Sites like Alexa, Compete, Google Analytics and Quantcast can give some important data about website visitors. If these were the only choices available, it might not be so difficult to choose the best tools for web analytics. However, there are a lot of sites out there. They may also have some techy jargon. Some terms that may be confusing to some who are trying to decipher the data include:
- Unique Visitors: Refers to visitors who visit a site and come back within a specific amount of time.
- Repeat Visitors: Refers to visitors who has had at least one previous visit to the site.
- Absolute Unique Visitors: Google Analytics differentiates between unique and absolute unique visitors to distinguish from new and returning visitors
To explain the importance of the type of visitor, check out the article: Total or Unique Visitors: What is the Difference? While many people focus on unique visitors, in an article titled Unique Visitors are not Everything, Jakob Nielson was quoted as saying, “Chasing higher unique-visitor counts will undermine your long-term positioning because you’ll design gimmicks rather than build features that bring people back and turn them into devotees and customers.”
To try and keep it all straight and pick the correct site based on individual needs, check out the following top 10 links with information about web analytics, explanations of popular tools and what they measure:
- Web Analytics Demystified – Unique visitors ONLY come in one size.
- Alexa Analytics Explained – Take a tour of Alexa’s analytics.
- Compete Analytics Explained – Where they get their data and PDF of methodology.
- Google Analytics Explained – FAQ for all Google Analytics issues.
- Quantcast Analytics Explained – FAQ for all Quantcast Analytic issues.
- Top 24 Web Analytics Software Packages – Top software packages explained.
- 11 Best Web Analytic Tools – Includes Google, Yahoo, Crazy Egg, Compete, and more.
- Alltop Web Analytic News – News about all analytic issues.
- Web Analytics Review – Side by side comparison of top web analytic tools.
- Yahoo! Analytics Explained – FAQ for all Yahoo! Analytics issues.