What is web analytics?
Web analytics is the process of analyzing the behavior of visitors to a website. This involves tracking, reviewing, and reporting data to measure web activity, including the use of a website and its components, such as webpages, images, and videos.
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Data collected through web analytics may include traffic sources, referring sites, page views, paths taken, and conversion rates. The compiled data often forms a part of customer relationship management analytics (CRM analytics) to facilitate and streamline better business decisions.
Web analytics enables a business to retain customers, attract more visitors and increase the dollar volume each customer spends.
Analytics can help in the following ways:
- Determine the likelihood that a given customer will repurchase a product after purchasing it in the past.
- Personalize the site to customers who visit it repeatedly.
- Monitor the amount of money individual customers or specific groups of customers spend.
- Observe the geographic regions from which the most and the least customers visit the site and purchase specific products.
- Predict which products customers are most and least likely to buy in the future.
The objective of web analytics is to serve as a business metric for promoting specific products to the customers who are most likely to buy them and to determine which products a specific customer is most likely to purchase. This can help improve the ratio of revenue to marketing costs.
In addition to these features, web analytics may track the clickthrough and drill-down behavior of customers within a website, determine the sites from which customers most often arrive, and communicate with browsers to track and analyze online behavior. The results of web analytics are provided in the form of tables, charts, and graphs.
Web analytics process
The web analytics process involves the following steps:
The first step in the web analytics process is for businesses to determine goals and the results they are trying to achieve. These goals can include increased sales, customer satisfaction, and brand awareness. Business goals can be both quantitative and qualitative.
The second step in web analytics is the collection and storage of data. Businesses can collect data directly from a website or web analytics tool, such as Google Analytics. The data mainly comes from Hypertext Transfer Protocol requests — including data at the network and application levels — and can be combined with external data to interpret web usage. For example, a user’s Internet Protocol address is typically associated with many factors, including geographic location and clickthrough rates.
The next stage of the web analytics funnel involves businesses processing the collected data into actionable information. For more information please visit Pritish Kumar Halder ‘s page.
Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs)
In web analytics, a KPI is a quantifiable measure to monitor and analyze user behavior on a website. Examples include bounce rates, unique users, user sessions, and on-site search queries.
Developing a strategy
This stage involves implementing insights to formulate strategies that align with an organization’s goals. For example, search queries conducted on-site can help an organization develop a content strategy based on what users are searching for on its website.
Experimenting and testing
Businesses need to experiment with different strategies to find the one that yields the best results. For example, A/B testing is a simple strategy to help learn how an audience responds to different content. The process involves creating two or more versions of content and then displaying it to different audience segments to reveal which version of the content performs better.
What is web analytics used for?
Web analytics features like Amplitude’s Pathfinder show how users interact with your site.
Web analytics is helpful for understanding which channels users come through to your website. You can also identify popular site content by calculating the average length of stay on your web pages and how users interact with them—including which pages prompt users to leave.
The process of web analytics involves:
- Setting business goals: Defining the key metrics that will determine the success of your business and website
- Collecting data: Gathering information, statistics, and data on website visitors using analytics tools
- Processing data: Converting the raw data you’ve gathered into meaningful ratios, KPIs, and other information that tell a story
- Reporting data: Displaying the processed data in an easy-to-read format
- Developing an online strategy: Creating a plan to optimize the website experience to meet business goals
- Experimenting: Doing A/B tests to determine the best way to optimize website performance
- You can use this information to optimize underperforming pages and further promote higher-performing ones across your website. For example, French news publisher Le Monde used analytics to inform a website redesign that increased subscriber conversions by 46 percent and grew digital subscriptions by over 20 percent. Le Monde was able to identify which paid content users engaged with the most, then use that information to highlight top-performing content on the homepage.
What are the two main categories of web analytics?
The two main categories of web analytics are off-site web analytics and on-site web analytics.
Off-site web analytics
The term off-site web analytics refers to the practice of monitoring visitor activity outside of an organization’s website to measure potential audience. Off-site web analytics provides an industrywide analysis that gives insight into how a business is performing in comparison to competitors. It refers to the type of analytics that focuses on data collected from across the web, such as social media, search engines, and forums.
On-site web analytics
On-site web analytics refers to a narrower focus that uses analytics to track the activity of visitors to a specific site to see how the site is performing. The data gathered is usually more relevant to a site’s owner and can include details of the on-site engagement, such as what content is most popular. Two technological approaches to on-site web analytics include log file analysis and page tagging.
Log file analysis, also known as log management, is the process of analyzing data gathered from log files to monitor, troubleshoot and report on the performance of a website. Log files hold records of virtually every action taken on a network server, such as a web server, email server, database server, or file server.
Page tagging is the process of adding snippets of code into a website’s HyperText Markup Language code using a tag management system to track website visitors and their interactions across the website. These snippets of code are called tags. When businesses add these tags to a website, they can be used to track any number of metrics, such as the number of pages viewed, the number of unique visitors, and the number of specific products viewed.
Web analytics tools
Web analytics tools report important statistics on a website, such as where visitors came from, how long they stayed, how they found the site, and their online activity while on the site. In addition to web analytics, these tools are commonly used for product analytics, social media analytics, and marketing analytics.