It is not only interesting to get to know the visitors to your website. It is important and often indispensable for a small business, like yours. If you are not tracking your web traffic you would not be able to gauge if you have provided good content and marketing decisions to compete with your opponents. Tracking your web traffic helps you know if you are steadily getting more traffic with time or your traffic is decreasing. Unless you know your score how are you going to compete? Web analytics is a tool which gives you the facts you need to develop competitive strategies. You need a powerful Web analytics system for measuring your progress. Do you have one?
So before you start using web analytics, you should know what questions you want answered or what data on your website you want to generate?
How to Choose your Web Analytics Software (WAS)?
There are several web analytics softwares available which you can chose from depending on your needs. If your presence on the web is as simple as running a blog you may not need advanced features in your web analytics system. Most of the data an average website needs like number of page views, website referrers, detailed visitor statistics etc can be fulfilled by using Google analytics. Most importantly Google analytics offers the most basic and practical features, free of cost. But if you want to track activities on your website on a real time basis, Google analytics will be a limitation.
If your website is your business driver then you may need advanced features in your web analytics system. These can be, getting to know the key words used by your visitors to find your site, high level of detail of every visitor, every action per visit for each visitor, highly detailed analysis of the last 500 page loadsetc. which would be offered by paid analytics systems like Getclicky.com, MeasureMap, StatCounter, SiteMeter etc. Some of these advanced systems have a free version which can be used by websites with a particular traffic limit say, 2, 50000 page views per month. Additionally they offer a paid version for websites exceeding a particular limit say above 2, 50000 page views per month. I have outlined certain checkpoints for you to consider before you chose your Web analytics system.