WEBSITE ANALYTICS: Best Tools for Website Analytics & Guide

Photo Credit: OnlineMetrics

Are you wondering, “What is web analytics?” Web analytics is a method of collecting and analyzing data from your website. It can cover everything from what your visitors are doing, where they come from, what content they like, and a whole lot more. By using a web analytics tool to collect data, you’ll be able to know what is and isn’t working, and then steer your website in the right direction. In this article, we’ll answer the question “what is web analytics?” in greater detail and discuss why it’s important. We’ll also talk about some website analytics tools that offer various insights. Let’s talk numbers!

What is Website Analytics?

Website analytics is the collection, reporting, and analysis of data generated by users visiting and interacting with a website. The goal of web analytics is to measure user behavior, optimize the user experience and flow of the website, and gain insights that aid in meeting business objectives such as increasing conversions and sales.

There is a wealth of data available to help you understand how visitors interact with your website and identify areas for improvement. You can monitor overall traffic, bounce rate, traffic sources, new and returning visitors, time spent on site, and much more.

Importance of Website Analytics

Web analytics is critical to the success of your business. It enables you to better understand your site visitors and use those insights to improve the experience on your site. For example, if you discover that the majority of users on your site are using a mobile device, you can focus on making your website more mobile-friendly.

Your content and SEO strategies can be shaped by website analytics. You can start to identify what types of content and topics perform best with your audience by looking at your most popular posts. If you notice how-to WordPress tutorials make up the majority of your top viewed posts, for example, then you might shift and narrow your focus from definition articles about anything web-related to how-to WordPress tutorials. Or perhaps you examine your site’s traffic sources and notice that organic and email traffic are the most important, while paid channels are the least. In that case, you might shift resources to invest more in your organic strategy than paid.

Tools for Website Analytics

Web analytics is the collection, analysis, and reporting of data to better understand and optimize web usage. There is a wide range of website analytics tools that provide a simple report to examine traffic trends, track user behavior, and monitor website conversation. The top website analytics tools are listed below, along with their most popular features and website links. The list of website analytics tools compared in this article includes both open-source (free) and commercial (paid) software.

#1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the most popular free web analytics tool out there. It’s a traditional analytics solution, which means it provides real-time data about your site’s traffic, such as page views, sessions, time on page, bounce rates, and other stats and metrics.

#2. Clicky

Clicky is a web analytics software that respects your privacy. Similar to Google Analytics, it provides real-time analytics on the traffic to your website.

#3. Hotjar

Hotjar is best known for its session recordings and heatmap tools, but it also includes user feedback widgets and survey functionality. The manual event tracking setup and limited quantitative analytics capabilities of this tool are two drawbacks, which we discussed in our Hotjar alternatives article.

#4. Woopra

Woopra is a quantitative analytics tool for tracking your customers’ journeys from beginning to end. It is more adaptable than traditional analytics tools because it includes features for product, marketing, sales, and customer service teams.

#5. Open Web Analytics

Open Web Analytics is an open-source framework that allows you to collect and analyze user behavior data with granular control. It requires programming skills to set up and run, but it is also extremely versatile, as you can use it under your domain or as part of a web app.

#6. Clarity

Clarity is a free user behavior analytics tool from Microsoft that includes session recordings, heatmaps, automated insights, and a Google Analytics integration.

#7. Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is an online analytics application with a plethora of features for tracking user behavior. It is one of the best analytics tools which enables you to understand customer interests and boost your profile from your site.

SEO Website Analytics

Before we discuss how to use website analytics for SEO, let’s first define SEO.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to a wide range of activities aimed at improving a website’s ranking in search engine results pages. When a user enters a query (for example, ‘marketing agencies in Dallas’) into a search engine, the websites near the top of the page are optimized for search engines and thus rank for that term.

Importance of Website Analytics for SEO

SEO revolves around search engine algorithms—a set of rules that dictates a website’s ranking for a given search query (i.e. keyword) (i.e. keyword). To determine a site’s SERP ranking, the algorithm considers a variety of factors. To achieve strong SEO, your website must display qualities that the algorithm considers important. Web analytics can help with that.

Web analytics allows you to track key metrics and data points that affect how the algorithm ranks your website. Understanding this data will provide you with the insights needed to make positive adjustments, ultimately improving your website’s SEO.

How do I Run Website Analytics for SEO?

The SEO analysis of a website needs to be focused on relevant data that’s applicable to search engine rankings. When conducting your website SEO analysis, here are some notable metrics and data fields to pay attention to:

#1. Bounce rate and dwell time

These metrics indicate how much time users spend on your website. Google may consider it a negative indicator if users frequently leave your site after only a few seconds. To reduce bounce rate and increase dwell time, work on making your site’s content more engaging and making sure there are no technical issues.

Scan your website for broken links using technical analysis. If your website contains broken links that lead to 404 pages, this can hurt your website’s SEO rankings. Redirect those links to a relevant page or remove them altogether.

#3. Scroll depth

Measuring scroll depth (how far down the page users scroll) can help you determine the quality of your content, and it goes hand in hand with bounce rate and dwell time. To assess scroll depth, you can use a Tag Manager to track the specific scroll percentage on your site’s pages.

#4. Transitions

Examining how users move from page to page on your site can help you gain a more holistic understanding of their behavior. Which pages do they tend to gravitate towards? Are there any CTAs on your blog that aren’t getting many clicks? Optimizing user journeys will, in turn, elevate the overall user experience on your site.

You can learn what your audience is looking for by using site search tracking and reporting. If you notice a trend (e.g., the majority of searches are for pricing because your pricing page isn’t in the navigation menu), this can inform both site architecture and content planning.

#6. Segments

Separating your visitors into distinct segments can produce granular insights that paint a more accurate picture.

#7. Acquisition channels

It is important to look into the sources of your website traffic. Examining your acquisition metrics, for example, will reveal which external websites are referring the most traffic to your website.

Competitors Website Analytics

The process of studying your competitors’ online presence to understand their marketing strategies and identify potential areas of opportunity for your own business is known as competitors’ website analytics. By understanding how your competitors attract customers, you can develop a more effective online marketing strategy that sets you apart from the competition.

How Can Competitors’ Website Analytics Help Your Business?

Analyzing your competition’s online presence can provide you with an inside scoop on what tactics work best for other businesses in your industry. This will give you insight into how to improve the effectiveness of your site by examining what works and what doesn’t.

In other words, even if your competitors’ strategies aren’t particularly innovative, analyzing their websites may reveal specific strategies they’re employing that you’re not, and that could work well for your brand as well.

Steps for Conducting an Effective Competitors Website Analytics

Analyzing the competition entails identifying gaps in your rivals’ strategies to assist you in deciding where to invest your time and resources when creating content, optimizing your site for search engines, and so on. You can do this by following these steps:

#1. List your competitors.

Identifying your competition is the first step in any competitor website analytics. Depending on how thorough you want to be, this can be done in a variety of ways. There are three main sources where you can find this information:

  • Known direct competitors in your industry.
  • A google search for your most relevant keywords.
  • Specialized software and online tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and SimilarWeb.

#2. Analyze their positioning.

Once you’ve identified your competitors, it’s time to analyze their websites, beginning with positioning. This involves looking at what each company is saying about itself on its website and understanding how they see itself as the rest of the industry

#3. Identify their target segment.

Once you have a solid understanding of your competitor’s business, you can begin analyzing their marketing efforts, which begins with attempting to identify their target segment. This can be tricky, as it’s not always easy to tell from their website or marketing materials. There are, however, some hints you can look for.

#4. Examine site performance and user experience.

Until now, we’ve only focused our analysis on creating the most accurate company profile for each competitor. It is now time to develop an objective assessment of the quality of each competing website to identify its strengths and weaknesses. This begins with the performance of the website and the overall user experience.

#5. Take a trip down their funnel.

It’s time to look at your competitors’ marketing funnels and see how effective they are. This includes everything from their email marketing campaigns to their retargeting efforts. The best way to understand what each competitor is doing in this space is to use it yourself.

#6. Discover the stack on which the website is built.

There are dozens of different website-building tools and platforms, and some are better suited to specific applications than others. While WordPress is used to build the majority of websites on the internet, some specialized websites are not, so it’s crucial to learn what your competitors’ websites were built with.

#7. Examine their content strategy.

Even though they may present their content in a variety of ways, all of your competitors have one thing in common: they publish content regularly. Content marketing is critical to the success of an organization’s website. They understand that to drive traffic, convert leads, and grow their customer base, they must publish high-quality blog posts, videos, or podcasts regularly.

#8. Analyze their SEO strategies.

Looking at a company’s website can reveal insights into its SEO strategies, which can be extremely useful if your competitors are ranking higher than you on SERPs. You can improve your ranking by understanding how they optimize their website for search engines and applying the same techniques to your website.

#9. Make a list of the flaws and highlights.

The final step is to combine all of the information you gathered into a spreadsheet to get a high-level view of your competitive landscape. With this information, you’ll have a clear picture of where each competitor excels and where they fall short, so make a list of each competitor’s flaws and highlights. This summary will serve as the primary output of the entire competitor website analysis.

Add Website Analytics

There are countless tools available for managing your website. From inventory management platforms to plug-ins that improve your site’s SEO (search engine optimization), there is an entire industry dedicated to helping you get more out of your website.

But few tools provide as much value as Google Analytics, especially when you consider that it is completely free to use!
In this section, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about how to add Google Analytics to your website.

Use Analytics on your website.

Analytics can collect basic data from your website.

Step 1: Obtain an Analytics Property ID.

  • Create an Analytics account if you don’t already have one.
  • Look for your Analytics Property ID.

Step 2: Insert the Analytics Property ID into your website.

  • Launch Google Sites on your computer.
  • Click Settings in the upper right corner.
  • Navigate to Analytics in the “Settings” window.
  • Enter an Analytics Property ID that is valid. The format should be “UA-XXXXXX-X” or “G-XXXXXXX.”

Data can take up to 24 hours to appear in Analytics.

Step 3: Examine your data

  • Launch Analytics.
  • Examine your data. Learn how to use Analytics.

Tip: Adding a custom path to a page or renaming a page will generate a new URL and may interfere with Analytics data tracking.

How do I Get Website Analytics?

Create a Google Analytics account:

  • In Admin, click “Create Account” in the Account column.
  • Enter an account name. Control which data you share with Google by configuring the data-sharing settings.
  • Click Next to add the account’s first property.

What are the Types of Website Analytics?

Here are some examples of web analytics tools and when they can be useful.

  • Content analytics tools
  • A/B and multivariate testing tools
  • Social media analytics tools
  • SEO analytics tools
  • General enterprise analytics tools
  • Open-source web analytics tools
  • Product analytics tools

What Website Analytics Can Tell You?

Analytics platforms track how many users visit a website, how long they stay, how many pages they visit, which pages they visit, and whether they arrived by following a link or not.

What are the 2 Types of Web Analytics?

Off-site web analytics and on-site web analytics are the two main types of web analytics.

Is Web Analytics Free?

It all depends. Google Analytics is the most popular free web analytics tool out there.

Is Web Analytics Easy to Learn?

It is difficult to learn Google Analytics. Despite being the most popular web analytics tool, many users lack the knowledge to decipher their data. The new version is even more difficult to master.

What is the Most Common Website Analytics?

Google Analytics is the most widely used web analytics tool, with over 28 million websites using it.


Many people run their websites without paying attention to their web metrics. That strategy could work. However, because you have so many great web analytics tools at your disposal (such as Google Analytics), not using them is a waste of time.

When it comes to web analytics, there are numerous numbers to consider. However, the most important metrics to monitor are listed above. If you can grasp these, you will have a basic understanding of what web analytics is.


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