Analytics, Data and Other Web Tools

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Tools to measure traffic for your content.
  • For your site
    • Tracking analytics on your website requires a unique set of tools. These tools track a variety of statistics, such as:
      • Unique visitors -- The total number of individual users coming to your site
      • Page Views -- The total number of web pages viewed by a single web browser
      • Average time on site -- How long users are spending on your site
      • Incoming traffic sources -- What paths users are taking to get to your site
      • Keywords -- What phrases bring traffic to your site
      • Story popularity -- What stories are most/least popular

    • Analytical tools for your site
      • ComScore -- One of the leaders in analytics. They offer free basic analytics for start-ups with fewer than 1 million monthly unique visitors under their Start-Up, Step Up program. $799 for sites that grow beyond that 1 million mark.
      • Google Analytics-- Free, simple analytics for your site.
      • NewsBeat -- Real-time web analytics specifically designed for publishers. Starting at $199 per month.
      • Omniture -- Robust analytics software. Prices vary.
      • KissMetrics -- Metrics that focus on putting a face on individual users, not just page views. Starting at $29 per month.
      • Quantcast -- Free analytics for traffic, user demographics.
      • Clicky -- Measure traffic on your site. $49 per month.
      • GoSquared -- Real-time analytics. Starting at $10 per month.
      • SiteMeter -- Simple analytics. Starting at $7 per month.
      • NewsCurve -- An analytics tool specifically geared toward publishers. NewsCurve measures three things: content, topics and authors, and tells you how popular one of those categories is doing among users. Best used as a compliment to a more robust analytics tool. Free for sites with less than 100,000 pageviews per month. Then $29+ per month.
      • StatsMix -- Track and share custom metrics. Specifically targeted to developers and those working on apps. Starts at $19 per month.
      • Gauges -- Real time data, plus a live traffic map. $6+ per month.
      • Mixpanel -- Analytics tool designed for deep dives into your data. Free, or $150+ per month.
      • Piwik -- Open-source analytics tool
      • Dash -- Tracks trends across the web and suggests which topics are worthy of posting about on your site
      • VisiStat ($49+/month) --Web analytics, campaign tracking and social media analytics. Specifically geared towards small businesses.
      • Woopra (Free, or $12+ per month) -- Real-time web analytics, measure specific actions, get live notifications sent to your phone, monitor your traffic via iPhone or Android apps

  • For social media
    • Social media requires its own set of analytics. Are users engaging with your content? Are they sharing it? How are they finding your social media platforms? You need to be able to measure and engage your community across multiple platforms. These tools can help you track the success of your social media platform:
      • Radian6 ($600 per month)
      • Lithium (Price varies)
      • Sysmos (Price varies)
      • RavenTools ($99+ per month) -- Also for advertising and SEO analytics
      • TwentyFeet (Price varies)
      • PeopleBrowsr ($19+ per month)
      • CrowdBooster (Free, or $20 per month)
      • -- Simple analytics of links
      • PageLever ($34+ per month) -- For Facebook only
      • Tweetreach ($84+ per month) -- For Twitter only
      • TwitSprout -- For Twitter only
      • Ducksboard -- Real-time dashboard for all of your metrics
      • Vizify -- For Twitter only
      • Twittercounter -- For Twitter only
      • ArgyleSocial ($300+ per month)
      • Hashtracking -- Get data reports about a specific Twitter hashtag
      • ThinkUp -- An open-source web app that captures all your social networking activity anda llows you to analyze it.
      • Curulate -- Measure your brand's presence on Pinterest
      • Measured Voice -- Manage and measure your social media outreach
      • TwitterStats -- Measures your Twitter presence
      • TwitterCounter -- Measure your key stats on Twitter, see predictions for your rate of growth on the site.
      • SimplyMeasured (Prices vary) -- Get analytics about your Tweets -- down the tweet -- as well as data on nearly every other social media site. Data can be exported to Excel.
      • Socialbakers -- Get analytics on Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Google+ pages, LinkedIn pages and YouTube pages.


Tools for creating, curating and sharing data.
  • Data and Documentation
    • DocumentCloud -- A free, cloud-based tool that allows publishers to analyze, annotate and publish documents
    • Google Refine -- Clean up messy data and share it with other apps and databases
    • Google Fusion -- Gather, visualize and share your data
    • BatchGeo -- Create maps from spreadsheets
    • Scribd -- Upload and share documents
    • Tableizer -- Create an HTML table from spreadsheet data
    • FreeDive -- Create user-searchable databases from a Google spreadsheet
    • Junar -- Collect, organize and share data
    • MetaLayer -- Discover and share insights from data
    • Mr. Data Converter -- Converts Excel spreadsheets into web-friendly formats

  • Visualization
    • Dipity -- Create interactive digital timelines
    • Google Charts -- Create and share charts, maps and visualizations
    • Intersect -- Create stories via customizable timelines and maps
    • UMapper -- Create embeddable maps
    • Tableau -- Create interactive visualizations
    • ZeeMaps-- Create interactive maps, allow crowd-sourced maps
    • SeeClickFix -- Map and crowdsource data points in your neighborhood
    • TimeToast -- Create simple timelines
    • ManyEyes -- IBM's online visualization tool
    • Timetric -- Search through public data and create customizable visualizations using that data
    • Weave -- Analysis and visualization software
    • Daytum -- Create visualizations for everyday data
    • Timeline -- Create interactive, embeddable timelines
    • Timeglider -- Create web-based interactive timelines
    • Lovely Charts -- Create flowcharts and wireframes
    • Miso -- An open-source toolkit for data visualization and interactive storytelling
    • Mapbox (Free, or $5+/month for additional page views and online storage) -- Create interactive maps and visualizations without using Google Maps. Apply custom styles. Integrates with Tile Mill.
    • TileMill -- An application for creating custom, embeddable maps


File Transfer Protocol applications allow you to upload data from your computer to your hosting service

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the tool to make your site more searchable by Google and other search engines, which will help your audience find you.

Recommended Readings


  • Grasshopper -- Virtual phone system designed specifically for entrepreneurs
  • Skype -- Internet-based phone and video calling
  • Ooma -- VoIP phone system
  • Google Voice -- Internet based phone calling and voicemail
  • GroupMe -- Group text messaging and conferencing
  • MightyText (Android only) -- Text from your computer, syncs with your phone


Tools for improving the fonts on your website.

Miscellaneous Tools For Your Website

  • HelloBar (Free, or $5 per month for unlimited clicks) -- Helps direct readers to your most important content
  • Spinnakr -- Displays targeted messaging, breaking news, and helps direct readers to your most important content
  • SlideDeck (Free, or $99 per site) -- Curate content into a slider-based display on your site
  • Totem (Free, or $99 for a custom URL) -- Easy-to-build press pages for your site. Makes it easier for media outlets to find key contact information about your business.
  • LinkWithin -- Widget to show readers related posts within your site
  • Wufoo -- Build online forms to collect information from your readers
  • Zemanta (Chrome app only) -- Watches what you blog about and suggests additional photos, videos and links that you can add to your stories. Compatible with WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger and others.
  • Shutterstock ($19 per image, or $249 per month) -- Royalty-free stock photos and illustrations to use on your website
  • Gravity Forms ($39+) -- Customizable contact forms for your WordPress-powered site
  • SimpleReach -- A slider at the bottom of your stories to show readers related posts within your site
  • PopSurvey -- Create surveys and get feedback from your users
  • TunnelBear -- A VPN tool designed to help you get around foreign firewalls
  • nrelate -- A tool to show readers related posts, most popular posts or other content within your site. Capable of featuring advertising.
  • Listly -- Create lists of things and share them.