7 Reasons Why Your Commercial Site NEEDS Piwik…
Guest Blogger Marc Lindsay Is An Internet Marketer & Runs An SEO Company – mercurianmedia.com.au.
This is the first post of a new series all about “Using Piwik Effectively” and in a live environment. Designed to help both businessman & hobbyist make the most out of Piwik.
There is no doubt that we are now in a world where digital data, bits & bytes, 1′s & 0′s all have a value, and a very significant value at that. Just look at Google as a classical example of how valuable the digital world has now become.
Without data Google would have nothing to work with and I would be out of a job.
Previously when using say radio advertising or TV slots it has been a very hit and miss sort of game. You don’t have an in-depth view into EXACTLY what it is that your viewer is looking for, so you would have to profile a demographic and then hope your offer or advert was appealing enough to spark interest.
Now bring it into today’s digital world and you can track almost everything.
This puts an immense power in the beholder of the most data as not only would you know how people are using the internet, but you would also have so many small bits of data around each visitor that you are now able to start to profile your visitor or future customer.
So how on earth does this relate to Piwik?
Let’s suppose you are using another of the many large third party tracking programs, who do you think owns all of that valuable data that is being tracked from your site?
It’s certainly not you. Sure you may be able to analyze that data and see some nice pretty reports, but at the end of the day that data does not belong to you and you are confined within the restraints that the third-party solution would put on you.
Now just imagine for a moment that you had access to a completely free piece of software that let you take control over your sites and the data collected from them….
Welcome To Piwik
Piwik is the ONLY software of its kind around that gives you total control over everything and the ability to expand and use your own data beyond your wildest dreams…
So on with the seven reasons.
#1 You Own The Data
This is one of the biggest reasons you would want to move to Piwik (this combined with #2 & 3) below and it becomes a knockout.
#2 Fully Expandable Feature Set Just Like WordPress
We all know that wordpress out of the box is nothing special. It’s just another blog solution, until you start adding in plugins to extend functionality. You could almost say the same about the Iphone, it’s the applications that make it.
Well this is one feature that makes Piwik REALLY shine out, the developers when setting out to build the ultimate free open source tracking system developed it with expansion in mind and built into it a plugin system that lets you just tap on entire new modules of function with simply a few mouse clicks.
#3 API Developer Access
Complete API access is something that has been built into Piwik right from the very core. This means that you can access any data from within the current functions of Piwik and easily import it into your own application to even further enhance your experience.
If you need to access more data or access it differently then you can easily create a new plugin from #2 to handle and work with that data, this will then make it available as an API.
In case the alarm bells have not gone off in your head just yet let me put this in another way.
Let’s say that you wanted to be able to see the top 3 pages viewed by visitors by country. No worries all you need to do is create a new plugin that adds that functionality in and hey presto you can now do this. But taking this even further.
With the combination of points #1, #2 & #3 you can now create your own custom applications (adobe air, .NET, php or any other language you like) that can import any of this data and then use it however it likes.
Imagine if you could have a desktop application that when you opened it could show you the following at a glance.
1. How much you had made today in sales & from what products.
2. A comparison of today vs the same day last month.
3. The weekly average of your sales also in comparison to last week.
4. Your top performing traffic sources by ROI (because you custom created a plugin that let you set a specific traffic referrer by advertising budget with them)
5. The top pages that converted into a sale for you
This is just a simple example of how you now have an ROI & Commerce relevant application based entirely off your Piwik data.
(Feel free to get in touch with me about developing custom Adobe Air applications I am looking for someone to give us a hand).
#4 Real Time Tracking
As its on your own server you can refresh stats as much as you want and get up to the second traffic stats.
#5 Total Privacy
Do you really know what all of these third party services are doing with your data? What if it were in any way able to help your competitor gain an advantage over you?
Not anymore you have Piwik
#6 It’s Free
Hey free is always good, just this good has sugar coated on top. Of course it is important to note that there are server costs or hosting costs though if you are running a few websites this is already covered.
#7 It Will Make You More Money
If data is valuable, and you now own all of your data, by default you have increased your wealth digitally. You can now very easily run custom search queries or strings across all of your sites, across all converted goals or products and find trends that you may never have even noticed.
Piwik being only 1 year old and already covering as much ground as it does really sets the future for what you can expect from Piwik.
As you can see Piwik really kicks butt and is a serious contender to the analytics game, one that in my opinion gives you more power than any of them.
I know it is giving us an edge over our competition by letting us develop custom applications and plugins that provide data in way that has never before been achieved.
Over the coming weeks I will be posting more Piwik guides on how you can leverage Piwik even further in a real environment with real sales coming through the door, these will be live case studies on sites making well over 7 figures.
Please if you have any queries or questions about topics you would like covered in this Using Piwik Effectively, Marketing Series feel free to post them as a comment and I will take note of them all.