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Web Analytics and Free Web Stats

While getting traffic to your website is the first step to creating a profitable web presense understanding how to convert traffic into paying customers is just as important. Web stats and web analytics programs are designed to help you better understand your website's traffic and conversion patterns - and provide you valuable information to help you improve your website's effectiveness. This page provides our editor's most recent recommendation for the top web analytics firms. While we have reviewed each company listed on this page in some depth we recommend performing your own due diligence before subscribing to any of the web stats or web analytics companies listed below.

Omniture - (provides solutions for large businesses)
Omniture (www.omniture.com is arguably the leading provider of web analytics and online business optimization software. Omniture's products are superbly designed to help their customers better understand the needs of their online customers, identify new trends, optimize sales, pricing, marketing, product development inventory and supply chaing management.

Omniture web analytics products are designed to help medium to large businesses:
  • Automate new online processes
  • Measure trends and customer behavior in real-time
  • Optimize overall business performance
  • Provide real-time, high-performance analysis and reporting for all levels of business users
Omniture has been recognized by rhe Inc. 500 List of America's Fastest-Growing Companies as well as the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and appears to be the web analytics provider of choice for large companies such as AOL, Hewlett Packard, GM, MSNShopping, Sears, Time, eBay and Wal-Mart. So if you want the very best and have deep pockets then we recommend Omniture as the company of choice. However, unless you're ready to spend many thousands a month we recommend looking elsewhere for a web analytics provider.

WebTrends - (provides solutions for large businesses)
Our second recommendation for web analytics providers is WebTrends (www.webtrends.com). WebTrends, like Omniture, provides high end web analytics and statistical tracking software for high end customers including IKEA, General Mills, Reuters, Ticketmaster and US Bank. WebTrends web analytics solutions are accurate and reliable, and have been helping businesses track customer information for nearly twelve years. WebTrends is one of the pioneers of the industry.

WebTrends recently released their Dynamic Search product which enable customers to use sophisticated search engine marketing automation software to optimize their their results based online marketing campaigns. WebTrends, via its Marketing Lab, also provides its customers comprehensive, flexible and scalable web analytics, real-time visitor segmentation based on cross-channel insite, automated optimization of online advertising and customer targeted analytics solutions for relationship marketing.

So is WebTrends really that good? Yes, they are. They're one of the best. But don't think success doesn't come with a price. If you're small to medium size business you're probably not going to be able to be able to afford WebTrend's analytics solutions.

Google Analytics
So what makes Google Analytics stand out from the competition? Well first of all its free! Whats the catch? It sounds too good to be true, but it is true. Many people in the Internet world have been speculating how Google will be exploiting this free offering for their own good. Many businesses wonder what information Google is collecting via their free web analytics service. What will they do will all this data they are collecting? Is Google positioning itself to become the next technology empire, second only to Microsoft? Its hard to say. But we have to admit Google Analytics is a great web analytics tool and it may be just what you're looking for (if you're not concerned about sharing your website data with Google.)

For those interested in Google Analytics you should know that there are three reporting views within Google Analytics: Webmaster, Marketer and Executive. Each view provides the user a unique sets of reports. The views are offered as an easy way to access other basic reports. Google Analytics really is a great web analytics program.

So are there any drawbacks to using Google Analytics? Well we think the biggest problem is that Google Analytics doesn't appear to provide real time statistics. This, in and of itself, might be reason enough to use a fee based web analytics program if you want real time stats. Also, we feel that Google Analytics may have some problem with accuracy - but the verdict is still out on this one. The reality is that any two web analytics programs will likely vary slightly in the stats they provide. Finally, there is some concern - whether justified our not - that Google will use the data they collect to provide better advertising relevancy. The concern has been raised by a few bloggers that ultimately you could be helping your competition by providing Google with your conversion data - although its difficult to get a pulse on the truth of this issue. It at least is something to be aware of before signing up for Google Analytics.

Inteliture - (provides web analytis solutions for small to medium size businesses)
Inteliture offers a free web stats that are configurable and extremely reliable. To take advantage of their web stats all you have to do is insert a simple piece of code on all the web pages in your site or blog and you will be able to monitor and analyze all the website visitors and traffic patterns for your entire website. So how do Inteliture web analytics solution stand up against the competition? Inteliture web analytics are accurate, reliable, comprehensive and best of all they are much less expensive. If you don't want to allocated thousands a month to your web analytics solution then Inteliture is the web analytics and statistics company for you. Their packages are only $49.99 a month. And while this may seem like a lot is pales in comparison to the many thousands you'd likely be paying for a similar solution from either Omniture or WebTrends.

Inteliture web stats and analytics include the following features:

  • Configurable Summary Stats
  • Drill Down
  • Popular Pages
  • Entry Pages
  • Recent Keyword Activity
  • ISP Stats
  • Public Stats
  • Referring Domain
  • Multiple Site Management
  • Keyword Analysis
  • Resolution Stats
  • JavaScript Stats
  • Visitor Paths
  • Visit Length
  • Exit Pages
  • Recent Visitor Google Map
  • Returning Visits
  • Recent Visitor Activity
  • Recent Pageload Activity
  • Country/State/City Stats
  • Operating System Stats
  • Browser Stats
  • Email Reports
  • User Access Management
  • Inteliture also provides a free web stats program for small businesses that just aren't quite ready to invest in a higher end web analytics program but want to start keeping track of their website visitors.