Sunday, April 20, 2008

Web Analytics Tools and Major Electronic Vietnamese Newspapers

I have spent some time trying to figure out which analytics tools (Coremetrics, Omniture, Google Analytics, Statcounter,Webtrends...) are popular among local businesses and organizations in Vietnam.
Prior to my "research" I have assumed that the local Vienamese companies can't afford to use web analytics tools that require license fees. The average income per capita in Vietnam is still low, approximately $700 compared to $33,000 in Japan. In addition, e-marketing is a relatively new concept that is being adapted into the strategy of the local companies in Vietnam. Since the learning curve is high it would be wise to use a free or extremely low-cost tool to develop skills and knowledge while still keeping the costs down to the minimum.

There are currently 2 solid web analytics tools that would meet the assumptions: Google Analytics and Statcounter. Google Analytics is free and provides sufficient information necessary for the corporate web analytical needs. Statcounter is just as good but it requires a small amount of fee to increase the number of entries in the log files. The free version of Statcounter provides a limited log file, which has 500 entries in it. You are only able to see the most current entries that do not exceed the 500 limit. To increase the number of entries in the log from 500 to 100,000 to view historical data it costs about $50 a month or $499 a year. It's an affordable amount for local Vietnamese companies to experiment, learn and adapt e-marketing to local conditions.

On top of the no-cost advantage Google Anylytics has another advantage over Statcounter: brand recognition. Google brand is definitely much more popular than Statcounter. Google site is ranked as number 2 in Vietnam in terms of traffic on the Alexa report. The ranking beats all the local websites. (Click here for the report: Top 100 Traffic Rankings in Vietnam)
I have chosen to look at the online version of all the major newspapers in Vietnam. All 15 of these online newspapers are popular newspapers sponsored by the goverment or state agencies. They are among the top 100 websites in the Vietnamese virtual space. 8 of them are listed as top 20 in the Alexa traffic ranking report.

The table on top is the final result of my search. It's remarkable. 11 out of 15 online newspapers are using Google Analytics as their web analytics tool while it is still unknown which tool the remaining 4 are using. Google has completely wiped out the competitors because Google's free-tool strategy and high brand recognition meet with the financial needs and learning demand of the major online newspapers in Vietnam. It's going to be an uphill battle for Statcounter to fight for a piece of the web analytics market in Vietnam.

Some of you may be curious about how I have been able to get the info. It's right in front of you. You can find the info in the source codes of the web pages. The info is usally found at the end of the page of the source codes. Here are the steps:
1. Open a website in your browser
2. While you are still on the homepage go to View on the menu then scroll down and click on Source
3. The HTML, Javascript codes will pop up in a Notepad file.
4. On the Notepad press Ctrl+F and type "urchin" or "google-analytics" or "statcounter" or "sitecatalyst" or "coremetrics" in the pop-up window.
5. If a match is found you will see a snippet of codes that will confirm which web analytics tool is being for a webiste.

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