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Piwik Web Analytics best free alternative

Piwik Web Analytics best free alternative

Have you tried Piwik yet? If you’ve been using Google Analytics and started to wonder what alternative web analytic tools are out there then look no further then Piwik.

Piwik is a web analytics solution that is free and runs on your own server. It provides a lot of similar features to Google Analytics and will run alongside Google Analytics anyway.

Why stick with Google Analytics?

Now I love GA and will always implement it as a first choice.

Web analytics solutions like Google Analytics offer an amazing array of features … goal tracking, event tracking and custom variables. This is more than enough for most web analytics and marketing insights. So stick with GA if you’re happy.

Why Change? GA doesn’t allow tracking customer identifiable data.

GA’s Terms of Service prevent the tracking of customer identifiable data. This means if you run a membership based website, you can not use GA if you wanted to tag visitor data with their member number.

If you’re in need of tracking customer usage data then you’ll need another tool. This is why you need Piwik.

What do you think? Why did you want to use Piwik or look for an alternative to Google Analytics?

Google Analytics – Event tracking is great for customer engagement

Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides a number of extra tools for the adventurous to improve tracking and provide valuable insights. Event tracking should be used throughout the user journey to better understand customer engagement.

Why Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is one of the web’s most popular tools for reporting on activity and trends for just about any website. Your online and offline marketing activities need meaningful analytics data which creates actionable insights. In summary, website analytics has benefits for sales, marketing and product development – in fact most areas of your business.

Customer Engagement you say?

I’m going to say that engaging experiences for your customers is a key purpose of your brand, your website or app. Your site or app exists to do something for your customer – be that to sell a product or help me communicate with friends. You need to think how you can use event tracking to monitor engagement.

Event tracking means you can better understand how customers respond to your site.

The best way to start to use event tracking is on a landing page, competition form. You can track successful form submissions in Google Analytics. This alone has great value. These are customer who completed an action, they did something for you.

Now think about this – where did that customer go after filling in your form? did they bounce away? how many were first time visitors or users?

 

If you want to improve your web analytics – then why aren’t you using Google Analytics & event tracking?

Google Analytics & Event Tracking

Google Analytics provides a number of extra tools for the adventurous to improve tracking and provide valuable insights. There are two types of tracking you can have – event tracking is used to help analyse visitor behaviour onsite. It’s not complicated to do this – but it’s time consuming and complex.

Google Analytics is one of the web’s most popular tools for reporting on activity and trends for just about any website. Your online and offline marketing activities need meaningful analytics data which creates actionable insights. In summary, website analytics has benefits for sales, marketing and product development – in fact most areas of your business.

Why event tracking?

This is where ROI counts Website analytics need to focus on meaningful things – targets that are relevant to your business. Page views and unique visitors don’t translate into meaningful numbers for your finance and sales reports. Event tracking allows you to better manage and monitor your ROI.

Tracking Web to Sales Leads & Onsite Conversions [example]

Your business is generating sales leads from the website, with event tracking you could include in your reports the page and the day when a new lead was generated. This means your sales pipeline and CRM tools are closer to the customer experience.

Playing a Video or Viewing a Presentation [example]

If you publish videos to your website, your analytics reports can only tell you how many people viewed that page. Event tracking would allow you capture every time someone clicks Play on a video and keeps a cumulative count.

Why not just use campaign tracking?

I believe that campaign tracking should only be used for incoming visitors so you can determine the source of the referral and analyse your other online marketing activity. Don’t go overboard and give everything a campaign tracking URL.

Anatomy of Event Tracking

[This is taken from Google Analytics Help] …The Event Tracking model has the following components which map directly to elements in the Analytics Reports interface:

  • categories
  • actions
  • labels
  • values
  • implicit count
  • Ignore event

Basically …  Event Tracking looks like this
[php]onClick="gaq.push([‘trackEvent’, ‘Videos’, ‘Play’, ‘Baby’s First Birthday’]);"[/php]

Google Analytics & Event Tracking is simple

Event tracking starts with a link that you want to track a click so you just add this onClick code snippet to any anchor tag like

 <a href="link.html" onclick="gaq.push(['trackEvent', 'Videos', 'Play', 'Baby's First Birthday']);">Link</a>

Again .. Don’t go overboard and tag everything or you’ll be lost with all the noise. I’ve seen companies who tag everything and forget to add event tracking to more important banners or buttons.

Event Tracking is visible in Google Analytics near-realtime, so you can add the code and test it immediately on your website.

Get Started with Event Tracking

I’m deliberately wanting to track Visitors and Customers – these are the people who do stuff on your website that shows they are interested in your business or what you’ve got to say. This is important when thinking about Customer Engagement and your user experience.

Event Tracking Spreadsheet

I use a spreadsheet which I then share with developers or other people who are going to add the event tracking to your web site.

Create a new spreadsheet in Excel with the following column headings –

  • URL
  • Categories
  • Actions
  • Labels

And here is a short explanation of what to enter:

URL – will be the page or button or banner to track you need to be specific

Categories – keep these to a few – like Support, Visitor Exits, Lead Generation

Actions could be – Play Video, Download PDF, Submit Form

Labels – Use the page name or widget name to identify exactly the source of the Event

How are you using Event Tracking? If you need assistance to implement Event Tracking get in contact.

4 reasons to choose Google Analytics for your business

4 reasons to choose Google Analytics for your business

Google Analytics is one of the web’s most popular tools for reporting on activity and trends for just about any website. Your online and offline marketing activities need meaningful analytics data to create actionable insights. In summary, website analytics has benefits for sales, marketing and product development – in fact most areas of your business.

Why Choose Google Analytics?

It’s easy to see why Google Analytics is so popular, because it’s free, but here are my top 4

  1. It’s free so there is no hardware costs or ongoing fees. Keeping operational costs down is a good reason in tough economic times
  2. A majority of your website visitors will have a GA cookie & the javascript on their computer. This means your website loads a fraction faster and you get better reporting like referral source.
  3. You can implement extra tracking for your own campaigns and other events. In fact you can create tracking on almost any clickable link on the internet and event tracking is great for e-commerce and sales pipeline tracking.
  4. You’ll also benefit from GA if you’re using Google’s products like Adsense, Adwords & Webmaster tools.

Why Google Analytics might not be for you?

GA aggregates data and reports total of unique visits or unique pageviews. GA is not suitable when you have to track (anonymously) visitors to your website. But why would you need to track each visitor?

Tracking individual visitors requires analytics software to be installed and running on your web server (like Piwik which aims to be an open-source competitor to Google Analytics). Some Internet Service Providers already offer other ‘free’ server based analytics tools, but you’d find you have to pay more to install and run another tracking tool.

Just remember implementing your own solution costs time and money and more importantly, it’s likely that you won’t be able to report where visitors came from as other websites won’t use the same tracking script and cookie.

Google Analytics gives you everything you need

GA may not be your cup of tea – but if it’s free and provides all the features you need with meaningful data. So why go looking for something else?

 

Are you implementing Google Analytics? Or maybe you’re in need of assistance with improving your reports and insights, then I can help.

Where did all those Stats Go?

Screen shot 2011 03 31 at 20 28 52

Where did all my stats go!

That’s a very good question – apparently I’ve been suffering from a problem that Google no longer likes my domain name. This is a very nasty problem – even more so because the error message offers very little hope.

 

The site “http://damien.co” has not been registered.

 

My site is registered with Google Webmaster, I use Google Apps for my Domain — what else is there that needs to be Google-ified?