If you’re looking for the best way to identify what your target audience expects from you and tailor your video content accordingly, look no further than web traffic data analysis. Web analytics – a systematic tracking of website data – is a vital ingredient in the recipe of success. Whether you are launching a small-scale marketing start-up or running a major international company, if your approach is video oriented, using analytics tools is an irreplaceable component of every viable business strategy.
Using analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of your videos translates into increased business productivity and a bigger target audience. Admittedly, it is not always easy to choose the right tool for data analysis, simply due to the overabundance of these types of software on the market. To help you make a more informed decision, we bring you a concise comparison between several major analytics tools for video hosting websites.
If YouTube is your website of choice for uploading videos, opting for their analytics tools to help you optimize your content should be a no-brainer. It offers a straightforward way to keep track of the number of video views, viewer demographics, audience retention, and an additional feature which tells you exactly how people found out about your video, and which websites they use to embed your videos on. Collecting traffic data with this tool is highly beneficial in creating video content that will appeal to your target audience. The rare complaints when it comes to YouTube Analytics are mainly reserved for its occasional lags and failure to report specific data, but overall YouTube offers a built-in analytics tool that is free, easy to use and effective.
Tracking web data on Vimeo can be done in one of two ways, depending on your user status. Basic members can view their total weekly stats on the homepage for free. The data is frequently updated, allowing you to view stats for different time periods, and export them freely in different formats. For a more detailed data analysis, you will need a paid-for membership upgrade to gain access to Vimeo’s Advanced Statistics – a tool available exclusively for Vimeo Plus and Vimeo PRO members. This tool is moderately more comprehensive than YouTube Analytics. It offers in-depth statistical data about each individual video, detecting even such small differences like whether your video was viewed in SD or HD.
Wistia offers both an in-app tool for data analysis, and the option of integration with other analytics tools. Wistia’s home analytics tool graph charts are an easy way to track web data on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Its particularly interesting features are individualized heat maps, which help you keep track of viewer engagement for each video. Different colors – from white to deep red – indicate different levels of viewer engagement. White indicates the part of the video that no one watched, green shows the part which was seen only once, while yellow, orange, and red mark the parts of the video that were watched multiple times. The heat maps also indicate how many times ‘play’ was clicked and the number of times your video was re-watched by the same user.
Google Analytics is by far the most popular tool of its kind, especially among small businesses. It is reported that over 80% small to medium-sized companies use this particular tool for web analysis, which comes as no surprise since Google Analytics is completely free of charge yet fully functional and effective. It has a customizable and user-friendly interface suitable for beginners and experienced users alike. Not only does Google Analytics offer a host of features that will satisfy most users, but it is a tool that keeps growing. Google is constantly refining its analytics tools – upgrading existing add-ons and implementing new ones – which keeps the users loyal and the competitors working hard to keep up with the search giant.
Marketing automation – an interplay of various technologies that helps businesses implement multi-level web analytics strategy – is becoming increasingly popular due to its time and cost-effectiveness. While there is much misconception about what exactly marketing automation entails, it is easiest to think of it as a way of applying several analytics tools simultaneously, and extracting the optimum results for analysis. This highly sophisticated way of analyzing web traffic has proven useful in creating more personalized marketing campaigns, and preventing data from scattering over different platforms. It is especially worth looking into if you are a forward-thinking professional with an eye for new technologies, since marketing automation is expected to emerge at the forefront of web analytics in the years to come.
To sum up, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to web analytics. The best approach to take is to familiarize yourself as much as possible with all the different tools available, and choose the one(s) that will help you identify the weak points in your marketing strategy and nip them in the bud.
What have your experiences been with different web analytics tools? Share your thoughts in the comment section below to help others master the art of web analytics!
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