As a local business owner, you can make your website work for you as a revenue-driving marketing asset, or you can let it sit there. Free analytics tools like the top options listed below will help you track performance to make sure your website and your social media profiles all work effectively.
First is a list of free website analytics tools, aside from the leading free tool Google Analytics. Second is a list of free social media analytics tools.
Free Website Analytics Tools
The most important online metrics to track for your local business are your conversion rate (how many visitors met your specified conversion goal compared to your total number of visitors), your most important channels (website traffic sources), and your visitor behavior (like time on site).
Use one of these free website analytics tools to monitor those metrics and more. Find out which web pages are working and which pages aren’t, and how you can change your website to improve performance.
Known as the most popular free alternative to Google Analytics, Piwik offers all the same features with a few key differences. Unlike Google’s cloud-based platform, Piwik (which runs on PHP and MySQL) requires you to download its free open-source software to install on your own server.
- Analytics data is stored outside of the cloud, making it private and under your control.
- Piwik’s free mobile app gives you access to analytics data on-the-go.
- Piwik APIs let you access data via third-party applications.
- Data storage is unlimited.
A possible downside is that Piwik’s setup requires the tracking code on your website to make calls to your server. If that doesn’t concern you, Piwik may be your ideal choice.
Like Piwik, OWA is an open-source software very similar to Google Analytics that is free to download and install on your own server. Also like Piwik, there are no data limits.
- View heat maps that show where visitors click on pages.
- Track where visitors move their mouse on your web pages.
- Track which images, links, etc. visitors click on.
The downside is that OWA isn’t great for beginners. If you’re tech savvy, go for it, but if not, a more intuitive tool (like Google Analytics or Woopra) may be the better choice.
Woopra is quite different from Google Analytics (as well as its open-source competitors like Piwik and OWA). It’s a cloud-based analytics platform that features an exceptionally intuitive interface, perfect for DIYers.
- Real-time analytics show you detailed information on visitor behavior as it happens.
- Advanced features (like detailed profiles on site visitors) offer more powerful analytics.
The downside is that if your website is fairly large, Woopra will cost you as it’s only free for websites that receive less than 30,000 visitor actions (clicks, purchases, etc.) per month.
Is data security is a top concern for your local business? Consider CloudFare. Much more than an analytics tool, CloudFare is more like a website supercharging tool with website analytics built in as a perk.
If you’re looking for a free tool that will give you standard website analytics without hassle, StatCounter might be the way to go. This simple, easy-to-use tracking tool monitors your website traffic and provides detailed visitor data in an intuitive interface.
Free All-In-One Social Media Analytics Tools
Local businesses everywhere have developed thriving online marketing campaigns through social media, so use these free social media analytics tools to find out which social networks and strategies work best for your local business.
SumAll combines analytics data from a huge number of different apps into one cloud dashboard for quick viewing and comparison. You can connect all of your social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more) and receive daily/weekly email digests with information on how your social performance has changed over time.
Buffer makes it super easy to keep up with social media posting, yes, but it also gives you engagement stats for the four major social networks: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+. (You can add support for Pinterest by paying for a premium plan.) Two of the coolest analytics stats you’ll get are your top posts and your least popular posts.
Free Specialized Social Media Analytics Tools
This powerful Twitter analytics app by Moz offers a plethora of data, including a heat map of your followers’ locations, a competitor comparison tool, your followers’ most active times of day, and social authority scores. Use it to more accurately target your tweets to the right audience at the right times.
While Quintly is marketed as a paid all-in-one social analytics tools, you can use the free plan to get great analytics data for up to three Facebook accounts (additional social networks cost). It shows you information on your page’s fans and your number of comments, shares, likes, etc.
This Pinterest tool not only helps you manage your pinning schedule, it also provides an analytics section. You can view your new followers, new repins, new “domain” pins, most popular pins, and other valuable information about your Pinterest following. You can also receive weekly emails that summarize your progress week to week.
This free Instagram management tool includes an easy-to-use analytics section that breaks down your posts, comments, likes, and followers, and shows progress over the last week or last month. You can also see how many likes came from people who don’t follow you, the best time to post, and the lifespan of posts.
Although Bit.ly is primarily known as a free service that shortens links to save space, you can go further and analyze your links’ performance by logging in and checking out your stats. See how many people clicked or saved your link and how the link performed over time.
Free for up to 25 custom videos (with Wistia branding on your video player), Wistia is a video hosting platform that shows advanced video marketing analytics. Beyond just the number of views, Wistia can tell you how long people watched your video, how many times one person watched the same video, and how many viewers converted by entering their email address into Wistia’s built-in email sign-up feature.
Alternative Free Analytics Tools
If you look through these free analytics tools and find they don’t measure up to your expectations, you may want to look into paid (yet affordable!) options as well. Connectivity provides powerful customer analytics tools at attractive rates for tracking website visitor behavior in ways that make me go woah. And the experts at Connectivity can tell you exactly how to apply all the woah-inducing data you collect to improve your online marketing strategy.
Anyway, whatever analytics tool you choose for your local business, you can bet it’s going to show you awesome data that can help improve your bottom line. Happy tracking!
Check back to the Connectivity blog throughout the month of October for more analytics tips, tricks and ideas.
Kayla Eide is a contributor to the Connectivity blog.