Why You Should Use Website Traffic Monitoring Software

By November 15, 2013Websites
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Do you know how much traffic your website has? Approximately how many people visited your site last month? If you can’t answer these questions, you need to read this article.

Websites are expensive. Whether you buy one from a company such as 212 Media Studios or build it yourself, you will spend either a good chunk of change or time—or both. There’s really no way around it. You can do certain things to cut costs elsewhere, but websites do take time and money.

To ensure you’re making the most of that time and money, it’s important to know how your website is being used, if you have any customers resulting from your website, and what things are or aren’t working.

There are a lot of important and interesting metrics to be had from these software tools. For example, (since I have access to our software) I can log in and see which pages on our site are viewed the most. Then, I can even see which pages people go to after viewing particular pages. Or, I can see things like where our visitors come from (rough geographic statistics), which browsers they use, which days of the week we get the most visits, which webpages people visit prior to ours, and even how long people look at various pages. There is a lot of information. It can all be compiled into various reports and even compared against various other time frames.

Rather than guessing how well a landing page campaign is going, you can actually see the data. And, as we all know, data is king. Data (when done accurately) cannot show partiality. And data from a specific timeframe cannot change. What you get is what you get. It just is. However, as statisticians around the world will tell you, it’s possible to make the data look like something it isn’t. Even though you need to be careful with data, it can be a huge asset to you and must be taken quite seriously.

Two tools are at the forefront of website traffic monitoring software: Google Analytics and Piwik. Both are free. Let’s take a quick look at some of the differences. (There are a lot of similarities, but the goal of this article is to point out the differences.)

Google Analytics:

  • Free hosted solution (the software is on Google’s servers, not yours)
  • Email reports only
  • Powerful real-time visitors, but no history for the same day is available until today is yesterday
  • Android app
  • Ties in very easily with your Google account
  • Easy to add other Google Analytics sites to your account that someone else may own

Piwik:

  • Open-source, free, non-hosted solution (you get the software for free, but you have to install it and find a server to host it)
  • You own, control, and host all the data yourself. No one else has access to it. Not even a little bit, unless you give them access.
  • Email and SMS reports
  • You can see web traffic from earlier same day, as well as in real time
  • Track downloads easily
  • Android and iOS app

While there are other differences, these are the main ones that I’ve noticed. I’ve installed Piwik, and I’ve installed both platforms’ tracking codes into sites; neither task is difficult. What’s truly difficult, but incredibly important, is staying on top of your website’s performance.

However, merely having the information is not enough. You need to do something with it. As I recently told someone, “If you want things to change, things have to change.” So, what are you going to do to stay nimble with your website?

Toby Chin
Toby Chin
Digerati Director
Learn more about Toby!
 

About 212 Media Studios

212 Media Studios is a full service marketing agency, based in Warsaw, IN. Providing services such as SEO, social media management, print marketing, branding, and videography, 212 Media Studios specializes in helping businesses of all sizes catapult their marketing and brand awareness to the next level. To learn more about 212 Media Studios’ services visit our services page or contact us with special requests or for more information.