As more businesses move into the virtual space, websites become a necessity. And with more websites published every day, the competition only gets stiffer. If you have a website and you’re looking for ways to improve your chances to succeed in the worldwide web, leveraging web analytics is one of the best tools you can use.
Regardless of the type of website you’re running, whether it’s an e-commerce site or a blog site, having access to the details of your website’s performance is a game-changer. And this is only possible with web analytics.
Analytics, in web development, is the collection and analysis of data gathered from the website’s performance. With the help of performance indicators, analytic reports can help you measure your site’s success through data-driven insights. When used correctly, data analytics will help you improve your website’s content, and subsequently, its performance and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Most web analytic services are pricey though, especially the popular ones. But you don’t need to restrict yourself to the mainstream ones, as there are plenty of alternatives you can find online, like the ones from this source. And to help you choose an ideal platform, here are nine factors we’d recommend you consider:
1. Advanced Capabilities
The more powerful the analytics tool is, the more you can get out of it. If you’re going to spend on an analytics platform, then it might as well be worth it. Choose ones that have plenty of key performance indicators (KPIs) that’ll be useful for your type of website. If it’s an e-commerce site, the conversion rate will be crucial. Other useful KPIs are page views, bounce rate, keyword clickthrough rate, unique visitors, user sessions, and the number of social media shares.
2. Storage And Resources
Just like your website, data analytics consume resources. If you’re using a third-party provider or a SaaS (Software as a Solution) you only need to choose a subscription that will fit your website’s needs. The provider maintains the platform’s storage and security.
However, if you want to run your analytics platform on your server, you’ll have to consider the capacity of your current resources. The good thing with self-hosting is although it requires more work, you have more options for customization.
3. Data Presentation
To maximize big data, you need to understand how to use it first. And to do that, the data must be presented in an organized manner, so they’re easy to view and understand for users.
Proper visualization of collected data helps make the analysis of insights more streamlined. If you can’t even analyze your data properly, you won’t be able to use it to make the right decisions.
4. Compatibility And Integration
Not all web analytics platforms will be easy to integrate into your website. Before choosing one, consider your website’s own platform and its long-term compatibility with your chosen data analytics tool. Problems in compatibility may keep you from using all of the platform’s features.
5. Customization And Ease Of Use
If you’ll be the one to use the data analytics platform and you don’t have an extensive background in web development or data science, choose a data analytics platform that’s not only user-friendly but also beginner-friendly.
Other user features like collaboration, customization options for users, including custom report delivery are also a plus.
The cost of using analytics typically depends on the features and the amount of data that’ll be processed. While it’s good to consider the initial costs, it’s wiser to also take into account its long-term cost. This includes the upkeep and updates that may be required by the data analytics platform.
Websites, especially business sites, are only bound to grow so your web analytics should have room for expansion. However, what you need to consider is the speed of your site’s growth. If your website will take a while to expand, it’s more practical to just settle on starter plans in the meantime so you’re not wasting unused but paid resources. Just make sure that your platform allows hassle-free scalability once you need it.
Because data analytics involve the collection of data, most of which are private, security should naturally come with it. However, not all platforms employ the same strict security measures.
Choose platforms with trusted security protocols that can protect your data against common cybersecurity threats like breaches, theft, and malware. The platform should include at least basic security features like encryption and multiple-factor authentication.
After-sales support can be a lifesaver especially if you’re not that knowledgeable in web development and don’t have dedicated IT personnel. Ideally, the platform provider should offer reliable tech support that you can contact in cases of downtimes, technical issues, or questions related to the use of the platform itself.
Web analytics is a powerful tool that can change how websites attract and maintain their target users. However, to be used to its full potential, you need to know how to choose the right platform, and to learn how to maximize and use the analysis and insights it provides. Once you get the hang of it, you can start making data-driven decisions that can catapult your website to success.