Internet Marketing Tools: Web Analytics Service

by Andrew Lock

CrazyEgg offers a colorful twist on your small business Web site traffic. Plus, a site for downloading free books and a nifty stopwatch with loads of features.

Andrew Lock

Crazy Egg -- Web Analytics Service

Crazy Egg is a useful, low-cost, Web analytics service that visually represents data generated by visitors to your Web site or blog in the form of heat maps and other methods.  When you sign up for the service, you choose from four different payment options, ranging from as low as $9 a month to as high as $99 a month, depending on the number of Web pages you gather data from and how many visitors a month you expect to have visiting those pages. 

None of those plans offer exclusive features. The only difference between the least-expensive plan and the most expensive plan is actually the number of pages that it covers and the number of visitors it tracks. If you over- or under-estimate the number of visitors you expected, or if you want to track more pages, you can upgrade at any time. The service also includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try the service out for a month without risk.

If these particular options don’t fit your needs, you can always call Crazy Egg and they will work out a custom plan or specialized invoicing for you.

Once you provide your email address and a password – and agree to their terms of service and privacy policy – you provide the URL of whatever page you’d like to track. CrazyEgg gives you a single line of Java script that should be inserted into the markup code of each page. 

Once that’s done, you’ll be able to track data such as the number of visits; what search engines or other sites that your visitors are coming from; any keywords that they used to find you; as well as mouse clicks and any links visitors click on while viewing a particular page. 

But the neat feature is the visual representation that CrazyEgg provides. The most common one is a “heat map,” which visually represents where on that particular page the mouse was clicked.  It uses color to show where people have clicked on the page and on which particular links.  The bluer or the more subdued a color is, the less it's been clicked. The hotter colors -- the yellows, reds and oranges – mean people click on that information more often.

You can look at an overall raw list of all of these clicks.  What kind of clicks or links they are, how many times they've been clicked, and an overall percentage of those clicks. You can also export this list as a comma-separated value spreadsheet file to load it up in Excel or some other program that handles spreadsheet data. 

If you’re interested in finding out where your visitors are coming from and what they’re actually clicking on when they arrive on your site, CrazyEgg is a very useful Web analytic service.

Project Gutenberg -- Free Books

If you love poking around in an attic or an old basement looking for treasure, here’s a great site.  It’s called Project Gutenberg -- named, of course, after the first printing press ever invented and the printer of the Gutenberg Bible.

Project Gutenberg offers free, downloadable books.  You can download them in the written format; you can download music; you can download CDs and DVDs.  They’re in dozens of languages. 

A quick look at the top 100 books and I found "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.  And you can download it in a number of formats; they’re all listed on the site.  For example, you would use the Plucker format for your Blackberry or your cell phone. You can also download it in the actual html, if you were going to view it on your Web browser. 

The books are completely free, and you're also generally free to do anything you want with them.  For example, you might give them out on your Web site. Each title has its rules and regulations, so be sure to check those first.  Go take a look at the Project Gutenberg site.  You’ll love it.

 XNoteStopWatch screen shot; Web tools
(Click for larger image)

XNoteStopWatch -- Web Tool

Here’s a great little application called XNote Stopwatch.  It lets you put stopwatches on your computer screen.  Now these are kind of neat because they can do a bunch of things.  First of all, they can be any size on your computer screen – tiny, huge or in between.  You can even bring the results onto spreadsheets. 

The stopwatches are accurate down to 1,000th of a second, and you can set the screen refresh rates at 24, 25 or 60 so they don't flicker on the screen.  You can also have multiple clocks running on your computer screen at any time. 

If you’re a computer guru, you can rig external control of the stopwatches through the serial COM (RS-2320) port on your computer.  If you don’t know what that means, you’re probably not going to use it.  But if you know that sort of stuff, this could be great.

This program offers a lot of features.  You can download the sample version for free – note that sample version will not let you do everything.  If you love it, though, pay them the $24 and give it a try. 

If you’re like me where you time lots of presentations and have different activities going on, you can set a signal to let you know when you need to stop.  XNote Stopwatch.  It’s pretty neat for $24.

You'll find lots more marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business Essential series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."

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This article was originally published on Tuesday Mar 23rd 2010
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