Introduction to Web Analytics Basics

By May 13, 2009 Analytics No Comments

How often do you check your web analytics account? Daily? Weekly? Despite the benefits of tracking and measuring activity on your website, it will all be of no use if you implement the tracking code and then never look into what is going on.

Businesses often implement web analytics code on their site, in the same way many people might buy a household appliance. You see the ads, you think it looks useful, you can imagine all the things you can do with it. Once you get it, you set it up, you use it once – and then unless you have stellar results the first few times, it is possible that you will relegate it to the back of a cupboard or out in the garage, because it is just a bit more difficult than you originally thought.

Web analytics has a lot of widely touted benefits – broadly that it describes your customers interactions with your site, information which you can utilise to improve the customer experience. However, to be able to do this, you need to not only put the code on your site, you also have to do a raft of other things, which sometimes intimidates people into not wanting to do this at all.

  • Set up extras – like filters, segments, goals, download tags and E-commerce
  • Monitor it regularly (even if it isn’t part of your normal daily job)
  • Report on the data in a meaningful way (i.e. distill it so that you get actual useful data)
  • Identify what you should do as a result of what it is telling you

Over the next few posts, I will use a case study of our own website to show you the easiest and most basic ways to utilise web analytics for your website. I will be using Google Analytics in my case study because I think any small business should start their web analytics experience using Google Analytics.

  1. It is free, and so it lets you dip your toes in without a big commitment
  2. It is super easy to implement, you don’t need to be a programmer, and
  3. It is very comprehensive – it provides a lot of the features of the paid packages, but free!

So if you want to set up analytics on your site, or figure out how you can improve utilisation of your analytics, read this series…

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