What are Web Analytics?

Whether or not you realize it, there are (digital) forces at work that are tracking you and gathering statistics about your net surfing habits.  But we’re not talking about a clandestine government program here that is gathering intelligence about you as an individual, but rather your activities and proclivities as an anonymous user.  Simply put, that’s what web analytics is – a process of continuously gathering and analyzing internet data that’s often carried out by unknown 3rd parties.

What’s the point of web analytics?

Aside from simply trying to improve the internet (overall), web analytics are usually specifically tapped to develop better web sites.  Since most websites deal in commerce, it’s safe to assume that the use of web analytics has helped to improve the quality of businesses operating in a great number of areas.

However, it’s not just about improving individual businesses and websites; using analytics to analyze web traffic allows groups like the US Federal government and critical corporations like Google to maintain the internet itself.  Whether or not you realize it, there are limits in terms of what’s possible when it comes to online traffic.  Just like in real life, if there are no traffic directions or rules, the integrity of the web quickly disintegrates.  Meaning, it is through the analysis of web analytics that we are able to provide a more seamless online experience.  Furthermore, as newer technologies come onto the scene, web analytics allows us to quickly determine what’s working and what isn’t.

What types of benefits can be extracted from the use of web analytics?

For individuals or businesses, the use of web analytics allows one to accurately gauge just how successful or appealing certain pages or approaches are when it comes to things like sales conversions.  In other words, through analytics, specific performance statistics can be gathered.  This in turn would allow a company to gain a glimpse into what truly works when it comes to sales.   Naturally, any information ascertained via web analytics will likely lead a business toward completely redefining their online approach to suit the desires of their consumers, which hopefully means increased sales.  There are a great number of various types of (analytical) tools available too, some which actually track users’ eye movements and reactions as they look at different portions of a page.  For most businesses however, web analytics are used to help build better marketing programs which are capable of more accurately targeting consumers.

How can your average business best utilize web analytics?

The average business can actually implement web analytics in various ways which will hopefully improve their site’s overall performance.  The most important thing that organizations need to focus on, aside from traffic, is conversions.  The percentage of conversion simply implies the proportion of people who actually buy something or further engage the site vs. those who don’t or immediately click away.   Your goal (assuming that you’re gathering and analyzing web statistics) is to determine what common factors are present with those participating consumers.  In other words, you might be able to use basic web analytics to determine, or rather precisely target your true consumer base.  If you are able to better locate traffic which is comprised of individuals who are already looking for the product / services you provide, then you’re going to have a much larger rate of conversion.  Moreover, if you can determine exactly why certain segments of the population are being repelled by your site, it might be possible to simply fix those elements which are lacking and dramatically improve conversion rates.

Does your IT department know how to gather and utilize web analytics?  

Needless to say, if your company’s IT department draws a blank whenever the topic of web analytics comes up, something needs to be done.  Perhaps the simplest and most affordable way to take advantage of what web analytics has to offer is to simply have some (or all) of them complete certification courses in this area.  There are some really excellent programs out there which not only teach respondents the best techniques for gathering critical consumer data from the web, but also how to implement various strategies designed to take advantage of certain situations.  Given the incredible competition in the area of e-commerce alone, online businesses need to consider every possible avenue when it comes to assistance and direction.  The internet can be quite fickle, and in some ways, the use of web analytics allows businesses and site owners to gain a greater sense of stabilization than might otherwise be possible.

Looking for a complete web analytics certification kit?  …then look no further, click here for access.

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