What is Web Analytics?
SEO brings the Traffic to a site and the term Web Analytics is the study of impact of a website on its visitors. In my small experience both are very much related and essential to the growth of your website. According to the Web Analytics Association (WAA) they recently published a definition for the term Web Analytics as ‘Web Analytics is the objective tracking, collection, measurement, reporting and analysis of quantitative Internet data to optimize websites and web marketing initiatives’.
In more simpler way, it’s a study about the User Behaviors on your website, from where they enter, on which page they enter, if they are from any Search engines which keyword they used, from the landing page to which all page they moved, how long they stayed on each pages and all such details till they exit from your site. There are loads other information such that how often search engine bots visiting your site, what all are the popular resources in your site, what is your conversions, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly. All these information is lying just some clicks away.
Where you get these details? – What is Log Files?
This is a file in your Server which records all the activities happening inside your Web Server. This system mostly records each requests from a visitor once they enter into the site and till they exists. This is normally as a text document and stores the data under certain column headers. There is a standards format for the Log File Structure and thus is compatible for most of the Log processing tools in the industry. If you are enabled ‘cookies’ in your server that will help to track more precise data from each visits on your site. There are loads of Log File Processing tools using which you can generate interactive reports with Graphs and Spreadsheets.
How important the Web Analytics for you?
Did you ever thought, if you get a chance to know how many visits you got last week, how much increase/decrease in your traffic from last month, which keyword phrases are most relevant to your web content, from which search engine / country you are getting more visitors, which pages are visited most, how long they are staying in your pages, why they exiting so fast, why people are visiting your sign-up page but not completing the registration and so on. Just imagine if you have all these information, can’t you improve on your websites in a dramatic way…? Yes, you can, and that’s why I said, how important the Web Analytics for you.
A Word from the Author:
There are loads of Tools or Services providing the Web Analytics for a site in different ways. There are Free tools and Paid ones too, but for a Starting I would always suggest the free ones. Among them Google Analytics is the best one, in a way they create the reports, is simple and easy to understand. You can’t get some kind of data like Error logs and some detailed reports, but still it’s a nice starting point for who are learning Web Analytics. For an Established Firm, I would suggest going with Building a Web Analytics Team or outsourcing the task to the Experts – I said experts, so beware about the frauds.