As a general term, web analytics means the analysis of the relationship between a website and the users of that website. However, in the field of web consultancy and e-commerce, web analytics has a field/industry specific meaning, which we will be covering in this section. When e-commerce began to emerge as a significant industry, it came with its own sets of needs, requiring professionals who could measure the effectiveness of strategies, the current state of affairs that a website was experiencing, what the demographics and demands of a website’s users were.
Most of all, as the internet grew, so did what we now call Big Data. To meet these new challenges and needs, a new field of expertise and knowledge evolved called Web Analytics. A major part of this new domain of information technology was the software used to measure and conduct web analytics.
These genres of computer programmes and tools were instrumental in monitoring the relationship between websites and their users, the two poles in a dynamic relationship, which is the basis of web analytics.
The purpose of web analytics Web analytics is the activity that will provide information about different aspects of a websites, as well as help you answer some of the questions related to the traffic and overall
To give you a very basic summation of what kind of information a web analyst deals with, here are a few indicators or signals of a website that are meaningful and significant for web analytics:
• What is the gross quantity of visitors on a website or traffic quantum
• What is the number of unique visitors or visitors who are new
• The route involved in bringing different categories of traffic to the website. E.g., how many arrive through search engine results, how many get to the website through online marketing?
• What terms are trending on the search facility on the website, what are users searching for and in what quantity?
• What category of users searches for particular keywords or search terms?
• What is the average, minimum and maximum time being spent on the website by users?
• How many users are going beyond the main page, to deeper links?
• What are the links attracting the most second clicks beyond the homepage?
• What is the bounce rate? How many users arrive at the homepage and leave website?
All of this information has to do with user-experience and understanding it, optimizing it and troubleshooting areas where a website is not delivering what it is intended to and is not resulting in the kind of traffic revenue or user activity that a site owner wishes to see. This is the essence of web analytics; helping a website to meet the demands of users and the objectives set forth by the site owner.
As you can see, all the above questions require monitoring, collection, classification, interpretation and finally, analysis of vast sums and types of data that is usually raw statistics, which need to be brought into a meaningful context.
That is a job for the web analyst. At this stage, we can define that as a highly internet-literate individual who is required to contribute his expertise in four major domains; the creation of data entry procedures; ensuring the security systems of a website are sufficient and effective; thirdly, maintaining and managing the integrity of data; and lastly (and perhaps the most important) analyzing the data generated by the operations of the website and its interaction with users.