HitTail & Google Analytics: The Perfect Pairing

Analytics Sep 29, 2006

Everyone appreciates the awesome value of getting such a full featured product as Urchin (Google Analytics) for free, but at the same time, it has a frustrating day-long delay (or more) before seeing results, and once you see them, a special analytics-analyzing skill-set in able to turn it into immediate site-improving actions.

HitTail on the other hand gives you almost no analytics, but shows you the hits instantly. And it’s amazing the value simply in that. HitTail will achieve much of its mission in life if it can simply give everyone in the world real-time access to the part of their web logs that’s truly interesting–the search hits and other referrals. Once you filter out all the nonsense graphics and in-site clicks, watching the raw log file data gets real interesting.

But then, there’s the dilemma of getting from that raw data to an extracted keyword list. And people seem to appreciate HitTail’s doing this for you in nearly real-time, sorting the wheat from the chaff as it were. You have one list which is all extracted keywords, and another list which are only those where you really could and should be doing better in natural or paid search results.

And finally, HitTail goes one step beyond solving this dilemma by helping your remember what you’ve done. Every time you export your keyword lists, you have an opportunity to move all those keywords to the trash. So, the HitTail lists are cleared, and you’re only ever looking at new words. This makes HitTail work as a perfect “keyword radar” system, only bringing new events to your attention that have never happened before.

All this culminates in a time-saving process that gives you not only actionable data, but an actionable plan. Simply take the words that HitTail provides and either funnel them directly into your PPC campaigns, or work them into the headlines of your new blog posts or website content. Sustained over time, it can snowball your sites ability to pull in the best sort of qualified prospects at continually lower costs. And ultimately, that is the mission of HitTail, the reason for its existence, and the primary driver behind our product development decisions.

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    After a few days working with Hittail, I continue to laud the simplicity of the product… I’m not sure what to do with the recommendations beyond just adding the recommended words to an adwords campaign… in this sense hittail seems to have more value than sitemeter.

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    HitTail + Google Analytics + Statcounter — I use all three. Each has a purpose – Hittail for a better view of Keywords, Google Analytics for a very petty view of the world (and of course conversions if your tracking adwords) and Statcounter for the down-n-dirty, up to the minute web traffic.

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