Web Analytics Basics and Terminologies – Part 1/4
Web Analytics is a complete world in itself. It makes life easier for the client as well as the developer.
The Fortune 500 companies spent a hell lot of money to get a handful of insight. We will try to provide case studies and real web analytics problems to get you insight about the job and its impact.
Well Web Analytics is the study of online/offline patterns and trends. It is a technique that you can use to collect, measure, report, and analyze your website data. It is normally carried out to analyze the performance of a website and optimize its web usage. Web analytics is used to track key metrics and analyze visitors’ activity and traffic flow. It is an approach to collect data and generate reports.
Why web analytics?
Web analytics covers a huge spectrum. It provides direct insight to you about how your website is working and what the customers are saying about you. Following are the ways in which web analytics help you grow your business:-
a. Evaluating the web content quantitatively
b. Web analytics help you get comparative analysis
c. Create a hypothesis, test and evaluate them
d. Helps stakeholder and content owners
e. Several other usages of the web analytics involve, customer bounce rate, conversion rate, fall out reports, etc.
Basically, there are three types of web analytics metrics and every term used falls under one of the three buckets.
1. Count – It contains a number. It could be anything like number of customers, number of unique visitors, number of sales/conversion. It could be an integer or a decimal
2. Ratio – As the name suggests, it’s a simple ratio of either two numbers or two ratios or any combination of the two in numerator and denominator.
Example. Unique visitors per page
3. Key Performance Index/Indicator – Also known as KPI. KPI could be Count or Ratio. The reason why it is called Key performance index is because the client/business decides it’s KPI. KPI is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs to evaluate their success at reaching targets
Let’s start with the terminologies:-
1. Visitor – A visitor is anyone who visits a website. If you purchased this book from Amazon then you were a visitor of that website.
2. Visit – A visit is an interaction, by an individual, with a website consisting of one or more requests for an analyst-definable unit of content (i.e. “page view”). If an individual has not taken another action (typically additional page views) on the site within a specified time period, the visit session will terminate.
3. Page – Page is a dimension and it is an analyst-definable unit of content. The web analytics provider asks the client about the features they want to include in order to term a page as a page.
4. Page views – Basically it’s the number of times a page have been viewed. Web server responses returning status codes indicating the requested content was missing (400 to 499) or there was a server error (500 to 599) should not be counted as a page view unless the web server has been configured to return a real page in the same response with the status code.
5. Session – Different analytical tool provider uses different methods to calculate the duration of a session. It’s usually for 30 minutes. Basically, a session is the time of inactivity after which a visitor have to log again in order to access the website.