It’s safe to say if you’re online, publishing content, you want to be able to see statistics and analytics of what you create and/or share. While pageviews aren’t the goal, sustainability and adaptability are crucial to any online operation and Better understanding your visitors greatly affects how well you can achieve these.
I am no exception and although I’ve used analytics with previous websites, with the creation of my photography blog, TwoEight, statistics went from a way to keep an eye on only the basics to a way in which I can optimize the experience for readers, regardless of geographical location and device/systems which they are using.
Up until now, I’ve gone about this through two different methods: utilizing Google Analytics and utilizing the analytics of whatever CMS I’m using. Google Analytics is alright, but it’s sometimes too much for what I need and unless you’re using a third party application, the information is almost never displayed in an effective manner. The services various CMSes provide are usually better structured and tailored to your needs, but the information is almost always limited, meaning less value is derived from it.
This has lead me to a point in time where I have been using a combination of the two to create a broader, more data-driven method to gather how visitors are visiting and interacting within any given site.
But even my most current method was stopped in it’s tracks when I was shot an email by our Editor-in-Chief, Jared Erondu, notifying me of a service called GoSquared. GoSquared is not new by any means, however, they’ve revamped almost every aspect of their service, creating an extremely effective and well-designed, real-time analytics service.
There’s not much explaining to do, as you’re well aware of the premise behind how analytics work. The main things worth noting is the overall UX and their brilliant implementation of putting analytics into context, which sets GoSquared apart from the crowd of other options.
There are two main components to keeping track of your analytics, as well as maintaining the settings and integration with each site they’re imbedded in.
The first is the backend of your GoSquared account. From here you can see a collection of the sites you’re keeping an eye on, adjust your account settings, get information in regards to utilizing GoSquared’s API, and manage payment information.
The backend isn’t where you’ll be spending most of your time though, as the “Dashboard” for each site you’re keeping analytics on is where the information will be.
Once on the dashboard, you’ll have a live view of the visitors coming to your site. Where they were referred from, to whether or not the particular view was a returning visitor, the various, customizable modules within your dashboard display related information to keep you up to date.
As I mentioned above, Google Analytics has essentially everything you need, but it’s difficult to get an accurate overview of everything and see how specific variables interact with one another. GoSquared solves this problem extremely well, letting you know the specific demographics of each visit. If someone visits your site from Norway, GoSquared will display a small Norwegian flag, as well as where they were referred from, as well as if they’re a returning visitor, all within the “visitor” module within your dashboard.
If you’re looking for various trends over time, regarding your visitors, there’s a convenient tab at the top which will break down visits over a broader time-frame. The key with this is the integration with other services and networks online, as GoSquared will more effectively provide information as to the specific applications used to access your content, rather than a broad URL, as is usual with most other Analytic services I’ve used.
Another welcomed feature within the dashboard, which I greatly admire is the integration with Twitter. Log into your personal or website’s account via Twitter and you’ll have a module displaying any content in reference to your content, all within a nice module on your dashboard. Hopefully more social networks will be implemented into the dashboard, but Twitter seems to be the go-to for many, so it makes plenty of sense it’s the first to be utilized.
When you sign up for GoSquared, you will receive a 14-day trial, letting you access everything they have to offer. While two weeks isn’t long at all, it certainly gives you enough time to play around with their service to decide whether or not it’s for you. And once your trial is up, it’s time to shell out.
GoSquared goes about pricing by utilizing four different tiers: Plus, Pro, Extreme, and Enterprise, with the amount of sites and visitors being page views as the determining factor for dividing up the tiers. The image below will show more detail, but to summarize it, the Plus comes in at $24/month, while Pro – being their most popular option – comes in at $49/month, with Extreme being $99/month, and finally Enterprise starting at $299/month, which offers a much more personalized “conversation” regarding specific needs.
Don’t fret though if you’re running a small, personal operation As GoSquared also offers their Standard Plan at $9/month, which gives you 3 sites and 150k page views to play around with.
From utilizing GoSquared for my photography blog over the past little while, I am 100% a fan of their service(s) and as soon as my 14 day trial is up, I’ll be purchasing a subscription. It’s interface is made for those wanting a brief, yet in-depth overview of day-to-day operations, while also allowing for a more intimate insight into the vitality of your content. A no-brainer in my book.
Context is key when it comes to day-to-day analysis and this is where GoSquared sets itself apart. From daily reports to briefs showing your daily growth, analytics are made simple for anyone, from the CEO of a company to the web-designer figuring out the system demographics of visitors.
GoSquared doesn’t seem to be aimed towards smaller operations, with the Standard Plan only being mentioned via small text underneath the more business-savvy plans, but such an option does exist for those not needing a smorgasbord of pageviews and sites.
Definitely give it a shot at least, as the 14-day trial is a great way to familiarize yourself with the service and see how critical is can be to your online operations. You can sign up hereand the process takes two minutes of your time at most, including inserting the//