Easy Web Analytics & Your Small Business
The term ‘web analytics’ refers to the collation, measurement, analysis and reporting of internet data. The objective of web analytics is to understand and optimize the usage of the web. Its use is not restricted to the measurement of internet traffic to a website but can also be used to carry out market and business research. Additionally, it can be integrated with a marketing campaign so as to understand the effects of the traditional means of advertising on the traffic to the company’s website. The fact however is that web analytics have become an imperative for the success of any online enterprise especially a small business as it gives the small business owner the opportunity to determine the response rates to the website’s online investments.
In carrying out web analytics, there are certain terms that are used widely, representing specific metrics. These include among others:
- Hit: This refers to a request made on a web server for a file
- Page View: A request made on a web server for a particular file representing a page on the site.
- Visit/Session: While a visit is defined as a number of requests from a unique visitor for a page with a time lapse between each request of not more than 30 minutes, a session takes place when the unique visitor does not depart from that site to another within that same time frame of 30 minutes.
- First Visit/First Session: This occurs when a website has a visit from a visitor who has not been to that site before.
In carrying out web analytics for your small business, it is important to take the following steps:
- Collate Data: The first thing that you must do is to collect sufficient data and you can easily do this using any of the web analytics tools like Google Analytics. These data include among others, web logs, form to email requests and CGI requests.
- Convert the Data: You will also have to convert the data generated by the web analytics tool to a format that you can easily work with. Luckily, most web analytics tools do most of the work for you.
- Data Analysis: Bearing in mind that web analytics helps you discover trends, you need to analyze your data by looking for the following:
- If there is a specific timeframe for some visits
- The most popular pages on the site
- Whether visitors browse more than a page before departing the site
- The average time used by your visitors on the site
- The source of traffic, if they come from search engines
- The primary exit pages for your site
- The sites linking to yours.
- Integrate The Insights Obtained: Now that you have gotten answers to these questions, you have to integrate the answers into your efforts by remedying any deficiencies.
- Watch The Difference: The purpose of the changes you are making is to create a better impression with your visitors. See how that works.
- Re-evaluation: Web analytics is not a one-off activity. Once you have implemented the necessary changes, you need to embark on re-evaluation to ensure that all is right.
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