If you operate a commercial website, knowing where your visitors are coming from and how they are using your website is more than just nice-to-have information. It is essential and can make the difference between making it and losing it in today's Internet business world.
Your webserver log has tons of useful information, but that logfile in its raw format is impractical for frequent analysis and statistics. Good web analytics solutions provide you with the tools to generate useful and understandable reports from the huge amount of raw data collected by your webserver.
Learn who your visitors are, where they are coming from, how they use your site, and where they go when they leave. Find problem areas in the conversion funnel, and check whether changes you implement have the desired effects. To determine hotspots and weak areas of your site, and to check whether your search, marketing and landing pages convert or require improvement, you need a good web analytics solution.
Web Analytics Solutions
A good web analytics program or solution literally shows marketers why visitors do what they do. It's perfect for those interested in PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), web design, and usability. It is also extremely helpful for those with eCommerce storefronts, including direct support for Yahoo! Stores and Miva Merchant. A good solution provides visual interface and insightful reports.
Website analytics solution are available as either a hosted solution or logfile processing software. There is a right solution for everyone - choose the one that best fits your needs and business size .
Note there are some solutions available for no cost. However, "free" does not always mean free. With most paid solutions, your highly sensitive and valuable data is accessible only to you. How much is your data worth to you? You have the choice and I have already made mine.
With a paid solution, you also get something that you won't get from any free service - online seminars (often at no additional charge) to learn how to make the most of the web analytics solution from the comfort of your own desk. This is especially valuable for people who have little experience with web analytics software, but even veterans will likely learn a trick or two.
Web Analytics Providers and Resources
There are a large number of web analytics solutions available, for little to no cost, expensive enterprise solutions and everything in between. There is no "perfect" web analytics solution for everybody, but chances are very good that there is one that is right and perfect for your needs and your budget.