When I asked around, there was a unanimous answer that Google Analytics is the best web tracking software. And what else do you ask for when the service is free.
But I beg to differ.
Though I have installed it on almost all of my sites, I still find Google Analytics lacks something I really want. (Maybe it’s there but I find it hard locating it) I also find out that GA’s interface was not friendly enough and it has too many levels of drill downs – if I want to get more details on something.
That prompted me to embark on the journey to search for another web tracking software that can provide what I need… be it free or paid.
What is web tracking software?
Generally, web tracking software can achieve many things. It keeps track of traffic (how much and from where it come from) and visitors (their demographics). Some require you to install on your server, while others host the software for you.
The most critical feature for marketers
As a marketer the most useful feature a tracking software can provide is the conversion tracking and its corresponding source of traffic features. In other words, I want to find out what traffic converts best and where it comes from. With such stats, I can find out which source of traffic is most profitable.
(Of course, other information is useful as well such as keyword phrases visitors used to find your site, referral URLs, and so on.)
I have been searching for tracking software that gives me this feature but after investigating some of the more popular ones, I was disappointed to find out that most of them do not offer what I want.
The good thing about most tracking software is you can check out their live demo version before subscribing to it. Better still, you can try it out as many offer a trial period of two weeks to a month.
Here’s what I found
One day, while reading my emails in Gmail, one ad stood out. It was about a web tracking service called Web-Stat. To be frank, I hardly click on ads in Gmail but this ad got my attention and I decided to find out more.
After playing around with the live demo, the software looked like what I was looking for. I gave it a try by installing it on my site as I wanted to further confirm the features it could offer. Sure enough, Web-Stat has the feature I was looking for: conversion rate and its corresponding traffic source. This is what I am looking for besides other features like live stats.
Web-Stat has since got me as a new client. When the trial period expired, I gladly signed up for the service. I took up Web-Stat Premium which costs me $9.50 a month.
Another handsome feature that is included in the package is its watchdog feature. It will monitor your site if it is up and will send an email alert to you when your site is down. This enables you to know how reliable your webhost is.
A limitation that you must be aware of before using Web-Stat is – though you can do so – it’s not advisable to use it on more than a site as it can mix up your stats of different sites. But this is not a big problem as the fees are affordable enough for you to install one for each site.
To start tracking, it’s very easy. All you need to do is to install a piece of code (tailored to your account) on all the web pages you want to track. And the software will do the rest for you. To check stats, you just need to log in to its member page and all the information and stats are at your finger tips.
I like its no-frill interface. Web-Stat’s report layout is simple and easy to navigate. You can get the info with one or two mouse clicks. Personally, I find this more user-friendly than Google Analytics.
My final words…
I have been using Web-Stat for a few months now and do I recommend it? My answer is yes. In fact, I am very satisfied with the software and I have no regrets using it. The customer service is excellent too.
I don’t encourage you to sign up for the paid version without trying as you might not know if this is the one you need. To get a better understating of what Web-Stat can offer, there is no better way to do this than visiting the live demo. Or if you wish, you can take advantage of the 30-day trial.
For live demo, trial, or more info about Web Stat, goto:
http://www.abelcheng.com/webstat (my affiliate link)
http://www.web-stat.com (the “naked” link)