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Introduction to Web Analytics


WEB ANALYTICSMeasuring and analysing digital marketing activity has evolved in recent years, from a nice to have, to an essential business tool. Web analytics can be confusing and a little daunting at times if you are unfamiliar with the systems, terminology and software.

Understanding what it is and why you need it will help you to better track and analyse the success of your activity online. 

What is web analytics?

The official definition of web analytics from the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) is, “the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purpose of understanding and optimizing Web usage”. It studies visitor, traffic and navigation patterns to determine the success of a website.

Web analytics are much more complex than a lot of people realise. To many, it is about how many visitors or page views a website receives. However, it actually extends beyond this and moves into creating accountability around business goals through the correct measurement and analysis.

Why does my business need web analytics?

1. Measure and Maximise ROI

All successful businesses have SMART goals that are specific and measurable. In order to provide a correct and accurate measurement of digital marketing activity Web Analytics is needed to determine the return on investment (ROI) of that particular activity. By using these measurements and insights, an organisation is able to refocus where the digital marketing budget is being spent, to exploit the maximum ROI.

2. Target your Marketing Activities

The insight from web analytics helps determine how an organisation’s target market is engaging with its digital initiatives, allowing marketing activities to be more targeted based on these insights.

3. Reveal Revenue Enhancing Opportunities

Web analytics helps to determine trends in a particular product or service, and how best to utilise those products or services.

4. Optimise Conversions

Web analytics is the primary method for understanding how your website is being found and engaged with. It provides insight into how you are converting and/or losing visitors. This enables you to develop strategies to maximise your conversion rate.

5. Reduce Offline Costs

Web analytics provides you with opportunities to improve the efficiency of your online support, which contributes to a significant drop in offline costs.

Tools of the Trade

Selecting the right web analytics tool for your business is vital to your online success. There are various platforms you can choose from, so we have rounded up the best web analytics tools around to help ease the process. 

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the most commonly known and widely used web analytics program. Many users of Google Analytics simply use it for tracking the basic stats on their website. However, Google Analytics can generate up to 85 different reports that can help you to analyse all possible data about your website traffic.

Key features of Google Analytics:

  • It is a free service
  • It can be used for Marketing-based analysis
  • It provides excellent graphical representation of data
  • It allows users to create and save custom reports
  • It lets you choose which metrics you want to track and which categories to analyse further
  • Event tracking – allows you to track and analyse specific, click triggered actions

 2. Clicky

Clicky is a real-time web analytics tool that is becoming increasingly popular. With features that set it apart from Google Analytics and other top players, it’s no wonder.

 Key features of Clicky:

 Real-time data

  • Intuitive dashboard
  • Accommodates social media (Twitter analytics)
  • Allows for WordPress integration using a plugin
  • Spy View – lets you observe what current visitors are doing on your site
  • There is a mobile version available

 3. Woopra

Woopra is a fast developing web analytics tool that offers an impressive package of advanced features, which are easy to learn and implement.

Key features of Woopra:

  • Real-time tracking
  • An easy to use live interface
  • Able to monitor multiple websites simultaneously in a tabbed window
  • Dynamic labels – automatically label individual visitors using customized filters
  • Instant messaging – chat with your audience

As more and more businesses move online and focus their marketing activity through digital channels it is almost a necessity to have a web analytics program and profile setup. When it comes to deciding which tool to use it’s best to consider your business goals and choose a program with features that will best support the storytelling of your activity.

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76283671@N00/184623755/

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