Web analytics is a powerful tool that provides invaluable insight into the ins and outs of your website. Nowadays, operating a website without proper website analysis is like driving a car with your eyes closed – although it is possible to choose the direction you’re heading intuitively, crashing and burning is a far more likely outcome.
There are many analytics tools for websites to choose from, and one can easily get lost among those choices. This article will highlight the eleven best web analytics tools and their capabilities.
What is Website Analysis and What is Web Analytics Tool?
In essence, website analysis is the measurement of various data compiled from a website for research purposes and optimization. In other words, it’s the collecting of data from a website that’s further analyzed for the best possible optimization.
A web analytics tool is a special software that gathers and analyzes the data from your website in order to provide key insights into the behavioral patterns of its visitors. There is a wide variety of analytics tools for websites available on the market. However, they usually fall under one of 9 categories, each catering to different wants and needs of your business. Let’s go over each type one by one.
- Customer analytics tools help recognize one’s customers’ behavior patterns to optimize product offerings.
- SEO analytics. Specialized for optimal keyword usage, SEO analytics tools are utilized best for attracting traffic from various search engines.
- Product analytics. If you’re selling digital products or apps, product analytics will be your go-to analytics tool for a website. It analyzes how users interact with your digital products and apps.
- Multivariate analytics. As the name suggests, these website analysis tools analyze multiple variables on the website at once and are best utilized by those who plan to experiment and test them continuously.
- Content analytics. These tools provide insight into how audiences engage with different content. They will be the best website analytics tools if you’re a blogger.
- Social media analytics. Many businesses rely heavily on social media engagement; therefore, these web analytics tools are a must for them.
- General enterprise analytics. Some businesses are dealing with massive numbers of visitors each month (think hundreds of thousands and more). General enterprise analytics will be among the best website analytics tools to analyze vast quantities of data correctly.
- Usability analytics provide insight into various design features on the website and allow you to know how the customers receive them.
- Open-source web analytics tools are very flexible and can be modified according to your personal analytics needs. In other words, they are open-source website analysis tools for open-minded persons.
Any digital marketing agency should use some of these tools daily. If you are working with agency, discuss which tool best suits your needs.
Table of Contents
Best Web Analytics Tools
Google Analytics is hands-down the most widely known website analytics tool worldwide. It includes many of the standard metrics and can be (and is) utilized by most websites today.
Google Analytics features include:
- Extensive reporting on the behavior of visitors.
- Funnel analysis.
- Tag management system.
- Smart goals to improve your website.
- The free version is quite broad.
- Extensive traffic information (location, devices, etc.)
- User behavior tracking.
- The user interface is lackluster.
- Many manual settings.
- Exporting data is difficult.
While Google Analytics is free to use, its most remarkable features are not. To use them, you’ll have to get Google Analytics 360, which costs $150 000 per year.
G2 rating: 4.5/5
Optimizely is an excellent web analytics tool that allows businesses to experiment and continuously improve their websites and products.
This tool has a lot of features, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Behavioral audience targeting.
- Multivariate testing.
- Seamless visual editing.
- Predictive analytics.
- Audience segment recommendations.
- Email marketing.
- Easy content management.
- Excellent CMS interface that can handle large quantities of data.
- Great for identifying and resolving various issues rapidly.
- Although the user interface can be changed and customized, it is rather tricky.
- Email marketing could be better when compared to competitors.
- Steep learning curve.
Optimizely takes a different approach to pricing – according to their website, they don’t like bombarding customers with lengthy presentations on the entire product suite. Thus, Optimizely invites businesses to converse their needs and wants to bring about an optimized experience with optimal pricing.
G2 rating: 4.2/5
Kissmetrics is one of the best web analytics tools for websites selling various products. It is designed to know your customers better and provides valuable information on which products are more popular and adhere to customers’ needs. The tool is an excellent fit for Software as a Service (SAAS) and e-commerce businesses.
- Behavioral analytics.
- User segmentation.
- Email campaign automation.
- Massive amount of valuable information about one’s customers.
- Excellent visualization and configuration options.
- Personalized reports.
- Has a steep learning curve for inexperienced users.
- Difficult to implement for start-ups due to high upgrade pricing.
- Quite tricky to set up and implement.
Kissmetrics’ pricing depends on your chosen plan – the silver plan costs $299 a month, while the gold plan costs $499 a month. You can also customize what you get according to your needs with the platinum plan, but its pricing will also vary accordingly.
G2 rating: 4.1/5
Parse.ly is a web analytics tool aimed at content optimization. In essence, it allows online publishers to know how their readers engage with the digital content they write.
This powerful web analytics tool features:
- Up to 30 unique attention metrics measuring various reader behavior on the website.
- Subscriber tracking.
- Geographical audience segmentation.
- Metadata extraction.
- Real-time analytics.
- Personalized insights.
- Monitors and delivers a real-time feed of website traffic.
- Seamless navigation even without prior experience.
- Provides extensive data according to a variety of needs.
- Accessing old data (12 months and onwards) is a bit troublesome.
- The user interface could be more interactive, especially the mobile version.
Although the pricing will differ according to your needs and the plan you choose, it starts at $499 per month. Additionally, you’ll also have to pay the setup fee.
G2 rating: 4.4/5
Ahrefs is a powerful SEO analytics tool providing keyword optimization, backlink analysis, competitor analysis, and more. It’s a perfect website analytics tool for SEO optimization to drive traffic to your website.
You will love Ahrefs for these features:
- Backlink research.
- Keyword research.
- Marketing metrics.
- Competitor analysis.
- SEO alerting, auditing, and change tracking.
- Includes competitor research.
- SERP history.
- Accurate details and numbers of analyzed URLs.
- Steep learning curve.
- Lacks content optimization solutions.
- High pricing.
While the Lite plan, which is excellent for small businesses, starts at €89 a month, more features will require more funds – the Standard plan costs €179, the Advanced plan starts at €369 a month, while the Enterprise plan, suited for big agencies and enterprises, will cost at least €899 every month. However, if you decide to pay annually, you’ll get to use this web analytics tool for free for two months.
G2 rating: 4.6/5
Crazy egg is a powerful UX analytics tool that will provide valuable insight into how users navigate your website and its pages. If done well, the tool can be utilized to understand which website features drive user engagement and which are lacking.
The tool features:
- Heatmaps and scroll maps that display how the users interact with the landing pages.
- Click reports.
- User session recordings.
- A/B testing, allowing for recognizing how the implemented changes affect the website.
- Easy to set up and manage.
- Provides extensive information on users’ behavior on the website.
- Excellent visual representation of the users’ actions.
- Competitive pricing.
- Less advanced for enterprises.
- No options to integrate with other tools.
- Large amounts of data can be difficult to understand.
The pricing for Crazy egg starts as low as $29 per month for the basic plan, while the most popular PLUS option costs $99 a month. If you have high data demands, the PRO option will be the best fit for you at $249 per month.
G2 rating: 4.2/5
Adobe Analytics is one of the best web analytics tools if you’re dealing with enormous amounts of information from visitors. It allows users to manage this data profoundly and get the most out of it.
Adobe Analytics has a lot of features, including:
- Advanced calculated metrics.
- Advanced segmentation that allows uncovering key characteristics of your website automatically.
- Cohort analysis, which creates and compares various customer groups.
- Cross-device analytics.
- Customer journey analytics.
- Accurate real-time reporting.
- Constant improvement and up-to-date features.
- Very detailed analysis.
- High cost and steep learning curve.
- Lack of technical support.
Adobe Analytics does not disclose pricing, so you’ll have to contact them to get a personalized offer.
G2 rating: 4.1/5
BuzzSumo is a great social media analytics tool. It has a very fitting name for its function: BuzzSumo researches various content and provides insight into what’s generating buzz on social media in your industry.
The features of this powerful tool include the following:
- Discovering high-performing content.
- Analyzing billions of data points.
- Identifying influential people for your brand growth.
- Monitoring of various trends online.
- Provides analysis of competitors.
- Great for content research.
- Provides trend information for web and social media content, including relevant metrics.
- Information filtering doesn’t always work properly.
- High pricing.
- A very broad approach that may be confusing to new users.
The free version of this web analytics tool offers up to 10 free searches every month. The cheapest plan costs $99 per month, while the most popular one costs $179 per month. Finally, the most mighty plan, which includes YouTube and Facebook page analyzers, goes as high as $299 a month.
It’s also worth noting that if you choose to pay annually, each plan’s price drops by 20%.
G2 rating: 4.5/5
Open Web Analytics
Open Web Analytics is an open-source web analytics tool offering many standard metrics for its users to track and analyze how people use their websites and applications.
The features of Open Web Analytics include:
- Multiple website tracking.
- Click heatmaps.
- Site usage metrics.
- Extendable features and functionality.
- And more.
- Combines conventional metrics with heatmap features.
- Excellent analysis of site usage metrics by users.
- Lack of customer support.
Open Web Analytics is an open-source tool that is free to use.
G2 rating: 4.5/5
Mixpanel is a web analytics tool used for (digital) product analysis. It allows the users to build better products by utilizing customer engagement, conversion, and retention data.
- Trend analysis.
- Predictive analytics.
- Real-time reporting and notifications.
- Performance reports.
- Data visualization.
- Excellent and detailed reports, including various graphical information.
- Excellent options for personalization.
- Custom reports generation.
- No email marketing.
- Needs to be more user-friendly for novice users.
- Weak customer support in the free version.
Mixpanel offers an attractive option for free, which includes up to 100K monthly tracked users. Additionally, you can choose a paid plan which adheres to your needs and starts at $25 per month. This web analytics tool also offers custom plans for large organizations, but you’ll have to contact them directly to get an offer.
G2 rating: 4.5/5
Attention Insight differs from usual web analytics tools in its approach. Rather than analyzing existing data from your web, Attention Insight focuses on predictive analytics and utilizes AI to analyze various designs to predict how the viewer’s attention will distribute on a given page, ad, poster, etc., allowing the user to tweak them respectively.
This powerful design analytics tool features:
- Attention heatmaps based on pre-collected eye-tracking data.
- Percentage of Attention that showcases the exact amount of attention a defined Area of Interest (AOI) receives.
- Focus map showing what viewers notice in the first 4 seconds of seeing a particular design.
- Clarity score evaluating whether the given design is not too cluttered.
- Downloadable attention analysis report.
- Analyze attention on websites that aren’t launched yet.
- Effortlessly get attention analysis for websites with low traffic.
- Ability to compare with competitors’ websites and designs.
- Attention analysis is based on eye movement, which is more reliable than mouse movement.
- Only static image analysis unless you contact them directly.
- You might need some knowledge of design principles to make the most out of the analyses.
Attention Insight’s pricing varies heavily depending on your needs. The Solo plan is an excellent solution for freelancers and solopreneurs, starting at $23 per month. The Team plan, optimal for digital, CRO, web design agencies, and FMCG companies, starts at $479 monthly. Additionally, large enterprises can receive even more with terms agreed upon by both parties.
G2 rating: 4.8/5
The Importance of Web Analytics
No matter how big or small is your business or website, there’s an immense amount of data that every customer and visitor brings to the table. Without a proper tool to analyze this information, it can never be utilized for website optimization. In other words, web analytics tools provide invaluable insight into the ins and outs of your website, which are lost otherwise.
Analyzed websites excel at reacting to various metrics. Owners of such websites know very well how many users visit their web, what proportion of them came there directly by typing your URL or clicking a link offline, and which of the visitors came through organic search, paid ads, social media platforms, or referrals. Additionally, analyzed websites allow their owners to build a wide-ranging image of their audience, which includes various behavioral patterns on the website.
In contrast, non-analyzed websites lack such knowledge. It is virtually impossible to improve a website if you don’t know how much traffic it receives, what blind spots it has, and how the users behave on it. Such a website risks channeling its funds and resources in the wrong place, especially when it comes to advertising and marketing.
Traditional Analytics Tools and Behavior Analytics Tools
As the subheading suggests, both traditional and behavioral web analytics tools are invaluable when it comes to building an extensive image of your website. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Traditional web analytics tools include these metrics:
- Traffic. It allows the website owners to know through what channels the users come to the website, which can help recognize various strengths and weaknesses of marketing and advertising campaigns.
- Time spent on a page allows website owners to know how long the users stay on each page. It can help in many ways, for example, determine which content is the most engaging on your site.
- Bounce rate. This metric shows the percentage of users leaving the website upon landing on a particular page. It can be utilized to determine which pages deter your customers.
Behavioral web analytics tools include various metrics which provide insight into how users behave on a specific platform. For example, it can show which features attract the most attention on the website or how quickly a user loses interest when scrolling through your content.
When utilized correctly, traditional and behavioral web analytics tools will be invaluable to your website in building an extensive profile of your customers and providing insight into how exactly they arrive at your website. You can think of traditional tools as quantitative analysis and behavioral ones as qualitative
In conclusion, website analysis tools are essential for every business to succeed in today’s competitive environment. Without proper web analytics tools, you’re losing countless amounts of data and, by extension, insight into the habits of your visitors. There’s no excuse to ignore website analysis unless you’re trying to sabotage your business on purpose.
Using the best website analytics tools available on the market will give you a massive advantage over your competitors in understanding and catering to your target audience’s wants, needs, and behavioral patterns. Forget the trial-and-error approach to business growth and use the tools at your disposal.