RedEye, a British e-metrics consultancy, released a report comparing the two most commonly used methods of web analytics — IP based and cookie based. Currently, I have been evaluating two web analytics tools. One, ClickTracks, is a wonderful IP-based log analysis tool, which generates very insightful reports for path and navigation analysis. The other, WebCEO, is very impressive search engine optimization tool, which also happens to bundle a hosted, cookie-based log analysis tool.
With such versatile tools readily available nowadays, small businesses have no excuse about not looking into what happens behind their web server curtains. Investments into building or redesigning a new web site would be lost unless paired with a thorough analysis of user behavior as reflected by the server log files.
The debate on which method of web analytics is better will not be resolved soon. Its timeliness should send a message, through, that the days of the early adopters in web analytics are gone. Today is the day when any business, small and large, should not postpone benefiting from web analytics.