Web Analytics-Meaning, Key Metrics and Tools
Web analytics is reporting and analysis of data on website visitor activity. It is not only a tool to measure web traffic but also can be used as a tool for business and market research. Techniques used to access and improve the contribution of e-marketing to a business, such as referrals, clickstreams, online research data, customer satisfaction surveys, leads and sales. Thus, marketers use web analytics exploring data and reports to build their knowledge on customers’ preference and behavior according to types of sites, which areas customers click more often when they online. It also helps marketer understand their customers better and improve their business performance. (Dykes, 2012)
These are three stages that they need to concern when setting up a web analytic tool. The analysis is the ticket for them move from Steupland to Actionland. It is the isolating of meaningful and actionable insights in data and reports that when acted upon by your organization can drive business value.
At this early planning stage, it is necessary for marketer to gather their business objectives and capture stakeholders’ online behavior by their online measurement strategy. Clearly understand measurement strategy and well analyze visitors is critical to success. Thus, marketers have to carefully handling relevant and meaningful data which will directly affect the business in the long-term.
At this point of stage, large companies may spend amount of time on technical implementation such as multiple web domains and online marketing initiatives. (Dykes, 2012)
This is the last stage for companies move from Setupland to Actionland. This stage is important where you create report and distribute them to organization using a manual or preferably automated approach.
TOOLS AND METHODS USED TO HELP MARKETER
There are two types of web analytics, on-site and off-site web analytics.
On-site web analytics is used for marketers to measure a visitor’s activity when he browses on your website. This includes its drivers and conversations, for example which ads on landing page encourage more people to purchase and which title of information visitors click most. This data is used to analysis visitors’ online behavior and can be used to improve website or marketing campaign’s audience response.
Simply, on-site web analytics tools are used to analysis and measure behaviors of visitors’ journey and actual visitor traffic arriving on your website. For example, which landing page encourage visitors to make a purchase, what links visitors clicked on (from search engine to get to the site or came there directly) to the site, and time they spent and stayed on given page. Therefore, On-site web analytics measures of website in a commercial context.
For the business, website became more important than ever before, it handles more information. Companies also need to know if their marketing campaigns are working on internet-based, just like John Shumway, the global vice president of product management at Akamai says “marketing people are increasingly driving the need for we analytics”. (Dave Chaffey, 2003)
Firms can conduct on-site web-analytics through the following ways:
Analytics Software Produced by Companies
Some companies such as WebTrends and Google Analytics produce web analytics software that converts data by using combination of tables and graphs. It automatically monitors your website’s traffic and highlights any significant changes, thus, managers can easily understand and analysis the effectiveness of their campaigns. And, where visitors come from and which pages retain visitors the longest, and also, track visitors progress s they click though the site. It can be simply shows daily visit on your website, type on traffic and time on site by country.
Other technologies for data collection
Other technologies companies used for data collection are eye tracking system and mouse tracking analytics. It is a key method for testing visitors’ behavior and areas they focus more often when they on a web page, and both eye tracking and e mouse tracking analytics studies offer businesses accurate and actionable results. Therefore, the result can be used to improve a web site or marketing campaign’s audience response.
Eye tracking system is utilized by many top enterprises such as Google. This tracking system uses specialist software to track internet visitors where the eyes land on a webpage.
Similar to eye tracking system, Mouse tracking analytics follows the mouse movements of internet users to simulate eye movement on a webpage. From the research, it has shown when both methods of testing are conducted simultaneously, in the result, they find out exactly what the visitors look at on the page which contains 84%-88% accuracy. In addition, both method of tracking analytics deliver valuable information to managers about visitors’ involvement and engagement with your website. This is vital to work out what changes you need to make in order to benefit your visitors’ experience as well as improve the website. (ClickTale, 2010)
Off-site analytics data can be obtained for any website-including your competitors and partners. Which means is analysis the internet as a whole for the websites. Thus, the key differences of off-site web analytics measures from your potential audience (opportunity), share of voice (visibility), and buzz (comments).
Unlikely to on-site web analytics only captures what happens when visitors visit and engage with your website, by using various technologies to help monitor and analysis website to create meaningful actions and results. However, as social website becomes more popular and ascendant channel for internet users, and everything becomes more transparent on social web, organization information are shared, spread on it, thus, through this platform, marketers are able to measure the latest buzz about website or organization.it is important for marketers to monitor not only what happens on the website but also outside of your website. Improving from what other people are saying about the company and provide products and services match customers requires. Off-site Web Analytics solutions can help businesses stay on the leading edge of overall trends. (Monitoring Buzz With Off-Site Web Analytics, 2010)
Firms can conduct off-site web-analytics through the following available software:
Alexa and Compete
There are numbers of web analytics software provided service to measure your competitors how much and what type of traffic are garnering to their site. Alexa and Compete are two free services help marketers to find top-level information, including the top searches people used to find the site, as well as traffic comparisons versus other Websites. For more comparison capabilities and a deeper level of demographic information, marketer can just simply upgrades their account.
Similar to Alexa and Compete system offerings monitor and aggregate a wide swath of Web traffic, paid services from Quantcast and Nielsen NetRatings also provide analytics tools and research related to online audiences, as well as online ad buying and selling.
As by shown example of how Alexa provide services for marketers by monitoring and aggregating a wide swath of Web traffic from multiple sources to develop estimates for overall ranking and other factors.
On the table 1 below, shows top 5 sites on the web. According to off-site web analytics is measuring about your competitors and monitoring the internet as whole website, it is obvious for marketers to analysis the market, so that company can generate more sales, reduce marketing costs, enhance campaign performance, provide better user experience, and reach specific target segments. As well as on table, more specific shows competitor daily/monthly search traffic and top queries from search traffic and more other details. Thus, research on your competitors and understand their strategy, is the advantages for the company to take step forward than others in the market.
Co Tweet and HootSuite
There are other tools like CoTweet and HootSuite are relative newcomers to the market when they looking further out into the social web. Especially for small and medium-size business that use tools to monitoring and engaging with social web. It started as management tools Twitter, but they are now expanding their support for other social channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn. It simply for an organization tracks the effectiveness of multiple marketing efforts in multiple social channels, and also from platforms.
Because social web such as Twitter and Facebook, it creates more effective buzz to a company. Therefore, this platform is critical important for for small and medium-size business to enhance awareness. CoTweet is a web-based social media management and analytics tool. With CoTweet you can not only manage clicks on content you publish within the application, but also integrate any web analytics platforms with campaign codes and shortened URLs. Just like Bobowski believes “it provides closed-loop reporting and allows marketers to associate revenue and other success metrics to social media activity”. (Peters, 2011)
As shown table below, CoTweet also provides updates and follow-up messages to be assigned to specific social media managers. Different knowledge of social media managers can responses immediately to appropriate questions and comments from followers, which shows to followers that there are person behind responding the questions. Also, from the questions and buzz marketers will know who he is talking with if question arise for as specific tweet. It helps marketers collected more accurate data and responded visitor’s needs.
This report has shown that Web continues to have growing importance in marketing efforts, therefore on-site and off-site Web Analytics solutions will likely become more crucial tools that lead to greater business success. This is supported by the number of toolset made available to businesses of all sizes to monitor and analyze web traffic on their sites in order to determine what is happening not only throughout the rest of the Web ecosystem but also in social media.