Website Analytics Tools to Measure Website Quality
So, you’ve done all the work of building a website or hired a web design company to complete the job and your site looks and works great. However, the work is not done. You can’t just throw it out there to the world and be done. There are all kinds of information that can be learned about the visitors to your site that can help it to perform better, be more appealing, and help it to be seen by even more visitors. The study of the traffic to your website is called analytics. This is a treasure trove of useful information that can help you make your site even better and keep it updated so that it performs in the long run. There are tons of tools available to gather this information. Let’s look at some of the most popular tools and how they can help you improve your site.
Probably the most widely used and one of the oldest website traffic analysis tools is Google Analytics. You can use this powerful suite of tools to find out everything about the customers who access your website. It can tell you the number of clicks you’re getting for each individual page of your website. You can analyze the regions where clicks are coming from to find where your customers reside and target your marketing content to appeal to them. Google Analytics is also extremely easy to implement and use for any website. You just go set up your account, paste the code they generate for you into the bottom of your HTML pages and then access the dashboard to start analyzing your web traffic. Without a doubt, Google Analytics is one of the most powerful and comprehensive analytical tools for web traffic. It’s the first tool that most of the world implements immediately after deploying their websites and is well worth the investment.
This is another tool from Google that can provide valuable information about your site’s content and the way it’s structured. Search Console allows you to run an actual web crawl simulation to make sure that the Googlebot can access your website. It will show you if any images or other content is blocked so that the bot can’t see it. This tool is invaluable for search engine optimization. Google is the most powerful search engine on the planet, so if you’re providing content on the web and you want the maximum number of potential visitors to be able to find your site, then you will want to maximize your Google search ranking. This is the tool that lets you know exactly how Google views your site so that you can maximize its searchability. It also provides click analysis from Analytics and an error notification service to let you know if errors are occurring on your site from high traffic volumes or other potential sources of website issues.
Pingdom is a website performance tool that will access your website on a schedule to make sure that it is loading and performing as it should. Uptime monitoring is very important since your website is worthless if no one can see it. Pingdom provides real user monitoring to gather intelligence from your site’s most useful visitors. Synthetic Interaction Testing can also analyze the workflows in your site such as new accounts sign up, log in, or checkout to make sure they are working optimally. Page Speed Monitoring is another vital tool to let you know if your pages are slow or having trouble loading. This is very important since most users will quickly leave a site if it is performing poorly.
Investing in a tool that will test the speed of your website is vital. If you have pages that load big chunks of data or have tons of content on them, you want to make sure that they aren’t lagging when they load. This is a classic point of frustration for web users and they won’t tolerate it very much before they leave your site and look for something different. The website speed tester provided by Pingdom can analyze your pages to let you identify the pages that are taking longer to load and at what stage in the loading process the bottleneck is occurring. Speedy pages mean happy visitors.
Search engine optimization is one of the most important concepts to consider when building a website. Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a web crawler that can be installed on your desktop to quickly crawl through websites to find broken links, identify redundant content, analyze page titles and metadata, and generate XML sitemaps. It also integrates with Google Analytics to fetch data that relates to the crawl so that you can analyze real user data.
A heat map lets you maximize the traffic that you’re already getting to produce higher click conversion rates. They let you know the areas of the pages that your visitors are clicking the most. You can also use the tool to test out changes to your pages to see if they are producing higher or lower click conversion rates. It lets you actively explore and fine tune the usability of your website. This is a detailed fine-tuning tool that will probably be utilized after you have maximized the other areas of your website using the other more comprehensive tools above.
This useful tool will help you check up on your competitors. It provides the keywords that are driving traffic to you and your competitors. It also reports the links that users clicked both before and after they visited your site to help you analyze where you fit into the path that users are following on their journey. This will help to define marketing campaigns and structure content to drive more traffic to your site.
This free Google tool provides a way to rotate different content into and out of your pages to see how it will perform. You can choose what parts of the page you want to test and it will tell you how many clicks can be generated from that content. This tool isn’t part of the main offering from Google Analytics, but it is a valuable fine-tuning SEO tool that can help you convert a few more sales that you might not otherwise find.
All these tools are very useful for optimizing your website. Some of them focus on performance while others focus on driving traffic to the site. They are all useful in different ways and should be considered in your analytics tool bag. Probably the most powerful tools and the ones I would recommend using before ever deploying your website are the ones offered by Google. Most of them offer a free component and give you the ability to pay for a much more in-depth analysis. They are easy to implement and very powerful. The next tools I would invest in are the search engine optimization tools. You could have the greatest website on the planet, but if no one visits it then it isn’t worth very much. Lastly, I would run some of the diagnostic tools to make sure your individual pages are performing at their peak to help drive traffic and convert clicks to sales. They all have their place and many of them work together or even integrate to share data. A website isn’t finished after it has been developed and tested. These tools will help you keep it updated and running smoothly.