Someone recently asked me what my favorite analytics tools are, and I’m mortified to say that I struggled to come up with a fast and easy answer. The tool that might work for one business may not have the exact data or reporting format that another client wants. Frankly, it’s not about what my favorite tools are, but what each client wants and needs and what their budget will allow.
And yet, I realized, with how much I love analytics and geek out about the myriad of tools that can tell us what’s working and what’s not working, I really should have some favorites. So I’ve put together a list of my favorite analytics for startups and small business owners.
Wait . . . Why Do I Need Analytics Tools?
You might be wondering why analytics are so important. Analytics tools provide you with a wide range of data about your business, your customers, and your marketing strategies. Some analytics tools show you exactly how users interact with your website—where they hover but don’t click, at what point they abandon your site, etc. Additionally, you can find out what marketing efforts are bringing in the most web visitors; but more importantly, you’re able to see which efforts bring in web visitors that are likely to convert into customers.
Analytics tools provide a wealth of information that can literally revolutionize your business. Without measurement, you’ll be throwing darts blindly at a wall, and that’s just silly and dangerous.
My Favorite Analytics Tools:
Clicky – (clicky.com) Free to $19.99/mo with 21-day trial
If you want everything, you can’t beat Clicky. You get heatmaps, which I love, spam/bot filtering (you all know how I feel about spam referral traffic and bots), uptime monitoring, search keyword rankings, Twitter analytics, and tons more. Best of all, it’s mobile-friendly. Clicky wins with me, hands down, because it’s comprehensive, feature-rich, and in real time.
Google Analytics (google.com/analytics) – Free
Most of my clients love Google Analytics because they know it and it’s universally recommended. Plus, once you’ve figured it all out, it’s relatively easy to use. You can’t go wrong with Google Analytics. However, if you’re looking for more in-depth profiling, filtering, and customization, Yahoo Web Analytics (web.analytics.yahoo.com) is pretty cool.
Chartbeat (chartbeat.com) – $9.95 to $49.95/mo
Chartbeat provides real time analytics that tell you who’s on your site right now and how they’re engaging with the content. You can find out if people are idle or reading, and even where they are on the page. It’s nifty for publishers, editorial sites, and blogs.
Optimizely (optimizely.com) – Free
I like Optimizely for A/B testing. It’s great to find out if one headline or sales page format works better than another. I also love them because they’re free.
Crazy Egg (crazyegg.com) – $9-99/mo with 30-day free trial
If there’s one thing I really dig, it’s heatmaps. It’s fascinating to know what users are actually doing when they’re on your site. And ultimately, this information helps you optimize your web design and improve conversion.
Kissmetrics (kissmetrics.com) – $200-$2000/mo with 14-day free trial
I don’t recommend Kissmetrics to many of my clients, simply because it’s so pricey and most of my clients are bootstrapping. But if you have the budget, Kissmetrics is cool for getting a sense of your users over time, across platforms, and devices. Cool data, but because of the price point, it’s not for the feint of heart.
UserTesting (usertesting.com) – $49/user for first 10 users, then $99/user (special pricing available for mobile startups)
UserTesting is a fantastic service that can be indispensable for a SaaS or an app startup. For $49/user (to start), you get video and audio of your site and/or app being used. You can recruit users in your target market from their database to test your site and/or app and get customer experience analytics and actually see how people use it. It’s fantastic and useful data.
Mouseflow (mouseflow.com) – $19-$399/mo
If you want a combination of Crazy Egg and UserTesting, then Mouseflow is what you’re after. Mouseflow is a more affordable option to UserTesting and it provides videos with live mouse tracking, scrolls, keystrokes and form fills, heatmaps, in-page analytics, link analytics, and more.
If you’re a mobile startup, then here are a few analytics tools I like for mobile:
Mixpanel (mixpanel.com) – Free to $2000/mo.
Mixpanel provides real time data, user engagement, retention measurement, and mobile A/B testing. Localytics (localytics.com) is decent for this use, too, and it’s free to $600/mo.
Flurry (developer.yahoo.com/analytics) – Free
Flurry is number one in the mobile game. It provides analytics and performance metrics so you can track everything your users are doing to optimize your app.
AppSee (appsee.com) – Free +
AppSee is like Mouseflow for apps. You get user recordings, in-app analytics, touch heatmaps, crash recordings, and conversion funnels. If you want to get fancy in this arena, then Flight Recorder (flightrecorder.io, Free to $400/mo) is another solution that also includes push notifications, events, and pageviews.
AppAnnie (appannie.com) – Free – $599/mo)
I like AppAnnie for getting rankings, features, reviews, and app store sales data.
StoreMaven (storemaven.com) – $1499/mo+
StoreMaven is something I only recommend to my enterprise-level clients or clients with a budget. If you have the money to invest in StoreMaven, it’s fantastic for testing icons, screenshots, videos, and gathering significant intelligence.
Appfigures (appfigures.com) – Free to $49.99/mo
Appfigures provides hourly top charts, sales and ads tracking, and full analytics that range across multiple app stores.
Sensor Tower (sensortower.com) – $79-$399/mo with 14-day trial
Sensor Tower provides keyword data, research, spy, and optimization. You also get top chart rankings and leaderboards, which can be useful for the right situation.
As you can see, there are so many ways to track analytics and gather intelligence about where users are coming from, who they are, and what they’re doing (and not doing). It’s really about finding what’s most effective and useful for you and your business. What I love about this list is that there’s something for everyone. Whether you have a big budget or no budget, you have no excuse for not tracking your metrics and analytics! So get to work, folks. Data awaits!
This article is by Susan Baroncini-Moe from businessinbluejeans.com.