It is one thing to access data in the world of business. It is quite something else to run it through a process whereby you can appreciate it, understand it and present it to others for them to learn. That is where you separate the standard from the exceptional.
This added means of filtering content can be incredibly costly and time consuming, leaving many operations to simply leave their static spreadsheets without any alterations. Over time you accept that this is a standard operating procedure and move on, but you don’t have to.
There is a myriad of formatting tools at your fingertips to utilise, some of which are free! To actually provide some value to your business, it is worthwhile finding out ways to analyse your data that gives you solutions to problems.
These might be issues that you didn’t even know existed before today, but by running your URL and information through these portals, you’ve found a point of action that must be addressed.
We will admit one thing right here – web analysis is not an exact science. Far from it. With software tools and algorithms changing the landscape on a daily basis, what was useful last month might be out of date today.
What we can advise you to do is taking note of the following tools that can make your life easier when it comes to analysis. Interpretation will be subjective, but should you have the capacity to present information with clarity, then you eliminate confusion and can build consensus towards your objectives.
So let us help you trim the fat to outline some vital web data analysis tools:
Before you undertake any step of data analysis, it is best to give it all a good clean. What does this mean exactly? Well in some instances the data you will have on hand might not be 100% sorted properly from top to bottom. There might be fields that are inconsistent or out of place, with a mesh of files floating between categories.
Take these following domains as hubs to undertake your own means of data cleansing:
- Quadient DataCleaner
- net DataCleaner
- GitHub DataCleaner
A site like Data Cleansing has the capacity to clean a variety of data from online and offline sources, giving you the flexibility to pull from old databases or drop in from a drive or server:
- Master data management
- Extracting data
- Consolidating original data
- Customer sales
Once you have sorted your data properly to iron out the kinks, transforming it into a format that is easy to understand becomes fast tracked.
Content Analytic Tools
What is the actual goal you want to achieve by looking at web analysis? Let’s break down this to the essentials – you are wanting to know the click-through rate, time spent online, geo-location, overall behaviour and impact in the online market space.
This can be easily skewed towards the marketing industry with many topics overlapping one and other. In that spirit, it is best to tap into content analytic tools that cuts out the middle man and gives you the answers.
If there is a one-stop-shop for website analysis, then Google Analytics is it. Not only does it deliver a wide variety of formatting options from graphs to tables, spreadsheets and infographics, but there is no cost involved. The only downside for beginners is having to take the time to get accustomed to the platform and understand the relationship between the data shown and the steps to solve the problems.
To gauge user behaviour – one of the most important aspects of website analysis there is – it is vital to track your keyword performance. Some terms will have a higher click-through and viewer retention rate than others, so it is important to monitor the reports that are on hand from Google Analytics.
Simply put, every site that is not taking advantage of Google Analytics is passing on free feedback. There is an entire industry out there profiting off their capacity to educate on this topic to their clientele, so do yourself and your business a favour by tapping into this outlet.
This one is a favourite of bloggers from all corners of the globe. Clicky is an application that is helpful for those online content curators who just cannot take in all the data showcased on Google Analytics. Clicky makes the difficult incredibly simple, quite the achievement when you stop to think about it.
Should your site garner over 3000 daily views, then there will be a price imposed on this platform. Yet the benefits clearly outweigh the negatives as your visitor behaviour is illustrated through an interactive heat map.
You can immediately gauge which tabs are most popular, from what links your consumers gravitate towards, where they were originally referred from and where they are located. Every action from every visitor is there to read in black and white, or as Clicky like to do, in beautiful colour.
The features of Piwik makes this platform remarkably popular for domains that have the capacity to undertake their own hosting through PHP or MySQL. The adjustable but customised dashboard is free to use unless you want to ramp up your analysis game to pro level for $65 per month.
Do not opt into Piwik if you are a beginner because this is software suited for users who want to integrate their own plugins. The benefit of going down this path is the Piwik mobile app that allows the owner to take the data on the go. Just to reinforce its useful in the market, there is unlimited data storage, so there is no stress as far as backing up reports or transferring files across to another system.
It comes with all the bells and whistles that Google Analytics can offer like keyword analysis, tracking and maps but goes the extra mile, especially for paying customers.
Moz Keyword Explorer
As we have mentioned earlier, the field of website data analysis is a broad church that overlaps a number of themes and topics. One of the most central aspects that happens to fall under this banner is the practice of search engine optimisation (SEO).
A brilliant software application tool (that happens to be free for basic users) that is relatively new in the market is the Moz Keyword Explorer. It gives every conceivable metric the time of day while also eliminating the hassle of sifting through what’s relevant and what isn’t.
From related keywords to search engine results page (SERP) analysis and filters of keyword volume, difficulty, opportunity and potential – there is no excuse left in your organic SEO efforts.
While the content analytic tools are wonderful modes of showcasing all the data, there will be some small features that can get overlooked. Take note of the following as we identify a couple of handy extra tools in your web analysis activities.
Google Fusion Tables
Are you looking to find out exactly where on the planet your consumer base is located? Perhaps they might be splintered across a country or condensed into a major city. Whatever your preconceptions might be, it is worthwhile taking not of the Google Fusion Tables application tool.
This can be displayed as a map or chart as your uploaded file offers a range of options to showcase the geographic data:
- Pie chart
- Bar graph
- Scatter plot
This is a tremendous asset to have on hand should geography be one of the main elements in your analytical research. Addresses are given an automatic geo-code to save time sifting through that process, as well as the ability to combine tables should you need to link up your information into one easy to read format.
Google Fusion Tables will sit in Google servers, but you still have the option to list your data as unlisted or private to keep it away from the gaze of the general public.
Amid all the social media mentions, tags and shares online, is your business actually making any money on the Internet? When you boil down analysis and analytics into brass tax, that is the inescapable elephant in the room and the driving force behind all endeveavours.
Conversion values therefore becomes the gauge that matters the most and one aspect that Google Analytics performs well. There will be a linear graph that tracks how your site has been doing over the past few weeks, months and going back years should that be something you want to examine.
This will be presented under the guise of “goal conversion” and “goal value,” giving you a sophisticated breakdown of whether or not people are opting into your landing pages and following through on your directions.
A monetary value will be issued, making it clear whether or not your investment is paying off, or if you need to drastically change course. Either way, this is invaluable feedback.
Keyword Tag Cloud
Sometimes a percentage rate sitting on a spreadsheet just doesn’t do the trick for certain domain owners. They want to visualise how their keywords are tracking.
An application like SEO Chat’s Keyword Cloud Tool is an open, friendly and easy to use outlet that issues a collage of keywords from any site, across any niche.
Whether it be a landscaping company, beauty products, a comic book fandom page or an investment firm, this process provides a visual representation of what keywords are being produced throughout the content.
By putting in the domain for The Sydney Morning Herald for example during December of 2017, we can understand what terms are utilised the most:
Despite the updating of hot news topics, there fundamentals for one of the most popular news sites in the country remains the same. They need to drive their keywords to the Sydney news market on one hand and cater to individual articles that boosts traffic on the other. Send your URL through this mechanism and see the results for yourself.
What do you think about these tactics and tools to help you analyse your website’s data. Do you think you will give these tools a try, or do you have other tools that you believe to be better for your business? Let us know in the comment area below, we would love to hear from you!
Lucas is the Managing Director and the Head of SEO Strategy at SEO Shark. He has over 15 years of experience in achieving SEO results for small and medium businesses as well as multinational and ASX-listed brands. He is also an author of multiple publications about digital marketing.