Perform Advanced Web Site Analysis with Omniture

Although free Web analytics packages are available, you may want to shell out money for a more advanced analytics tool. Something like Omniture would do just that. Why? Because there's more to running a Web site than attracting people through the search engines, which is what many free tools focus on. Paid tools, like Omniture, capture an enormous amount of information.

Free tools can provide you with pre-formatted reports and a limited amount of custom reporting. But they probably won’t report when a user downloads PDF files, JPEGs, or Flash files. And if you need to know about server error messages, you have to look them up on your own.

The more sophisticated the tool, the more sophisticated the analysis you get back. Here's an example of a detailed analysis: Say you want to know how people who bought from you found your site. Using an analytics package, that’s pretty easy.

But what if you want to compare users who bought over a period of several weeks against the path those users took through your site and the time of day they showed up? And then you wanted to see how many people came from the same source (banner ad, keyword, press release) but then dropped out and left your site? This is where the more sophisticated Web analysis comes in.

You would need a high-end analysis tool in order to perform these multidimensional queries. If you have a smaller Web site, knowing who showed up when from where and what they did would probably be enough data for you. But if you’re a much larger company, you need these more sophisticated tools in order to help you find more prospective customers and figure out the competition better.

The Omniture suite of analytics tools is among the best in the industry.
The Omniture suite of analytics tools is among the best in the industry.

These paid Web analytics tools are worth every penny you spend on them. Which is good, because Omniture, shown above, is pretty expensive. Be prepared to spend $1,500 or more for this monthly subscription service if you purchase it directly from Omniture. Installation is also expensive: Set-up fees are usually around $5,000. But it's worth it: Omniture is one of the best analytics packages out there.

One way to trim your costs is to buy Omniture through a reseller. Omniture costs a lot if you buy it directly from the company. They sell in “blocks” of page views per months. For example, the first block Omniture directly offers is 1–1,000,000 views; if your site only gets 8,000 views, you still have to pay the same amount as someone who gets 1,000,000 page views.

A reseller, such as Bruce Clay, Inc., buys the blocks from Omniture and then sells out the individual page views. A reseller buys the 1,000,000 page view block, and then sells to four sites that each get 250,000 pages views for a lower rate. For example, Bruce Clay, Inc. sell theirs at $98 per 100,000 page views a month. Thus, the client gets a break.

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