Social media marketing can get downright discouraging sometimes. Lots of effort, no noticeable ROI. So to give yourself as much encouragement as you can, as well as doing your social media work more efficiently, we turn to metrics. Where are people coming from? (findability). What are they doing when they come to our site? (content & structure) Did they read more than one page? (bounce rate) Where to they go? (exit data) Will they ever come back? (new vs previous visitors)
Those are sort of the basic building blocks of analytics. And of course Google Analytics is the big dog in this area. First, because it’s free. And second, because it captures a ton of data and provides unlimited reporting configurations. BUT… that’s part of the problem. GA is complex.
So what are some of the other analytics packages you can use if you use WordPress as your CMS? (I pick WordPress because it’s what I use, it’s what most of my small business clients use, it is probably what you should use.) All the WordPress specific tools I cover are FREE.
JetPack Site Stats from WordPress.org (requires a free account registration at wordpress.org)
The JetPack is a collection of great tools for powering and socializing your WordPress site. (Notice I don’t say blog!)
This screenshot gives you a good example of what Site Stats looks like. You can drill deeper into the Weeks or Months view to get the longer picture. Jetpack Site Stats is a 100% no-brainer. Install the Jetpack plug-in, register on wordpress.org and get started. Once you register Site Stats will begin tracking your site.
Wassup Plug-in and Widget
This is my favorite add in, even if you LOVE Google Analytics. Here’s what it displays on my blog.
How’s that for cool feedback. So when I go to my blog after Tweeting or posting something on LinkedIn I can immediately see the traffic. Even without logging in, the wassup widget does it’s magic. And if you ARE getting descent traffic, it shows the visitors that your blog is being read. It creates a little bit of community. “Ah, there are 7 other people on uber.la right now.”
Inside the WordPress admin tool the information gets even more cool.
This is a 24-hour chart with Visits in Dark Blue mapped with Pages Viewed in Orange. Also it gives a realtime look at where the visitors are on your site at that moment. Very fun to see people going from your “promoted” post to other pages on your site.
Digging in more, Wassup can give you tons of detailed information down to the “last hour.” Here’s my Six-Hour Chart.
With the combination of the promotional and community-like-feeling widget, Wassup is an amazing addition to your social media toolbox.
Gaug.es (Yes, you should pay them $6 a month for this) And you can also check out my micro-review of Gaug.es.
The enthusiasm, information, and momentum that can be generated by seeing your traffic reports in realtime cannot be stressed. This tool is so cool, so helpful, you would be a fool not to get it installed on your site. (WordPress not required)
Here’s the quick nut of Gaug.es:
I’m not going to spend any more time on this one. My Gaug.es Micro-Review review covers it in complete detail.
ChartBeat ($10 per month, but beautiful)
Chartbeat is a fun tool to engage with your traffic in a real-time manner. For long-term metrics and dash boarding you are going to want something a bit more powerful. I also liked Chartbeat’s ability to show me up to 5 sites in one view. AND they have a mobile app for the iPhone that can give me these type of stats from my phone.
Here’s the full micro-review: Chartbeat Web Analytics Package
Also of interest:
Woopra (a free real-time alternative to Gaug.es)
I hope that helps. Information is power. Metrics are your measurement success and your guide to optimization.