Web analytics - what is it?
Increase revenues and decrease costs - your key objectives haven't changed, but the volume of information you have to make smarter decisions has increased significantly. With every click of the mouse, your web site visitors indicate their interests, preferences and frustrations.
Your web site is a rich source of information about your prospects and customers. Your capability to measure, analyse and ultimately capitalise on that information is a key part of your competitive advantage.
The first level of web analytics is web traffic analysis - the monitoring of pages or objects viewed by an end user. This information should be stored in a database so that different types of reports can be run as the questions change.
The data is generally collected via three principle methods: at the server via web server logs or server plug-ins, or for more sophisticated analysis using a network data collector (packet sniffer) or at the browser via a page tag.
As web usage becomes more sophisticated and the need for Return Of Investment (ROI) justification turns critical, web traffic analysis is becoming a science. Now there is a need to obtain real figures that are auditable and can be used to form business plans. This is not just about how many purchases are made on the site or even how many visits are made to a site before a sale.
Successful ROI analysis of your web site can only achived if you can answer questions such as:
- How many people browse and then visit my stores and buy?
- How do online traffic patterns match offline purchases?
- What do customers want from my website?
- Can I decrease my total cost of ownership?
This type of information can only be achived if you join the web traffic analysis data with the application server data, the customer, sales and marketing data. Then you are able to answer questions such as:
- What is the total value of the website?
- What is the value of each individual visitor?
An advanced web metrics solutions can:
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