus very much on monetisation, Apsalar allows publishers to identify how users engage with their site and where they spend money. Through this, they can target special offers to users to increase engagement and revenue earned. Its in-app analytics, ApScience lets you create customised dashboards you only see the information that relevant to you.

mtiks

Cost: Free

Mtiks offers the usual features expected from an apps analytics service such as real-time analytics, supporting the major platforms including WP7 and Blackberry and the ability to get reports on app loyalty, app usage and device usage. What sets it apart from other tools on this list is its anti-piracy tool, which alerts you to unauthorised users.

Google Analytics Resources

- Mahalo show you how to use Google Analytics for beginners.

- Flyte provides info and tips about how you can make the most of your traffic reports.

- .eduGuru provides three tips to track better on Google Analytics.

- Portent show you how to install Google Analytics site search in five steps.

- Workhappy goes into advanced territory by showing you how conversion goals can work to your advantage.

- iMedia Connection posted a guide on mobile tracking using Google Analytics.

- Moby Affiliates created a slideshare presentation which has a large list of tools for mobile analytics, mobile tracking and mobile data and reports.

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