In the good old days when Internet was just beginning to make its impact felt, everything was fairly simple. If your content had value for customers, you used to get repeat clicks, and a decent rank in the eyes of search engines was an assured commodity. But things began to change with some webmasters attempting to play one-upmanship with tricks that were not so honorable. While this was happening, Google had almost fully grabbed the entire search engine market, so much so, that today, search engine has become synonymous with Google.
Google’s business model is now mostly dependent on advertisement support. And to get good support they need to keep advertisers in good humor, and the only way to do it, they found, was to rank websites on some criteria. Therefore, Google came up with its own criterion, though not perfect. Since Google dominated the search engine market, webmasters began looking at those criteria more closely. That meant taking hundreds and thousands of factors into consideration and analyzing them with a lens.
In a smart move, Google provided the analytics tools as well, which seemed to serve its own purposes more than those of the websites. Google Analytics, the tool that webmasters use for analyzing their websites is highly Google centric. This means, you could, as a webmaster loose on so many important points on which you might want to improve your websites’ performance. That is the reason why you will need an alternative to Google Analytics.
There are many competent alternatives to Google Analytics, which are capable of outperforming it. You can try some of them, and don’t forget that some of them have been in existence even before Google Analytics had come. Here are some.
- Webtrends: The advantage of using Webtrends is that your page level streams, which you will not see in Google Analytics. Still another advantage is you will be able to see from where your traffic is coming in and where it is going out. Once you have the data, it should give some insight into redesigning your page for better performance. What you will like in Webtrends is the real display of data, unlike in Google Analytics, where you have to wait for a whole day before you can start analyzing information. For most part, however, you find a lot in common between the two analysis tools, though you should expect better features in the interface from Google. Webtrends can cost $10,000 and upwards.
- StatCounter: Here is yet another real-time tool like Webtrends. The advantage of StatCounter is that you see everything as the events unfold, with visitors coming and going out. You can even tell for how long they stay on your pages and how they navigate within your website. When it comes to making a demographic analysis, you will find the IP address display very much helpful. However, StatCounter has its own shortcomings compared with Google Analytics, especially the interactive interface, which is not up to Google’s. Some plans from StatCounter are free, and prices can go up to $119 a month.
- HubSpot: Though not free, you will find HubSpot very useful when you have to measure the leads your website is getting. You can even calculate how many ultimately turn into customers. It is more oriented toward business users with detailed interpretation unlike in Google Analytics where you have to analyze by yourself. Good enough for those who don’t want to sit and do mathematical calculations. On the downside is that it does not live up to Google Analytics when it comes to giving site traffic inflow information. A good way to use however is to compare data with Analytics and then arrive at a conclusion. HubSpot services can cost a minimum of $200 per month, and can go up to $5,000 depending on how much you use the service.
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