Monday, 29 June 2015 11:32

WEB ANALYTICS

By: 

Today the use of internet has increased to the extent that every individual and company is employing it to further their business goals. The internet is not only used for research but also for online trading of goods and services, which is a clear indication of the heavy dependence of companies on the internet for their revenue. With this increased reliance, the companies have the need to gain a better understanding of the activities on their websites. For this purpose tools such as ‘Web Analytics’ becomes important.

Web analytics is used to optimize the use of internet and to gain insight into the activity that customers engage in, when they visit a website. It keeps track of the number of visitors, and the amount of time they spent on the website while identifying the new visitors and returning visitors, for marketing purposes. This becomes useful when developing business strategy, especially for those businesses that are increasingly relying on the web for their revenue.

While Web Analytics present a variety of possibilities, and statistics, most of it might be irrelevant. Hence one of the first things you should do is to identify your key stakeholders, and what they are interested in. Recognizing the goals of the board of directors and the company will save you time and trouble of organizing irrelevant data. Also identify the valued customer, i.e. what is preferred most, whether a customer who visits most often or a visitor who stays longer? You should try to maximize the visitor’s experience, by understanding what he seeks when he visits your website.

Web Analytic Basics

After outlining the principle goals, identify the critical metrics needed. What are the signals that indicate the utility of a customer, and where do the gaps exist? How can we encourage consumers to sign up or make a purchase? After such metrics are identified, your task becomes relatively simple. You don’t need to go through the vast amounts of data and ratios. Instead you could do a targeted analysis of the metrics you have singled out, and prepare a presentation or report on the relevant statistics.

Understanding the basics of Web Analytics is the first task to utilizing it optimally. It may seem like a daunting task initially, but in reality there are just a few simple steps you need to follow.

You can start by taking a look at the basic figures given in the summary. The summary is available in any Analytics tool which includes the number of visits, bounce rate, average time on site etc. You should understand what they represent. See how they compare the recent trends, i.e. how the numbers of visitors, average number of pages visited and other statistics compared to last few weeks, or last month.

You should also have an understanding of where the traffic is generated from. Apart from direct traffic, i.e. the people who visit the website by typing in the URL, there are two major external sources that can guide traffic to your website; i.e referring URLs and search engines. You should take a look at the figures to see how much is contributed by the direct traffic; the people who know your website enough to know its URL, and from the external sources; the referring URLs.

Again the key is to look for trends and see which traffic generating source has grown the most, and which is lagging behind. You can try to identify keywords that become the source of most traffic generation, or keywords that direct traffic from Search Engines.

Since the homepage is not always the first page a visitor encounters when they visit your website, it is important that you see the individual bounce rates for each of the entry points. A visitor may click on a link to your website, and go deep into your website, instead of visiting the homepage first. You should identify the pages that are the top entry points, and analyse which of them are engaging enough for a visitor to want to browse more. Keep an eye out for pages with a high bounce rate, since those pages are not convincing the visitors to stay and browse more. This could be because those pages may not be fulfilling the consumer expectations.

After following these steps, by now, you should have narrowed down focus areas (pages and keywords) for you to concentrate on when tweaking your website to generate more activity and attract new and old visitors. Web Analytics is best employed when it is used for constant improvement of the customer experience on your website. However, from the range of Web Analytics tools available, choosing the best one might be a daunting task.

Types of Web Analytics

According to user reviews, Google Analytics seems to be the popular choice. It offers a sophisticated data integration free of cost, and hence is a great option for starters. Yahoo Web Analytics also follows closely. A bit of an upgrade from Google Analytics, it gives bit more insight into consumer behavior and demographics. Clicky is also undoubtedly one of the best, with an affordable price, and a more current report than Google and Yahoo. Clicky allows you to view what current users are doing on your website. Though many more options exist, the choice of the best tool depends on your requirement and budget.

Although Web Analytics is a breakthrough in conducting business online, use of the right criteria, data and tools is imperative to employ it successfully. Effective use of web analytics requires identifying the stakeholders, identifying the valued customers, and thereby identifying the relevant metrics. Also we should keep in mind our specific needs and budget while choosing the best tool available.

Summary:

To use web analytics, we should identify the stakeholders and the valued customers, and hence identify the relevant metrics. Also while choosing the best tool available we should keep in mind our specific needs and budget.

 

Leave a comment

airs logo

Association of Internet Research Specialists is the world's leading community for the Internet Research Specialist and provide a Unified Platform that delivers, Education, Training and Certification for Online Research.

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.

Follow Us on Social Media

Book Your Seat for Webinar GET FREE REGISTRATION FOR MEMBERS ONLY      Register Now