If you are a blogger or a website owner actively trying to increase the audience base, it is very critical to understand and keep track of your audience. This article will help you with knowledge of various free services available out there and their merits. I am writing on a list of 3 of my favorite stat counters which you can try installing in your blogs/ website for tracking your audience.
Few points which I would suggest are below-
- My strategy with web stat counters is that never trust a single service to measure your audience activity. The reason is it gives comprehensive depth to have more than 1 option, i.e. every counter has its own special way of generating reports and the level of details they provide.
- Secondly in case of any downtime (for which probability is very low but still!) you still have the web stat tracking from the other source.
- Third- not all the web stat counter services have option to track live activity. Yes! This is particularly useful when you have increased traffic and would want to track real time activity of your users.
Statcounter- (http://statcounter.com/ ) This is my personal favorite for 3 great reasons:
- It offers free invisible web stat tracking service,
- Free downloadable logs in excel file, this is a big plus because very few services offer this feature. Even on Google Analytics you do not have the option to download logs. The capacity of free plan is 500 so you will need to download the logs periodically. Remember there is no limit to summarized details of your visitors.
- And is very comprehensive in terms of tracking stat for your audience. You should try it to see the depth of analysis it offers. From hourly visitor numbers, search IP address option, detailed page view paths, download activity, entry and exit pages and dashboards which offer insightful information about your web audience.
- Statcounter does not track Https secure visitors in free plan, but still you get a good picture even without it.
Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/ )
Another free service with very detailed and in-depth data about your web audience. You can create filters, customized dashboards to study your audience characteristics as per your requirement. It tracks https secure page views as well in the free plan. This is very easy to install and if you are on web hosting on blogger it can be integrated easily. There is no time or log limit but you can not download the logs in excel format. Instead Google Analytics gives you an option to create pivot tables with the data available and study it online itself.
Woopra (https://www.woopra.com/ )
Woopra is in this list due to its very nice set of dashboards. With tracking capabilities same as Google Analytics Woopra has great looking dashboards, very intitutive presentation of data, live visitor tracking, organization level tracking (which is a plus!), actions performed during visits. This is also a very comprehensive package to track web stats for your website or blog.
For other relevant resources on web stat tracking you can also visit http://www.ww24.org/2013/08/how-to-add-another-user-to-access-your.html