What can Web Analytics do for me?

If you are new to the wonderful world of web analytics, you might be wondering what it is exactly, how it works and what it means to your website.
But most importantly, you probably want to know: What can web analytics do for me ? What do I stand to gain from all this ‘analytics’ stuff?

Well, keep reading because you are just about to find out. First, some definitions:

The Official DAA Definition of Web Analytics

Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage.
DAA is the Digital Analytics Association, an organistation that defines industry standards for the web analytics field. Logaholic is a member and our products comply to the standards defined by the DAA, by the way.

Is Web Analytics just a fancy word for website statistics?

Web Analytics is often confused with Web Site Statistics, but there is a distinct difference.

Web site statistics (software) deals with simple facts like: How many visitors did I have last month ? The goal of website statistics is to inform you of these simple facts.

Web analytics has a different angle, analysis as a apposed to simple reporting. Web analytics goes into much more detail and offers much more metrics. It tries to make underlying trends clear and ‘the reason why’ things happen on your website like they do. It’s goal, as the definition says, is to help you improve your website and online marketing.

Of course there is some overlap between the two, but to use an analogy: If webstite statistics are the speedometer of your car, web analytics is the whole dashboard.

How does Web Ana lytics work?

Simple. First we need some data to analyze. Most websites have a log file that contains the raw data you need to analyze, it’s called the access log. Alternatively, data can be collected by ‘tagging’ webpages with a special javascript code.

Next, that data is analyzed into all kinds of useful information by a piece of web analytics software (preferably Logaholic

The information provided by your web analytics solution will help you understand and optimize your website. If you want to get an idea of the kind of information you’ll get, please check out our features page as it’s lists a lot of them. The videos are also very useful.

The Impact of Web Analytics

What web analytics will mean to your business depends of course on whether or not you take action based on the information it provides. However, it’s my experience that once you are confronted with this new information, these new insights and new revelations, they will be very hard to ignore.

Web analytics can help you answer a long list of questions about your website, your visitors, your marketing. It’s impact will be profound.

In my opinion, web analytics is THE essential tool for any online business. It is (or it SHOULD) be the cornerstone of your online presence. It is the feedback loop that allows you ‘know what your are doing, and if it’s working’.

To stick with the car analogy, without web analytics, you are driving with a blindfold on, it’s as simple as that.

What’s in it for moi?

The only proven, systematic, scientific way to continuously improve your website. You may be the most brilliant marketer or web designer the world has ever seen, but when push comes to shove, you don’t know Jack. Your visitors know what they want, how they want it. Web analytics will help you understand them. If you listen and do what they say, the sky is limit.

Web Analytics: a practical example

Meet Joe. He has a website that sells shoes (of course). Using Web analytics, Joe found out that only 0.1% of his visitors actually bought a pair of shoes. Joe was not happy, although he learned a cool new word: Conversion Rate.

This answer of course immediately provokes the next question: how do I improve that?

You see, Joe may not be a computer whiz, he can count. He knows that if he can increase his conversion rate and get just 1% of his visitors to buy, he will make ten times as much money.

If he can make 2% buy, he will have 20 times as much total income as before, with the same amount of visitors.

Searching for the next answer, Joe found out a few things using a Sales Funnel Analysis. At each stage in the buying process, and one in particular, more and more visitors seemed to leave. Joe eliminated the worst step and optimized the others where he could. That took him a few hours. Using A/B Split testing Joe, tried different versions of his most important pages, to see which ones would yield the highest conversion rate.

A few days later, Joe was already making twice as much as before. Joe was happy camper indeed.

Next, he found out that the website they were advertising on, ShoeLinksGalore, actually didn’t send them any visitors that ever bought any shoes! So Joe … And so on and so forth, Joe and his Web Analytics solution lived happily ever after.

Web analytics does not have to be complicated. You can start in a few minutes if you get the free version of Logaholic. See what web analytics has in store for you today.

More Web Analytics Tip and Strategies can be found on our blog, and via the newsletter!

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