HitsLink ® Website Analytic Tool – Reviewed

 

HitsLink Helps You Visualize Web Analytics Data

HitsLink doesn’t worry about reinventing the web analytics wheel, but rather focuses on providing the essential data that every website owner needs in a simple, visually engaging interface.

With its stylish, easy-to-read charts, graphs, lists, and graphics, HitsLink will be a breath of fresh air to marketing analysts used to slogging through pages and pages of reports.

HitsLink particularly excels at providing a comprehensive, real-time picture of customer behavior, showing you where customers are coming from and how they are navigating your site.

HitsLink also has advanced tools to enhance your SEO, PPC, and social media marketing campaigns. At the same time, HitsLink’s lack of groundbreaking tools might turn off some more advanced web-marketing professionals. But with flexible pricing plans and a thirty-day money back guarantee, many companies will find HitsLink an ideal introduction to the world of web analytics.


 

Features and Tools Available in HitsLink

In addition to collecting standard website data, such as the number of visitors, bounce rate, and affiliate link clicks, here are several advanced tools and features offered by HitsLink:

  • Segmentation: why treat all customers the same when each has his/her own identity, background, and habits? That’s the question asked and answered by the Segmentation tool, which allows you to break your customer data down into different groups according a variety of criteria, including demographics, geographic region, source, and more.
  • Visitor Navigation Path: how are potential customers navigating your site? Where do they land? Where do they go from there? Are they traveling a route that leads to conversion or are they getting sidetracked? HitsLink’s Visitor Navigation Path tool will draw a map for each of your site visitors so you can learn the answers to these questions.
  • Multivariate (A/B) Testing: this sophisticated split-testing tool allows you to try out various versions of your website features and digital content to see which performs the best.
  • Social Metrics: track activity on all of your social media accounts to get a full picture of your social media marketing campaigns.
  • Identify Fraudulent Clicks: if you run PPC Campaigns on search engines or social media sites, this will be a very valuable tool for you. HitsLink’s PPC algorithm will save you money immediately by identifying fraudulent clicks that you can report to your provider.

Keep in mind that not all of these features are available in every version of HitsLink. See the section below about Pricing & Plans to learn more.

 

Who Should Use HitsLink

With its flexible pricing options and wide range of easy-to-use features/tools, HitsLink is a useful program for everyone from small websites and companies to large Fortune 500 companies with high-traffic websites. If you’re a small business owner without much web analytics experience, you will find HitsLink very easy to install and use. Whereas if you’re a larger company, HitsLink serves well as an Enterprise solution, accommodating multiple users and groups with its custom dashboards and scheduled reporting.

The only people who might not find HitsLink useful are SEO and web content professionals who are capable of using more complex programs. The only significant advantages that HitsLink provides over Google Analytics are simplified functionality and a stylish, streamlined interface. But if you are already comfortable using Google Analytics or another free service, you will probably not find HitsLink worth the added expense.

 

Pricing & Plans for HitsLink

Depending on the tools and features you need, HitsLink offers three payment plans: Professional, Enterprise, and Platinum. Each payment plan comes with a free 30-day trial period and payment is on a month-by-month basis.

  • Professional Plan: The cheapest of the three plans comes with all HitsLink’s basic features, including traffic, mobile, and social data, search engine analysis, and scheduled reports, as well as one advanced feature: real-time segmentation based on demographics.
    Cost: $19.95/month
  • Enterprise Plan: HitsLink’s mid-range Enterprise Plan comes with all the basic features of the Professional Plan, as well as several advanced features: segmentation, eCommerce reporting, click fraud detection, and user/group management. The last of these features makes the Enterprise Plan valuable as a company-wide solution, uniting multiple employees and departments within the same software.
    Cost: $29.95/month
  • Platinum Plan: If you have a high-traffic website, the Platinum Plan might be right for you. In addition to the features of the Enterprise Plan, the Platinum Plan offers Historical Dynamic Segmentation and Historical Multivariate Testing, both of which are useful tools for complex, long-term marketing campaigns that involve numerous variables. The Platinum Plan comes with 1 million page views per month and it costs $100 for each additional million page views.
    Cost: $499.95/month.

The monthly cost of the Professional and Enterprise Plans also depends on the amount of page views your site experiences per month. The costs quoted above are the standard costs and include up to 10,000 page views per month. If you need to track additional page views, the monthly cost increases incrementally.

Own number of websites?

HitsLink’s plans only track 1 website by default. If you wish to track multiple websites, it will cost an extra $1 per site for the Professional and Enterprise Plans, and an additional $100 per site for the Platinum Plan. The total page views will then be aggregated from all your sites.

 

How to Select the Right Plan

Before speaking with a HitsLink sales agent about which plan is right for you, you should perform an internal audit of your own system and make a wish list of the web data you wish you knew. In addition, consider the following questions before making a final decision:

  • What features and tools do you need? Each plan from HitsLink comes with a different set of features. Don’t miss out on something you might need, but also try not to pay for tools that you’ll never use.
  • How many websites and total monthly page views do you need to track? The total cost of your plan will depend on your answer to these questions. HitsLink can prove costly if you’re trying to track multiple high-traffic sites, in which case you might want to consider another web analytics service that better accommodates multiple sites.
  • How many different users and groups will need access to your HitsLink account? If the answer is more than one, you probably want to consider the Enterprise or Platinum Plans, which include User and Group management.

After you select your plan, use your free trial period wisely! Each plan comes with 30 days for free, so don’t delay during the first month. Install the program immediately and start testing it and running reports. That way, you can determine if HitsLink is right for you before you pay your first bill. Also, keep in mind that HitsLink is a month-to-month service and you can cancel at any time.

 

How to Get Started with HitsLink

It’s easy to get rolling with HitsLink the same day you sign up for a plan. You’ll be provided with a small tracking script and all you have to do is copy and paste the script onto the pages you want to track.

The data will start pouring in immediately. If you have a site with thousands of pages, it will be time consuming to paste the tracking script on every page, so it’s suggested that you talk to your web designer about figuring out a shortcut (you can embed it at the header of the site).

 

The Advantages of Using hitslink

By providing user-friendly functionality and real-time actionable data, HitsLink has many advantages to help enhance your online presence

Real-Time Data: instead of waiting 1-2 days for data to roll in from your site, HitsLink shows you what’s happening right now. You can also customize the date range to track data over longer time frames.
Dynamic Graphic Interface: HitsLink is ideal for visual learners, translating data into vivid graphics that are easy to understand and are perfect for marketing meetings and presentations.
Customizable Dashboards: choose the features and reports that appear on your dashboard so that you see the most essential data first. Individual users can customize their own dashboards.
User-Friendly: whether you’re a SEO professional or a small business owner with limited web analytics experience, you’ll find HitsLink’s streamlined interface and functionality easy to use.
Improve Marketing Campaigns: HitsLink focuses on actionable web data, meaning that every report you receive will help you to make your marketing campaigns more efficient and productive.

 

The Disadvantages of Using hitslink

Despite its stunning graphic interface and easy-to-read data reports, HitsLink also has some drawbacks that might discourage potential customers:

Extra Costs: although the basic HitsLink plans will prove cost-effective for most companies (starting at $14.99 per month), you might find yourself paying additional fees down the road depending on your needs. Each plan only covers one website. Additional websites incur a fee. And each plan only covers a fixed amount of maximum web traffic per month. Additional traffic also incurs a fee.
Limited Tech Support: HitsLink plans don’t come any guarantees of tech support and there is no tech support number or email address provided on their website. There is a form that you can fill out, but that is the extent of the support offered.
Time-Consuming Implementation: even though the process of adding HitsLink to your site is simple—pasting a snippet of code on each page—because you have to go page-by-page, it can be a time consuming process for larger sites with lots of pages.
Data Tracking Limitations: if your site visitors have JavaScript or cookies disabled, there will be no way for HitsLink to track them. Similarly, if your visitors are logged into Google+ while visiting your site, some or all of their data will be blocked from HitsLink.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about HitsLink

“What kind of technical support does HitsLink offer?”

Not much. The HitsLink website has a “Online Support” form that you can fill out, but no Tech Support phone number or email address. In addition, the site has no training manuals, tutorials, or user forums. HitsLink is very easy to set up and use, but in the event that you need Tech Support, you will find the options limited.

“What is the average response time to Technical Support inquiries?”

Under 2 hours during normal business hours.

“Who should I contact when I’m ready to purchase a HitsLink plan?”

You can contact the HitsLink sales line at 877-631-2522. HitsLink’s parent company Net Applications also has a Consulting line that you can call if you want to discuss your options with a trained professional: 877-631-2522.

“Does HitsLink have a refund policy or money back guarantee?”

With every HitsLink plan, the first 30 days are free. So if you are not happy with the tools and features of HitsLink, you can cancel at any time within the first thirty days without paying a dime. After that, the HitsLink plans are paid on a month-to-month basis.

“Does HitsLink have a mobile app that I can use?”

No. HitsLink does not offer a mobile app version of its services. However, its website is fully responsive and optimized for mobile access, so you can still access all your HitsLink tools and services through a mobile browser on your phone and/or tablet.

“What are my options for exporting data reports?”

HitsLink provides a range of standard exporting options. You can export data in the following formats: Excel, PDF, Email, Rich Text, CSV, and JSON.

“Does HitsLink offer an automatic alert system?”

Yes. You can set up automatic alerts to be sent to your email on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis when goals are hit. For example, set up a traffic goal alert and get notified every time your traffic skyrockets.

“What search engines does HitsLink track?”

In addition to the main search engines—Google, Yahoo, and Bing—HitsLink tracks over 400 search engines and pay-per-click providers, both nationally and internationally.

 

 

About the Company

HitsLink is the flagship product of Net Applications, an Internet marketing software company that has been in continuous operation since 1999. With over 15 years of experience and numerous top-level clients, including Microsoft, CNN, Sony, and Apple, Net Applications is one of the most established and successful companies in the web analytics industry. Net Applications proudly states that their software products, including HitsLink, have been used on over 4 million websites, a testament to the company’s commitment to high-quality analytics and customer satisfaction. Headquartered in Irvine, CA, Net Applications also has multiple offices throughout the United States.

 

 

Final Recommendation

HitsLink excels at turning complex data into engaging graphics and easy-to-read reports; however, its data usage fees and lack of innovative tools doesn’t make the program an advantageous choice for experienced web analytics professionals. Individual website owners and small business owners will find HitsLink very productive in the way that provides actionable data to immediately enhance online marketing campaigns.

However, they might also be frustrated by the lack of convenient tech support. At the same time, the inclusion of a thirty-day free trial period allows such customers to discover if HitsLink will be right for them before paying a single invoice. And for this reason, the program is worth a try. I give HitsLink an editor rating of 4.5 out of 5.


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