Evaluation Criteria for Web Analytics Tools
As the independent authority on search vendors, it is our responsibility to ensure that the vendors on our list are the best web analytics software companies in the industry. This responsibility we do not take lightly, and because of this we have implemented a strict evaluation process. Our process digs into the business practices of a vendor to identify their typical business practices. We then compare that against industry standards. We often times go a step farther by contacting at clients of different vendors to obtain a user evaluation.
We identified five key areas when it comes to web analytics software and evaluate each based on these criteria to compile a list of the best. These five key areas are implementation, user interface, timeliness, accuracy, and customization.
The implementation of the web analytics software is the first key aspect reviewed. Does any software installation have to be done on the actual host server, or is it a matter of inserting some code into the web pages of the site? Are there any verification processes to ensure site ownership?
The next key area is the user interface. Is the software easy to use and understand? Does the company provide any training to provide clients with tips for more effective use of the software?
The timeliness of the information is another factor that is also reviewed. Does the software provide real-time results or is there a delay in the information?
Another factor is the accuracy of the information. Does the software filter out robot visits to the site? What kind of user information is obtained? How reliable is the information being provided?
Lastly, we review how effectively the software allows for customization. An assessment may indicate whether the software is capable of tracking specific campaign information or if it allows to create trackable URL’s.
Here are a few questions that we may ask a user of the web analytics software as part of our evaluation process:
- What type of needs analysis was conducted before work initiated?
- What type of a ROI were you anticipating, what was achieved and in what time frame?
- What would be 3 things you would change about your experience?
- What was your total investment?
- Rate your overall experience (1-10; 10 being the highest).
Project Specific Queries:
- How easy was it to implement the software with your website?
- How easy is the GUI interface to evaluate the number of conversions from a particular URL on your website?
- Which specific activity were you able to perform as a result of the information you gained from your analytics software?
- How is data translated into a language that is comprehensible to you and your staff from the software?
- Have the web analytics reports been helpful in improving the website overall effectiveness?