What is Web Analytics?

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

       Today we would like to go ahead and share with you the knowledge that we have about web analytics since that’s the area that we are currently working in and we are extremely passionate about it. I am sure that many of you ask yourself what a web analytics is. How can we define it? Can we come up with the clear definition that will capture all components of web analytics? Let’s try to dive into that a little deeper.
       There is no strong consensus about what exactly web analytics is. Web analytics can be looked at from the following perspectives:


       I. Classical web analytics is focused on actual visitors’ behavior within the web site. It answers the following questions:

1. Who is coming to the web site?
2. What are they doing (or, what are they attempting to do)?
3. What is the gap between what they are doing and what the companies expect them to do? 
4. What are some ways that can help to close the gaps?
5. How can we get more of these people who are likely to convert?


       Having access to information about visitors helps making decisions about the website, determines whether the website requires redesign or minor changes in order to bring more traffic.


       II. Modern web analytics is focused on marketing campaigns’ (display, paid search, email) optimization. Web analytics can determine the effectiveness of campaigns (impressions, clicks, click-through rates) and identify which sources people are coming from and how the campaigns can be optimized to bring more visits and as a result generate more conversions.
       III. Combined web analytics concentrates on the interactions between the company’s website and the ads. It calculates the number of visitors that are being brought to the website from the ads, defines the quality of these leads and determines the possibility of that leads to perform actions, convert on the website.


       So, after reviewing the approaches above we think that the following definition fits the best: Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of the web data for the purposes of understanding the consumer’s behavior and optimizing the company’s marketing initiatives in order to increase online, offline conversions and ROI as a result. There are many analytics vendors out there, such as Yahoo! Web Analytics, Google Analytics, Coremetrics, Omniture SiteCatalyst, Web Trends and others, which integrate, track and analyze a lot of data generated from the activity of the company’s website as well as from the marketing campaigns. The Internet data can then be used to drive the company’s online marketing decisions. Despite of the role that web analytics plays in an online marketing some companies overlook proper implementation and incorporation of web analytics into the company’s online marketing activities and therefore fail to take advantage of web analytics as a key in their digital marketing strategy. Sometimes they are even unaware of its existence. Some companies extensively use web analytics tools and support the idea that web analytics contributes to the company’s growth and profitability. The real value of web analytics comes from analyzing these metrics and using them to understand how the website and online marketing activities contribute to the business goals.


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