Why Web Analytics are Necessary

Web Analytics are necessary to give you some measurement and analysis on your online objectives. They give you a sense of where your dollars are or are not coming from. Imagine starting out on a journey with no map, no log and no path to follow.

Might be a bit difficult.

But in business planning and strategy for local search marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) on the web you need to collect information by using web analytics software in order that you show by measurement what your plan is doing, what route or path are you going on and how will you know you have achieved your objective.

In any business issue I always ask my W5 series of questions.

  1. What solution am I providing.
  2. When am I offering it. Launching or Ongoing
  3. Where am I presenting the offer
  4. Who is my target market and ideal customer
  5. Why is the customer choosing our product or service

Once I have asked these questions I am in a place where I want to study my activity. Statistics and  Web Analytics products give me the opportunity to measure my results and answer the statistics and intentions that happen in any of my campaigns.

Web Analytics Tools

The tool used most frequently as a primary  measurement tool  is the free Google Analytics offering provided by Google Inc. It allows you to measure a number of variables and then slice and dice the information . It is one of the most full featured free web analytic tools available. Other free offerings include Woopra,which can be viewed in real time, and Clicky. All of these tools have a relative ease of use and require you to place code snippets on the pages of your website. The three I have mentioned all have WordPress Plugins to simplify their use.

Here are a few screenshots of the kind of information available

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web analytics

Clicky Dashboard

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web analytics woopra

Woopra Web Dashboard

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web analytics

Google Analytic Dashboard

The web analytics tools provide a variety of information to you in numeric and text formats.

Here are examples that answer the questions above:

  • Where does the traffic come from ?  Who referred it ?  What keyword was used to query ?
  • What kind of browser are they using ?  Is it web or mobile based ?
  • When did they visit- time of day?  How long did they stay ?  What was their entry/exit page ?
  • Did they do what I asked ? Did they reach the goals I set ? What was my revenue ?

These are only the most basic of statistics and information that web analytic products can yield. But I am only scratching the surface of what is available to small businesses and individual users. There are many other web analytic vendors offering a wide variety of tools to measure and monitor every touchpoint on an e-commerce site as well as a variety of Web Optimization tools you can use in concert with the tools mentioned above.

Web Analytics Why Tools

A very useful tool is to ask the user while they are on the site or as they are leaving some simple questions to give you an idea of their intentions so you may discover the why behind their actions. There is a free tool by
4Q|iperceptions that gives you what is called Voice of the Customer. See it in action on the video below:

I am just scratching the surface in this initial post on web analytics.
One of the best commentators that I have found is Avinash Kaushik who writes the blog Occam’s Razor which provides state of the art advice on the psychology, marketing and techniques of web analysis. His thoughts on who and what should you do for analytics is displayed below.webanalytics

He is also the author of the bestselling book Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity
which is a wonderful book to read and absorb to get better insights into the world of web analytics.

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