Young business woman is pleased with information she sees on her laptop and takes notes.
From website optimization tools to customer engagement trackers, there are several analytics tools available that offer unique features to business owners. — Getty Images/ GaudiLab

The best way for a modern company to stay ahead of the competition is to use a website analytics tool to get a holistic view of your company’s digital presence. Analytics software was originally developed to record how many people visited a webpage, but today’s solutions have become much more powerful and can deliver more granular, actionable data for business growth.

Because there are so many website analytics tools available on the market, it’s not always clear which one is best for your business. Consider the following 10 website analytics tools, which offer a wide range of capabilities to help you track your most important website metrics.

[Read: Google Analytics: A Beginner's Guide to Tracking Your Website Traffic]

Why analytics matter

For any small business, using your data analytics is essential to compete with industry peers and make informed decisions. Collecting data allows organizations to analyze evidence that identifies what was successful and what was inefficient for accomplishing goals and meeting KPIs. Once you've collected enough information to digest, you can make changes to your marketing, recruitment, social media and workflow strategies in addition to your other processes.

Data analytics can be used to assess various risks within your organization and industry as well. It can help a small business determine which businesses to partner with, which direction to take new products in and what clients are safe to take on. By using data to drive a company’s major decisions, leaders have information to back up their strategies. Instead of only basing decisions on market trends or gut feelings, a business can mix in data to make the best choice for the future given both information and experience.

Google Analytics

This analytics tool is often the preferred platform for many marketers, advertisers, SEO specialists and digital media professionals, and for good reason. It’s built by Google, has a robust feature set and is completely free to use. Google Analytics commands a large market share with over 28 million websites using the tool as of December 2021.

One of the most compelling reasons to use Google Analytics is it can be directly integrated with other Google services, such as Google Tag Manager, Google Ads and Data Studio. While there are a number of third-party integrations you can use to customize it to your needs, for many businesses large and small, the built-in tools give you everything you need to track and improve your website.

Adobe Analytics

Adobe is one of the most powerful software development companies in the world because of its broad industry adoption, ranging from Photoshop to Acrobat Reader. Adobe Analytics is another industry leading tool that rivals Google Analytics.

What sets Adobe Analytics apart from other analytics tools is its ability to provide incredibly detailed, granular information. This tool allows you to segment visitors into different groups to monitor and compare their behaviors. You can use this data to improve your user interface and user experience, your marketing and sales funnels and your strategies to gain relevant traffic.

Adobe Analytics is also known for its data connections and third party integrations, which are methods to pull data from other sources, such as heat map, live chat or email marketing data, into the analytics tool.

Parse.ly

While Google Analytics is a great tool to accumulate raw data, Parse.ly is a great tool for audience insights. With this analytics tool, you can track how your visitors interact with your site, what content they dwell on and even which images capture their attention. With this information in hand, you can focus on creating content that keeps your visitors engaged for longer periods of time.

Finally, Parse.ly allows you to create customized dashboards for different teams, so each team can target and track their specific goals.

Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is a simple but extremely effective tool. Designed to help you optimize your website, Crazy Egg uses heat maps and scroll maps to show you where your visitors click and how far they scroll down a page. This analytics tool also offers a confetti map that segments data in a number of different ways, such as keyword, location, time of day, etc.

This tool’s stand-out feature is its A/B testing tool that enables you to make data-driven decisions on your website’s layout. You can create and modify content directly on your website with this tool, allowing you to quickly apply changes to optimize your site.

Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is designed to help you understand how your audience interacts with your website, what your website does well and how your website can improve. Once you have a better understanding of user behavior, you can create more of the content that your audience values.

With Kissmetrics, you can segment your audience into “populations” and closely monitor the behaviors of each one, such as whether the population is growing or declining. You can further segment each population by groups like channel, campaign and city to gain further insight into your audience.

SEMrush

Unlike the other tools on this list, SEMrush is a marketing analytics tool that helps you gain valuable insight from your competitors’ websites rather than your own website. While most website analytics tools are designed to help you improve and optimize your website, it’s just as important to research and analyze your competitors.

SEMrush offers a number of SEO and SEM tools, ranging from domain and keyword analytics to marketing insights and content template tools to see how your site compares to others. While SEMrush is an excellent analytics tool, it is designed to work in conjunction with other website analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, so you have a complete, holistic view of your industry.

For a more complete and accurate view of your website traffic and user behaviors, don’t just stop at Google Analytics.

Mixpanel

When researching analytics tools, many businesses are looking for ways to understand customers better and uncover insights regarding their shopping behaviors. Unlike many traffic analysis tools, Mixpanel can help small businesses get real-time data about how page visitors are engaging with their website and e-commerce products. The platform tracks customer behavior and KPIs across your website and mobile apps. Mixpanel is also a great tool for small businesses that are growing at a steady rate and have ambitions, as it is a scalable analytics tool that can be used no matter how large a company grows.

HubSpot

Not only is HubSpot a robust CRM platform, it can also be a powerful web analytics tool for your company. Businesses can create landing pages, track their social media and email performances and nurture leads, all through one easy-to-navigate platform with robust data reports. HubSpot is a great tool for businesses that not only want to track their customers' experiences but also manage their entire marketing efforts. With social media and email features, HubSpot gives marketers a surplus of data and information to make informed decisions and amplify their marketing and customer experience tactics.

PageSpeed Insights/Google Lighthouse

Having the best content on your site doesn't matter if it takes forever to load. Regardless if a user has a high-speed internet connection, your website still could be experiencing slow loading times. If your site isn't loading within a few seconds, users will click to something else.

PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse are free tools provided by Google that enable web owners to run site audits and identify potential problems. PageSpeed Insights measures a page’s performance using both real-world and lab-based data. Google Lighthouse, on the other hand, can measure and score a page on it’s performance, accessibility, best practices, SEO and the aspects of a Progressive Web App; however, this tool only uses lab-based data. Reports generated by both tools offer recommendations on how you can improve your site.

SimilarWeb

In order to increase your business’s metrics, it helps to study the analytics of other websites. SimilarWeb is a tool that collects data from multiple points to create a comprehensive data set analysis on other websites. Their platform collects data on performance, traffic and other aspects and compiles them into a single data set. With this information, entrepreneurs gain an incredible amount of insight into the behaviors of potential customers and how their competitors are performing. These trends help an internal team create strategies that can be used to improve a company's revenue stream and boost their overall success.

[Read: What’s Essential to a Mobile Business Strategy?]

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Published February 24, 2022