What are your options? Here are some of the top third-party web monitoring tools available:
1. Doubleclick Ad Planner
This web app is meant for online advertisers. It helps them know whether a particular Web site would be a good place to advertise. It gives information on demographics and interests, the number of unique visitors, related sites, and keywords used, among others.
If for anything, Alexa was there first, having been in existence since 1996.
Alexa gives you a traffic rank and tells you how many sites are linking into your site. Digging deeper, however, you can also get a site’s page views, reach, bounce rate, search terms used by visitors, audience by country, time on site, and other valuable information.
Quantcast works like Google Analytics, in which you need to “Quantify” your site to get more accurate data. If you do not, your Quantcast numbers might be inaccurate or you would not get any reports at all.
Quantcast goes beyond just reporting visitor numbers for a year (you can easily adjust this to the time period you want by using the slider included in the line graph). You can also get demographic data for a visitor, such as gender, age, income bracket, educational attainment, race, and even whether the visitor has kids or not.
More than this, you are also given a list of related sites and categories that a visitor would most likely visit.
This is fairly simple to use. A short and simple registration allows you to check the statistics for one Web site. With the free trial, you get a line chart showing the unique visitors your site gets monthly, effectively showing you the website’s visitor trends for a year. You also get to know how you stack up with four competing or similar Web sites on top of your overall ranking.
The paid Compete Pro package can give you a customizable dashboard and more insights about your sites.
5. Google Trends
Out of the popular third-party Web site analytics services, Google Trends might be the most limited. For one, you would need to have a high search volume to get reliable data from them. But still, if you want to learn about the top terms being used to get into a certain site, this would help.
CubeStat can give you all the statistics you need in one place. It gives you your ranks in Alexa, Quantcast and Compete. It gives your PageRank, the number of incoming links, the number of pages and images indexed on Google, your Web site’s worth, daily page views and daily ads revenues. And a lot more.
Be sure to take everything with a grain of salt, though. A lengthy report from Forbes.com chronicled how these third-party services are inaccurate in their data. The inaccuracies are such that smaller Web sites are losing out on important advertising revenue because of the lower numbers being reported by these services.
But this does not mean that all the data you get from these services are worthless. For one, it is a good way to check out your competitors and find out what they are doing right. It could also provide great insights about your own sites as well. These can help you identify your weak points and correct it, as well as give you ideas on how to generate new business and attract more visitors.