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OpenTracker. “Summarized Overview of Web metrics, web analytics and website statistics. 2009 < http://www.opentracker.net/en/articles/web-metrics-site-statistics.jsp> ............................................................................................................................................14
What is Web Analytics?
Web analytics can be defined as the process of collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting web data and statistics. Web analytics relies on the recording and interpreting data of to determine website patterns, optimize web site usage, and make fact-based business decisions. Terms that are synonymous with web analytics are web metrics, web stats, site stats, and website statistics. The appendage of an “E” in front of any of these terms refers to the fact that is being used as a measure for the internet or ecommerce (OpenTracker, 2009). The field of web analytics is broad, and can be broken down into specific targeted areas. Mobile web analytics, on-site analytics, off-site analytics, and video web analytics are all a subset of the broader field. Off-site web analytics refers to web measurement and analysis of a website's potential for audience, visibility, and product marketing.
On-site web analytics measure a visitor behavior and website performance. Performance records factors that encourage users to stay on, navigate your website, and make a purchase Mobile web analytics is a specialized focus on mobile website user behavior. Mobile analytics records data from users that connect to your website using a mobile device. This analytics is used to determine what campaigns work best for mobile website traffic. Online / web video analytics measures how viewers get to a online video(movie clip, video advertisement, movie trailer, television show) and what they do when they watch it ( Wikipedia, 2009).
How Web Analytics Are Measured Web analytics are measured by use of metrics. The ‘metrics’ of web metrics refers to the science of measuring websites. More descriptively, measuring user events and clicks on a website (OpenTracker, 2009). The most important web metrics as defined by the Web Analytics Association are Unique Visitors, Visits/Sessions, and Page Views. Most web analytic definitions are based off of these three metrics. (Web Analytics Association. 2009).
Web Analytics Organization A national association is in place, called the Web Analytics Association (WAA) to help define Web analytics measures to develop a common vocabulary, definitions, and standards for measuring and reporting Web metrics. The WAA believes using like-minded data metrics and methodologies will result in: • • • More meaningful industry benchmarking Comparability of results among different tools Better understanding of the metrics terms we use References WAA.
The complete WAA Web analytics standards document PDF can be access from the WAA website. Importance of Web Analytics
Web Analytics is an essential tool in a web marketing campaigns, without analytics there is no way to determine the effectiveness of a campaign. Web analytics is a faucet of online businesses that has been steadily gaining importance over the last several years. Application of web data continues to improve the growth and success of many online businesses.
Web Analytics Tools
It is important to access what is key to your online business marketing. It is important to know what page, trends or promotions are retaining visitor interest. Are my rich internet applications increasing my profits? Is my blog adding site value? What are my visitors doing when they get to my site? To answer these questions, many web analytics tools have been created for individual and enterprise use. Tools vary in pricing from free to a few thousand dollars. Also, tool functionality ranges from a targeted area of web analytics to a complete suite of web analytics tools. Some popular tools are described below. • Web Log Expert is a web log analyzer. It can give you information about your site's visitors: activity statistics, accessed files, paths through the site, information about referring pages, search engines, browsers, operating systems, and more. Double click is a company that provides internet ad services. DoubleClick clients tend to be agencies or professional marketers. CoreMetrics is a web analytics solution that records visitor behavior. CoreMetrics provides marketing optimization, merchandising, and content analysis services. Videoegg is a rich media advertising management network that promotes brands. Advertises outstanding consumer reach and accountable online advertising for brands.
ExactTarget is an email marketing software, services & solutions company. Their solution allows easy creation, delivery, tracking, optimization, and automation of permission-based email marketing campaigns. Pluck SiteLife is a social media technology platform that provides integrated social media solutions for publishers, brands and retailers. Google Analytics is an easy-to-use enterprise-class web analytics solution that provides data into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. Urchin from Google is used for web log processing. It is useful for companies behind a firewall. This software must be installed on the company’s own servers. Omniture SiteCatalyst is powerful software for use in optimizing social networking, blog article timing, rich internet application, dynamic site search, and visitor profiling on a website. WebTrends Analytics 9 is an enterprise analytics system that provides many tools to track, analysis, and optimize all aspects of a website.
Figure 1.1 Software Offerings by WebTrends Analytics 9
Gomez is a website performance monitoring tool. The software provides web-cross browser testing, web load and performance testing, web performance business management, web performance business analysis.
Figure 1.2 Web Analytics Software Diagram
Web analytics, if used effectively, can significantly impact the success of an online business. Some social networking and blog sites have built-in analytics or integration with some of the more popular web analytic engines. Information Collected Data collected and stored is generally what pages were viewed, if you are a return visitors, origination source, entry page, exit page, and if mobile viewer, network carrier and country information. This information is collected and used to calculate the following:
• • • • • • •
Keywords Analysis – search keywords used to find website. Referring Websites – from where did the visitor link to website? Search Engines - search engine used to find website. Visit Length – how long did the visitor stay on the site and each individual page. Bounce rates – how many visitors left the website site without taking any action. Country/State/ISP of Origin – where is the visitor physically located. Browser – what browser is the visitor using (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc).
Web Analytics Obstacles Some web technologies are not friendly to web analytics. Some rich web technologies (e.g. Flash, AJAX, media files, downloads, documents,
XML feeds, and PDFs) are difficult to define as pages when using some web analytics tools. Cookies are a way of uniquely identifying a user to a website. Web analytics depend on cookies to identify unique visitors, when cookies are deleted by the user this causes an issue. Preventing use of persistent and unique visitor id can shrew the data related to return visitor activity.
Search Engine Marketing / Search Engine Optimization
With business popularity and profits tied to getting users to your website, the topic of search engine marketing rises to the top of the priority list. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is term that describes marketing a website using various techniques to make it more visible on search engines (SuperPages, 2000). Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines (Search Engine Land, 2009). SEO involves using various strategies in the design and creation of a website to enhance its search engine listing. SEO /SEM Jobs Many companies have been started specifically for supplying companies with Search Engine Marketing. Consultation on Search Engine Optimization, strategies on social media marketing and mobile marketing are usually guided by the experience of the SEM professional. Within companies, newly created positions of E-marketing managers, web analysts and business intelligence experts are available to address the web's move toward user behavior tracking and determine ways to utilize these patterns to increase a company's bottom sales line and revenue. Web metrics and web analytics is an exciting field, with great potential for continued growth. Determining patterns within web data is limitless. An example might be comparing ‘page visits to the women shoe page’ with ‘page visits to the men shoe page’. Companies have realized the importance of web analytics, and therefore web analytics positions.
What make your site attractive to users?
In order for a website to thrive, it must have new and repeat users. There are many techniques for driving users to your site and converting them into repeat users. Ways to drive users to your website are outlined below. Techniques To Get Users To Your Website • ShareThis, Facebook, Other Social Networking Media, and friend referrals. • Blog Links. • Direct and reminder emails. • Affiliate programs. • Listing with major directories and search engines. (e.g. Yahoo, DMOZ), related website linking. • Print media with web address (e.g. Business cards, flyers, postcards, pens). • Increasing HTML META tags and keywords within pages, for better placement with search engines. • Well placed banner ads and links on other sites. • Well chosen URL, easy to reminder and spell. • Descriptive Photo, Image Tags What • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Keeps Users on Your Website Credible, original, interesting, easy to read and useful content. Value or timely information. Optimized webpage code and graphics – for faster page loads. Interactivity. Self-generating content. Creative, well organized, eye-pleasing page layout/design. Ease of use and navigation. Competitive pricing. Promotional offering, coupons, discounts. Product availability. Personalized experience. Security of personal information. Compatibility across multiple browsers. Instant access to Customer Service (phone or web conversions).
Many techniques can be employed to get and retain users to a website. With use of web analytics tools and informed e-marketing decisions, the likelihood of user retention can be increased.
Determining Blog Baseline for Comparison A baseline for comparison to future statistics was taken from my blog’s dashboard. A screenshot of views per week provided the most accurate data at this point.
Figure 1.3 Baseline Statistics, Sincerely Pam – Visits Per Week
Figure 1.4 Baseline Statistics, Sincerely Pam Blog – Blog Stats
Attractiveness Techniques applied to Sincerely Pam MIST7500 Blog 1. Applied content keywords to pages. 2. Created new categories of posts for easier navigation. 3. Added RSS feed. 4. Expanded upon “Twitter” social networking link. 5. Changed Image “alt” and “title” tags to be more descriptive. For example: <img src="http://.. alt="mini-render" title="minirender".. /> was changed to <img src="http://..alt="opera, mini browser, client, server, architecture" title=" opera, mini browser, client, server, architecture" … /> 6. Submitted URL to some major search engines Google and Yahoo, and MSN
Figure 1.5 Yahoo Link Submission Confirmation Page
Figure 1.6 MSN Link Submission Confirmation Page
Results Currently, my results are unchanged. The number of visitors has not increased. However, I believe applying some of these improvements to my blog is beneficial to overall user satisfaction and future traffic generation. I will check statistic in a few weeks for traffic improvements. Web Analytics Tools Applied At Work I have lightly used some of the Google Analytics tools at work. I have added scripts to Alternative Apparel web pages to track user page visits and amounts spent.
In addition, I have added query string parameters to many of the company’s external links to track traffic through Google Analytics ecommerce campaigns. Previously, my company was solely using urchin to track website visits. With the addition of Google Analytics, external, or off-site, links from our blog, facebook, myspace, and emails are now able to be tracked. The tracking of on-site web analytics is also visible. Information on referring links and most visited web pages allow for informed marketing decisions that will hopefully produce a positive return on investment.
Figure 1.7 Google Analytics Interface
Figure 1.8 Gomez Interface
Figure 1.9 Gomez Interface
Other Useful Information
In addition to information discussed in this document, there are many other good sources of Web Analytics. Below are a few that I have discovered or read about. Websites and Weblogs Yahoo! Web Analytics Forum – claims to be world’s most active discussion on web analysis and measurement. Open to levels of experience. SearchEngineLand.com - news and information site covering search engine marketing, searching issues and the search engine industry. SearchEngineWorld.com - to share and gain knowledge in operating and promoting a website. Includes information about design, coding, maintenance, promotion, marketing, and management of a website.
SEOFriendly – tips, tricks, advice, and industry new about SEO. Conferences Annual Emetrics Summit. Topics include Website optimization, search analytics, campaign optimization, web 2.0 optimization, public sector metrics, behavioral targeting, competitive analysis, customer experience, and statistical analysis.
References OpenTracker. “Summarized Overview of Web metrics, web analytics and website statistics. 2009 < http://www.opentracker.net/en/articles/web-metrics-sitestatistics.jsp>
Wikipedia. “Online Video Analytics. “ 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_video_analytics> Web Analytics Association. 2009 <http://www.webanalyticsassociation.org/ > Superpages. “What is SEM?” 2009. <http://advertising.superpages.com/learning/what-is-sem.shtml> Search Engine Land. 2009. <http://searchengineland.com/seo-faqthats-not-from-the-land-of-unicorns-27695> Web Reference. 2009 <http://www.webreference.com/greatsite.html>
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