Experts Reveal Top 12 Types of Web Analytics Tools

The most valuable numbers Canadian businesses can have is data about their own customers and website. Web analytics tools are critical to collecting, analyzing and using data. Data defines our past and refines our future through tools that enable us to find specific answers. This, in turn, can inspire and support strategic marketing and company-wide improvement.

Top Web Analytics Tools Used by Marketing Experts

The Marketing Sherpa Analytics Benchmark Report includes the top analytics tools most commonly used by expert marketers.  Following is a brief explanation of each type of tool, along with examples of each.

  1. Web (clickstream) analytics tools are by far the most popular, probably due in part to the availability of fully-functional free options. They provide varying degrees of insight into your website audience, including purchasing patterns, conversions, content popularity, marketing campaign performance, and keyword data. Web clickstream analytics tools include services like Google Analytics.
  2. Email marketing services are used for newsletters, sales letters, and auto-responders. Virtually all email marketing services include campaign data about open rates, clicks on links, etc. Aweber is a popular email marketing service provider.
  3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools provide information that allows you to analyze and optimize your website for improved organic search results. SEO usually revolves around keywords. There are many keyword research tools, the best of which are listed in the Top Keyword Research and Competitive Intelligence Tools.
  4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have always provided companies with valuable data about their customers and how they’re interacting with them.
  5. Social Media Monitoring tools allow marketers to track brand mentions and analyze social media traffic.
  6. Pay Per Click (PPC) bid management tools are usually included within the advertising platform, but can be managed with other tools as well. Google Adwords is a PPC model, for example, as are some affiliate program systems (such as Canada’s MaxBounty).
  7. Marketing automation software usually takes a broad, yet personalized approach to marketing. It may include social media management, email campaigns, CRM, etc. There is ideally a focus on a highly personalized experience to nurture prospects. The term is used loosely, however, and its wise to educate yourself before purchasing a marketing automation product or service. Infusionsoft would also fall into this category.
  8. Web-integrated call management and tracking systems facilitate multi-channel tracking and management of customer communications. One of the most well known is Salesforce.
  9. Web competitive intelligence tools allow you to compare your performance to that of your competitors on several levels. You can determine how they’re leveraging search, how consumers are responding to them and gain insights into their partnerships. You will find some features for competitive intelligence in a variety of tools, including Google Analytics and search toolbars such as Alexa, along with Internet benchmark tools like SimilarWeb. Check out our Top Keyword Research and Competitive Intelligence Tools for more options.
  10. Offline call management and tracking systems are becoming obsolete in favour of web-integrated systems. They track and manage customer calls and information associated with them, but do not offer online multi-channel tracking and management unless they’re upgraded. The data collected can still be useful for marketing purposes, however.
  11. Live chat tracking tools often have customer data that is of value to marketers. Livechatoo is a popular choice of live chat tracking tools and there is a free option.
  12. Attribution management software determines how each marketing touchpoint motivates consumers to act (purchase, download, and so on), with the goal of optimizing your channel marketing strategy. For example, the Attribution app helps to drive growth with unified marketing data, intelligent insights and smart automation.

Which of these tools do you use for web analytics?  Please let us know in the comments below.

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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon is an internet entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in a wide range of online business models, backed by a formal business education and enhanced by training and mentorship. She has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available from all major ebook retailers.

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Louane S.

I got nowhere until I very reluctantly started using tools to research and collect data. It isn’t my favourite thing to do but tools make it pretty easy so it’s not too bad. Before I was going in blind and just doing what I read online but what works for other people doesn’t always work for everyone else. Great advice.

Sgt. Landry

I just started using Convertkit for email newsletters & marketing and I LOVE it! It’s especially for bloggers and the features make my life so much easier. It’s nice to know there are some free or inexpensive options for the other tools. Its so hard to aford everything at first but at the same time so important to do it right.


Way awesome! Several extremely well thought-out points! I appreciate you publishing this informative article as well as other parts of the site is really good.

Roy Jenkins

I’d like to do an all in one solution but most of them are so expensive!! There should be more for small businesses. Infusionsoft looks about closest for our needs.

Another great read from this writer! I appreciate the Canadian slant on this site so much and like you I love data. This one is perfect because I have a new site launching in 2014 and my assistant has been checking out accessories like social media tools and analytics tracking. I can’t wait to let you know when the site is ready for Canadians!


Love marketing sherpa and their data. Thanks.


Thanks for including examples because I’ve always been confused about what kind each tool is. I have more to learn before I decide which tools to buy but I am shopping and should have my choice in motion by mid 2014. We’re redesigning the website for mobile first.


Thanks for the benchmark & insights. We’re like most businesses and use a range of tools but we’d like to move to a single tool that would do it all if ther was one.