Whether you’re a new blogger or a seasoned publisher, knowing your audience better than your competition can make all the difference in the success of your business. The better you understand your audience, the better you can serve them valuable content, services, and products.
With hundreds of analytics tools out there (both free and paid), choosing the right one can be a bit tricky. But choosing the wrong tool can set you back in both time and money.
While Quantcast Measure is a fantastic free service that helps you understand your audience, there are plenty of other great tools out there — find the one that helps you reach your specific business objectives.
This list of free analytics tools will help you decide which is the right tool to help you make the best strategic decisions on how to better serve your customers, advertising partners, and readers.
Let’s dive in.
As we mentioned in our post comparing Google Analytics and Quantcast, Google Analytics is one of the top players in the analytics tools space.
It’s free to install and can be used on virtually any content management system (WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, etc.).
It also has a wide range of features and customizations that you can tailor to your needs:
- Ecommerce tracking: See where your best customers are coming from.
- Custom tagging: With Google’s tagging feature, you can track and improve hundreds of metrics.
- Google AdWords integration: Its painless integration with Google AdWords allows you to stay on track with all your ad campaigns.
- SEO reports: Google Analytics will send you free SEO reports so you know exactly which of your keywords are ranking.
Price options: Google Analytics is free for most users, but there’s a premium option for large businesses.
Since 2006, Quantcast has helped brands, publishers, and businesses understand their audience better. Quantcast Measure is free and easy to install and implement.
Within only one to two days of installing Quantcast Measure, you’ll get useful audience data displayed on an easy-to-understand dashboard.
Here are some of Quantcast Measure’s key benefits
- Understand what they do, buy, and watch: Quantcast Measure provides unparalleled access to custom audience insights, including what your audience does for a living, what brands of cars they prefer, what sports they like, what shows they watch, and what products they buy — and that’s only the beginning.
- Thin slice your audience: By using our custom labels feature, you see where your content excels and where it could improve. Know exactly who reads each author on your site or whether your audience likes to read your content more on weekdays or weekends. The opportunities are endless.
- Wow your advertisers: Not only does understanding your audience help you deliver a better product or service, but it also allows you to “wow” advertisers. Walk into any advertising meeting knowing you can deliver a truly exceptional return using our cutting edge data analysis.
Price options: Quantcast Measure is free. Inquire about our Enterprise-level features by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 2007, Piwik is popular open-source analytics software that lets you maintain ownership and control of 100% of your data. It has a super simple dashboard you can customize based on your personal KPIs, no matter what your goals.
Here are some notable features included with Piwik:
- Real-time data updates: Get your data in real time. No need to wait.
- Customizable dashboard: Easily change the dashboard to reflect your current focus.
- Multiple website tracking: See all your websites in a single dashboard without switching back and forth between pages.
- Content tracking: Know exactly which content performs well and which content needs improvement.
- Site and speed reports: See your sitewide speed stats so you don’t leave your readers hanging.
Being open sourced, the Piwik community is extremely engaged,helpful, and ready to answer your questions.
With its simple user interface and top-of-the-line support, Piwik is a great analytics tool to consider.
Price options: The self-hosted version of Piwik is free, but if you’d like to skip the technical setup, Piwik offers a 30-day free trial for its premium option.
Bitly is a URL shortener and analytics tool that tracks the links you share on your website and social media channels. In addition to being able to shorten lengthy URLs for easy sharing, Bitly offers the option to brand your URL for better brand recognition.
Branded URLs are a great way to increase reader engagement across multiple platforms. Other Bitly benefits include:
- Shorter links: No more long links prone to typos.
- Content measurement: Know exactly how well your content is performing through Bitly’s analytics platform.
- Optimized links: Bitly links are optimized for the platform they’re viewed in, making it easy to consume content regardless of the device.
Bitly also invests heavily in creating content and resources to help you get the most out of the tool and get the best return on your time and investment.
Price options: Bitly offers both free and paid options, depending on your scale. You can request a demo if you’re interested in premium features.
SimilarWeb allows you to get insights for any app or website. Using the search tool on their homepage, you can quickly gather insights on your competitors or do general research.
It’s a great tool when you want to get a basic understanding of other sites on the web to improve your products and services. SimilarWeb includes these features as well:
- Benchmark your website against any competitor’s: Know exactly where you stand compared to your competitors based on a variety of metrics.
- Audience interests: Discover valuable insight on your audience.
- Traffic sources: See exactly where your readers and audience are coming from.
- Popular pages: Understand which pages on your site perform best.
You can also use SimilarWeb to research popular apps on a wide range of platforms.
Price options: SimilarWeb’s free version has limited features, but the company offers options for premium users.
Cyfe is an all-in-one online business dashboard allowing you to track and digest all your metrics and stats in one place. Whether you’re looking to monitor social media stats, website analytics, marketing, sales, or support, Cyfe has you covered.
Its user interface is easy to use and can be customized to your liking. Cyfe’s other benefits include:
- Everything in one place: Get a snapshot of all your metrics in one dashboard.
- Custom data sources: See important data from a wide range of data sources.
- Export your data: Easily export your data for reports and end-of-year reviews.
- Endlessly customizable: With hundreds of prebuilt widgets and the ability to add custom data, you can track any metric that matters to you.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with an endless number of tools and too many metrics, Cyfe is a great way to simplify all your data into one place.
Price options: Cyfe’s pricing ranges from free to $19/month.
Mixpanel is an analytics tool that lets you understand exactly how your audience behaves when using your product or app through mobile or desktop devices.
Using their comprehensive analytics and tools to track your users’ journeys, you can see how to improve your funnels and sales process. Here’s more about its features:
- Engagement: Measure your audience engagement through the life cycle of your product and site.
- Notifications: Keep customers engaged through push notifications.
- A/B Testing: Improve your product and copy through regular testing.
- Funnel: Discover and perfect your funnels by understanding your user behavior.
If you’re looking to get actionable insight on how your audience uses your product and site, Mixpanel is a great resource.
Price options: Mixpanel offers both “Engagement” and “People” plans, depending on your needs.
Open Web Analytics
Open Web Analytics is a free web analytics tool that helps you track your traffic and demographic data. Though geared for more technical users, it comes out of the box with tons of features and customizability.
With a similar user interface to Google Analytics, it’s easy to learn and track exactly the data you need. It includes:
- Ecommerce tracking: Understand the data behind your sales.
- Page tracking: Track your user behavior on your pages.
- WordPress and MediaWiki integration: You can use Open Web Analytics on some of the most popular content management systems.
- Heat map features: See where your users click on unlimited numbers of pages.
One area where Open Web Analytics excels is its extensive documentation and incredibly helpful community. The company’s site includes a very in-depth demo page that walks you through most of their use cases, which is extremely informative, especially if you’re new to analytics tools.
Price options: Open Web Analytics is open source and free.
Hotjar is an easy-to-use and intuitive heatmap that gives you actionable insight from your data. These features are also included:
- Replay sessions of real visitors: Watch actual recordings of how your users engage with your site.
- Heat maps based on device: Sort your users’ behavior based on the device they used to view your site. Is your mobile site up to par? Could the desktop version of your product use some work?
- Understand your conversion funnel: See exactly where users get lost or confused in your product or sales cycle.
- User form analysis: Discover the parts of your forms that don’t perform well. Are some of your user questions too long? Are users overwhelmed with too many options?
Hotjar is a popular heat map and analytics tool that’s regularly updated with new features.
If your business or brand is looking for top-notch visual data, Hotjar is a great resource to have at your disposal.
Price options: The basic version is free, and the plus version, at $29/month, offers premium features.
While Cloudflare is primarily marketed in the web security and site performance markets, it has recently become a top player in the analytics space. Cloudflare enhances the speed and security of your website and gives you access to unique analytics data, thanks to their large network of site servers. Here are the tool’s main features:
- Identify threats: Cloudflare will detect and protect you from threats that could potentially cost you time and money.
- Protection against DNS attacks: With Cloudflare’s servers, you’ll be protected from most DNS attacks — the amount of protection depends on the plan you choose.
- Faster site: Cloudflare helps speed up your load times, which means less-impatient readers and potentially higher engagement.
- Rate limiting: Detect and control bad traffic from interfering with your site’s performance and metrics.
Price options: While the free features are basic, you can upgrade to more premium features as well.
Analytics tools with free trials
IconoSquare has quickly become one of the most powerful Instagram analytics platforms around. If your business relies heavily on Instagram marketing, tracking your metrics the right way is a must.
IconoSquare gives you deep insights into your Instagram traffic and engagement. Benefits include:
- Search, gather and organize your content: IconoSquare makes it easy to organize your content all in one place, saving you time and headaches.
- Schedule your Instagram photos in advance: No more manual posting.
- Measure your follower growth: See your Instagram data in easily understood charts and graphs, and discover where your followers are located.
- Influencer marketing: Find the best influencer partnerships on the Instagram platform.
If you’re looking to improve your Instagram strategy in 2017, IconoSquare is an incredibly versatile tool to help you grow your followers.
Price options: Pricing ranges from $9 to $49/month or $990/year for the enterprise version.
Tailwind helps take your Pinterest and Instagram Marketing to the next level by helping you manage and optimize your visual campaigns from start to finish.
Other Tailwind benefits include:
- Smart scheduling: Schedule your content during the most optimal time for your audience.
- Actionable analytics: Use your data to make smarter and more effective social media marketing decisions.
- Contests and promotions: Run contests through Pinterest and Instagram to increase engagement and followers.
- Brand awareness: Listen to what your fans and customers are saying about you all around the web.
Tailwind focuses on making it easy to create and understand visual social media content and provides useful metrics for you to tweak and improve your social media strategy.
Price options: To get pricing for this tool, you must request a demo.
Bonus — Social Media Analytics Tools
Analytics tools are useful beyond just tracking website and product metrics. Here are a few useful tools for measuring and understanding your social media efforts.
One of the most popular social media scheduling platforms, Buffer also includes in-depth metrics on your top performing social media posts and can be used for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.
Here are some more benefits:
- Schedule your posts: Easily schedule your social media content to post at the most optimal times.
- Free analytics: Get data on key engagement efforts for major social media platforms (likes, shares, retweets, etc.)
- Two-click share: Share content from the web in just two clicks.
As a company, Buffer has also established itself as a go-to resource for social media best practices.
Price options: Pricing ranges from free to $399 a month, but the company offers discounts for nonprofits and NGOs.
Hootsuite is an alternative to Buffer with a large and loyal following. This analytics tool comes with a variety of plans depending on your company needs.
Hootsuite’s main features include:
- Up to 10 social media profiles: Track, schedule, and get data for up to 10 social media profiles.
- Real-time analytics: See your social media stats as they happen.
- Social media sweepstakes: Increase your leads and engagements through social media contests.
- 150 app integrations: Integrates with over 150+ apps so you can use the tools you love.
Not only will Hootsuite save you time with your social media efforts, the analytics are immensely valuable for growing your social media efforts and your business’s bottom line.
Price options: After a free trial, the prices range from $19 to $499/month.
Whether you use Quantcast Measure or a mix of the tools above, using audience metrics will give your business what it needs to move forward.
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