Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chrome Analytics Extensions

I've been using Google's new browser for a while now and, as a Google Fan Boy, have fallen head over heels in love with it. Now that it incorporates extensions, Google's answer to Firefox's addons, the browser's really come into its own, and has convinced a lot of Firefox users to see the light. However, the volume of analytics extensions isn't as a large for Chrome as it is for Firefox. In fact, the addon I used to use with Firefox, Ghostery, doesn't exist for Chrome. I've done some hunting around to see what's out there for the discerning Chrome-using analyst, whether it be for monitoring tracking on other sites, or for helping you with your own sites.

BuiltWith Technology Profiler is a collection of easily-accessible stats for a site. Divided into a number of sections, the first (and most important!) is right at the top: "Analytics and Tracking". This lists the analytics providers to the website in question, with a bit of blurb as to what sort of information it would provide the site owner with - handy for those who use this tool from a non-analytics perspective. Other sections here are also of interests - widgets, detailing bolt-ons the site uses (for example Wordpress plugins); Aggregation functionality (RSS, Feedburner); and Document Information (the Meta information behind the site) amongst others. Whilst being quite wordy, the information is clearly laid out, and easy to get at. This extension then is great for people who want a quick overview of the tracking behind the site, and thus a good replacement for Ghostery.

META SEO Inspector is a bit harder on the eyes, but has a lot of helpful data, particularly from a site-owner's perspective. As its title suggests, it provides SEO information for a site, which it groups into four categories - information box, SEO Tools, Site Safety and Other. Within the information box, it begins with the Meta data, which spells out word for word the contents of the various categories. It also has sections on links for showing if canonical links have been specified for example, lists no-follow links, and then in the scripts section lists the various tracking codes, but without naming them. If a script contains multiple URLs in it these will all be listed, so it can get a bit messy if more than one tracking provider is being used. META SEO Inspector also has a SEO tools function which contains a list of a variety of tools each linking to their respective site with information on the site in question.

Chrome SEO promises to provide Google Analytics integration shortly, but for now concentrates on links, ranking and indexed pages, and is essentially a more compact version of the META SEO Inspector extension.

For me, the BuiltWith Technology Profiler provides the best information on the tracking on a site for now, managing to provide the information that Ghostery does for Firefox. That said, a slicker more informative version would be welcome.

Whilst looking for some extensions to compete with Ghostery, I came across the ClickyChrome extension, which is handy if you've got a Clicky analytics account (but not very if you haven't). Clicking on the icon brings up a mini-dashboard, with metrics around the number of visitors, actions, time, bounce rate and goals. The extension allows you to track more than one website, with two drop downs allowing you to choose your site, and the timeframe. The extension comes into its own when someone visits your site - being a real time tool, Clicky enables its extension icon to alert you if you have visitors in near real time, so you can open your account up and see what they're up to whilst they're still there!

This being a new(ish) browser with a frequent update schedule and dedicated coders, I wouldn't be surprised if the quantity and quality of analytics extensions increased over the coming months. I'll be keeping an eye out for new developments. If you use an extension for Chrome that I've left off here that you like (or know of an addon for Firefox that is so super-whizzy it'd tempt me back to the dark side), then please let me know in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Great Great Great Post Lawrence.

    I am a Chrome user too and had no idea these tools existed. Will certainly be using the extensions you have mentioned plus keeping an eye on this post for any new suggestions.


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