If you’re new to the world of web analytics, the term may sound a bit intimidating at first and you may be asking yourself, “What is Web analytics? What is it good for?”. Well, as stated in our previous post, The Web Analytics Association defines web analytics as: “Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage”.
Success in the online world comes down to delivering satisfying experiences that create value for users. And Having a Website without having any analytics software programmed to it is almost useless. Web analytics is a key factor when determining whether your website content is successfully bringing in traffic and leads. It’s therefore important to constantly analyze and document how user behavior changes that can be very useful in planning your marketing strategy, search engine optimization campaigns and even Website design.
Web analytics strategy requires selecting the right people, process, metrics and tools to get the most from it. Choosing a web analytics tool can also be seen as committing to a long-term project. Also, the right tool falls into the category of vital decisions that an organization has to make. Moreover, it’s essential that you select the right web analytics tool from the right vendor, particularly to future goals and needs of your organization as web analytics and online marketing continue to grow in importance.
As you examine your online analytics and marketing objectives, it’s important to keep in mind several key metrics and figures when selecting a web analytics tool for your organization. This will help you understand which ones are most useful tool for analyzing and improving your website and marketing activities.
Every time your Cascading Style Sheets loads, every time each image on your website loads, each time your Php or html files load, all these count as a Hit. Meaning, a Hit measures the total number of requests for text, images and files your Web server receives for a given page. Before, pages with many images and received many more ‘hits’ than plain text sites. But many web analytics tools don’t even report hits as a metric because what they want to know the number of people are coming to their website.
A Page View tells you the amount of views your website pages are getting. Most web analytics tools allow the client to specify what types of files or requests qualify as a “page”. A page view constitute a Visit, which is the equivalent of when someone arrives at your website and starts looking at pages. A user that Visit your site is a Visitor, any future sessions from the same user during the selected time period are counted as additional visits, but not as additional visitor. Calculation is typically the timestamp of the last activity in the session minus the timestamp of the first activity of the session. The time a visitor spends on your site is a good indicator of the quality of your website. The longer the visitor stays, usually, the better. A unique visitor can have many visits, each containing many page views. The way a first-time visitor interacts with your site is very different from how a returning visitor interacts, so each individual is counted only once in the reporting period. You can discover a lot about your visitors through analytics tools, including how many are new to the site, the country or region where they’re located, and the Web browser they’re using. Knowing where your customers are coming from, what browsers and operating systems your customers are using is essential to create a site that meets their needs.
Web analytics has always been an important aspect of digital marketing, but only recently has it been considered critical to success as many organizations identify opportunities to improve their businesses and marketing strategies. Web analytics can provide marketers with relevant web metrics to evaluate the success of their website and content. However, most marketers are confused with business implications of analytics reports, so with the help of web analytics tool it ends up being simpler to understand what users are doing and how they interact with our website.
The world of analytics is complicated by the fact that not every software tool handles metrics in the same way. Before any measurement tool is purchased a very important decision needs to be made. Significantly, If you aren’t using a web analytics tool there’s really no way of knowing whether you’re moving closer to your goal or further away from it. A Web analytics tool will show you how many leads you’re generating from your website, the number of new visitors, who is returning to your website, and much more.
For many marketers, any marketing efforts without analyzing the results is like shooting an arrow in the dark. You will never know if you’re hitting the right target market. Web analytics offer insightful information about the performance of your marketing activities and whether it is yielding the kind of results expected by you.
While web analytics can provide marketers with informative and useful insights and data into the technical performance of website, however, marketers today really need much richer and specific data to understand the performance of their marketing activities, something that web analytics alone can’t provide.
Information that you collect from Web analytics tool can quickly become overwhelming. However, some Web analytics tools have been designed to help you organize website data for quick and easy viewing. Once you have that knowledge at your fingertips, you can take steps to strengthen your marketing strategies, your website content, and ultimately your business.
Keep in mind that your website and marketing ability to retain and covert your target market into loyal customers or users depends on how well you use and optimize for the right metrics. Your Web Analytics tool should provide active metrics that pays attention to each visitor’s interaction within the site and emphasizing events that are more relevant to current browsing patterns. With this in mind, there are several different factors which need to be considered before choosing a Web Analytics solution and this will be explored in detail on our next post.
With so many different web analytics applications now available, evaluating all of your options may seem like a daunting task. But which web analytics tool should you use? What can analytics do for your site performance and business goals?