One of the trickiest aspects of designing and maintaining a successful website, especially for those just starting out, is finding a way to analyze the traffic. It can be very helpful to know which pages or posts from your website are getting the most hits, how people are finding the site, which links people click on, and how long they spend looking at each part of your website. Here is a top ten list of some of the best web analytic tools out there today.

1. Google Analytics is a product provided by the company world-famous for its search engine and e-mail, as well as numerous other online tools. Prominent features include the ability to design your own custom reports to answer the questions you need answered, the ability to export data into a variety of formats, and advanced segmentation potions.

2. SiteMeter offers two types of tools: SiteMeter Basic and SiteMeter Premium. These share many of the same features, including a catalog of referral search words and URLs, location tracking, and data on visits and page views. SiteMeter Premium also includes information on visitor paths, archives of statistics for past years, and ranked reporting of referrals.

3. Crazy Egg is a web analytics tools that offers some unique tools to visualize the behavior of visitors. These include a heatmap that uses colors to represent the frequency at which links are clicked and a more in-depth tool called confetti that includes data based on operating system, top referrers, and search terms. Other features include hourly reporting, automatically archived reports, and the ability to export data in a variety of formats.

4. StatCounter is an invisible tool that counts web hits and provides a range of statistics regarding visitors. One of the main advantages to StatCounter is their real-time web reports. Other features include visitor paths, configurable summary stats, and the ability to export visitor locations to Google Maps.

5. GoStats is a downloadable program, which comes in two versions: a free version and a professional version. The free version allows you to keep track of a variety of statistics, including return visitors and the most popular pages on your site. The professional version includes many more features. Key features include a map of visitors, a detailed overview of the most recent one thousand visitors and an invisible counter.

6. MindViz Tracker is an online, account-based web tracker. Features include search bot analysis, mini-trend graphs, and SEO tools.

7. ShinyStat is a platform focused on audience analysis for web sites. There are three versions of ShinyStat: a free version, a Pro version and a Business version. The Business version offers the widest range of features, including search engine ranking detecting and benchmarking.

8. OneStat offers a subscription based service that analyzes traffic to your website. Their services are designed for both webmasters and advertisers. Key features include fraud detection, the tracking of visitor behavior, and free customer support.

9. W3Counter is a hosted program that allows you to map visitors, be aware when incoming links are created, and more.

10. Web-stat can be used with any type of site, including Flash sites. Features include site problem alerts and the ability to use geo-targeting.

There are many high-quality, affordable web trackers available. These are simply the best of the best. Whatever your needs are, one of them should fit your site well.

Author: Nicole Rodgers has been blogging about business for 3 years, she currently contributes to sites regarding how companies can utilize heatmap software and business microblogging.