Todd Hoskins Reviews Tools for Business
Todd Hoskins chooses and uses tools and products that could belong in an entrepreneurial business toolkit. He’ll be checking out how useful they are to folks who would be their customers in a form that’s consistent and relevant.
Cool Tool Review: Chartbeat
A Review by Todd Hoskins
If you’re not using web analytics right now, you need to be. When Google Analytics launched as a free service a couple years ago it allowed publishers and bloggers of every variety to know where web traffic is coming from and what their visitor trends are. It doesn’t matter whether you are a blogger with five subscribers or an eCommerce company. In it’s simplest form, it’s a copied and pasted line of code that requires no technical skills to set up.
Site visits and metrics such as time-on-site provide you with information. But visits don’t necessarily convert into sales, customers, or loyal readers, and time-on-site may be skewed by bathroom breaks and open browser windows. The information becomes valuable when it is actionable.
Here’s where Chartbeat has an edge. But warning: it’s addictive. Real-time statistics detailing what people are doing on a site right now has prompted me to change content on the fly and see how people react. Though it can be sheer entertainment, the real value is in being able to understand what is compelling to your readers.
Measuring traffic has long been a tantalizing trap. Counting people, whether it’s a political rally or eyeballs in advertising, is something we all immediately understand. How many visitors did we get yesterday? In our store? On our site? But there’s lots of ways to get people in the door or get them to click on a link. The key is bringing the best merchandise (content) to the front of the store, and then continue to either source more of the same, or take the time to educate the visitor on why something deserves to occupy prime real estate. Traffic is necessary, but engagement has often been ignored.
Oh, engagement. What a disputed word. With Chartbeat, they are getting more frequent “pings” from the visitor in order to understand what is happening multiple times per minute instead of the one ping like the doorbell announcing, “Someone’s here!” Engagement then can be captured, for example, with scroll depth. Is the visitor quickly viewing content and moving on, or are they taking time to scroll down the page.
On what pages is this occurring?
Where is the traffic coming from?
Where are they going?
Take a look for yourself:
For $10 a month, this is a steal. If you’re hesitant, get Google Analytics set up, and then sign up for a free trial with Chartbeat as well. Compare and let me know what you think.
Summing Up â Is it worth it?
Enterprise Value: 4/5 â Even Fortune 500 companies are using Chartbeat in addition to Omniture. There’s an API as well.
Entrepreneur Value: 5/5 â Want to be nimble? Web analytics are necessary.
Personal Value: 2/5 â Google Analytics is usually good enough unless your a geek like me.