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Log Tracking Software

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Hi Everyone, Good morning.

 

What software do you use to track things like where customers who purchased came from?

Where your leads are coming from?

etc?

 

Currently I use WebTrends LogAnalyzer - Good for a general picture - but no ability to track a session.

 

I created my own software to track users on my website.

 

What packages out there give you what you need?

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I think my favourite to date is NetTracker, which allows fully detailed drill-down with ease. Defining your own custom reports and queries is a cinch too, so it is certainly one of the most versatile log analysis applications I've ever used.

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I found a programme called WebLogExpert that involved little more than telling it where the log file was and the URL of the site to setup.

 

There is a free version which isn't as powerful as the full version though I was so impressed with how easy it was to use and how clear the reports were that I fairly quickly bought the full version.

 

It gives imformation about paths that people follow through your site as well which I guess is what you were on about and the full version allows you to customise reports. Though I've not tried that bit yet, its only the last couple of months I've had the opportunity to play with them!

 

Webalizer is supposed to be very powerful if you know what you doing, its one for setting up on the server yourself rather than downloading the log file locally as with WebLogExpert. The host I've been using has Webalizer as standard with all hosted pages though I've not been as impressed with its reports.

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Hi Kevin,

 

We use WebTrends and are currently evaluating http://www.statomatic.com 's product, which show a lot of promise.

 

:!: But your question was about something that goes beyond these poor anylizer's ability,as far as I know... And that is to not just track a user, but to say for example, that I see this user came from Yahoo, now show me where he went and what he did.

 

Or show me all the users that came from Yahoo and report on their movements.

 

Or show me all the traffic that centers around our "specials" page, and include a summary of where they came from.

 

Is that it?

 

Did you say you are able to generate that kind of information? :idea:

 

:twisted: I'll tell you what, I'll help you refine and market that little puppy and we can go into business together....! I know about 200,000 marketing-types that will pay mondo buckaroonies for a system that will give them that.

 

It's not a webmaster thing , it's a marketing thing :roll: , and it's pretty cool.

 

Thanks,

Christian

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I'd give my vote to Funnel Web Analyzer. I still don't think I've ever found a program that gives me everything I want but this one is not bad.

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I have always used log anylizer, I am now considering updrading to the 7.0 product. There is a lot of filters and methods for tracking - I am working on filtering users by SE.

 

I don't think the people at Webtrends even now how to fully use the program.

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Ok - loganalyzer pro SEO Guy :P

 

What I'd really like to get my LogAnalyzer program to do is only include the sessions that click to my "Shopping_Cart.asp" page.

 

How can I set this up?

 

Much thanks in advance. :)

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Kevin, if you are running an Apache web server, there is a far better option available to you (one that is overlooked by almost everyone)...

 

You can get an Apache mod that writes the logs as an SQL database (MySQL by default I think) which then makes detailed drill-down and fantastic analysis as easy as devising your own SQL queries. To my mind there is no better solution available at the moment.

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Thanks for the reply - but I am not running Apache.

I have to use ASP - and the emulation/support for ASP is not up to speed on non microsoft servers.

 

Anyway - not to start a religious arguement about web servers. So please don't start all posting about how great X server is. I know your servers are all better than mine. :)

 

Seriously - I kinda don't care.

 

damn - I threw my back out practicing my golf swing and the back meds have me kinda loopy/talkative. So anything I write should be held against me later when I am sober and am actually embarrassed by my comments. :shock: :wink:

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Hey Kevin,

 

No problem - in your webtrends you gave to go into your filter settings and set it up to allow or disallow based on user activity. The user activity can be based on an ID string that certain commansd create. Send me an email if you need more details.

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I am looking for a suitable solution at the moment as well - for my own site, but also to be able to offer people who I will host on my brand new server (whooooo!).

 

I looked at webtrends but it is so darn expensive. e.g the log analyser is $500 but the licence doesn'y allow you to distribute reports outside of your company.

 

The main thing I want to do is to focus on which se's are providing traffic with what keyphrases and if poss, drill down per session to see the path that particular session used.

 

Nettracker is very nice - but also darn expensive ;)

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Check out the Remote Log analyzer recommendations discussion for other solutions, jarvster. The Analog solution (especially combined with Report Magic) is attractively priced indeed - being free.

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I've been looking at NetTracker a lot more over the last month or so - setting up a server with the demo. I have to say that it is the probably the best bit of software that I've ever looked at for web analysis. The beauty really is in the detail to which you can drill down to an individual user session or drill back up using another variable.

 

The added extras that you can use, such as an ISAPI filter 'plugin' which you can set up to drop a cookie which nettracker uses to check repeat visitors etc. (very useful if you are using IIS but static .htm files). Or even get a data conduit to link up the data to your database of purchases/customers (mmm, a little work on the privacy policy needed if you go down this road :wink: )

 

I am going to be setting up a dedicated server to run the enterprise version. The licencing policies are to be praised also - if you buy a 5site licence for £675 and later want to go up to a 10 site licence then you just pay the difference between the two, which I think is quite fair.

 

I'd say the main drawback is that it does require a fair bit of technical knowledge (+ access to your server) to do the fancy bits, as it is really a web-based app rather than desktop software.

 

Hope this is of interest to others who may be looking at similar systems.

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You don't know how happy I am to hear another extol the virtues of NetTracker! :)

 

It seriously is about the best piece of kit I've ever found commercially available, but because of its costs, very few fellow SEOs have ever had the chance or desire to give it a test-drive.

 

However, if anyone out there really wants the best - NetTracker is a very serious contender.

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Ammon,

 

We are another that love NetTracker. Not only that we resell it through the new UK Distributor Internet 21.

 

Way back at the beginning of the thread someone asked about tracking the people that just buy from you.

 

Well, one of the things that Nettracker is great for is to have that page as the end point and create a report to show you the paths that all people took to get to that page, so you can see the time it takes your average buyer, which search engine they came in, what keyword they used, so you can focus your marketing efforts on the stuff that you know to work, rather than guessing.

 

If you have large logs files, you can set it up on your server to be real-time and I just love drilling.

 

We are using the "marketing" reports section to monitor all activity on PPC. So if you see a predominance of one page visits for a keyword, you work on the creative, the landing page, or you get rid of the keyword, but without the data, your blind.

 

Because our customers use the software as well, we don't need to snag logs remotely, and can have discussions on the phone with clients, looking at the same data, in real time, vital if you have a new campaign that you need to monitor closely in the early stages.

 

I don't think we've scratched the surface of what the product could do, but for the money I don't think there is anything better.

 

Anyone from here that wants to buy with a discount, let me know.

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I came across a real time monitor of IIS logs.

 

It lets you see in real time who is on your website. It flags up spiders and lets you see referring URL's, etc

 

here's the link :- http://www.whos-on.net/

 

It does have other features but sadly I found it to be a little bugged.

 

I really want to know if there is an alternative to this real-time software??

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I have been using webtrends/webposition free version. However, my new site uses a color for the background, and thier little ad looks silly on the page. Thus, I was thinking about finding a new free service, or paying for service.

 

However, webtrends paid service looks costly. Is it?

 

Reduced Pricing Exclusively For WebPosition Gold users: Page views per month Pro Version

Price per month Enterprise Edition

Price per month

0 - 1,000 $9.95 $14.95

1,001 - 25,000 $19.95 $29.95

25,001 - 50,000 $39.95 $59.95

50,001 - 75,000 $49.95 $74.95

75,001 - 125,000 $59.95 $89.95

125,001 - 150,000 $99.95 $149.95

150,001 - 250,000 $99.95 $149.95

Every 1000 page views over 250,000 $0.50 $0.75

 

Do you all have any current tips on a service that will help me find keyphrases people are using to find my site?

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What are your needs, what would be nice options, and what is your budget?

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Let me see if my needs make since via text to you. I come up with key phrases in my head, and then I work on getting them ranked. However, I am always looking for key phrases that people are using to find my site. Thus, I need something that will show me key phrases and search engines. I really do not want to spend more that $10 a month on it.

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So you only want to track referals?

 

Then use Analog (freeware) because that's just a basic feature of any option.

 

If you'd wanted to track visit paths, specific interactions, which keywords led to actual sales, etc you'd need something better, but just basic referal comes with everything so use the freeware.

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Do you think I should be tracking all of that? I would have to redesign the site then. It sounds smart, but is it feasible for a real estate site?

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If you don't track it, you can't measure it. If you don't measure it, how will you ever know if it is optimal?

 

If you change the second paragraph a little on page three, will it increase or decrease sales? Will it turn out to increase sales only for people who entered the site on a certain search term (showing a particular interest/need) while decreasing sales from other terms? How will you know?

 

Refer to your last thread on the subject of tracking from just a couple of days ago, where I led you to some great solutions mentioned in other threads previously.

 

The SQL logging option for example can track just about anything, and is free.

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Ammon,

 

You indicated back on the first page the NetTracker was your fav. so far. I agree, it's amazing and I quite like it but I am definitly looking into ClickTracks.

 

Would you say NetTracker is still your fav. or are you leaning to ClickTracks nowdays?

 

--

Aaron

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James,

 

What server are you on? It's not SQL you are specifically after, it's a database that supports SQL that you are after. If you're on an Apache server, there's a fairly good chance that you have MySQL or access to MySQL.

 

With regards, the choice of log analyser, I tend to look towards either NetTracker for more savvy clients and ClickTracks for those with less time on their hands and need understandable results quicker. NetTracker has a great deal of flexibility in the reports that can be produced, which the look and feel of ClickTracks is more intuitive but doesn't have the same level of flexibility. However, we can help drive ClickTracks forward by getting involved in the discussion 'Changing the (inter)face of web analytics'.

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Would you say NetTracker is still your fav. or are you leaning to ClickTracks nowdays?

They are quite different solutions, and suited to different types of users, so the decision which to use is usually made by what the user wants to do.

 

ClickTracks is brilliant for being very usable and visual, putting the dat into a real context. The best way to use ClickTracks is to perform a 'cognitive walkthrough' (a phrase I lifted from Kim's Usability work) of the site with the data superimposed on it.

 

For many clients, the problem is not a lack of data in their current tracking, but rather a lack of context. There are many who do nothing more than print out a huge report each month to present in a monthly meeting, and nobody looks past the first summary page of it.

 

To get some clients to actually use and understand the data, they need the ClickTracks type display of being able to see the data in context and experience what it means.

 

NetTracker is a very serious piece of kit that may well have been custom-designed for Class A personalities like myself. It has more figures available than many folks could even think of a use for, but through its customized reports, can deliver exactly the data you need, no matter how deep it has to drill for it.

 

NetTracker is a tool for obsessives (like me) who simply need to know what they need to know, whatever that might be at any given moment. :)

 

Unless I am dealing with hardcore folks, NetTracker is probably far more than they need. ClickTracks therefore tends to get recommended to my clients more often, but NetTracker gets recommended to the ones who are the most serious about tracking.

 

Then again, if they are using an Apache server, I often recommend one of the custom mods that makes Apache record its log files to an SQL database, which then allows any form of querying you can think up via standard SQL queries. Save the query and you have a custom report of any complexity you can write a query for. ;)

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If the custom mod wasn't free, I'd think you were on commission Ammon! ;-)

 

For those who need to know how to get it, it's here

 

Kind Regards,

James

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That's one of them, James, but there are some others out there too, some specific to one or another database format, such as MySQL and PostgreSQL. Plenty to choose from, and free to use. Don'cha just love open source technology? :)

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Thanks, Ammon. I'm thinking I agree with your analysis and that ClickTracks would probably be what I'd recommend for most clients who want even to go that far with analysis. OTOH, for me, I'd probably want NetTracker.

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Always a pleasure and a privilege to be of help, Diane. :D

 

NetTracker is a seriously good tracking solution suited to you and I both. :) It certainly isn't cheap, but when the budget allows for it (when tracking is worth that investment), it is worth every cent.

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One other solution would be to write a utility (PHP or ASP for example) that reads the server log file(s), unzipping if required, filters out data that isn't required (or that may skew the results for analysis) and then stores the useful stuff in the database for further analysis.

 

This option may be useful if you don't want to, or can't, compile the open source module into Apache. It can also be used for non-Apache servers, e.g. IIS.

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Hello everyone...

 

I have one simple need for a metrics program: to be able to compare the statistics for 2 days (or 2 periods). Webtrends 7 does this, but that's not an option cause we are NT 4 and it requires win2k. It seems like such a simple thing, yet I can't find a program that does this. Does anyone have any suggestions??

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NetTracker is one of my favourite pieces of kit for hardcore tracking use, and allows you to generate very detailed custom reports as you like, working from your log files. That's certainly one way to go.

 

Of course, even building a custon solution to analize and extract data from a log file is an option. Manipulating a text document to extract and reorder data from it isn't one of the rarest or hardest of tasks.

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