What website analystics software should I use? - Lead Forensics

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        To help businesses master their data and use metrics to make impactful improvements, a web analytics tool is needed. There is no shortage in choice, each tool offers different metrics, perks and benefits.


        What types of web analytics software are on offer?

        As each business places a different reliance on their website, and all have different goals and desired outcomes from their site; it makes sense that one size doesn’t fit all. Many web analytics tools offer various solutions to meet business needs of all shapes and sizes. Choosing the right tool for your site is essential.

        Basic software tools offer the “big picture” data, like the older hit counters we spoke about in Chapter 1. Providing metrics such as overall web traffic, popular pages and visitor browsers, most web analytics tools offer these figures as standard. These are the “need-to-know” numbers, offering a well-rounded website overview, but no deeper detail.

        More advanced tools offer further insight into visitor behaviour, and how your website is navigated. With functions like heatmaps and visitor recordings, users can gain a deep understanding of what areas of their website are successful, and what areas are hindering results, allowing them to make data driven improvements for better conversion.

        The most advanced tools offer extra luxuries for optimum website understanding and analysis. Lead Forensics for example offers the big picture figures whilst also identifying anonymous website traffic to offer a tool that focuses on both website analytics and new business lead generation. These tools are multi-talented, giving users the vital web analytics they need whilst helping them fuel their sales pipeline for revenue generation and business growth.


        How do these tools work?

        As mentioned in Chapter 1, the two key methods used by web analytics tools lie in log-based and JavaScript tag-based data collection and processing. But we can dig a little deeper to see what modern tools are using, and how these features may evolve into new analytic-capabilities.


        JavaScript events

        We now know that JavaScript code can be added to a webpage, gathering the necessary data ready to pass onto the tool in question – fuelled by JavaScript events. Essentially, whenever an action takes place on your website, it’s called an “event”. Someone clicks on a link, a page loads, an input field changes – all these are events that the JavaScript code can use to push data to an analytics platform that later provides deep website metrics and analysis. This is used by all JavaScript fuelled tools, providing an essential element of web analytics success.


        Tag manager (Google)

        In early 2013, Google Tag Manager was released as an addition to Google Analytics and caused some confusion. This software made it easy for users to manage the JavaScript tags/snippets offered by other Google tools such as Analytics and Adwords. The tool offers a simple space to collect and oversee tags, allowing users to manage specific, dynamic variables heading up web pages. This tool is an optimal solution for eCommerce or advanced semantic mark-up. Google Tag Manager offers useful benefits to marketers, allowing them to add and change page header code snippets without calling on a web developer.


        Tracking pixels

        Website analytics tools often use tracking pixels as an unobtrusive way to gather analytical data. A small 1×1 pixel can be inserted into a webpage or an email and when loaded it will trigger a web server request allowing hosts to keep track of how often this resource has been requested and where from. This simple but clever method not only offers web analytics metrics but can also offer insight into conversion success.


        Why do some tools show different figures?

        This is a common question asked by those using a range of web analytics tools together. Using multiple tools is a familiar solution for many businesses, gaining the fullest picture possible of website activity and user behaviour. However, it’s often the case that those big data figures that almost every tool reads don’t always match up – why is this?

        The answers are very simple, it’s likely that the tools differ in how they count metrics – a key example being Google Analytics and Lead Forensics in how they count website traffic. When running Google Analytics, if someone visits your website multiple times within a 30-minute slot, this is counted as one singular visit, whereas Lead Forensics counts every individual website visit. This leads to a difference in the number of overall website visitors.

        Other reasons for metric discrepancies can include incorrect installation of the tracking code, poor URL tagging and problems with cookies  specifically first party versus third party.

        Cookies are small text files that carry user profile and activity data; first party cookies are associated with the domain to which they are applied, and third party cookies are not, they’re associated with another domain. These cookies then send information to the processing server (not necessarily the same server hosting the website) to provide the information we know as web analytics/metrics.

        Discrepancies occur, as different tools use different cookies, some first party, and some third, and they are programmed to collect data in differing ways and count different elements. Therefore the information collected by the tools reading these cookies will differ and offer contrasting results.

        The important thing to be aware of is that these differing numbers don’t render the tools useless – you’re still able to see trends and decipher links and patterns; if anything, it’s handy seeing multiple tool readings – it’s like getting a second opinion! If a result surprises you, check a similar reading was found on your other tool(s) – then you know it’s not anomalous.

        What can Lead Forensics do for your business?

        Imagine if you could take control of your lead generation activity and convert sales-ready prospects, before your competitors even get close? Lead Forensics is the software that reveals the identity of your anonymous website visitors, and turns them into actionable sales-ready leads. In real-time.

        Lead Forensics can:

        • Tell you who is visiting your website
        • Provide highly valuable contact information including telephone numbers and email addresses
        • Give insight into what each visitor has looked at, as well as where they came from.

        Take a look for yourself with a free, no obligation trial – you can get started today!