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Top Website Traffic Analytics Tools for Bloggers

by Sunny Chanel

top website traffic analytics tools for bloggersYou can’t judge a book by its cover, but every day our blogs are judged on something that can be just as nebulous – by the numbers.

These numbers, the series of digits that quantify your traffic play a significant role in whether a company will want to partner with you. While you may want to believe that they’ll want to work with you merely on the merits of your voice, your message, your community, and your influence, like it or not, your numbers are often the big deciding factor.

While all the other aspects that make your blog so very awesome are based on opinion and the dedication of your readers, traffic is considered the measureable fact, the way a blogs’ power can be quantified. That’s why you must have the most reliable numbers you can get your hands on. And you want to use REAL numbers, potential clients can (and probably will) check to confirm. It’s a good practice to regularly take screen shots of your traffic to be able to prove that they’re real (and that they’re fabulous) especially if the client is using an analytics platform such as Compete, a popular agency tool, which doesn’t adequately measure blog traffic but exists rather to compare sites.

While in a perfect blogging world, there would be one tool that would give you the most up to date and accurate numbers possible, there is not just one that fits this bill. There are various options and different analytic tools available. Below is a comparison chart of some of the more popular tools plus a brief description of each service.

Analytics-Comparison-Graph-2

 

Google Analytics LogoGoogle Analytics

Google Analytics is, by far, the most popular analytic tool out there. It’s a great “starter” tool, and really, the price is right (it’s free). The biggest drawback is that the service can be confusing and overwhelming for those who just have a basic blog. Also, determining your most up-to-date numbers takes some manipulating since the default time-period settings show your traffic only up to the previous day. For current stats, try using the Real Time viewing option in the Reporting tab. If you are really wanting to drill down on visitor info, Google Analytics is a great place to begin with oodles of information there for you to explore.

Price: Free

 

clicky logoClicky

Clicky’s big draw is that it delivers numbers in real time. There’s no waiting for those numbers, you get today’s data today. It’s efficient and simple to understand with an easily understandable interface, which is a big plus, it gives a simpler snapshot than Google Analytics. They offer details on user visits and a history of all the actions made on your site as well as being able to track visits from those who have cookies turned off. An added bonus with Clicky is that you can track your traffic on your mobile phone, so you can know your numbers no matter where you are.

Price: Free (for sites with under 3000 daily page views) and then starts at $9.99 a month.

 

jetpack logoJetpack

Jetpack is a popular plug-in choice for those using WordPress. It’s easy to implement and offers a simple and basic snapshot of your blog’s traffic and is totally free. This is great solution for integrating everything on WordPress although it’s not as extensive as Google Analytics. Also, there is no real time reporting, rather then numbers come in throughout the day. They do include a tracking of clicks and how many times one of your posts was clicked on as well as top posts and pages for each day.

Price: Free

 

open web analytics logo_borderOpen Web Analytics

Open Web Analytics (or OWA) is a free open source software solution that’s a WP plugin and lives on your server. It’s simple to use and is comparable to Google Analytics. OWA will provide you with data on visitor location, browser type, pages viewed, visit length and referral source but does take a bit longer to install.

Price: Free

 

kissmetrics logo_borderKissMetrics

KissMetrics may be better suited for those engaged in online commerce businesses rather than blogs, but it can, and is, still used for tracking blog traffic. If you have an ecommerce portion, with a focus on conversions, on your site, this could be a good option for you. They provide various tools to examine the most frequently used order paths and your best referral sources. They keep track of your sales, so you can easily see how much money (in online purchases) has accrued during a given time.

Price: Starts at $200 a month

 

mixpanel logoMixPanel

MixPanel is an advanced analytics platform that goes beyond purely delivering traffic numbers but drills down on tracking the actions users make and their causes, which will assist you in figuring out retention for your site. They really focus on actions rather than just visits. The pricing is based on data points, each event tracked in Mixpanel, and starts at about $150 for sites that have over 25,000 data points per month. If you have a need for knowing about what people are doing on your site rather than just how many came, this could be a suitable option for you.

Price: Sliding Scale

 

crazyegg logo_borderCrazy Egg

Crazy Egg’s big draw is that it enables you to “visualize your visitors” using their heat mapping technology. They graphically illustrate for you where people are clicking and how people are scrolling on your pages. They also have an “overlay” which illustrates over your page how many people clicked each element. Their “confetti” feature illustrated the clicks you get on your site which are then segmented by your referral sources, search terms and more. This is good solution for those who want a visual snapshot of their traffic rather than being bogged down by data.

Price: Starting at $9 per month

 

raven logo_borderRaven

Raven is geared towards marketing consultants and small agencies with a focus on creating client reports (which can be mobile-enabled and customized). Their big sales pitch is on the ease and look of their customized reporting. They also include more than twenty data sources, including Google Analytics but this comes at a price (it’s one of the more expensive options). The other big plus with Raven is that you can create reports with just one click.

Price: Starting at $99 per month

 

These are just some of the more popular options, but you should perhaps consider using more than one tracking tool in order to periodically compare your stats (Jetpack and Google Analytics or Google Analytics paired with Clicky for example). Which analytics too do you use? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages you have experienced?

 

About the Author

sunny chanelSunny Chanel is a full time content provider/blogger/writer/word stringer. She’s a co-owner of Wonder & Company and also regularly contributes to Disney’s Babble.com, Mom.me, Fandango’s Family Room, Café Mom’s The Stir, Hispana Global, and is the West Coast editor for Mommy Nearest. She also provides content to Disney Imagicademy. Every now and then she updates her personal blog SunnyChanel.com. Beyond all the writing, her best gig is hanging out with her husband and 8-year-old daughter, exploring the always fun and fascinating streets of San Francisco.

2 Comments

  1. This all terrifies me – – – which is yet another sign how much I need it 🙂

    Sharing too.

  2. this is a useful article, thanks for posting..

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