On a post earlier this week we talked briefly about the importance of analytics for startups (Analytics and Startups), and why it's important to track usage and user issues in order to create a better product or to simply find out if the product has a market. Now that we dove into the basics of analytics, we decided to give you a quick preview of a few of the great analytics tools you can use to help your startup.
Google Analytics: This one is probably the most obvious to all of you out there, but it is also one of the most powerful free tools on the internet. Not only can it help you track who is visiting your website, where they are accessing from and if they are accessing it through a mobile device, you are also able to set it up to track conversions and understand, once people are on your site, which pages they are going to and which pages are causing them trouble. In addition to these great tools, it is also used for search engine optimization to make sure your site is showing up for relevant search terms. Google Analytics shows you what people are currently searching for to find your page and can help you optimize your site to show up higher for those terms in the future.
While Google Analytics is a free tool there are other add ons available for larger companies and companies that want to delve even deeper than you can in the free version. They also have support for both html website and Flash sites and on a small scale mobile applications.
Visual Website Optimizer: This is another web tool for web based startups but it is incredibly easy to use and an awesome tool for those who are interested in testing their website to make it work better for them. From A/B testing to usability tests and conversion tracking, this online tool allows those who might not be tech savvy run incredibly intricate tests. What's also great is that if you are, again, not tech savvy this tool actually gives you tips on how to come up with new tests and helps analyze pages before you even begin testing it with the public. This powerful tool is not free however, it comes very highly recommended from some very high profile clients.
Mixpanel: This tool is one of the most exhaustive tools around for online and mobile applications. It allows you to dive deep into data about users and is extremely useful in understanding the customer and cohorts. The tool is moderately expensive for small startups but the amount of tools this product has available will help you to grow your startup quickly and understand the marketplace, which should help it pay for itself.
While there are literally hundreds of products out there to help track your startup these three will give you a large amount of value once you understand how to use all of their powerful tools. As we mentioned in the last blog post, it's important to understand what you are tracking and at what level you are tracking things before you begin making changes on a large scale, so be sure you understand these tools and what they are telling you.
Are these the analytics tools you use? If not, give us a tip on what you think is the best analytics tool for startups!