Fundamentals of Web Analytics

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Fundamentals of Web Analytics

Fundamentals of Web Analytics

Web Analytics Methodology

Web analytics is an art and a science. Here is a structured approach for incorporating web analytics into your business:

  1. Identify the objective(s) of your website: Why do you have this website?
  2. Define Key Performance Indicators (KPI): Aligning measurable web metrics with your business objectives.
  3. Reporting: Generating relevant reports.
  4. Trinity Analysis: Understanding the What, Why, and How.
  5. Optimization: Recommendations for improvement and identifying opportunities.

Successful implementation of web analytics can drive your bottom line; however, it requires organization-wide buy-in.

We will discuss each step listed above during our classroom session. (See if you can find a case study of a successful implementation involving collaboration from business, marketing, and IT departments.)

Definitions and Significance of Important Parameters

Parameter Definition
Session A period of interaction between a visitor's browser and a particular web server.
Visits A count of all the sessions during a given period of time.
Visitor A logical construct designed to measure actual people who visited a website. Generally achieved with the help of cookies.
Cookies Text files which are stored on your hard drive by some websites to capture information about you or your computer. Types of cookies include first party cookies, third party cookies, persistent cookies, and temporary cookies. All cookies are browser-specific.
Unique Visitor A count of all the unique visitor IDs during a given time period.
Page Any web document delivered by the webserver. (Files such as .jpg or .gif are generally not considered to be pages.)
Pageviews Number of pages requested during a visitor's session which are tagged by Google Analytics code.
Unique Pageviews The number of visits during which a page was viewed--whether one or more times.
Conversion A conversion is recorded when a visitor reaches a desired page within the website.
Bounce Rate Percentage of single-page visits during which a visitor left your website from the landing page.
Recency Number of days that have passed between each visit.
Loyalty How often visitors return to your site.
Stickiness Amount of time spent on a single web page.

Tips for Building KPIs

KPIs tie business objectives with web metrics.

KPI is always a ratio, a percentage, or an average bounded by time.

Important KPIs for Common Types of Websites

Site Type Business Objective Suggested KPIs to Monitor
E-Commerce website To increase online sales Average order value, percentage of visits that add to the shopping cart (begin shopping), percentage of visits that abandon the shopping cart, revenue generated per product.
Content website Increase visitors' engagement on the website Percentage of visitors who left a comment, average time on the site per visit, average page depth per visit, average page views per visit.
Lead generation website To obtain a potential sales lead Percentage of visits which complete a 'Contact Us' form, percentage of visits which abandoned the registration process, bounce rate.
Branding website To increase brand awareness Direct traffic vs. referred traffic, percentage of repeat visitors, keyword analysis.

Overview of How Search Engines Work

Search engines rely on complex ranking algorithms to decide the search result rank of any website. This process is dynamic and rankings are continuously updated.

Search engines also use "spiders" or "web crawlers" to gather information about your site and bring it back to be analyzed by a powerful central engine.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to a diverse set of activities that you can perform to increase the number of desirable visitors who come to your website via search engines.

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