What Are Analytics
A lot of people usually ask me: what are analytics? Different sources will give you different definitions. In the point of view of website administration and management, analytics refers to the overall statistics on your website’s visitors and traffic.
There are very common measures which are widely used to discuss whether or not a website is effective. Basic statistics derived from analytics can be telling of your website’s performance. Some of these statistics include number of visits, number of page views, the amount of time users spend on your page, most viewed pages, sites that bring traffic to your site, and more.
There are common mistakes related to analytics, like looking at statistics too often, that could lead to another common mistake of not looking at the data that often. Thus, balance needs to be achieved in looking at important statistics in order to arrive at a very useful information, unless you have a very high volume of responses to changes that you have to track.
Academic websites might not experience this type of problem. New users might get too fond of looking at the reports from analytics software. Month-to-month changes in traffic and visits patterns reflect the ebb and flow of academic year, if we talk about how academic websites are doing. This would make it futile to look too frequently at the data or presenting it during monthly project meetings.
What Are The Ideal Intervals For Checking Web Analytics Reports?
A better option is to have a regular schedule in looking at your website’s analytic reports. Quarterly reports may be called for projects which have lots of changes or with considerable traffic. A six month interval can be sufficient for some. For long-term projects which are already in the maintenance phase, it is adequate to have only annual reports.
In terms of analysis of your reports, it will be useful to have several prior reports handed in comparison, including the most recent reports which cover the same period of the previous years. This allows you to compare if your big changes are also generating new responses from your target audience. It also helps to correct other anomalies or weaknesses in your campaign or pages.
Knowing what analytics are and understanding how these should work in the development of your campaigns and pages will help you have a rough measure of the impact of every single detail that you work on. In the case of some of the academic websites which are targeted for the small audiences, page views are not really the best indicators of whether or not the pages are causing the desired impact to the target communities. However, this information might be the only measure available for projects.
What Are The Different Types of Analytics?
In as much as web analytics quantifies the behavior of the visitors, it has turned into something very vital in the world of e-commerce. Web Analytics show which landing pages are effective in turning visits to action. It is also useful in monitoring and analysis of how well a website is doing in achieving targets.
Web Analytics can be done in logfile analysis and page tagging. Logfile analysis is done using the web servers’ logfile records to determine the popularity of certain websites. Logfile analysis of web servers can generate essential marketing data like the number of unique visitors through monitoring the instances of requests to the web server made by unique visitors.
Logfile web analytics is a powerful tool, most especially for websites which are composed of only one HTML file. This tool turned to be useful until multiple-paged websites increased in trend. In order for it to be more effective with such trend, it had to be upgraded with visit counts and page view counts to provide popularity information and other web view statistics.
Logfile analysis even became less effective when search engines became bigger. The popularity of search engine use needed logfile analysis to distinguish between requests from search engine bots and spiders and requests from human visitors. The increasing use of dynamic IP addresses, web proxies and web caches also made it more complex. To address these internet modifications, logfile analysis integrated cookies and spider requests to its analyzers.
Page tagging web analytics came to rise due to the need to solve issues related to web caches. This method makes use of Java Script to feed a third-party server of a page request unique from human visitors. A visitor is assigned a cookie, distinguishing his or her visit from the other visitors, recognizing his visit in another visit in the future.
Page tagging solves the web caching problem and is able to collect more events and information that the logfile analysis. It is also available for companies which do not have their own web servers. However, website owners may ask to have both forms of analytics to get the best data possible with their analytics.