Last week, Yahoo! announced the acquisition of IndexTools Analytics Business, a hosted website analytics service, in an effort to compete with Google Analytics and Microsoft’s AdCenter Analytics (built on the Gatineau platform).
IndexTools provides “accurate, insightful and timely data to help you make informed business decisions about the performance of your website and online marketing campaigns.”
The Index Tools product page proclaims: “IndexTools provides the most cost effective Enterprise Web Analytics solution on the market today – Period!”
Given that Yahoo! is now offering the service free to Yahoo! customers, it’s extremely cost effective – but does it stack up against Google Analytics or Microsoft’s AdCenter Analytics?
Let’s look at the feature set as documented on the site:
Provide quickly comprehensible snapshot of key performance metrics, enabling you to set goals, track progress and identify danger points.
Benefit: Acquire control of key business data, allowing you to easily create and customize your dashboard pages according to need.
Determine your most profitable web links and navigation paths, and identify usability bottlenecks that result in site-abandonment. Optimize your layout and the placement of your call-to-action to increase traffic flow.
Benefit: Analyze the relative popularity of your links and obtain real-time click performance data superimposed on your web pages. Track complex dynamic websites applications, which includes DHTML, flash, redirects, image maps, forms, etc. and have results displayed in an easy-to-use user interface.
Marketing Workflow Management
Monitor events, e.g., website changes, public holidays, system outages, that affect your website, and get a comprehensive analysis of their effects on your website’s statistics. Stay in control of your website’s performance by setting up customized email alerts for you and your colleagues.
Benefit: Acquire more control and a better understanding of your website’s performance through easy to use management features that enhance your viewing and provide you with close monitoring and analysis.
Advanced Live Cost Analysis
CPC Live Cost Analysis pulls together dynamic price information from the leading PPC search engines with the revenue earned on your website. Now IndexTools provides an additional level of reporting accuracy by consolidating the live data collected by the reporting system with data provided by the paid search engines (currently Google and Yahoo!).
Benefit: Measure the ROI of your paid search campaigns, keyword by keyword. Increase revenues without spending more. Resolves data inconsistency between Indextools data and Paid Search reports.
Advanced Campaign Management
Track your marketing campaign results. Associate costs with campaigns – including CPC, CPM and CPA cost models. Define hierarchical categories to organize your report display.
Benefit: Measure the ROI of your marketing campaigns and optimize your marketing budget. Analyze your results across categories you define.
Analyze how different groups of visitors respond to your campaign landing pages, page layouts, calls to action, and more.
Benefit: Identify your most lucrative visitors and optimize your offer.
Advanced Merchandise Reporting
Track the individual products your customers purchase, add to their shopping cart, and preview. Define categories for your products, and create custom reports. Update your reports to reflect cancelled orders or changes to order amounts by sending API requests to the system.
Perform cross-sell analysis to see how often products are purchased in combination with other products, ranked according to value. Upload your individual products costs and calculate how each campaign contributes to your profits.
Benefit: Increase revenues by identifying and promoting your most profitable products. Identify customer purchasing patterns and optimize your promotional strategy. Stay in control of your website’s performance by continuously maintaining your live systems and your website reporting updated.
Analyze the steps your visitors take through any multi-step process, for example a purchase or a form submission. Redefine your process and the changes apply to historical data, too.
Benefit: Troubleshoot your most popular paths to sale, and reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Advanced Path Analysis
Identify the most popular paths your visitors pursue through your website, mapped out in a hierarchical tree structure.
Benefit: The user can expand the branches of this tree to follow visitor movement through as many levels of navigation as needed.
As you can see – it has pretty extensive feature set for a free analytics service (assuming you’re a Yahoo! customer).
If you’re not already tracking your website and online marketing performance, then the new IndexTools offering seems like a strong contender for your interest. But if you’re not a Yahoo! customer – and your tracking needs are fairly fundamental, then Google Analytics makes for a more than adequate alternative.