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Highend Traffic Statistics?


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#1 saschaeh

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 02:08 PM

I have a client who has requested some serious tracking. Tracking that i have not yet done. What in your advice would be best to track the below:

- what pages/section are most visited? (standard)
- where are the users located? (standard)
- how long are they staying on the website? (??)
- are they returning? (??)
- What kind tools/media are being watched/read? (??)

Smarter Stats is one of the better ones but im not sure if it can do all this custom stuff? What is good to do really indepth tracking system.

Thanks in advance! Sascha

#2 kulpreet_singh

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 05:21 PM

All of this is available for free with Google Analytics. However you might want to do a search for comparisons between other statistics programs like the one you mentioned, Crazy Egg, Google Analytics, and others.

#3 AbleReach

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 06:37 PM

And ClickTracks!

Poke around the Measuring Your Success forum. We have had a few good discussions about web analytics.

#4 Black_Knight

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 07:06 PM

For true in-depth flexibility, have the server log to a database instead of to standard log-file (text). Then querying that entire set of data becomes just a matter of SQL queries, some of which you save as regular reports to run, others as simple in-depth investigations.

Microsoft IIS comes with this ability to log to datbase rather than to flat log-file already installed (its an option), while for Apache servers you'll need to add one of the various Mods that allow the server to log to database.

That assumes of course that it is a dedicated server setup, and that there are people comfortable with SQL with access to the server to run the queries and generate the reports.

For off-the-shelf solutions,it used to be that I'd have no hesitation in recommending NetTracker as the king of all tracking solutions, but that was back when it was owned by Sane Solutions. It has since changed owners and seems to have undergone some changes. I'm not at all familiar with the new 'version' of tracking software caled NetTracker, and so cannot in any way vouch for its quality now.

The other solution that I recommend a lot is ClickTracks, but to get the most from ClickTracks you need to adopt a different mode of looking at the data than just looking at reports. With ClickTracks, you get much more out of the product by taking a 'cognitive walkthrough' of the stats superimposed on the site as an overlay, really putting the data into perpective:
"Ah, of course most people are going to page 8 from here - look how prominent we made that link! If we want to encourage the users to take a path to Page 6 from here, becaus that's the path with better conversions, we shoul move this link to here, and place that bit over there..."

#5 EGOL

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 07:17 PM

I do most of what you are looking for - plus some of my own metrics - with a combination of Clicktracks, Crazyegg and WebLogExpert. Takes some learning to be able to do all of those.

#6 saschaeh

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 12:45 AM

Thanks & apologies i was looking in wrong part of the forum. i shall return on this topic if I have more specific questions.

All the best for the week ahead!

#7 A.N.Onym

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 02:10 AM

Ammon, while ClickTracks tell you which URL gets visited next, it doesn't tell you which one of the two or more links got clicked from the page (if you have those). CrazyEgg seems to offer such tracking. Have you used it or related click tracking stuff for any moderate success?

#8 Black_Knight

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 01:03 PM

We're rather partial to Crazy Egg at the Fresh Egg offices, as it naturally came up on our radar very early on due to the similar name. It has been especially useful for showing clients just how much on-site search gets used, and how important it is to make site-search more effective, particularly in offering 'fall backs and fail-safes' for unusual searches.

Additionally, as you suggest, it can be invaluable for showing precisely which link on a page is grabbing the clicks, and shows just how much positioning of links, prominence-wise especially, can affect and steer the ensuing path through the site.

Of course, it is quite possible to track clicks with your own home-grown tracking too, simply using JavaScript to plot and log the mouse/cursor position on any onClick event, and return TRUE to allow the browser to ten handle the click normally thereafter.

A really simple basic-level version of tracking which link has been clicked can be done with simpleon-page JavaScript without needing any special logging or retrieval beyond any baic tracking solution that reports query-strings in the URLs. Just embed an onClick javascript into the diffeent links that go to the same place that directs to a URL (using location.href) with a query-string appended to identify which link was used like page.htm?toplink and page.htm?imagelink. Just be sure you put a return FALSE into the JavaScript so that if JavaScript is disabled the browser will go to the basic HREF atribute of the link tag, and this should help the search engines to correctly get the base HREF and not the JavaScript one. Its a low-level solution, but the percentage difference between the various query-strings really does identify the split quite effectively.

To be really sure of preventing robot confusion, or to work around tracking solutions that don't report query strings in URLs properly, you can instead use redirection pages with a 301 or Meta Refresh, so that each link actually goes to a ifferent URL to be tracked, before redirecting immediately to the end content. Simple but effective. :)



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