Tools for Assessing Your Twitter Marketing Strategy
You can measure your Twitter marketing efforts in a number of different ways. Some of them are free, but others cost quite a bit of money. Regardless of the level of sophistication that you need, you can find a means to measure your Twitter marketing that fits your goals (and budget).
You can use analytics to monitor website traffic and the behavior of visitors who come to your site. Most analytics packages work by checking the IP address of each person who visits your site. They monitor which pages people visit, how long they stay, what link they click to get there, and what part of the world they’re from. Analytics can help you determine which of your tweets got customers to the site, what time of day they came to the site, and whether you’re reaching your local audience.
Google Analytics, Clicky, StatCounter, and Yahoo! Web Analytics are a few of my favorite analytics packages, but you can find many more options out there. Just do an online search for free web analytics software to find a plethora of choices. Here’s a rundown of seme to check out favorites:
Google Analytics: Most people use Google Analytics because it’s free, easy to use, and conveniently integrated with the rest of Google’s offerings. Google offers great reporting features.
Google Analytics also allows you to build your own custom reports and filter your results by certain search criteria, such as new traffic, referral traffic (visits that resulted from clicking a link on another Web site), and so on.
The downside of Google Analytics is that it doesn’t update your numbers in real time (while new visitors land on your site). So, if you’re a constant checker, Google Analytics may try your patience at times. But it’s still the most popular analytics package available.
StatCounter: StatCounter is free at the basic level, but you can purchase an upgrade that gives you access to more detailed reports. The upgraded services can range in cost from $9 a month to $119 a month for different levels of page loads.
The best thing about StatCounter is that it gives you real-time reports, so if you have a lot of traffic, you can click the Refresh button whenever you feel like it, and StatCounter recalculates everything. However, your log size when you use the basic version of StatCounter is only 500 entries. If you want to measure a bigger pool of visitors, you need to pay for the upgrade.
Clicky: Clicky does something none of the other analytics services do today: It analyzes your Twitter traffic. Sure, other analytics packages can tell you that some of your traffic came from Twitter, but who sent most of the traffic your way? Clicky lets you drill down to the level of the data corresponding to each individual twitterer. It’s important to note that you don’t receive the Twitter analytics with the free version of the program. However, some paid levels allow you to do the different page view tracking. The cost for this varies, but at its lowest, it is $4.99 a month.
Yahoo! Web Analytics: Yahoo! Web Analytics is a paid analytics service that’s geared toward merchants and people who sell services online. It lets you see information such as where people abandon their shopping carts during the checkout process and which products visitors view the most versus how often they purchase those products. It also helps you spot whether visitors have difficulty finding certain products on your site.
Different analytics packages likely show different numbers in terms of visits, unique visitors, and page views. In simplest terms, this discrepancy is based on the mechanical traffic-counting process that each package uses.