If you want to create a successful blog or website, it is important to understand where traffic is coming from and what people do when they get there. There are a number of free tracking tools available to help you keep track of how many visitors are on your site right now, what site they came from, what keywords got them there, how long they stay, and other statistical data such as country, state, browser type, monitor resolution, and what operating system they use.
All of these traffic trackers are very easy to setup and offer a lot of help through FAQs and forums on their websites. Each one gives accurate, real-time website statistics with detailed visitor tracking, traffic analysis, and are free to use. Just pick the one that suits you and your site the best.
CrazyEgg is the most unique site tracker available. Their system focuses on tracking visits and shows where a visitor clicks on the page using confetti view. This shows you the referring sites, a list view which shows you commonly used keywords (exportable as CSV), a heatmap which shows you areas that are “hot” on your site, and an overlay view which shows you popular areas on your site using color-coded buttons.
CrazyEgg helps you visualize your visitors instead of just seeing numbers. When you know where your visitors are clicking, you can fine-tune your site’s performance, change ad placements, and improve the overall productivity of your site.
Google Analytics is considered one of the most comprehensive website tracking tools available. It helps you find out what keywords you need to use to attract site visitors and it integrates with your Google AdWords account.
Google Analytics is easy to use for the beginner user and it has the capabilities that experienced web professionals want. Reports are available with very detailed information and custom reports are also available.
SiteMeter offers a decent amount of free statistics that enables a typical blogger or website owner the basic understanding of the type of traffic they’re getting, where it is coming from, how long the visitor is staying, who is online now, and other things like amount of page views, browser used, computer type, and location.
SiteMeter only counts up to 100 visitors at a time then resets and starts counting again. You can set the privacy level so that you can view your statistics directly from the SiteMeter link on your site. Your site visitors will also be able to view your statistics or you can make them private.
One of the unique components of SiteMeter is the Traffic Estimator which looks at your former site traffic and will give you expected traffic estimates for the coming hour, day, week and month.
StatCounter evaluates the last 100 visitors which is enough information for the average site. It allows for an invisible counter installation which is important if you wish to include StatCounter code on your site without it interrupting the design of your site.
You can set the font size and color, the background color, and whether to display pageloads or unique visitors. To view your statistics you need to log into your account. The free account tracks up to 250,000 pageloads a month. Your statistics are available for download in Excel or CVS formats.
Packed with lots of great features, GoStats has been providing a reliable web stats traffic counter service since 1999. This free hit counter is quick and easy to use but includes all of the features you need to keep track of your site traffic statistics.
It has the option to fully hide the counter or display as much web traffic data as you want, an account management control panel, site data updates by email, and a simple interface.
So those are just five options to choose from. Do you know of any others? Do you have a favourite you would like to recommend? Or does Google Analytics rule them all?