The Best Web Analytics Tools for Publishers

What to look for in web analytics tools, from Haven WordPress to Google Analytics and beyond.

Web Analytics Tools

Data analytics are critical for the success of your multiplatform publishing business. Your website, email and social media efforts are all used to promote your content and make more money for your business. It’s impossible to track every article manually, so you need to use web analytics tools to measure effectiveness.

Data has always been an important factor for publishers. In the days of print-only, metrics like dollar-to-make-a-dollar, conversion, and renewal rates were some of the critical statistics to track over time. For ad-based publishers, ad fulfillment rates and newsstand sales were the metrics executives lived and breathed with every day.

And, although you can have access to a ton of data, too many publishers review data without a clear objective on what they want to accomplish. What are your goals for the metric? How do the data points allow you to maximize revenue opportunities? Establishing clear goals, and knowing why the data matters is important to understand before diving in too deep.


In a multiplatform publishing environment, the amount of data available can be intimidating. Digital publishing and marketing campaigns allow publishers to have so much data, it can be difficult to isolate, and concentrate on, the key data points.

You want to attract an audience. You want that audience to recognize you as a key source for information. You want to keep them engaged and loyal to you. And, you want them to spend money with you.

And after those big goals come more focused ones. How are people finding your content online? How much time do they spend on your site? How much content do they view? How much money do they spend? Even these data points are fed by more progressively detailed stats behind them.

To keep a digital publishing business accountable for its actions, you have to constantly review and analyze the data – in the dashboard of your email service provider, in the sales reports, etc. So much data is available on your customers now, that it can almost feel like cyber-stalking. But having data on visitors and customers is critical for strategic decision-making.


Mequoda’s web analytics tools: Haven Analytics

In a Mequoda System, our module within Haven WordPress to help publishers attain and analyze the key analytics for their business is called Haven Analytics and it offers seamless integration of website, email, and e-commerce reporting which pulls in data from Google Analytics (the most widely used website statistics service), WhatCounts (a popular email service provider) and e-commerce data from Recurly or other traditional fulfillment services in use by our partners.

The Haven Source Tracker collects and stores information on how a user found your site, so you can see what sites, campaigns, direct mail, or other sources are leading users to find your site. This tool allows you to optimize your referral efforts.

The Haven Report Manager builds customer reports that make large amounts of data easier to analyze. This information allows you to maximize your traffic opportunities and focus your commerce offers based, specifically, on the actions browsers take on your site.

While search and engagement metrics are all important, you also need to promote your paid products, whether they are subscription products, special reports, or events. Generally, publishers build marketing campaigns to promote these events.

The Haven Campaign Performance Report provides data on revenue per thousand emails sent for each campaign id and also provides campaign data on opens and clicks.

It’s easy to see how this kind of data helps your business. Publishers can track what worked and what didn’t. And then, once you have a baseline of data, you can test different email efforts to optimize performance and earn even more revenue. Even without testing, you can see if your control is becoming less effective, and make changes quickly to keep your revenue flowing.

Publishers can review data about transactions conducted on the site using the Haven Transaction Tracker. This tool populates a report that tracks subscribe data, order data, unsubscribe data, download data, cancel data, leads, and renewal orders. All of this can be sorted and exported for a date range to help publishers measure the effectiveness of their audience development and monetization efforts.

The Haven Page Tracker records the specific URL a registered user visited and loads that data into the Profile Manager, part of Haven’s marketing automation module. This data is key for any analysis publishers conduct before commencing marketing automation programs.

The Haven GNU Report (GNU standing for Gross adds, New confirms, Unsubscribes) lets you select a date range to see how many new accounts were created by either OSID (source) or ECID (email capture architecture element) and then determine how many were confirmed and/or have subsequently unsubscribed. This provides insight into audience development sources, facilitates analysis of email capture elements, lets us analyze how well email confirmation efforts are performing, and gives insight into retention rate by sources.

Haven also offers some proprietary report suites meant to help publishers determine how they are managing to attract, convert, engage and monetize their audience. The Mequoda E-Commerce Analytics Suite provides data on key e-commerce metrics. The Mequoda Audience Development Analytics Suite helps publishers monitor and track key audience development metrics, such as Google Visibility Index, keyword performance, and traffic sources.

Other à la carte web analytics tools

If you decide not to use an integrated suite of tools, you’ll need to look at building a system yourself with any number of available tools. Here are just a handful to consider:

Almost every publisher uses Google Analytics – the tool made by and for the Google search engine that allows you to see how users interact with your website. You can get data on visits to your site, referrals, and measures some campaign effectiveness. Most publishers use GA with other tools to get a clearer picture of what they need to do next.

KISSMetrics provides a little more information than Google Analytics in that it tells you who is using your site. Demographic data can be critical to target your content marketing efforts.

 True Social Metrics provides an easy interface to track social analytics and see which posts perform best, along with the best days and times to post.

Like any solutions that are not integrated, you’ll want to be careful how data from different reporting systems work together. You’ll also need time to work with these solutions to get what you need from them. But unlike Haven, many of these tools weren’t built specifically for publishers and the efforts that maximize their revenue.

Haven WordPress is built with efficiency in mind

Haven WordPress is a state-of-the-art SaaS content management, content marketing, and content publishing tool—built, owned and maintained by Mequoda—to enable all the functionality that multiplatform publishing businesses need to be successful and profitable.

Unlike retrofitted websites with disparate systems that make customer service and reporting more difficult, Haven WordPress gives you a complete, central database that informs your marketing decisions and helps you maximize the lifetime value of each subscriber. We manage all the infrastructure, so you never have to look under the hood.

We’ve even identified the best partners so you don’t have to research software, email, hosting, and other functions on your own, or take stabs in the dark. When you put your system management into our strategy and revenue-centric hands, your organization reaps the benefits of stress-free technology, content-focused implementation, and ongoing profitability.

Schedule a 60-minute complimentary consult today to learn more about Haven WordPress and how it can help you grow your digital magazine publishing business.


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