Monday, 27 October 2008

Website analytics products continue to develop

The increasingly sophisticated options for small business owners to run analytics services on their website continues to develop, giving them better information on how their sites are being found and used for a minimal cost. Google Analytics has announced a series of new enhancements for their service which comes hard on the heels of Yahoo! launching their own free Analytics product.

Earlier this month Yahoo! finally launched their long-awaited analytics service, based on the IndexTools service which they bought in April. Called simply Yahoo Web Analytics, this is another free tool available for websites to use but providing in-depth data analysis that offers a significant challenge to established - and higher cost - services such as WebTrends, Coremetrics and Omniture. However, Yahoo! (and MSN who are also developing an analytics tool) are later to the market for their free product and Google has now established a strong lead in this sector.

In taking another step forward against this new Yahoo! product, Google Analytics has added some new features to their product, including a custom-reporting feature, advanced segmentation, a renamed Trendalyzer (now called Motion Chart) as well as closer integration with the AdSense service.

With the custom-reporting function, users can now request tailored reports by geography, the referring source, or other selected queries. With advanced segmentation, users now have the ability to create customised segments of site traffic, such as from a particular country, and can also limit the data viewed to just AdWords customers or other sources and then switch between segments by checking and unchecking boxes.

The new 'Motion Chart' tool visually depicts user behavior on a site, allowing users to search on five dimensions of data to see how site visitors behave over time, and how the quality of their visits rates through an animated graph with colored patterns. With the AdSense enhancements to follow, Google Analytics is making an already powerful tool even more valuable to users, offering greater insights and data analysis on website activity.

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