I used to pay for a secondary statistical package apart from Google Analytics. The main reason being that Google Analytics isn’t a real time Web Analytics tool. It was pretty depressing to check my blog statistics once a day.
Then it all changed.
I decided not to pay anymore. I wasn’t really happy with the performance reports, coupled with errors and database downtimes. I decided to explore the free world. In a matter of couple days, I found what I was looking for. The perfect statistical companion(s).
Let me share them with you.
Before I proceed, here is a piece of advice. Never rely on any one Analytics tool. It is important to have at least 2 different logging tools to gather vital information about your blog’s performance. That said, I use 3 different tools to satisfy my statistical needs.
Google Analytics: This is my favorite tool, no doubt about it. But I use it a bit differently. I login to my Google Analytics just about once a week. I do not use it to see how many visitors I have received on a given day. Instead I use it purely for the purpose of analyzing the incoming traffic, the quality of the traffic, their sources, the keywords used to arrive at my blog, the different locations people have arrived from, the bounce rate, the duration of their stay and more.
I am sure you want to know more about how to use and benefit from Google Analytics. Go to my homepage and download my book “ABC of Google Analytics. It is free and comes with zero strings attached.
Open Web Analytics: My absolute favorite for real time visitors statistics. It was founded by Peter Adams about whom you can read everything here. This tool has the look and feel of Google Analytics, while providing feature rich real time analytical tools. What disappoints me is the fact that this Web Analytics tool hasn’t received the exposure it really deserves. The first time I installed, I was really amazed at what I saw in the Dashboard. Here are a few screen shots.
Auttomatic Blog Stats: Blog Stats is the third Analytics package I use. This is something I refer daily, for the purpose of finding out if there is something that OWA has missed or not tracked. At the end of the day, I cross reference both of them and study both the data in brief to conclude the average figures. I definitely like this a lot, but do not trust the figures as much as I trust OWA. OWA is number 1 in my book for real time web analytics. Here are a few screen shots again for Auttomatic Blog Stats.
The above 2 packages come in the form of WordPress Plugins. You have to download them and upload it to your Plugin directory. For information on how to upload a Plugin, refer to my post here. Again, the Plugins mentioned above are free and have no strings attached.
To conclude, you do not really have to shell out money on Analytics packages. They all have one or the problem and none of them are perfect. I have to add this briefly. My recent experience with pMetrics was pretty bad and depressing. I do not want to go in detail about it because the guys behind pMetrics are solid individuals with excellent morals and dedication. They are striving hard to improve pMetrics. So I am positive, in a few months it will emerge out a winner. Until then, it simply sucks.
Try the above combination and let me know. I can tell you for a surety you will love them and also that you won’t look back again at any paid packages sold in the market. Do share your experiences in the comments section. I can’t wait to hear them.