Tips and Tricks · 14 min read

The 20 best website analytics tools to understand your customers

The Fullstory Education Team
Posted August 24, 2023
The 20 best website analytics tools to understand your customers

Understanding your customers is a cornerstone of a successful business strategy. Digital tools that provide insights into customer behavior and preferences have become indispensable for businesses of all sizes and growth stages. Let’s dig into the best website analytics tools available to you today.

What Are web analytics tools?

Web analytics tools track and analyze website traffic to provide businesses with insights into how users interact with their websites. These tools can be used to improve website performance, increase conversions, and make better business decisions.

Web analytics tools can provide a wealth of valuable data, but it is important to know how to interpret the data and use it to improve your website. There are many resources available online and in books that can help you learn how to use web analytics to your advantage.

By understanding how web analytics works, you can use it to improve your website and achieve your business goals.

Why web analytics are important

Web analytics tools are essential to any business that operates online. They provide insights into user behavior and interaction with your website and help increase profitability. Here are some key reasons why web analytics are so important:

  1. Understanding your audience: Web analytics tools tell you who visits your site, where they come from, and how they interact with it. This data helps you understand your audience and improve your content.

  2. Optimizing user experience: By analyzing user behavior on your website, you can identify any usability issues or areas of friction. This allows you to make necessary improvements to optimize the user experience.

  3. Measuring success: Whether it's a marketing campaign or a new website feature, web analytics tools let you measure success by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs). This provides tangible evidence of what's working and what's not.

  4. Improving SEO: Web analytics can provide valuable insights for your SEO strategy, such as which keywords are driving the most traffic, which pages are most popular, and where your backlinks are coming from.

  5. Informing business decisions: By offering real-time data and trend analysis, web analytics tools can inform your business strategy and help you make data-driven decisions.

How web analytics work

Web analytics tools track user behavior on your website and generate reports to help you improve your site. On-site analytics focus on user behavior on your website, while off-site analytics measure your website's potential audience, visibility, and buzz.

General enterprise analytics tools

Enterprise analytics tools provide the much-needed ability to understand various facets of website operations. Let's explore some of the widely-used analytics tools.

Google Analytics logo over a blue background

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a well-known traffic analytics tool that offers comprehensive insights into website traffic, user behavior, bounce rates, goal conversions, and real-time visitor count.

Pros

  • Offers detailed website traffic reports

  • Provides insights on audience demographics

  • Ability to track user behavior and site interaction

Cons

  • The user interface might seem complex for beginners

  • Data sampling occurs at high volumes unless you pay for Google 360

Google Analytics offers a free version suitable for small and medium businesses, while Google Analytics 360 (paid version) caters to the needs of larger organizations with higher volumes of data. 

Hubspot logo

HubSpot

HubSpot is an all-in-one customer lifecycle analytics tool that measures traffic, manages leads, email automation, and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Pros

  • Integrates marketing, sales, and service software

  • Provides extensive resources and educational material

Cons

  • Some users might find it a bit expensive

  • Certain functionalities are not as developed as in specialized tools

HubSpot's pricing depends on the "Hubs" you select, with tiers for Starters, Professionals, and Enterprises. While HubSpot does offer a complete marketing solution, it is more of a generalist tool.

Semrush logo over a purple background

Semrush

Semrush is a popular tool for search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). It offers extensive features for keyword research, backlink and competitor analysis, as well as PPC campaign analysis.

Pros

  • Comprehensive SEO and SEM features

  • Provides competitor analysis

Cons

  • Might seem overwhelming for beginners

  • The cost might be high for small businesses

Semrush offers three pricing tiers: Pro, Guru, and Business. Despite its robust SEO and SEM capabilities, Semrush does not offer deep analytics regarding user behavior and experience on the website.

Screaming Frog logo

Screaming Frog SEO

Screaming Frog SEO is a versatile web analytics tool that offers detailed data on website visits. It specializes in providing reports on broken links, 404 pages, and on-site SEO, which are essential for maintaining a healthy, high-performing website.

Pros

  • Comprehensive website crawler, making it excellent for audits

  • Provides detailed reports on broken links and 404 pages

  • Can find the exact location of errors flagged by Google PageSpeed and Pingdom

Cons

  • The interface is not as user-friendly as some other tools

  • The free version is limited and premium might be too expensive for small businesses

The tool is free with a limit on URLs, and the paid version starts at $209 per year. While Screaming Frog SEO offers some valuable features, it primarily functions as an SEO tool and does not provide the kind of in-depth, user-centric insights available with a dedicated web analytics platform.

User Testing logo

UserTesting

UserTesting provides a unique way of gathering analytics by providing video feedback from users interacting with your website or application.

Pros

  • Provides unique user video feedback

  • Enables real-time interaction with testers

Cons

  • It may be cost-prohibitive for smaller companies

  • Feedback is subjective and depends on the users chosen for testing

UserTesting operates on a quote-based pricing model, making it less transparent compared to other platforms. While valuable for qualitative insights, it does not offer the same scope of objective, data-driven analytics provided by more comprehensive platforms. 

Google Search Console logo

Google Search Console

Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool from Google that helps you monitor and troubleshoot your website's presence in Google Search results.

Pros of Google Search Console

  • Free to use

  • Helps you understand how Google's search engine sees your website

  • Can inform you of potential issues with your site

Cons

  • Data can be hard to understand for beginners

  • It lacks the comprehensive analytical features found in specialized web analytics tools

While Google Search Console is free and valuable for tracking website performance in Google Search results, it does not provide detailed web analytics features.

Product analytics tools

Product analytics tools enable businesses to understand how users interact with their products. They can help identify which features are popular, track user engagement, and monitor user behavior, providing valuable insights for product development and optimization.

FullStory logo over a blue background

Fullstory

Fullstory is a powerful product analytics tool that provides businesses with deep insights into their customers' digital experiences. Its digital experience analytics platform provides robust, privacy-first analytics, including session replay, heatmaps, funnels, and robust search features.

Pros of Fullstory

  • Comprehensive insights into user behavior.

  • Session replay provides a visual understanding of user interactions.

  • Respect for user privacy with a privacy-first approach

Cons of Fullstory

  • As it is feature-rich, new users might require some time to understand all the functionalities.

  • Pricing may not be transparent as it's based on custom quotes.

Fullstory offers a free tier and custom pricing for its Business and Enterprise plans. It stands out for its ability to understand and visualize customer interactions in a granular and user-friendly manner.

Mixpanel logo over a purple background

Mixpanel

Mixpanel is a business analytics tool that provides user analytics for mobile and web, including tracking of user interactions with web applications.

Pros of Mixpanel

  • Offers event tracking and user segmentation.

  • Allows A/B testing and user survey forms.

Cons of Mixpanel

  • The learning curve can be steep for non-technical users.

  • The price can quickly ramp up as data points increase.

Mixpanel offers a free plan, as well as Growth and Enterprise options.

Amplitude logo

Amplitude

Amplitude is a product analytics tool that provides insights to help companies build product

Pros

  • Provides behavioral reporting and user segmentation

  • Offers product intelligence and predictive analytics

Cons

  • Advanced features may require a data analyst to interpret

  • Custom events setup can be complex for some users

Amplitude has a free basic plan, with custom pricing for their Pro and Enterprise plans.

A/B and multivariate testing tools

A/B and multivariate testing tools are critical for businesses seeking to optimize their website and marketing strategies. These tools allow you to test different versions of web pages, ads, or other elements to see which performs best, providing evidence-based insights to guide your decisions.

Optimizely logo over a purple background

Optimizely

Optimizely is a popular tool for executing A/B and multivariate tests. It allows businesses to experiment across various channels and devices.

Pros of Optimizely

  • Provides robust testing and personalization features

  • Enables cross-channel and full-stack experimentation

Cons of Optimizely

  • Setup and usage can be complex for beginners

  • Pricing can be high for small businesses

Optimizely operates on a quote-based pricing model. While it provides a solid platform for A/B and multivariate testing, the learning curve and cost may be prohibitive for some businesses.

AB Tasty logo over teal background

AB Tasty

AB Tasty is a testing and personalization platform that helps businesses boost conversions and create tailored user experiences.

Pros of AB Tasty

  • Offers A/B testing, split testing, and multivariate testing

  • Provides user insights and personalization

Cons of AB Tasty

  • Some users have reported that the tool can be slow

  • Requires time investment to fully understand and utilize all features

AB Tasty's pricing is custom based on client needs. While AB Tasty provides useful testing and personalization options, its usage might be more time-consuming compared to other tools.

VWO logo

VWO

VWO is a platform that facilitates A/B testing, multivariate testing, and conversion optimization.

Pros of VWO

  • Offers a comprehensive suite for A/B testing, multivariate testing, and conversion optimization

  • Provides a visual editor for creating test variations

Cons of VWO

  • Some advanced features require a steep learning curve

  • Customizing tests can sometimes be challenging

VWO operates on a quote-based pricing model. Although it offers a comprehensive testing suite, some users may find the platform complex and challenging to navigate.

Usability (UX) analytics tools

Usability or UX analytics tools help businesses understand how users interact with their website or application. These insights can be used to improve the overall user experience, reduce friction points, and increase conversions.

FullstoryFullstoryFullstory

Fullstory excels at providing deep, meaningful insights about your users' experience on your website. Its 'Privacy by Design' approach ensures user data is respected while providing valuable insights.

Pros of Fullstory

  • Offers robust session replay, which helps understand user interaction in-depth

  • Provides error clicks and rage clicks insights, helping businesses identify and resolve UX issues

  • Has features built to marry qualitative insights with quantitative data to give customers a a complete view of what's happening in their product and why

  • Is easy and quick to implement

  • Does not require instrumenting or setting up events, and autocaptures all interactions on a website

Fullstory's pricing is custom and based on the specific needs of a business. Its strong focus on user experience analytics sets it apart, offering businesses a comprehensive set of tools to truly understand and enhance their users' online experience.

SEO analytics tools

SEO analytics tools offer insights into how your website performs in search engine rankings. They help in identifying SEO opportunities, analyzing traffic, optimizing content, and improving overall website visibility in search engines.

Ahrefs logo over orange background

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO toolset that helps with competitive analysis, keyword research, backlink research, content research, rank tracking, and web monitoring.

Pros of Ahrefs

  • Provides robust backlink analysis and keyword research capabilities

  • Offers comprehensive content analysis and competitor insights

Cons of Ahrefs

  • Can be expensive for small businesses

  • The user interface might be a bit overwhelming for beginners

Ahrefs offers four pricing tiers: Lite, Standard, Advanced, and Agency. While Ahrefs is an excellent tool for SEO-specific needs, it does not offer user behavior analytics.

Semrush

We previously mentioned Semrush as a general analytics tool, but its robust capabilities in SEO analytics warrant another mention. SEMrush excels in providing insights into your website's SEO performance.

Pros of Semrush

  • Offers robust SEO and SEM functionalities

  • Provides comprehensive keyword research and competitor analysis

Cons of Semrush

  • The full suite of features might be overwhelming for beginners

  • High-quality features come with a higher price tag

Open-source web analytics tools

Open-source web analytics tools are free-to-use software that allows businesses to understand their website traffic and user behavior. These tools are customizable, offering a good deal of flexibility for businesses with specific requirements.

Matomo logo

Matomo (formerly Piwik)

Matomo, formerly known as Piwik, is a leading open-source web analytics platform that provides a host of features, including real-time data updates, visitor behavior analysis, and privacy protection.

Pros

  • Open-source software, allowing customization based on business needs

  • Emphasizes user privacy, with all data stored on your servers

Cons

  • Installation and management may require technical expertise

  • Some users find the interface less intuitive compared to proprietary tools

Being an open-source tool, Matomo is free to use, but they also offer cloud-hosted versions at various pricing tiers for convenience.

Open Web Analytics

Open Web Analytics

Open Web Analytics is another open-source platform offering website tracking and analytics. It offers heatmaps and mouse movement recording.

Pros of Open Web Analytics

  • Control over data as it is hosted on your server

  • Provides a suite of features including heatmaps and mouse tracking

Cons of Open Web Analytics

  • Requires technical expertise to set up and manage

  • The user interface is not as polished as other proprietary tools

Open Web Analytics is entirely free as it's open-source software. While it offers a range of tracking features, businesses might find a dedicated analytics platform like Fullstory more user-friendly and robust in providing actionable insights.

Customer analytics tools

Customer analytics tools allow businesses to collect and analyze data about their customers' behaviors and interactions with their website or product. This enables companies to understand their customer base and make data-driven decisions to improve their offerings and customer satisfaction.

Woopra logo

Woopra

Woopra is a customer analytics platform that helps businesses track customer behavior across multiple touchpoints and channels.

Pros of Woopra

  • Provides end-to-end customer journey analytics

  • Offers real-time analytics and personalized customer experiences

Cons of Woopra

  • Can be complex and time-consuming to set up properly

  • Some users find the pricing to be high for smaller businesses

Woopra offers a free plan with limited features, and additional plans are quote-based.

Kissmetrics logo

Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is a customer engagement automation platform. It provides behavioral analytics and email campaign automation.

Pros of Kissmetrics

  • Offers customer segmentation and behavioral tracking

  • Provides email automation capabilities

Cons of Kissmetrics

  • The platform might be overwhelming for beginners

  • Some users find data syncing between platforms to be challenging

Social media analytics tools

Social media analytics tools provide insights into your brand's social media performance and audience engagement. This can help refine your social media strategy and boost your brand's online presence.

Sprout Social over a green background

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a comprehensive social media management tool that provides robust social media analytics.

Pros of Sprout Social

  • Provides detailed reporting for social media channels

  • Offers features for publishing, scheduling, and team collaboration

Cons of Sprout Social

  • Some users find the pricing to be high for smaller businesses

  • The platform might be overwhelming for those new to social media analytics

Sprout Social operates on a tier-based pricing model, with plans for Standard, Professional, and Advanced levels.

Buzzsumo logo

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a tool that provides social media analytics and content insights. It helps businesses understand social media trends and the performance of their content.

Pros of BuzzSumo

  • Enables content analysis and discovery

  • Provides competitor analysis and content alerts

Cons of BuzzSumo

  • Data depth and historical data are limited in the lower-tier plans

  • It might be too expensive for small businesses

BuzzSumo offers a free plan with limited features, and the paid plans start at $99 per month.

Top free website analytics tools

For businesses just starting or on a tight budget, free website analytics tools can provide valuable insights. While they may not offer as many features as paid tools, they can still provide useful data to improve your website.

Fullstory Freemium

Fullstory offers a freemium plan that provides a range of features to understand and enhance the user experience on your website. Fullstory Freemium is a great option for small businesses or those just starting with web analytics.

Pros of Fullstory Freemium

  • Offers robust, user-centric analytics

  • Includes session replay and heatmaps

Cons of Fullstory Freemium

  • It may not offer the breadth of insights larger businesses need

Google Analytics logo over a blue background

Google Analytics

Google Analytics offers a free version that provides basic analytical features, making it a good starting point for small businesses.

Pros of Google Analytics

  • Offers basic website traffic and user behavior insights

  • Integration with other Google tools like Google Ads

Cons of Google Analytics

  • Some features and data are limited in the free versio

  • The interface can be complex for beginners.

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The Fullstory Education TeamExperts

About the author

Our team of experts is committed to introducing people to important topics surrounding analytics, digital experience intelligence, product development, and more.

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