The best stats tools to use for your site
Analytics Software Packages
VisiStat – Real-time tracking with graphical and intuitive reporting features.
Google Analytics – Mentioned in our first list, Google offers free analytics software. Includes tight integration with AdWords (see also: 27 Features that Make Google Analytics Best of Breed). Unlike some enterprise apps, the stats are usually on a delay of a few hours.
mviSPY – Real-time analytics that track conversions and visitor identities.
Webstats BASIC – A free analytics program that tracks visitors and trends and has exportable reports.
Webstats PRO – A full-featured analytics package that includes click path analysis, campaign tracking, and complete traffic monitoring capabilities.
LoadStats – Provides two different packages that include basic page view and visitor tracking along with geo-location, ad tracking, and more.
Opentracker.net – Real-time visitor monitoring and web statistics.
eWebAnalytics – Comprehensive, free package that tracks unique visitors, conversions, average click-paths, traffic history, bounce rates, and virtually everything else that you could want in an analytics solution.
MetaTraffic – Web analytics program that installs quickly and has the ability to track ad campaigns, downloads, and multimedia file traffic.
ShinyStat – Web analytics with three available packages that range from a free package that is basically a souped-up hit counter to a full-featured business edition with conversion and campaign tracking.
Lyris HQ – Analytics that include campaign ROI tracking and the ability to segment your historical data in any way you want.
W3Counter – Analytics that include a real-time visitor map to show where your visitors are coming from as they arrive.
Blizzard Tracker – Intuitive web analytics that include web stats in real time.
StatsAdvisor – Web analytics that help you track both online and offline advertising efforts.
Clicky – Shows you every action a visitor makes and offers a dedicated iPhone version.
Logdy.com – A free and paid analytics program with real-time reporting.
Pagealizer – Web analytics that actually suggest changes and optimizations for your pages.
Sometrics – Analytics that measure your social advertising efforts.
Piwik – Open source web analytics that you put on your own server.
FireStats – A downloadable web analytics program that’s free for non-commercial use.
Snoop – Analytics that give you real-time notification of events that happen on your website (like orders, unique visitors, comments, and more).
Yahoo! Web Analytics – Formerly IndexTools, this package provides real-time enterprise site stats.
BBClone – A PHP based stats package.
Woopra – Analytics suite that includes click-to-chat functionality and real-time notifications.
MochiBot.com – Flash content analytics.Grape Web Statistics – A free and open source analytics package that includes the ability to query historical data and is compatible with both PHP 4 and 5.
Stuffed Tracker – Track form submissions, downloads, and other visitor actions, calculate conversions and ROI, analyze landing page effectiveness and more.
GoingUp – Complete analytics package with comprehensive visitor and performance tracking.
PHP-Stats – A complete analytics program built in PHP.
Shortstat Beta 3 – A simple analytics program that includes search engine keyword tracking and more.
SlimStat – Based on Shortstat but includes a number of other features including the ability to filter out search engine crawlers and showing visits and unique IPs instead of just hits.
JAWStats – A free, open-source analytics package that displays your stats using charts, graphs, and tables.
Histats.com – Free web stats in real time that include referrer information, detailed visitor information and more.
StatCounter – A highly configurable stats program that’s free.
Brandgrow Website Analytics – Analytics that include website segmentation, competitor analysis, industry benchmarking, and more.
Sawmill 8 – Analytics with real-time alerts and clickstream analysis.
XPLG – Analytics package that lets you monitor and analyze any type of IT data.
FuseStats – Web statistics that include customizable heatmaps, ad campaign management, multiple site tracking and more.
Enquisite – A search analytics program that includes visual search analysis and helps you optimize your site’s longtail search referrals.
Web Traffic Visualization
clickdensity – Heat maps with real-time visitor data to help you optimize your link and ad placement and enhance your site’s stickiness.
nextSTAT – Complete analytics package that includes graphical visitor detail path reports.
ClickTale – Watch movies of what your visitors do while on your site, view heatmaps and every interaction that a visitor has on your site including hovers, hesitations, and even which form fields are causing visitors to leave.
ClickHeat – A free click heatmap generator.
WASP – Web Analytics Solution Profiler is a Firefox extension that helps you understand how your web analytics solution is being implemented.
SiteScan – A Google Analytics diagnostic tool that audits your Analytics setup to make sure it’s properly configured.
Fire Analytics – A Firefox extension that lets you view your Google Analytics reports from Firefox.
Cownter App – Shows visitors to your site how many people are currently on each page.
Market Research Data and Site Rankings
popuri.us – A tool to check your ranking and popularity on a variety of sites including Alexa, Google PageRank and more.
socialmeter – Check your website’s social popularity on sites like Digg , Furl, Jots, and more.
Statsaholic – Compare rankings and other information on up to three websites at a time.
SiteVolume – Compare how often keywords show up on any site you select.
Webslub – Compare your site’s performance to any other site.
Statistics for websites is a funny thing, they can show how much, or how little traffic your site does, where visitors are at in the world, how they ended up on your site and even how long and how many pages they were on. For many, statistics is a bit overwhelming but also easy to become obsessed about. Website statistics aren’t just passive information, they should be used to help continuously build and expand your site to ensure visitors get the most from their visits.
The most commonly obsessed statistics are hits, but that number can be confusing. More accurately you should be looking for unique visits and page views if you want to get a better understanding how many visitors your site is doing. Unique visits are counted once when you’re on the site and are usually tracked by a cookie, so visiting the same site 40 times in one day usually only counts as 1 visit. Page views on the other hand count how many individual pages a visitor views. Often time’s major news sites will split up articles to span two or three pages with next buttons at the bottom. They do this not because they think you’re incapable of reading and digesting the content all at once, but to boost their page view counts and thus show you more ads, boosting the chances of increasing their revenue. One may reason to monitor your unique and page views is to track specials, promos or ads you’re running to see how successful they are.
More advanced statistic trackers like Google’s Analytics and Awstats will show you more detailed information like what pages or files on pages are consuming the most bandwidth. As a website developer, this information is invaluable. You could potentially reduce bandwidth consumption by routinely watching your stats to look for un-optimized images and which pages are seeing the most traffic.
Statistic software can also capture information on what browser and screen resolutions viewers use, which is invaluable as you design and develop sites, and how you continue to update and evolve the content. Knowing what browsers your visitors use will allow you as the developer to test new features across many different ones to ensure the viewers are all seeing the same content. Likewise, designing a site to fit onto the screen of your visitors is very important; scrolling top to bottom is a natural thing to do on an Internet web page for side to side isn’t and most find it terribly awkward. If you’re site is designed to look best on a wide screen laptop monitor that you work on, yet the majority of your site visitors are still using the older standard of 1024×768 screen resolution, you aren’t giving them the best possible experience. Looking over your stats will give you the information needed to build and evolve your site.
Lastly, referrals, or sites that link into your site and drive traffic are an important part of statistics. From a designer’s standpoint, optimizing a web page to best show what a visitor from a similar site is used to seeing can be an invaluable way to keep this new visitor as a returning visitor.
Web stats aren’t all graphs and confusing pie charts, most of them are very easy to understand and even free to install and use. Utilizing these tools can help you evaluate your work and be the best possible designer.