Web analytics is the process of analyzing the behavior of visitors to a Web site. The use of Web analytics is said to enable a business to attract more visitors, retain or attract new customers for goods or services, or to increase the dollar volume each customer spends.
Web analytics is often used as part of customer relationship management analytics (CRM analytics). The analysis can include determining the likelihood that a given customer will repurchase a product after having purchased it in the past, personalizing the site to customers who visit it repeatedly, monitoring the dollar volume of purchases made by individual customers or by specific groups of customers, observing the geographic regions from which the most and the least customers visit the site and purchase specific products, and predicting which products customers are most and least likely to buy in the future. The objective is to promote specific products to those customers most likely to buy them, and to determine which products a specific customer is most likely to purchase. This can help to improve the ratio of revenue to marketing costs.
In addition to these features, Web analytics may include tracking the clickthrough and drilldown behavior of customers within the Web site, determining the sites from which customers most often arrive, and communicating 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 is the measurement and analysis of data to inform an understanding of user behavior across web pages.
Analytics platforms measure activity and behavior on a website, for example: how many users visit, how long they stay, how many pages they visit, which pages they visit, and whether they arrive by following a link or not.
Businesses use web analytics platforms to measure and benchmark site performance and to look at key performance indicators that drive their business, such as purchase conversion rate.
There’s an old business adage that whatever is worth doing is worth measuring.
Website analytics provide insights and data that can be used to create a better user experience for website visitors.
Understanding customer behavior is also key to optimizing a website for key conversion metrics.
For example, web analytics will show you the most popular pages on your website, and the most popular paths to purchase.
With website analytics, you can also accurately track the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns to help inform future efforts.
Using this tag, the analytics tool counts each time the page gets a visitor or a click on a link. The tag can also gather other information like device, browser and geographic location (via IP address).
Since some users delete cookies, and browsers have various restrictions around code snippets, no analytics platform can claim full accuracy of their data and different tools sometimes produce slightly different results.
Web analytics data is typically presented in dashboards that can be customized by user persona, date range, and other attributes. Data is broken down into categories, such as:
• number of visits, number of unique visitors
• new vs. returning visitor ratio
• what country they are from
• what browser or device they are on (desktop vs. mobile)
• common landing pages
• common exit page
• frequently visited pages
• length of time spent per visit
• number of pages per visit
• bounce rate
• which campaigns drove the most traffic
• which websites referred the most traffic
• which keyword searches resulted in a visit
• campaign medium breakdown, such as email vs. social media
The most popular web analytics tool is Google Analytics, although there are many others on the market offering specialized information such as real-time activity or heat mapping.
The following are some of the most commonly used tools:
Google Analytics - the ‘standard’ website analytics tool, free and widely used
Piwik - an open-source solution similar in functionality to Google and a popular alternative, allowing companies full ownership and control of their data
Adobe Analytics - highly customizable analytics platform (Adobe bought analytics leader Omniture in 2009)
Kissmetrics - can zero in on individual behavior, i.e. cohort analysis, conversion and retention at the segment or individual level
Mixpanel - advanced mobile and web analytics that measure actions rather than pageviews
Parse.ly - offers detailed real-time analytics, specifically for publishers
CrazyEgg - measures which parts of the page are getting the most attention using ‘heat mapping’
Clicktale - uses ‘heat mapping,’ keystrokes and mouse movement
With a wide variety of analytics tools on the market, the right vendors for your company’s needs will depend on your specific requirements. Luckily, Optimizely integrates with most of the leading platforms to simplify your data analysis.