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What is web analytics?

websiteGoogle Analyticsgoogle adsGoogle Searchwebsite analyticsadobe analyticsMixpanelFree toolsMouseflowChartbeatMintClickyWoopraSpring Metricsand UserTestingCrazyEgg
Updated November 4, 2020 Teodora Hristovka

Web analytics are tools that provide you with information – reports and analytics – on how your site visitors behave once they enter your website, who they are in terms of gender, age, location, how they landed on your website; what was the most interesting content on your website, your conversions rates, etc.

 

This information is crucial for you and your digital success. With this information, you can plan your strategies accordingly and grow your business faster by targeting the right people in the right way. Analytics are your window into the World Wide Web.

 

To put it in simple words, web analytics is the process of collecting, processing, and analyzing your website data. By using this as a tool you can control how effective your marketing campaigns are, find possible problems in your online services, and improve them. You can also create customer profiles to boost the profitability of advertisement and sales efforts. 

 

Web analytics
Source: engaiodigital.com

 

Every business that wishes to be successful has to be based on its ability to understand and utilize the data given by its customers, competitors, and partners. 

 

Why are web analytics important? 

Website analytics give insights and data that could be beneficial to use when you wish to create a better user experience for your visitors. It is essential to understand customer behavior because it is key to optimizing a website for key conversion metrics. 

 

User behavior flow example
Source: thinkbonfire.com

 

For instance, web analytics will show you the most popular pages on your website, which users go straight to when visiting your website. Here are some extra benefits of web analytics: 

  • Tracking bounce rate
  • Finding the right target audience and its capitalization
  • Improve and optimize website and web services
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Track business goals online
  • Improve results from Google ads and Facebook ads
  • Freedom for new creative ideas

 

How do Web analytics work? 

By inserting a small section of JavaScript in the web page’s code, most analytics tools are able to “tag” their web pages. Therefore with this tag, the analytics tool can count each time when the page receives a visitor or a click on a link. This tag has the ability to collect other information like device, browser, and geographic location (via IP address). 

 

In most cases, web analytics uses cookies to track individual sessions and identify repeat visits from the same browsers. 

 

Some users delete these cookies and browsers experience a lot of different restrictions about code sections, no analytics platform could declare full accuracy of their data and different tools sometimes produce somewhat different results. 

 

Web analytics examples and free tools

One of the most used web analytics tools is Google Analytics. However, there are few others on the market that offer specialized information such as real-time activity or heat mapping.

 

Some of which are: 

  • Google Analytics – the ‘standard’ website analytics tool, it is free and widely used.
  • Piwik – an open-source solution comparable in functionality to Google and a popular alternative, allowing companies full ownership and control of their data.
  • Adobe Analytics – a highly customizable analytics platform. 
  • Kissmetrics – can zero in on individual behavior, i.e. cohort analysis, conversion, and retention at the segment or individual level.
  • Mixpanel – advanced mobile and web analytics that measure actions rather than page views.
  • CrazyEgg – measures which parts of the page are getting the most attention by using ‘heat mapping’.
  • Clicktale – uses ‘heat mapping,’ keystrokes, and mouse movement.

 

Here are a few more honorable mentions: Mouseflow, Chartbeat, Mint, Clicky, Woopra, Spring Metrics, and UserTesting. 

 






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