Website Analytics - The Key to Constant Improvement
aU makes use of Google Analytics and other web analytics software to assess the effectiveness of SEO campaigns. Analytic analysis also highlights; funnels in a sales process, information users can't find, popular pages or products on your site, visitor location, and confusing semiotics and navigation.
We make use of traditional analytic metrics as well as; Site Overlay, Heat Mapping, and Click Paths. Read more below to learn more about what web analytics means and some keyword definitions. Definition and keyterms provided by Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage.
Web analytics is not just a tool for measuring website traffic but can be used as a tool for business research and market research. Web analytics applications can also help companies measure the results of traditional print advertising campaigns. It helps one to estimate how the traffic to the website changed after the launch of a new advertising campaign. Web analytics provides data on the number of visitors, page views, etc. to gauge the traffic and popularity trends which helps doing the market research.
There are two categories of web analytics; off-site and on-site web analytics.
Off-site web analytics refers to web measurement and analysis regardless of whether you own or maintain a website. It includes the measurement of a website's potential audience (opportunity), share of voice (visibility), and buzz (comments) that is happening on the Internet as a whole.
On-site web analytics measure a visitor's journey once on your website. This includes its drivers and conversions; for example, which landing pages encourage people to make a purchase. On-site web analytics measures the performance of your website in a commercial context. This data is typically compared against key performance indicators for performance, and used to improve a web site or marketing campaign's audience response.
Historically, web analytics has referred to on-site visitor measurement. However in recent years this has blurred, mainly because vendors are producing tools that span both categories.
Many advanced analytics solutions allow you to track conversions, goals, revenue, expenses, etc. These solutions aren't for the faint of heart; they're designed to provide detailed metrics to make decisions on the best way to make improvements.
- Search Engine Watch, 2009
Key Web Analytics Terms
Visit / Session
A visit is defined as a series of page requests from the same uniquely identified client with a time of no more than 30 minutes between each page request. A session is defined as a series of page requests from the same uniquely identified client with a time of no more than 30 minutes and no requests for pages from other domains intervening between page requests. In other words, a session ends when someone goes to another site, or 30 minutes elapse between pageviews, whichever comes first. A visit ends only after a 30 minute time delay. If someone leaves a site, then returns within 30 minutes, this will count as one visit but two sessions. In practice, most systems ignore sessions and many analysts use both terms for visits. Because time between pageviews is critical to the definition of visits and sessions, a single page view does not constitute a visit or a session (it is a "bounce").
Visitor / Unique Visitor
The uniquely identified client generating requests on the web server (log analysis) or viewing pages (page tagging) within a defined time period (i.e. day, week or month). A Unique Visitor counts once within the timescale. A visitor can make multiple visits. Identification is made to the visitor's computer, not the person, usually via cookie and/or IP+User Agent. Thus the same person visiting from two different computers will count as two Unique Visitors. Increasingly visitors are uniquely identified by Flash LSO's (Local Shared Object), which are less susceptible to privacy enforcement.
A request for a file whose type is defined as a page in log analysis. An occurrence of the script being run in page tagging. In log analysis, a single page view may generate multiple hits as all the resources required to view the page (images and .css files) are also requested from the web server.
Time on Page
Average amount of time that visitors spend on each page of the site. As with Session Duration, this metric is complicated by the fact that analytics programs can not measure the length of the final page view unless they record a page close event, such as onUnload().
The ratio of visitors that click on an ad for a site compared to the number of the impressions. Click-through-rates can help to determine the effectiveness of an ad design and placement.
Site overlay is a technique in which graphical statistics are shown besides each link on the web page. These statistics represent the percentage of clicks on each link.