When you’ve got a website, one of the most important things to do is make sure you are tracking its progress.
Tracking website performance lets you see how your website is doing, how users interact with it, where your enquiries and sales are coming from.
This can then be used, not only to, for example, see which marketing channels are performing, but also where improvements can be made to the website.
We’re going to look through some free analytics and website feedback tools you can use to gain insights into your websites activity and make improvements.
#1. Google Analytics
Google needs little introduction, it is the worlds most popular search engine. They have a range of analytics tools available. Google Analytics is one of the most popular website analytics tools available. It’s free to use, all you need to set it up is a Google email address (also free).
This analytics tool has a range of functionality that lets you track website statistics and how people engage with your website. There is too much to cover everything here, but this includes the amount of traffic, page views, traffic attribution (where it came from), you can set up tracking for your business goals such as enquiries and sales.
You can set up a Google Analytics account here. Once set up you will just need to install the tracking code.
#2. Google Search Console
Another tool by Google, though this one does a different range of things. We’ve mentioned in a previous article why it’s important to have Google Search Console to help Google find and understand your website structure.
This, however, also has some useful analytical tools, such as mobile usability issues. With the majority of people browsing online using phones, this will list the pages and the issues they might have for people on mobiles.
It also has a ‘Performance’ report, that shows the search terms your website shows in the search results for and what pages show. This can be hugely useful for finding keyword ideas for pages and give you a clearer understanding of how people are finding your website.
Google Search Console is free to use, all you need is a Google email account and to verify that you own the website, which is fairly straight forward, with a number of solutions.
#3. Yandex Metrica
Yandex is a search engine, predominantly used in Russia. They have their own analytics platform called Yandex Metrica that is free to use.
Yandex Metrica analytics allows you to track website traffic and engagement, similar to Google Analytics. However, they have something that Google Analytics doesn’t have as part of its platform, heatmaps and session recordings.
The heatmaps let you see where people are clicking on the page, where they are scrolling to and the mouse movements. The session recordings are individual videos of people using the website. These can both be used to get insights of how people actually use the website and if certain elements such as your call to actions (CTA) are being seen.
Yandex Metrica is free to use and you can find more information here.
Hotjar offers heatmaps, session recordings and form analytics. They have a free tier that offers limited number of pageviews (2,000 a day), and 3 heatmaps and 300 session recordings. For anything above this, you would need to move to one of the paid plans.
Don’t be fooled by what might seem like a limited plan as what you can learn from these can be very useful. The heatmaps include user scrolling and clicks, having a maximum of three would mean that you would have to limit it to your most important pages e.g. home page, pricing page, service page.
The Hotjar personal plan is free to use sign up for.
Fullstory provides user session recordings. The free plan gets you up to 1,000 sessions a month. These session recordings have some additional features that aren’t found in other session recordings such as showing ‘frustration signals’.
The ‘frustration signals’ lets you know when someone has likely clicked in frustration, such as when users have clicked on your site, but nothing happened, or ‘rage clicks’ when they’ve clicked multiple times rapidly in frustration.
You can sign up to their free plan here.
#6. Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest
Acquired by Neil Patel in February 2017, he has built this tool from a keyword generator into a competitive research tool (that also generates keyword ideas). It’s free to use, though does have a paid upgrade which unlocks a larger scope of data.
With this, you have 2 different routes to go with this. First off is entering a search term your interested in, this will give you keyword suggestions, topic ideas and show you the stats for the websites that currently rank for the terms. Very useful when doing keyword research and gauging how difficult it would be to try and rank for particular searches.
The second is to enter a website, this then brings up the stats of that particular website, such as their most popular pages, backlink data and estimated traffic. This can be very useful for finding and researching your competitors.
To start using, just enter a keyword or website address.
Using these tools, you should be able to get more insights into how your website is being used, your competitors and help with your website optimisation and marketing.