Web Analytics is the collection, measurement, analysis and documenting of internet data for the purpose of optimizing and understanding usage of web. Web analytics do not only measure the website traffic but it may also be used for market and business research. Applications of web analytics also help companies in measuring results of campaigns in traditional print advertising.
Web analytics helps one in estimating the change in traffic website after launching of new advertising campaign. It also provides data about page views, visitors, etc. to be able to gauge popular trends and traffic that helps with market research.
Categories of Web Analytics
· Off-site Web Analytics
This refers to measurement and analysis of web whether you maintain or own a website. It includes the opportunity or the measurement of the potential audience of the website, visibility or the share of voice, and comments regarding what’s happening on the Internet.
· On-site Web Analytics
This measures the journey of the visitors on your website. This is consists of conversions and drivers. Example: which landing pages are encouraging the people to make purchase. It measures the website’s performance in commercial context. The data is compared with key performance indicators for the performance and is used to market the audience’s response to the campaign and to improve a website.
Various vendors provide software and services to on-site web analytics. There are two technological approaches in collecting data: the logfile analysis and page tagging. In logfile analysis, the logfiles are read wherein the web server records its transactions. In page tagging, it uses Java Script on every page so that a third-party server is notified when a page is executed by a web browser. Both data collection can be processed producing reports for web traffic.
Advantages of Logfile Analysis
· The web server already produces logfiles, therefore, raw data are already available. Collecting data through page tagging requires website changes.
· The data is in the own servers of the company. It is in a standard instead of propriety format making it easy for a certain company to switch programs, use different programs and analyze the new program’s historical data.
· Logfiles contain visits information from search engine spiders. These are not necessarily mentioned as part of human activity but it is also a useful material for search engine optimization.
Advantages of Page Tagging
· When opening the page, counting is activated without the need to request from the server. A cached page is not counted by servers. Cached pages may account up to 1/3 of all pageviews.
· The data is gathered by component in the page and is mostly written in Java Script but flash is increasingly used. AJAX and JQuery may also be used in combination with server-side script language such as PHP, to manipulate stores in databases enabling control on how a certain data is represented.