So you’ve got your website, you’ve developed and implemented your fantastic digital marketing plans through a combination of features such as link building, content production, social media and much more, but now you need to assess how well everything is doing.
For most, the first port of call will be Google Analytics, and with its range of incredible features, it’s no surprise. However, what might surprise you is the fact that there is a lot more out there that you could be taking advantage of. Oh, and these tools are completely free of charge too, so there’s really no reason not to give them a go!
Yes, that’s right, the URL shortener. But Bitly can’t do any more than provide me with nice, short links right? Wrong! Alongside providing those neat, clean URLs, Bitly also provides you with a platform to share those URLs and analyse their performance too!
You can review how many clicks your Bitly links generated and when users clicked them, right down to the hour for optimum reporting. You can then find out the channels whereby traffic that clicked these links came from and where the links were shared too, so you can assess which is the biggest driver to your site- it could be Facebook, that great guest post you had published or your LinkedIn updates!
Now, it’s important to say that Bitly doesn’t provide as much detailed information as GA, however if you’re already using their URL shortener functionality, this clean reporting interface is well worth taking advantage of.
Okay, so this tool is only available for free if you are viewing results for one website that has less than 3000 page views a day, however if you fall in this bracket, it has some cool reporting functionality available.
Clicky pulls in similar information to that of Google Analytics, but promotes it you in a more user-friendly way. If you want all the information you need about your visitors and how they used your website, Clickly puts it right there in front of you, there’s no mining around to find it.
You can see every visitor that came onto your website, including when they visited, how long they stayed for, where they came from, where they are physically located and what they did whilst on the site.
One important feature to note is the real-time heat maps, which track each individual as they navigate around your site, rather than a group of visitors as so many other tools do. This puts Clicky head and shoulders above the competition, especially as you get this great feature for free if you meet their one website, 3000 maximum page view criteria.
Knowing what your competitors are up to is very important- yes you’re spying on them, but if they’re doing something particularly well, why wouldn’t you want to find out how they are going about it?!
By using SimilarWeb, you can input the URL of any website or mobile app and get information and insight into their traffic figures and current rankings, as well as comparing this with other sites and your own.
With just your competitor’s URL, SimilarWeb will provide details of their global and country rank alongside the traffic they get from different countries. As you work your way down the data the tool has provided, you can delve even deeper into your competitor’s digital presence, discovering their top referral sites, organic traffic figures against paid traffic figures and their visitors from social media platforms.
Jeff Bullas, a highly respected marketer explained that he used SimilarWeb to ‘understand where I should spend my time, ie which channels and strategies I need to investigate further’ and you could do exactly the same for your business too.
Want to know which areas of your website your visitors love the most? Have you created a series of interchanging banners and want to know which gains the most clicks? Clicktale enables you to do just that.
Their free ‘priceless plan’ enables you to see exactly what visitors did when they were on your website. You can visualise areas where they interact the most and areas where your website isn’t getting the interaction you’d hoped for, and therefore make the necessary changes.
With clarity on the areas of your site that really draw consumer attention, you can work to implement similar features across other areas of your site, whilst also improving sections or pages that are currently being completely ignored.
Often seen as the top keyword search tool, SEMrush enables you to get a certain amount of data for free, which can give you enough insight to make changes or improve upon the keywords you currently target.
In their keyword reports, you can view the keywords that are pulling organic traffic to your competitor’s website along with the estimated number of users over the coming month too. As a result, you can compare with your own and add new keywords to your target list that are doing particularly well for your closest competitor.
With SEMrush, you can also get a broader overview of how your competitors are performing, reviewing their traffic breakdown by organic search, paid traffic and assess their backlinks.
As part of their free offering, you can make up to ten requests/searches per day- so searching for a keyword or pulling a full report on a website’s performance.
Analytics tools are hugely important in achieving marketing success as, without knowing what works and what doesn’t, you’re in a very difficult position to move forward.
However, if you can identify data on the types of content that are gaining the highest number of backlinks and traffic to your website, the channels in which visitors are getting to your site and how your visitors are interacting with your digital offering, you’ll be well placed to make the most of what is working and quickly change things that aren’t working as well as you’d hoped.
As the above tools outline, you don’t need to have a huge budget to do this either as there are free tools that enable you to get an overview on all of the key elements so you can get your business and your website on the path to success.