Footprint Live Analytics Review

Whether you are a Webmaster, SEO expert or a blogger it is very important that you are able to easily understand and analyse visitors to your site or blog. Whilst there are various products available on the market; such as Google Analytics, very few offer the ability to provide quality accurate live, real-time data tracking the movements of visitors as they navigate through your site or blog. In this article we will briefly review a free product; Footprint Live, which allows you to do just that.

What is Footprint Live and how does it work?

Footprint Live is a product conceived and developed by the Opentracker company based in the Netherlands. They have been around for a couple of years and put simply their "goal is to build tools that simplify the process of understanding website traffic." By simply, they mean giving you the information that you need, when you need it, without having to have a PhD in statistics in order to understand it. To get started is very easy and free registration only requires from you an email address, site or domain name and what Timezone you wish the data to be displayed in. Once you have registered you will then receive a piece of HTML code (JavaScript) from Footprint, which you then place within the source code and pages of your site or blog you want to track. Once done you are able to log into the Footprint Live site and watch your traffic live. It really is that simple and you can be up and running within minutes!

The thing I really like about the product is that it is very simple to use and understand; the user interface is very intuitive and provides quite a lot of helpful real-time data. In the main information screen you will see a list of all (recent) visitors. This is presented in reverse chronological order (most recent visitors at the top of the list). "Green puppets" show that the user is currently on the site, whereas "Orange puppets" indicate they have not clicked within the last few minutes and may be offline. "Red puppets" indicate a user has not clicked for more than around 10 minutes. If you hover over any of the visitor puppets, you are then presented a user profile of the visitor, including the referrer, search engine, search term, status, contact/address data, company/organisation, ISP, browser, IP Address, number of pages viewed, number of visits, and the first and last measurement. You can also click on any visitor puppet and will be taken to their complete clickstream. A clickstream is a reverse chronological list of activity by your selected visitor.

Footprint abide by a strict Privacy Policy and whilst will identify returning visitors and display those organisations, companies, universities or government agencies visiting your site or blog, Footprint does not provide personal data and your visitors will remain anonymous. Moreover, Footprint does not provide any personal contact information.

Whilst the product is free to use, you can also subscribe to an upgrade (€4.99 per month or €49 per year) where you can utilise additional features; such as visitor-tagging, secure HTTPS SSL tracking, additional Timezone information as well as data export facilities into CSV, PDF formats etc, if required.

The only really (minor) negative I have found is that occasionally the site doesn't track all the visits and some may slip through the net, but this could be due to the fact that the visitor didn't actually stay long enough for the JavaScript to run properly or had other issues such as JavaScript disabled on their web browsers etc. On the few occasions this hasn't been the case and there has been a problem with the site, the issue has been resolved from the Footprint team with a matter of hours, even on the weekend.

Whilst some people may argue that it (alone) doesn't provide enough statistical analytical data for their liking, FootPrint Live is a great companion to tools such as Google Analytics. In fact, you can now integrate Footprint with Google Analytics to gain an even more detailed analytical picture of all the traffic to your sites or blogs.

So, you have heard my thoughts on Footprint Live, why not check out the Footprint Live Free Demo to literally see (for) yourself!

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