Web analytics tools preview

By Cole Kennedy

ONA Mizzou is excited to announce that our next workshop will focus on web analytics. It will help you make sense of unique page views, clicks, bounce rates, social media referrals and more.

In anticipation of that event, scheduled for Thursday, April 10, we've collected a handful of popular web analytics tools.

Is there anything missing from the list? Make sure to tell us in the comments, so we can add it in.

Google Analytics

Screenshot of ONA Mizzou's recent analytics
One of the most popular tools for gauging engagement on the Internet, Google provides an effective suite of analytics tools. In fact, ONA Mizzou uses Google Analytics to measure the performance of our own website, which is hosted on another Google property, Blogger. Google Analytics is free, like most Google products, though there is a Premium level, intended for larger companies with more robust data needs. However, the free version provides valuable information, such as page views, which browsers are being used to view the page, and traffic sources; this type of information is more than enough for a personal website or small organization.

Yahoo Web Analytics

Image from Yahoo Gemini
Part of Yahoo's advertising service, Yahoo web analytics allows a bit more control and depth than Google's service. All of the offerings, from standard banner ads right through video ads on Smart TV platforms, are dedicated to selling advertisements, but by using Yahoo to serve advertisements to your website, you'll have access to significant back-end information like click-through rates and ad performance, as well as editorial "Insights" which present best practices and advertising case studies. The company has also just released a product called Yahoo Gemini, which allows customers to manage their mobile search ads alongside their native content advertising, simplifying the entire process. Of course, as an advertising platform, Yahoo's analytics are not free, and price will range depending on the scale of the advertising campaign.

Facebook Insights

Screenshot of Facebook Insights graph
If an organization has a Facebook Page, it also has access to Facebook's proprietary Insight platform. It provides detailed information about traffic, page likes, shares, viral growth and is completely free. It points out specific posts that would be helped by paying Facebook to promote, and the analytics will distinguish between organic growth and paid growth. As far as Facebook usage goes, this is the only tool you'll need.


Image of the ThinkUp stream from ThinkUp website

ThinkUp is a start-up platform that focuses on making social media metrics feel more human. Instead of showing raw data, the company tries to translate data into actionable insights, like a message saying "Jason can thank you for 90 more people seeing this tweet." It's built for individuals rather than organizations, so it differs from website plug-ins like Google Analytics that provide hard data about traffic, page views, audience engagement, etc. By connecting all of your social media accounts, ThinkUp will allow you much more access and control over your social media usage. The service is currently in beta, which means that users are invited to sign up for a waiting list, and membership comes with a $60 annual fee.

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