Strategic Digital Marketing and Technology Solutions

Web Analytics Solutions list

Categories: Digital Marketing

Posted by: Alex Demeshkin

We've decided to start a new category of blog posts - listings and reviews of various web design, development and online marketing tools we use and recommend for our clients. It's no surprise the first list of tools we are publishing is web analytics solutions. After all, measurement and analysis of what happens on your website should be the cornerstone of your web strategy. Without that information you are left out in the dark not knowing what works and what does not. With that information, you can do more with less. Here's just a small list of things modern well-implemented web analytics tools can help you know:

  • Sources of traffic to your website including search engines, keywords searched, links from other sites, e-mail campaigns, banner advertising, offline advertising that let to web visits and more
  • Activities of your website visitors including pages viewed, time spent on each page and your site in general, actions they took like form submissions, registrations, purchases, video plays and other engagement metrics
  • Profiles and behaviors of your website visitors including geographic regions up to city, demographic and psycho-graphic characteristics of your website visitors, their affinity with other websites and brands
  • Track sales and any other conversions (desired actions) of your website visitors and attribute them to the traffic source (how the came to your website), campaigns, etc.

In other words the beauty of web analytics is - if you can think of it, it can almost always be measured, with some exceptions. Web analytics is a beast however - a technical beast, and if you don't have  a great deal of expertise in it it can quickly get really confusing. We know of a a marketing VP in a good-size company that became a laughing stock of the board becasue he kept referring to his website "HITS" growth.

Here are a few web analytics tools we use and recommend, along with additional web analytics solutions we are aware of, but may not necessarily have experience with, or like using. If you are in the market for a web analytics tool this list should help you do the shopping.*

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Model: Hosted (software as service)
Costs: FREE, the only downside is Google also gets your data. But hey, they get it anyway, whether you like it or not :) and they only use it in a limited fashion  (see their usage terms).

Urchin from Google

Model: Installed solution
Cost: Urchin according to their site is free to try and costs roughly $10K to purchase.

Adobe® SiteCatalyst®

(formerly Omniture SiteCatalyst®)
Model: Hosted (software as service)
Cost: cost varies depending on the size of your website, traffic, and reporting requirements, but starts in the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands for setup and ongoing license renewals. The basic model they use is set up fee plus ongoing fees based on server call volume - the more your traffic your website gets, the more you pay.


Model: Hosted (software as service) and Installed solutions are available as of me writing this.
Cost: according to my information, as with SiteCatalyst® cost varies depending on the size of your website, traffic, and reporting requirements, and starts in the tens of thousands if not hundred thousands. The basic model they use is set up fee plus ongoing fees based on server call volume - the more your traffic your website gets, the more you pay.

Other web analytics tools:

  • Coremetrics® from IBM - (from our short impressions seems to be an excellent solution for e-commerce sites)
  • Unica® WebIsight - (Unica was just bought by IBM so it remains to be seen how they deal with two web analytics products)
  • Sawmill - (quite technical interface, great for your IT guys but probably going to be useless for your marketing folks)

My Pick

It is hard to recommend a web analytics solution not knowing the specific requirements of your organization. In my experience if you are medium-size or a small-size company, Google Analytics, or Urchin might be one of the best choices you can make. These solutions give the power of knowledge right our of the box and can be acquired and deployed in no time and on a budget. If your organization is large, you probably already have a tool that your IT and Marketing departments have picked. My advice to you here is to learn more about web analytics, make a list of needs, things you really want to know, and then go back to your vendor and other vendors with that list and ask if their solutions can provide this information to you. Sure, they'll do a demo and show you a whole new set of features you did not know were available, but to really win in this game you need to know what ACTIONABLE DATA you need to have to run your business successfully. Otherwise it's like picking a new cell-phone for features, various bells and whistles you are never going to use.

If you need help in deciding which web analytics solution to go with, or help in making sense of your existing web reports, we are ready to work with you. We've helped large organizations with millions of web visitors, as well as small businesses, pick, deploy and configure actionable web reporting solutions.

*Disclaimer: Information provided is post such as prices, features and benefits of various web analytics solutions, may or may not be accurate. We tried to provide the most adequate information to the best of our knowledge, however we are not responsible for its accuracy. Please contact the companies we listed here for more complete and accurate information.

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