We can understand the concept of Web Analytics as the collection of data and their evaluation regarding the behavior of visitors on websites. An analytic tool typically examines where visitors come from, how often they visit your website, how long, and which subcategories and categories they prefer. It is used primarily to optimize websites and to achieve goals (frequency of visits, multiplication of pages, orders, newsletter subscriptions, etc.) Basically, Web Analytics can distinguish between evaluation methods for permanent measurement of site effectiveness and methods for finding weaknesses in the site and for improvement possibilities.
A common mistake is confusing web analytics with metrics. Metrics is a more quantitative matter than web analytics. Metrics focus on the analysis of numbers, which can be purchased products, or a proportion, such as the number of visits, pageviews, the number of followers, places from where they visit your website, etc. On the other hand, web analytics does not analyze websites but the behavior of users. For example, identifying whether users belong to your niche market. Analyzing the navigation of visitors, their behavior on your website, their shares on social networks or their satisfaction. Through web analytics you can also evaluate content (from your website or the competition,) the design, usability or the positioning in search engines. Moreover, this digital marketing technique allows the development of campaigns, ad serving, email marketing or the positioning of a brand in the social media.
In short, web analytics is a useful way of knowing and evaluating your website, as well as the competition by identifying opportunities, strengths and weaknesses. Today, web analytics is what defines the success or failure of an online business. Working blindly, without knowing how to catch relevant market signals, as well as the behavior of customers and competitors, may lead to the failure of any company.
An excellent example of web analytics is related to a classic heavy metal band: Iron Maiden. The band, concerned about the decrease of purchases of their original albums, as well as the legal downloads of their music, decided to take measures. They actually started a trend, so different than the wrong marketing decisions that other bands have taken in the past. Metallica, for example, has unleashed a series of scandals about pirated downloads of its music on the Internet, and they have started several legal proceedings to prevent this type of practices. Iron maiden, on the other hand, decided to analyze the countries where their fans illegally downloaded their music the most, and, subsequently, they scheduled their concert tours. After all, in such places Iron Maiden has found the highest numbers of fans, willing to see their favorite band live. Indeed, the strategy of Bruce Dickinson and his band has been a success, and their private plane “Ed Force One” has not stopped going around the world for many years.
In order to use this powerful marketing tool, it is necessary to stop considering it isolated from other perspectives and specialties. A well-structured analytical plan encompasses the involvement of all the departments of a company, from the senior management to the operational areas. Therefore, the analysis of variables must not be understood as a single objective of the measurement plan rather than as a separate analysis set.
Now, what software tools can you count on? For measuring the results of your digital marketing actions, the first tip is to start by asking your new clients how they knew your brand, services or products. Secondly, analyze the results on your website, which is where you should direct your followers on any social network. That’s, in a nutshell, the best way for getting new customers. Then, and only then, you can explore the wide variety of web analytics tools that allow you to measure results on your website. It is important to clarify that using a single tool is never enough, so check and test different tools. So, in addition to the excellent free tools available, such as Google Analytics or Google Website Optimizer, in this article you can find some of the most popular: Best Digital Analytics Software in 2017.
Finally, before choosing the web analysis tools that best suit your needs, evaluate a number of elements. First, be clear about your goals. It is crucial to decide what you want to measure. Second, include within your work plans an amount of time for measuring and analyzing results (especially if you include other people in this process.) Third, you must learn how to analyze, classify and communicate the collected data. The tools are just online platforms that extract data from your website. This is not an automated process. The web analytics tools still can’t tell you why the data is what it is. Only you and your team can understand this data in order to draw conclusions that will help you to take executive decisions.