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3 Free Must-Have Analytic Software for All Associations

It’s important for your association to understand what the term ‘web analytics’ means how it works in order to attract potential visitors to your website!

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Chances are, your association already has a website in place. After all, there are over 3.7 billion internet users out there. You’d be crazy not to try and engage them! But even with a killer website, your association’s engagement can fall flat if you fail to pay attention to web analytics. It’s important for your association to understand what the term ‘web analytics’ means how it works in order to attract potential visitors to your website, and even keep in track of your members by optimizing web usage. Let’s discuss exactly what web analytics can do for your association. Then, let’s take a look at 3 different web analytics software programs (all free) that can save your association time while giving you the information you need.

Web Analytics: What is it?

So, exactly what is web analytics and why is it important for your association? Web analytics is a crucial tool to use when you are trying to examine the collection of website data that helps you determine whether your user strategy matches the users’ experience on your association’s website. Web analytics evaluates potency of your website, track the web traffic, research for market and consumers’ behavior, and so on. To improve your website’s performance and design it catered to your target market, web analytics gets the job done. According to an article written by Forbes in 2017, 53% of companies have been adopting big data analytics market study and the percentage keeps increasing. With that staggering statistic in mine, analytics tools are the key to your association’s marketing success.

One of the most popular web analytics service (and one that you may already know about) is Google Analytics.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a freemium service developed by Google which, to put it plainly, allows you to analyze content and performance of your advertisements along with users’ activity. Google Analytics is heavily based on marketing based analysis. It will provide you a track of your association’s Return On Investment (ROI) for your online marketing and also send reports showing exactly  how users came across your website and utilized it. Google’s software monitors where the traffic is derived from and which keywords were used to attract the users to your website. There’s also a website called Google Analytics Academy that will provide you with free online courses on how to use the software and in-depth knowledge about web analytics in general. Google Analytics is a great software that your association could start with, especially if you’re just getting the hang of web analytics software or services. You might also be wondering, however, if there are any other alternatives that you could use other than Google Analytics that are as reliable and efficient. And the answer to that question is: Yes. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options that you could choose in the market other than Google Analytics. So, let’s get right into it and introduce your association to 3 web analytics tool alternatives that won’t cost you money, but will still give you an impressive result as much as paid web analytics software.

1. Matomo

The first service we’d like to unpack is a friendly little tool called Matomo. Matomo- which is a new name for Piwik- has been one of the most popular free open analytics platforms along with Google Analytics. Marketed as a tool for “liberating analytics”, Matomo has a lot to offer website owners. Matomo provides 100% free and open source web analytics software service. It generates you detailed reports from top keywords and other search parameters your association could want to track. It also allows for campaign tracking and goal conversion tracking, as well as information like top page URLs, page titles, and user countries. And that’s not all. Matomo offers visitor maps, browser market share, and other features that make tracking analytics a breeze. And best of all, Matomo also offers unlimited data storage-  making it easier for your association to compare analytics that are constantly changing over time. Since Matomo offers real time web analytics reports, you have the ability to select any date range and the reports will create an up-to-date analytics data with the most recent visits. Overall, Matomo is very easy to read and manipulate with customizable features. It creates dashboards with widget configuration fit to your association’s needs, allowing you to remove or add the features that you want in any positions on your board. Last but not least, Matomo also has a free mobile app that helps you check your statistics not only on your computer, but also on your phone. Its mobile app operates and shows you the same reports as the desktop interface, so you don’t have to worry about leaving your desktop when you’re looking for optimized website analytics!

2. Open Web Analytics

Open Web Analytics (OWA) is another efficient website analysis tool that offers a free service for users. If you are switching over from Google Analytics, then OWA will be very easy and simple to use. Both OWA and Google Analytics are similar in the sense that they show you very similar features on their dashboard such as site metrics, visits, unique views, average visit duration, and so on. One thing that OWA offers that differs  from Google Analytics is that OWA is an open source, meaning there are no data limits. This contrasts Google Analytics $150,000/year (USD) premium plan for an overage on data. OWA very easy to install, with a one-click install option, and easy to maintain as well through WordPress. And with WordPress integration on OWA, your association has the opportunity to connect its pre-existing WordPress account (if applicable), making it convenient and simple to maintain both. OWA offers Heat Map and Domstreams, two valuable features which usually come with paid analytics, but are provided free of cost. Heat Map shows your association where website users land based on clicking after arriving to your website. Additionally, Domstreams shows you any type of website movements such as clicks and page scrolls of your users once they land in your page. OWA is an innovative web analytics service that you could employ once you have gained some knowledge and experience in utilizing a basic web analytics software.

3. Bitly

Last on our list, but by far not least, we have Bitly. As mentioned before, this list offers free web analytics services. However, it is important to mention that Bitly offers two different services: One free and one paid. The one we’ll be covering today is Bitly Pro- and it is free of charge. On the other hand, Bitly’s paid service, Bitly Enterprise will be charging you $995/month (USD). Bitly is mostly known to offer services that shortens URLs for maximum analytic tracking efficiency. However, while Bitly is known for its link management service, there are many more things that you could do with Bitly to track analytics. Bitly has a service that tracks your users’ experience on every link and channel, and even lets you know which platforms attracted the most people to your website by giving you the campaign or channel summary in detail. This feature will help you compare which channels best work for your website such as email, Instagram, Linkedin, and other media formats. Bitly is an efficient software to check how the links on your website or social media post are performing. You can look into metrics reports that have been updated past few hours, days, weeks, and months. Bitly focuses on recording all the clicks that occurred on your website. It also gives you a map of your link’s geographic distribution of clicks that you could figure out who you are going to target when it comes to audience engagement. Bitly is easy to read with a variety of visual graphs along with other services that make the platform an all around simple experience.

.So, there you have it. Three web analytic software options that can take your association’s analytic tracking to the next level. We hope your association considers trying out one (or maybe even all) of these software services in the near future.