- Category: September - October 2008
The Web Analytics Association defines web analyticsas “the objective tracking, collection, measurement, reporting and analysis of quantitative Internet data to optimize websites and marketing initiatives”. Effective Web Analytics goes beyond reporting on and measuring a site’s business and sales performance, to include predictions of future market
Good analytics considers a company’s entire marketing strategy and practices, embracing what works well, while discarding what has proven ineffective.
Search engine optimization and marketing empowers companies to present their website information in a more userfriendly and spider-friendly fashion, thus leading to better site visibility and, consequently, increased online business and sales. Web Analytics is an important aspect of SEM. Analytics enables companies to effectively measure the advertising and marketing campaigns and tactics employed to increase online business.
Analytics invariably involves at least two major considerations: what type of activity is happening on the site and how well current marketing strategies are faring?
Web Analytics empowers companies developing their site business to better comprehend site visitors and how they react with that site, trends in site traffic, marketing campaigns, and conversion dynamics, among other important factors.
Web Analytics also allows companies to determine the factors preventing site visitors from following through on their conversion objectives. It enables companies to identify different types of site visitors, so that they can discover who their best customers are and which markets are most lucrative.
It enables companies to find out how the site operates, and to specifically target optimum search marketing campaigns and/or strategies (i.e. Pay-For-Calls and Pay-Per-Click Advertising, SEO). Ongoing improvement in site performance should be a central objective of Analytics and this valuable information should be shared with pertinent company personnel (i.e. Sales and Marketing) so that Website and Marketing Campaigns can be fine-tuned.
Understanding Web Analytics results is significantly enhanced when a company sets up an Ongoing Improvement Program based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs should be rooted in a company’s overriding business goals and the website’s role in meeting those goals. KPIs should be companyspecific, easily measurable, in line with long-term objectives, and agreed upon by all relevant personnel, specifically management. Two important KPIs worth measuring, for example, are cost per action and return on advertising spending. Several very good analytics solution packages currently available on the market can be employed to measure KPIs (i.e. Coremetrics, Omniture, WebSide Story, WebTrends). In addition, advanced analytics is moving towards people, process and organization. As such, analytics is starting to embrace the entire marketing approach practiced by companies, so that the next step is towards developing a science of holistic analytics, not just web analytics.
Effective web analytics thus, involves more than just good reporting and measuring as well as marketing predictions. It entails making a company’s online marketing efforts accountable and throwing out what does not work, while keeping those that do, then building on them. Effective web analytics involves taking decisive action sooner rather than later. Finally, effective web analytics aspires to be part of a greater whole, assessing a company’s marketing efforts as a whole and then taking action from there.