What’s in a number? If you’re talking about your website, there is almost a limitless importance of the numbers associated with your content and the consumers that are viewing it. Using (and understanding) your site’s web analytics is a vital piece to your company’s success puzzle.
Just as with most things in life, you have tons of choices when you’re trying to find an analytics provider. Sure, it can be tempting to go with the biggest name. It’s often human nature to associate the most recognizable name with the highest level of quality with many products or services. Before you fall prey to this predictable habit, let’s take a look at some of the things Optimum Systems Online clients are looking at, and some of the things for which you’ll likely be using the data from your analytics provider:
- Ability to Track Multiple Websites. Whether you’re operating several companies’ sites or you’re tracking the visits to your social media sites in addition to your core website, you’ll want to find an analytics provider that allows you to easily examine the data from all of your sites in one space without being forced to log in and out or jump all around the web. While there seems to be some debate about the ability of some big named providers to produce accurate, usable data when asked to do so over multiple sites, Piwik was built with this functionality, so you can easily switch from one site’s data to the information of another without crawling all over the internet.
- Ability to Track Real-Time Data. The world of Google Analytics does offer you the ability to add in extra modifiers that can give you real-time data. While it’s always nice to have the option to add in increased specificity to your data, Piwik’s information delivers real-time straight off the shelf. This means that you can learn about your viewers’ last visits and their current activity as it’s happening. There is a visitor location map that can help you understand where your visitors are, and referrer information that can help you to hone in on who is referring your site. Piwik’s information updates every ten seconds, so you’ll always be up-to-date with the goings on of your website.
- Ability to Customize Your Dashboard. You’ll use your dashboard much differently than other businesses, just as they’ll be looking for information that you might never need. Since Piwik allows you the ability to customize your dashboard, you can create reports and access the essentials that you’re specifically looking for. The more customized you make your dashboard, the easier it will be to start to pull out the information that will help your business grow.
- Ability to Obtain Professional Help. This is where the big differences between Google Analytics and Piwik start to show their faces. Because Piwik is born from an Open Source community, the foundation of this software is built around accessibility for everyone. As such, you can obtain professional services from the Piwik team that are considerably more affordable than the $100,000 that you’ll need to get help from the folks at Google.
- Ability to Control Your Own Data. While you have the ability to avoid sampling with Google Analytics, this, again, comes at a very substantial cost. The only way to avoid sampling with the Google platform is to invest in the super pricey Google Analytics Premium option. Piwik, on the other hand, provides your data directly to you from the very beginning. You can analyze full reports, import raw data, build applications, and create reports that are specific to your company’s needs without spending the fortune that is associated with the Google alternative. Because of the way Piwik was designed, you can easily export data into several usable forms, which can allow you to analyze your information in many ways across the board.