What Is Web Analytics
What Is Web Analytics
Web analytics is the process of gathering, measuring and analysing visitor data. Analytics provide a deeper understanding of how visitors interact with your website and provides valuable insights that can be used to increase the visibility and profitability of your online properties
Web analytics software comes in two main flavours, page tagging and weblog analysis. Both interpret raw user data and output charts, graphs and statistics tied to a timeline that accurately reflect visitor trends. This information can provide actionable insights which can be used to fine-tune key areas of your website. As such, web analytics can play a significant part in developing tour website and formulating strategic marketing decisions.
Advantages of page tagging:
- Similarly, page tagging also ensures data is collected from regularly requested pages that might be cached by your ISP.
Disadvantages of Page Tagging
- On a large, poorly designed site, where design technology will not permit a simple include, adding page tags can be problematic.
- Page tagging cannot report on non HTML pages including: Image file hits, PDFs, media files, downloaded files (.zip, .exe, etc.)
There are three main reasons for using analytics:
- Support SEO Efforts
- Improve Usability
- Increase Accessibility
Support SEO Efforts
Search engine optimization drives visitors to the most relevant pages on your website. The concept is simple, similar to the way someone would use Yellow Pages to find an electrician, someone using a search engine to locate the products or services that you sell is highly likely to be in the market for those products or services.
What is your 5 most profitable keyphrases? What are your top landing pages? Which pages have the highest bounce rate? Web analytics plays a decisive role in SEO. It lets you see where visitors are coming from, which terms they searched to find your site, which pages they land on and whether they hang around or immediately hit the back-button.
Analytics gives you the marketing intelligence, based on what works and what doesn't, to make informed SEO decisions. The SEO process then becomes a bit like a feedback loop, getting better and better with every iteration.
Many companies fail to take advantage of web analytics, whether that's through time restraints, or they can't be bothered, or feel it's out with their technically skills. By improving the targeting and visibility of your website, you will increase your market share, raise brand awareness and extend product reach, all of which has a positive effect on the bottom line.
It's relatively easy to publish a website, with today's WYSIWYG editors and Content Management Systems there is little requirement to gain a working knowledge of HTML and the potential audience is massive. But that does not change the need to understand your audience. By understanding how visitors interact with your site you can help them achieve their goals quicker and easier. If your site "works" the way they do, the user experience will significantly increase and users will return time and time again.
Web analytics lets you see how visitors use and navigate your site. Are they struggling to achieve their goals? If they are, there is very little chance that you will achieve yours! According to IBM, every $1 invested in making your website easy-to-use returns $10 to $100.
It's also important to understand the technology is the technology that is used to access your web pages. By making your pages accessible to older browsers, mobile technology and assistive devices, like screen readers, you can significantly reduce bounce rate because more people will be able to see your pages.
Web analytics will let you see which browsers (and browser version), screen resolutions, operating systems and more. Would you turn away customers from your shop because they arrived in the wrong type of car? No, then make sure you are not turning visitors away from your website because they use the ‘wrong' browser.
If you are serious about your long term success online invest in web analytics. There may be a steep learning curve, but the payoff is huge.
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