Regular readers of the Ferret will remember when we first stumbled upon MyBlogLog, a fabulous web publisher service which provided real time and historical stats on visitors and their activities on your web site. We loved the simplicity and the effortless way you could see exactly what was happening to your site second by second through the days and weeks. Unfortunately the company sold out to Yahoo! which then killed it, as big companies tend to do. Sigh.
We’ve spend many fruitless hours hunting for a replacement, and finally at last, glory be, we’ve found one and it’s absolutely stunning. GoSquared is a real time web traffic and analytics dashboard, which gives a one page snapshot of your visitors and site activity second by second. It’s great for tracking where your visitors are coming from, how long they spend on your site and what content they find most interesting amongst other useful stats. There are a few services like this around, but for the most part they either complicate the message with too much data, or deliver it in ways which are difficult to assimilate easily.
Google Analytics for example gives a solid real time dashboard, but it’s almost useless for doing a quick activity scan, and as for digging deeper to learn more at any time, forget it. What makes GoSquared so great is the fact that you can easily click through to more detailed information without getting lost in a multitude of menu options and clicks.
Things like the drill down to each visitor’s activity and the superb comparison graph between weeks and days, are great ways to track your content and see what events are triggering results and which aren’t. It also helps that the interface is absolutely gorgeous, with everything on the page having a purpose with no wasted color, icons or data at all. There are some features from myBlogLog missing which we would love to see the developers implement, such as a running chart of the top link clicks on the site, as well as printable historic reports, but hopefully these may be introduced as the product matures.
The service is offered via a number of plans, starting at a free plan for up to 10,000 page views a month, which should be enough for most small websites. The next plan up is $9 a month for 150,000 page views and 3 sites, and if we were to nitpick it would be to say that there should be an intermediate way of signing up for a plan for a single site with adjustable page views, because many publishers just have the one web site to track, but they can have varying levels of pageviews.
The final feature is the Trends button, which gives you another dashboard page, but this time focusing on historic data rather than real time. The page covers everything from referrers to search queries, page view and visitor trends and the other kind of information you typically get from web stats packages. Again it’s is all presented in an impeccably designed format, which makes it a cinch to scan and assimilate. Check out our quick video run through below.
If you’re a website owner and need information on your site, then this is the service you’ve been looking for. It’s elegant, well thought out and reasonably priced, and although we did notice a couple of glitches in the data during testing, we’re confident enough to award this our Editor’s Choice award for an outstanding piece of work. Let’s hope Yahoo! or Google doesn’t buy it. Highly recommended.