WordPress Wednesday: Top 3 Analytics Plugins

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Behind every good business website is an even better analytics program. For WordPress users, however, that means going out and finding a plugin that will match their analytic needs.

WordPress offers very little in the way of site analytics from the core for a site's administrators, and so trying to figure out exactly how well your site is doing, the kind of measurements that are crucial to conducting a business online, can be really rough and incomplete using WordPress' built-in analytics. The need for such a tool has inspired the existence of a number of different plugins specifically designed to study the efficiency of your WordPress site.

Below are three of the most popular WordPress analytics plugins:

Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a classic, time-tested plugin that is both manageable for beginners and useful for experienced users. It is critical in affiliate marketing to have analytics on your website, as there is so much invaluable information to be gained to help you study and understand the effectivness of your campaigns. What is great about this plugin is that it adds Google Analytics JavaScript to every page for you automatically, meaning you won't have to worry about editing your theme. It's easy to set up, updates automatically and lets site owners track outgoing, mailto and download links, which makes it great for tracking clickthrough rates. Its simple configuration screen is enough for most users, but there is a ton of customizing and tweaking that can be done in the advanced settings, as well.

All in One Webmaster
This great plugin is helpful because it can integrate Google Webmaster Tool, Yahoo Site Explorer and Bing Webmaster Central into your website or blog. This gives you really great access to information from the revered GYB Triumverite. You can also include a single-click sitemap to Google, Bing, Ask and Yahoo, add tracking codes from Google, Clicky and 103Bees analytics and add Meta Tags for Google, Yahoo, Bing, Alexa and BlogCatalog. In short, it's a fabulous tool for integrating all three major search engines, and quite a few of the "lesser" engines, and get a really comprehensive look at your sites stats.

WordPress Stats
Super simple plugin here that collects information about page views, popular articles and/or pages and traffic flow. All of the real necessities of site analysis. It will also give you a link to a dashboard so that you can see all of the stats on a single page. This is a very barebones, to-the-point analytics tool, but isn't that really all that most website owners need? If you're not looking for a tool with a ton of features that you can easily install and use to get the most essential of information, WordPress Stats is highly recommended.

For more information about WordPress plugins, check out WordPress Plugins from A to Z.

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