Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Web Analytics *yawn*

Hello again, it seems I am truly utilizing this blog after all.  School certainly has me working.  This blog is about Web Analytics.  As you can see from my title, analytics bore me.  My mind deals with the realm of fantasy, and while numbers can certainly occupy that realm, any real numbers are a sure way to put me to sleep.  Just like the difference between data entry and writing, creating a formula that may never work, or even really make sense it another thing entirely from analytics.

Secondly, as a Socialist, I have a real hard time grasping much that is born out of Capitalism.  Like the theory behind driving a stick-shift (that’s a manual transmission, y’all) I technically know how to drive one, but if you want your car to head to the shop in a quick hurry, just put me behind the wheel.  Same thing here, I know I need to be successful in the world and to do that I need to sell my services.  With the competition out there, I need to be aggressive with my selling techniques and I need to tell the world why I’m unique and better than the other guy while not sounding so arrogant that I turn them all away.  Know this and doing this are two totally different things, and analytics are what I need to see how my self-praise is working.  Am I drawing the crowd I want and need to make my business successful?  In short, I look at the Clicky stats on my page and say “Oooh, I was visited by someone in China. Cool!”  It doesn’t take root and certainly does not find fertile ground in which to sprout.  This is my shortcoming and I own it. I know I need a business partner who is so turned on by business that he or she will grow the business like mad or I will fail.  I believe that is my current reason for not being the successful writer that I want to be. I write; I don’t sell.

Okay, that said, for my class (Hi, Mac!) I have looked at three different web analytics sites and promptly fell asleep.  (Just kidding, but yeah, I took about an hour’s nap here)  I looked at Google Analytics, Clicky Analytics, and Piwik Analytics.  All offer to look at your stats and filter them to your settings.  They will look at your presence on social media as well on the mobile apps you’ve made.  That said, they all vary in different aspects, all claiming to be better than anyone else.  Rather, Clicky and Piwik claim to be better than Google.

So let’s start with Google.  Google offers to analyze the users that come to your site. They measure your sales and conversions and will tell you how visitors came your site and what they did when they got there. They have a dashboard that allows you to customize how you view this data and tell you which of your pages are most popular so you can make them better and sell more.  It will tell you how you’re selling and what so you can tailor your ads.  Also, because it’s Google, they will track the users on your social media presence like on Google +1, but also on other social media platforms.  You can also link your ads to your website and Google will keep track of how effective they are so you can tweak them and make them more effective. (Google Analytics)

Clicky claims to be like Google, but better.  They offer you Real Time stats, and claim that Google gives you your stats a day too late to do anything about them. About 514,721 websites use Clicky, including  With Clicky, you can compare users from one region to the users from another region.  You can add filters to single out users with specific criteria that you want to keep track of.  They say that all you have to do is click on the main trait and a drop down menu will give you the options you want to add.  Also, you don’t have to go back to go forward in the navigation. They claim Twitter for their social network platform and allow you to respond to tweets as well as retweet right from Clicky.  You can also keep track of key words used in tweets and Clicky will report them to you. You can also filter what tweets you see. Clicky also has a free option that lets you explore certain features, a sort of try before you buy option. (Clicky Analylitics)

Piwik is an Opensource software that you download for your own use. It is available in 40 languages and currently more than 320,000 websites use it. They also compare themselves to Google, but they’re free, so that’s lots better. J On their website they say they are “a PHP/MySQL software program that you download and install on your own web server.” They then have you watch a five minute installation video and give you a JavaScript tracking code that you then use to track the websites you want to track.  They also use Real Time statistics, allowing you to see who is visiting, when how and why. They then list the reasons they are unique (though to be honest, free is a good reason.) However, real time statistics, you own the analytics data software, it boasts a modern and intuitive user interface, offers plugins, and supports an international open community. They also have advanced web analytic capabilities.  Also, if you don’t have a web server to upload the software to, they do have a list of recommended sites. (Piwik Analytics)

In conclusion, if I were to use one of these services for my website, I’d first choose Piwik. I’m all for Opensource and free.  However, as I don’t have a webserver, I’d choose Clicky second.  Because of my website at I am somewhat familiar with them.  My only barrier is cost! Right now anything onver a few dollars a month is crippling.

No comments:

Post a Comment