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Google Analytics GoalsHaving great data is crucial for building a successful website. That said, a new website may not really want to pay for data in the beginning. What are some of the best easy-to-use and free web analytics tools?

General Analytics

There are three primary analytics platforms that provide a full spectrum of data including referral data, traffic data, content data, search data and more.

  • Google Analytics – This is the 300-pound gorilla of the tracking space. Google Analytics provides just about all the data you could every want, 100% free.

The downside to using Google is that a lot of people don’t feel comfortable having all their sites linked together by Google, especially if they’re experimenting with unconventional back-linking techniques or other “grey” areas of marketing.

  • GoingUp – GoingUp provides just about everything Google Analytics does, and a little more. GoingUp also provides heatmap tracking in addition to the typical analytics data, meaning you can actually see where people are clicking on a graphical display. This can give you a lot of useful information about your user’s behavior.
  • Piwik – Piwik – Piwik – Piwik is an open source self-hosted tracking solution. If you prefer to have your tracking hosted on your own servers rather than risk having it on someone else’s server, Piwik can be a great way to do it.

They have a strong reputation for building great software, the code is written by hundreds of dedicated developers all over the world and their platform provides all the functionality that Google Analytics does.

Want to know what people think of your design before you launch? Why not post it to a group of marketers and designers for review?

ConceptFeedback.com is a free website where people can post their business, marketing and design concepts to be reviewed by their peers free of charge.

It’s a great way to get a gauge of what experienced designers and marketers think before you launch.
Compete.com is a competitive research platform that allows you to spy on your competitor’s keywords and traffic statistics.

Though their data isn’t “accurate” per se, it can still give you a very good gauge on where their traffic is coming from, as well as what kinds of keywords are working for them.

Though you do need to pay to get complete access to Compete, the free version gives you a limited number of keywords and traffic sources – enough to get a very good sense of what your competitors are up to.

These are some of the top free web analytics tools available to webmasters today. Most of these tools are easy to use and can provide you with data that will make running your business much, much easier.

Creative Commons License photo credit: dmhoro