For webmasters, making sure that the right marketing tools are available is critical to the success of their website. When working with packaged tools on a hosted control panel like cPanel, you want to know how well these tools work compared to those that you’d typically pay for. One particular area that you want to focus on is analytics if you want to measure your traffic and make sense of the data.
In cPanel, the server side tool that is used for analytics is AWstats. AWstats records data such as the number of unique visitors, visit duration, which pages get the most traffic, the source of traffic, entry/exit pages, browsers used, robots that visited, and more. You can also build personalized reports depending on what stat you are looking for.
The tool that most people are familiar with is Google Analytics. It has everything that AWstats offers and more. You can measure everything from social media, your mobile campaigns, and set up conversion tracking. You’ll also find apps that can help you maximize Google’s system and find many third party apps that support integration with Google Analytics.
Both tools are useful for measuring SEO traffic. You should look at both tools if you want an accurate look at how much traffic you’re getting as the data tends to be very different. If you are just getting started AWstats will help you with the basics such as understanding where your traffic is coming from, how many visitors you’re getting, and what pages are the most popular. These statistics can help you go in the right direction in terms of your marketing.
For example, I saw that a particular page of mine was receiving more traffic than others. When I saw the conversion data, I saw that I needed to start increasing my SEO efforts for that page and bring in more traffic there. This helped me focus more on what was working for me already rather than spending time on pages that don’t bring me as much returns.
AWstats does come with many limitations. AWstats drains resources for servers whereas tools like Google Analytics and other third party tools operate on their own server. AWstats also gives you basic reports and cannot give you the advanced data that you would need to do some crazy things such as create the optimum path through your website to maximize visitor value.
This can be solved by using Google Analytics and paid tools. You’ll be able to see things like heat maps, visual displays of where action was taken, how far down the user has scrolled, and more. You should still be using AWstats to compare your data with other tools. They’ll give you a better idea of what kind of numbers you’re getting for your site.
Overall, AWstats is a very useful tool that comes with cPanel. It has the basics that you need to start making better decisions for your marketing campaigns and website. At the end of the day, you’ll probably want to use other tools in addition to AWstats if you really want to find where to focus your SEO efforts and figure out how to improve conversion.