What is Web Analytics ( Part – 2 Some terms and definitions)

 

While a shopkeeper that owned his business a hundred years ago may not have had the advantage of being able to sell a product instantaneously to a customer across the planet, he/she did have an advantage that is somewhat diminished by internet commerce – he had direct access to feedback from customers. He could tell who came to the shop, how long they stayed, if they purchased anything and ultimately know how his shop was doing. This is a less transparent process online. Web analytics is one way a website owner/ designer can offset this potential drawback. Using web analytics tools, he/she can get the same valuable information and gauge from that data how to improve the website, how to get a better ROI (Return on Investment) for their marketing, how to reach a particular demographic or even just to gauge how many people it has reached.

 

Web Analytics is a multipronged, ongoing process which requires a group of tools. Which tools ( for example free services like Google and Yahoo! That allow you to self monitor versus the services of a paid, professional company, such as Omniture or Sysomos) depends on the needs of the website owner.

 

The data generated by these Web Analytics tools falls into two categories:

 

Clickstream level data

 

This term refers to the data concerning all things clicked by your visitors. It is derived from “Visits, Visitors, Time on Site, Page Views, Bounce Rate[ i.e. “the percentage of sessions on your website with only one page view, or in other words, people who visited your site and then very quickly left.” ( J. Hodson)], Conversion Rate [i.e. “how many people are visiting your site, and then buying a product, or engaging in some other desired behavior “(J.Hodson)] and Sources (Kaushik, 2010).”

 

Multiple outcome Analysis data

This data is generated by setting goals and measuring progress towards those goals. Using both clickstream data and other tools such as Technorati or Klout, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, and surveys ( paraphrasing of J.Hodson), multiple outcome analysis is concerned with increases in revenue, reduction in cost and improvements in customer satisfaction or loyalty.

Visualization

Ofcourse an appealing site gets much more attention. Visualization can also be a best way to strategize on web analytics. You can use certain graphs and charts in order to understand your data easily.

 

 

 

There are many visualization tools you can use, to name a few, we can use Wordle, Visual.ly and Piktochart.

 

 

 

Wordle: Is a word cloud. Through this you can understand the frequency of words within one text. You can have the cloud in different fonts and layouts or even shape if you desire. You can be as creative as you want to.

 

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Visual.ly: You can make an inforgraphic through a social media site, like facebook or twitter. This is a fun way to attract people on your Facebook or Twitter page.

 

 

 

Piktochart: With this you can use your own existing data to build a piktochart. Through piktochart you can use much more information and data. After this, your information can be interpreted in a more broader and easier way. You can get a basic tutorial from the webpage piktochart.com.

 

Finding the Right Analytics tool

Ofcourse there are free tools and paid tools. Lets compare the two!

 

 

 

Free Vs. Paid: You can start measuring data from your website through google and yahoo, which provide you with free tools. The downside is that the raw data wont get you too far. It takes much more time to understand and analyze data, which in turn costs more, because you may need to even hire some people to do so.

 

When you pay for your analytic vendor, you should ask them the 10 important questions:

 

 

 

 1) Main differences with free tools.
2) Types of versions and flexibility.
3) Types of data collection options and entrenchment.
4) TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).
5) Type of Support (options, pricing, technical or business).
6) Segmentation awesomeness (post data capture).
7) Exporting data (options, history, data ownership).
8) Integration with other sources of data.
9) What’s up next, the competitive edge.
10) Types of business lost, why.
11) Bonus Question.

 

 

 

All of these can be found in Kaushiks site in much more detail:

 

Web Analytics Tool Selection: 10 Questions to ask Vendors

 

 

 

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Experimentation & Development

Experimentation and design begins once you’ve started your way through web analytics. At this time you want to figure out how to increase a better outcome of your website. The most efficient way to do this is while you are live on site making sure you listen to your customers, and keep an eye on your competition. The best way to test your site out is through ‘Content Experiments in Google Analytics’ which is free, or you can use ‘test&target’ which you would have to pay for. These two are recommended by Kaushik. (kaushik.net/avinash/)

 

 

 

You should listen to your customers by asking for direct feedback, we call this Voice Of the Customer.

 

Another interesting and useful thing you can do, is go through competitive intelligent. Competitive intelligent is comparing your site to others. You can do this through a tool called ‘Compete’.

 

WEB ANALYTICS…???

Web analytics is a measurement and a collection of data received from the flow of visits made to a website. You can track the flood of visitors on your page by knowing where, when and how they visit your site. Every person that visits your page leaves valuable data. Once you track this information, you can take the data, analyze it, and use it to improve your web page. One advantage of web analytics is that it can aid companies in measuring the results of traditional print, or broadcast an advertising campaign. This way you can be able to attract far more visitors and gain popularity for your website. There are a few important concepts that you need to know in order to be able to guide your analysis.

 

 

 

1)   Clickstream: This is the website’s level of clicks you receive. You can analyze the levels of clicks through certain site behaviours such as; Visits, Visitors, Time on site, Page Views, Bounce Rate, Conversion Rate and Sources.

 

2)   Bounce Rate: This is when a person visits your page just once, and leaves right away.

 

3)   Conversion Rate: This is measures the visitors who buy your products, or engage in a similar behaviour towards your site.

 

What is Web Analytics ( Part 1 – a brief synopsis)

 

Not all websites are created equal. Take Youtube for example. Here you will find expensive, professional, commercial work side by side with camera-phone-recorded pet videos. At the bottom right corner, you can find a running total of how many times each video has been viewed; a widely accepted indicator of the video’s success.  A testament to this evaluation system is the prominence with which page visits and “ likes” are displayed on such a large number of the pages that we (or at least I) come across today.

It would be fair to say that to a considerable number of internet users, a visit is much like a vote. However unlike a vote, a visit can be broken down even further by asking “ how long did the visit last” and “ did the visitor buy/sell/purchase/view etc. anything?”, “ Did they return” and if so, “ how often?” This is where Web Analytics comes into play. Using a variety of tools (both free and otherwise), we can turn the experience of putting up our website from a one way shot in the dark, to a more transparent, improvable two-way process.

Below is a short video created in the hopes of making this definition more conducive to the visually oriented ( which is germane to some aspects of this topic and will be discussed further in a later post).