E-marketers have a thing for stats. They’re our report card – they show us how we’re doing, they show us where we need to improve and they provide insight into things that we should try. Google Analytics is the stats program of choice for us and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
The only thing I don’t like about Google Analytics is the lack of real time data. It doesn’t allow instant feedback… the numbers are hours behind. This isn’t a big deal for those webmasters that are just looking for the most basic stats but some of us want to know what’s happening right now.
I came across Chartbeat.com (from the makers of bitly.com) last week and thought I’d give it a try on SirShanksAlot.com. It’s pretty simple to set up once you’ve got your account going. The site gives you a header and footer tag that you drop into your site and away you go.
Chartbeat doesn’t provide as much data as a program like Google Analytics but it does give some good insight into who’s on your site right now, what they’re reading and how they got there.
A site like SirShanksAlot.com could really benefit from this data. Our golf site is driven by PGA Tour events. We tend to see searches based on the results of the most recent tournament, what commercials are played, who’s getting the most airtime, etc. These real time stats can help us determine what we should write about. If there is a certain topic that a lot of our readers are coming to the site for, it might be worth the time to write a quick post about it to feed the hunger.
The basic Chartbeat plan is $9.95/month after a 30 day free trial. I’m about halfway through our trial and I think I’ll keep using it. It will never replace Google Analytics as our main stats program but it’s a nice addition to our mix.