What is web analytics?

By | November 17, 2019


In this video, we’ll be going over
what web analytics is. We’ll give a quick overview
of the kinds of insights it can give you, and give you a taste for how
to get started with analytics yourself. Here’s a quick look at how it worked
for Rachel’s online business: Rachel’s Kitchen. As an owner of an e-commerce website, you know that website inside and out, and therefore you make lots of assumptions
about the user experience, about the journey that a customer
might take through the site. You’re kind of too
close to it be objective, so a tool like analytics
gives you real information, real data on user experience like what page they are coming into
the site on, how long they’re spending, where they going on the site,
and if they’re leaving. OK, let’s get started. So, what is Web Analytics exactly? Well, it’s all about using the data
you can collect from your website to give you insights
about your business. There are lots
of web analytics tools out there, and they can do a variety of things. Since we’re just getting started,
we’ll focus on the basics, and talk about ways analytics can help
you no matter which specific tool you use. Web Analytics helps you by providing data. First, let’s look at
the different types of data. Let’s start with a metric. This is basically anything you can count, such as unique visitors
or time spent on site. Now, these are two great examples: If you sell things on your website, you
can track how much money you’re making or how many products you’re selling. If your goal is to get people
to read your website, you can track the number of times
somebody looked at a blog post, or the amount of time
that they spent on it. All of these are called metrics. You’ll generally analyze your metrics
by using what are called dimensions. That’s another type of data. But let’s come back
to that in just a minute. When you are first
starting out with analytics you might feel like you are swimming
in an ocean of metrics. But you’ll quickly get used
to navigating all this data. So, what do you do with it? Well, you can use web analytics tools to learn more
about your website’s visitors. There are lots of things that you might
want people to do on your website, such as placing an order, or getting directions to your shop, or even filling out a contact form. This is known as a conversion. Your conversion rate is the amount
of people that visit your site and then convert on one of your goals. Web analytics tools can tell you
if your conversion rate changes, based on where they came from,
whether they’d been there before, or even the type
of device they are using. So, let’s look at that last one. If you know your site
is working well on certain devices, but not on others, you can identify
specific strengths to build on, and any areas you might want to improve. You’ll notice in that example that we
were comparing metrics of conversions, or conversion rates. And we were breaking it down
by the device they used. The device data we’re collecting
is called a dimension, and as promised,
let’s talk about that now. Generally, a dimension
is any kind of data you can use to describe something
you’re tracking, with words. Dimensions include
things like device type, the browsers visitors use,
their geographic location, and much, much more. By taking your metrics and
slicing them with dimensions, you can find answers to very
specific detailed business questions, like, “Which devices
are people finding it easiest to convert
on the goals of my website?” And, that’s just one of many questions
you can get answered with web analytics. Here’s another one. If you want to know what time of day
most people visit your website, take your visitors metric and break
that down by the hour of day dimension. Or perhaps you want to find out
which marketing campaigns are making the most sales. Take your conversions metric
and break it down by a campaign dimension. As you deep-dive
into your own web analytics reports you’ll be able to see which metrics
and dimensions are being tracked, and you can then combine them–
slice and dice them– to answer the questions
that you care most about. If you haven’t started with
an analytics tool yet, you’ll probably
want to choose one to install. And most have a pretty similar set-up. First, you need to copy and paste
some special code onto your web pages. The analytics tool will then start tracking
a lot of things on its own, but you might want to configure them to track specific things that are unique
to your business, and your goals. Hopefully you’re getting excited
about all the amazing insights you can get from web analytics tools. It’s another important tool
in your online arsenal. If this is seems like
a lot to take in, don’t worry. Just stick with us. We’re going to be covering
all the terminology and the basics of how you can use web analytics to measure how you’re doing with digital. We’ll show you how to see
whether visitors convert on your goals, and how to find out
which kinds of visitors perform better than others. On top of that,
we’ll even go into using analytics to measure and improve your paid,
and organic, search engine campaigns.

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