Google has become the God for many companies, which champion the idea of combined Internet marketing services. And, it is true that AdWords, AdSense and Analytics are in fact a potent and extremely beneficial mix of tools for any webmaster. Analytics offers an owner of an Internet site a great depth of information in regards to user behavior and demographics, sources of traffic, popularity of content and much more. And if you have ever used Analytics you know it is a pretty easy tool to use and navigate. Most crucially – it is free! Yet, if someone told you to use Analytics because it is the only such advanced, user friendly and not costing anything application on the web they lied to you.
First of all, to be clear, there are three kinds of Internet stats tools you can use. The most basic type are the applications that come with your hosting accounts such as AWstats or Webalizer (so called log file analyzers). Since they are directly linked with your public folder these tools are great in that they do not falsify the results in any way. Yet, they have not been updated in a while and what they show is limited and does not allow for great deal of analysis. Then you have the second type of solution, which is self-hosted software. You do need to have some technical knowledge to set up such analytics, but it does give you a lot of control over what you see and analyze. Open Web Analytics is one such software, which in fact looks a lot like Google’s web application! Finally, the remote hosted services such as Google Analytics are in the third category and we will focus on them going forward. By the way, although we will concentrate on only five Google’s alternatives here there are in fact so many different free and paid options out there, someone should better create a directory of all these tools 🙂 .
service in the industry and it offers free and premium analytics. As you can probably guess, the free option is pretty limited and you have to show their site counter on your Internet site. Nonetheless, SiteMeter has a lot of features of Google Analytics and it lets you create a lot of various reports.