It’s a commonly shared misconception that marketing analytics and web analytics are synonyms and denote the same thing. Usually, when talking about marketing analytics tools, people actually mean measuring the number of website visitors, unique pageviews, goals etc - everything that relates to website analytics only. However, to run effective marketing campaigns, a website is not enough. You send email newsletters, engage with your audience through social networks, use PPC advertising and so on. Measuring the impact each of your actions and channels used has on the revenue and business in general is crucial for making progress and drawing conclusions. This is what marketing analytics does - it deals with business metrics that provide deeper insight on how effective your marketing efforts are.
With the growing demand for marketing effect data in numbers there appeared a number of top-notch marketing analytics tools that aggregate the information from all marketing channels and present in within one dashboard. However, they are mostly targeted at medium and big businesses, being somewhat of an overkill for smaller enterprises in terms of features, and quite pricey, too.
But who said that small businesses are inferior and should be content with just free Google Analytics as their marketing analytics tool? In fact, there are a number of exquisite instruments for each sphere of digital marketing you can think of that are available either for free or at a very affordable price, which won’t make a breach even in the shoestring budget of a small startup. The list of these tools we’ve worked out is right below, so help yourself.
This is an easy to use, free and effective tool for monitoring the reputation and brand references throughout the web. You can set various search terms by the company, product, people etc and receive notifications about them in a number of ways - right within the app, to your email or RSS feed. To your service there are multiple configuration settings to make the search terms maximally relevant - country, language, sources, notification frequency etc. With Google Alerts you can be sure you won’t miss anything important.
If you need a decent tool for analysing your SEO efforts, OSE is right for the purpose. Simply input the desired domain/webpage address and you’ll get information on all the inbound links, domain/page authority, the number of total links and their statistics, anchor text etc. You can also filter the links by their authority, source, type and the landing page they refer to.
The service features freemium pricing model, so if the number of searches available in the free plan is not enough for you, it’s possible to upgrade to the paid one, which is quite affordable.
If you don’t want to do your SMM blindfolded, a social media marketing analytics tool, like Hootsuite is a must-have. It supports the most popular social networks - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and allows connecting multiple social media profiles to control them within a single interface. The free version sets the limit of 3 profiles, and if you need more, you can upgrade to the paid plan starting from $9,99. You will be able to automate content publishing according to the previously set schedule, gain insights into the effectiveness of your social media campaigns, measure audience engagement, get stats etc. It also has a useful feature of automatically finding the best time for posting. Thanks to the Hootlet Chrome extensions, its users can share the content directly from the website they view it on.
A part of MOZ software, Followerwonk will be your personal assistant in conquering Twitter audience. It helps define the best time for tweets, analyze your followers’ portrait, compare social graphs of yours and your competitors’, discover most popular hashtags, generate reports, find most influential people in your niche etc. While the free plan provides a limited scope of functions, the paid one starting at $29/month could more than suffice for your business needs.
This is a free tool to help you look at your website “with your visitors’ eyes”. Heatmaps are known to be useful in defining the typical on-page behavior scenarios, discovering the page elements catching most clicks and those that often go unnoticed. Using this service can open your eyes at the peculiarities of the page design which result in low conversion rate. The eye-tracking technology also predicts which page areas will drive most focus, so that you could place the key elements there. The service is also there for you to do a quick design A/B testing to save time and efforts.
This “all-in-one” tool from Hubspot can evaluate your marketing efforts in the following aspects: Blogging, Social Media, SEO, Mobile Optimization and Lead Generation. It points out the detected errors that hinder getting more traffic and gathering new leads etc. It pays much attention to your social media presence and mobile readiness, analyzes the effectiveness of your content marketing etc. So, if you haven’t checked your website with Marketing Grader, it’s high time you did now.
When compiling this list, we attempted to include the resources for each sphere of digital marketing, and refrain from telling you what you surely know (like, describing the advantages of Google Analytics). Each of the tools above has a number of competitors similar by functionality, but they are definitely worth trying.
No doubt, you’ve got your own favourites among marketing analytics instruments, and we can’t wait to see your recommendations in the discussion below.