Real-time website analytics
I’ve discussed real-time website analytics twice before but haven’t really gone into much detail about why you should or shouldn’t be using real-time analytics for…
I’ve discussed real-time website analytics twice before but haven’t really gone into much detail about why you should or shouldn’t be using real-time analytics for your website and the, somewhat limited, options that are available to you.
The benefits of using real-time analytics:
- They’re genuinely a pleasure to watch and play with.
- For the meticulous ones out there, it’s great to see an email or a PPC campaign drive visitors to your site at the click of button.
- It makes it easy for you to spot mistakes in your architecture and fix as quickly as possible.
- As easy to install as a Google Analytics tracking script.
- Quirky features – such a sound playing on a user hitting a “thanks” page in Woopra – make the analytics more exciting than usual.
- Labelling individual users is very useful, particularly if you can see hit the contact page at a certain time and you receive an email – you know the exact route the user has took to get in touch with you! They’re no longer just a number.
There are, of course, disadvantages to using real-time analytics:
- You will always have to pay for the privilege if you want all the useful features.
- Though the creators are always working on ironing out issues, bugs such as missing out pages do happen.
- It sometimes means installing software and if you’re working for a large organisation with strict software policies it can be irritating to appeal to get third party software installed.
- Servers can’t really handle high traffic websites, so should only be used on small-to-medium sites.
- Bandwidth hoggers not just for your server, but for your ISP!
However, at the time of writing this article, real-time analytics are only a few years old, so advancements in 2011 and 2012 are sure to surprise us all.
Get started with real-time website analytics
- Woopra – Real Time Web Analytics, Live Chat and Web Statistics.
- Chartbeat – Real-time website analytics and uptime monitoring – Live Demo
- Clicky – Web analytics in real time – Live Demo
Each option either has a demo or is freemium, which means you get a limited features version free-of-charge, so try each one out for size yourself and let us know how you get on.
Written by Jason John Mills