Since Google released its free analytics service, it has been dominating the web analytics market for hosted solutions. However, a few things have been lacking with Google Analytics which has allowed a window of opportunity for new competition to emerge. Enter Woopra.
One of the strengths of Woopra is that it makes it pretty easy to look at a visitors history on the site. This can be interesting to see how visitors use your site and what page they go to in what order. This can all be done in Google Analytics too but Woopra makes it really easy.
The one really odd feature that stood out to me was the ability to instant message a visitor who is currently on the site. You can start a conversation with the visitor and then a popup appears within their browser that enables them to chat. I thought this was a bit bizarre and am not sure what the benefit of such a function is. If I was doing something like online banking and a popup came up where the site admin wanted to talk to me, that would freak me right out. But maybe there is a practical use for it, I’m just not sure what it is.
Woopra hasn’t totally converted me as it’s still in beta and has a lot more testing and features to be added, hence I continue to track with Google Analytics as well. With competition on the horizon, it is only a matter of time before Google changes their analytics service to display web stats in real time. It remains to be seen whether Woopra can generate enough long term users to become a viable competitor in the web analytics game.
For larger websites with lots of information, it’s always a good idea to include some sort of internal search that searches your site in case your visitors cannot find the information they are looking for. Google’s Custom Search Engine offers a really good solution to adding a section function to your website. If you already have a gmail account, it’s easy to set up and it allows you to choose which URLs you want searched. Once you’ve set it up to search your website, some HTML is provided that contains the <input> field for the search words, which can be pasted into the spot on your site where you want the search to appear.
Advertising appears in the right column, however this advertising can be removed by paying $100 / year to Google.
One of the best reasons for setting up a website search using Google is the Custom Search Engine is that it integrates well with Google Analytics. The keywords that your visitors are typing into the search, what pages they’re starting their search from, and what page they are ending up on from their search results are all recorded in Google Analytics. This can offer a lot of insight into visitor behaviour. If a certain search word shows up frequently on this list, it probably means that visitors cannot find the information and may suggest a change to your website is necessary to make it easier to find that content being searched for.
Most webmasters are usually analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Web Trends, or ClickTracks to measure the traffic to their websites. But what information is the most useful? The following are a few basic tips to follow:
These are just a few tips and there are many other things to look at with your web analytics software including geographic information, network information, and much more. However, sticking with the basics can help improve your site traffic with even the smallest of changes.