As a webmaster, you have the choice between many different analytic programs to track how your website is performing. Of the many site analytic programs, two of the common and top performers are Google Analytics and StatCounter. While there are many other options, these are the ones I prefer.
So, without going into too much detail about each platform, I’m going to assume you understand what sort of functionality analytics software is used for and I’m going to just list the pros and cons of using each analytics software.
- Unlimited usage for free
- Very detailed with respect to data offered
- Ability to link Google Analytics to Google Adsense to see what pages are earning you money
- Get reports emailed to you or anyone else
- Clean AJAX interface
- Ability to run reports against each other based on variables you select
- Conversion tracking
- Ability to link Analytics with Adwords to see how each keyword is performing
- Not real time
- Very conservative reporting
- Possibility of Google using Analytics data against you when ranking your site (Guess)
- Real-Time: You can literally see what every visitor does as it happens
- Simple to install the code on your site
- Tracking starts as soon as you install code and you don’t have to wait for anything to sync
- Ability to see exactly which pages each visitor looks at
- A little bit liberal on reporting actual uniques
- Free account only stores information on last 500 records
- A bit difficult to navigate
With that said, everyone has their own preference on what tracking they prefer. The best way to find out which analytics software to use is to try both out and then use the one you like. I personally prefer Google Analytics over StatCounter but in some cases I will use both in order to see real-time traffic when I launch any sort of campiagn.