Using web analytics to review statistical data concerning web traffic for a website and attempting to figure out traffic patterns is difficult, requiring in depth data of which should come direct form the source; the site owner. However, because retrieving this data manually usually means having to contact the site owner and hoping he will oblige your request, doing so typically takes up valuable time and resources. This is why Compete.com has developed a tool to track the traffic.
Overall features of Compete.com are impressive. These features include search analytics, referral analytics, ranked lists, category profiling, company website profiling and a click stream of data form over two million people whom have agreed to continuous monitoring of their Internet surfing habits.
The way Compete normalizes the massive amounts of data they collect is one of its strengths. Using a “multi-dimensional scaling” technique, Compete can weed out the international users and de-bias the US users for both the weekly and monthly statistics. The Compete Pro version allows site owners to keep tabs on competitors while tracking their information including competitor keyword tracking, SEO link building and the ability to see a complete site profile of any website, not just sites that Compete tracks using their analytics techniques.
Additionally, Compete excels in the area of online media and marketing campaigns. With analytics for gauging the effectiveness of a marketer’s ad campaigns, their Ad Impact product can effectively measure the consumer’s behavior when viewing ads-or not. Ad Impact not only uses click-through as a measure, but it also measures the clicks to competitor sites, conversions and search activity as related to brand-terms.
Compete’s behavior Match product is another addition to their analytics that no marketer should be without. Its ability to find the ads the consumers want to see outranks any other similar product. By monitoring consumers’ interests when surfing the web, Compete can effectively gauge their behavior and find the right publishers that make those consumers want to click.
The pricing for their Compete Pro products is much higher than your average analytics tool and rests at from $199 to $499 a month, with various custom plans for enterprise solutions. While Compete does add extra tools to a paid account, admittedly these same features come with Google Analytics, Alexia and with other analytic websites free of charge. Additionally, many of the tools offered in the paid version can be found elsewhere on the Internet free of charge as well. Consumers are simply paying for convenience in this case.
Another key point to consider when looking at Compete as an analytics website is its reported inconsistencies when it comes to normalizing the data collected. According to some reports of users whom have searched their own company’s websites, they state the data Compete has on their site is flat out wrong and not even close to the reported statistics of their web host. While this may just be an artifact of Compete’s normalization process, it might be just enough to want to use Compete simply as an observational tool instead.
Review and Rating
The upshot here is that Compete has a much higher and sampling of the ”average consumer” than any other analytics site does, so this alone may outrank the price paid for those who need the information from a more complete consumer base. However, with so many reports of statistical flaws and inaccuracies, be wary of using their paid tools, since no refunds are allowed or offered. Overall rating, five stars out of ten.