Web analytics:A new domain that is capturing the imagination of every online venture. So what is all this talk about web analytics. Does it really justify the attention it is getting from all the online ventures and especially the e-commerce companies? A lot of talk happens about web analytics, but often not much clarity is presented to what constitutes the domain of web analytics.

Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of web data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. This domain would typically expose the participants of using analytics platform for understanding the consumer behaviours associated with using the web or internet. How the web is coded and linked would be explored. Further, trends would also be extracted from the traffic of websites. Participants would also be exposed to specific tools for analysing the Web.

Now there are two types of web analytics platforms; off-site analytics platforms and on-site  analytics platforms. We first need to distinguish between them, in terms of how they operate differently.

Off-site web analytics focus on the measurement of  metrics of a website and analyze this regardless of whether you own or maintain a website. These metrics may be measures of traffic like the Alexa ranks, which determine the amount of traffic to your website. Or they may be referring to the Page Rank (provided by Google), which is an often indicator of the quality of content and its reliability, in a website. Websites try their best to improve their performance by performing better in these metrics, through Search Engine Optimization.

On the other hand, On-site web analytics platforms measure a visitor’s behavior once on your website. This includes its drivers and conversions; for example, the degree to which different landing pages are associated with online purchases. On-site web analytics measures the performance of your website in a commercial context. This data is typically compared against key performance indicators for performance, and used to improve a web site or marketing campaign’s audience response. Google Analytics is the most widely used on-site web analytics service; although new tools are emerging that provide additional layers of information, including heat maps and session replay.

Web analytics would cover understanding Your buyers’ behavious and how they purchase, or make the purchasing decisions. Principles of website conversion may be explored in such a domain, so as to facilitate not only greater traffic to your site, but make the optimal usage of the traffic that lands in your website. Such a domain may also explore Mobile Cross-Screen and Social Media Channel Attribution, to drive greater traffic from mobile devices, which constitute a significant part of our traffic in current times. Landing page optimization and its strategies also become important in this domain. Further testing, behavioral analytics  and determination of Best Practices also form a significant importance for developing an overall holistic understanding within the domain.

The domain also facilitates an understanding of the following:

  1. An understanding the behavioral data through the analytical tool reports, when the vistors spend time on your website, and browse through the pages.
  2. Techniques to improving shopping cart abandonment rates and improve actual conversion from the expression of interest, i.e., the casual visits to your offerings on the web.
  3. Understanding how web visitors (including search engine crawlers) interact with a website to accomplish their goals including onsite search, search analytics metrics and creating onsite search forms.
  4. An understanding to personas in web browsing behaviour and how that may be connected to web designing.  This becomes key to retaining new traffic for recurrent visits.
  5. Understanding  visitor activity analysis including visitor arrival, movement, departure and path analysis, which gives you insight on what interests the visitors of your website more than other content.
  6. Understanding technical issues that may affect analysis of data from the Analytics Tools, into making actionable insight based on which decision point may be taken.
  7. Understanding the behavior of visitors from search engines and how to optimize the website, to drive traffic from search engines.
  8. Understanding how to use web analytics for optimizing search engine rankings, like the Google Page Rank or the Dmoz Rank.
  9. The concept and metrics of recency and apply these concepts to the Visitor Value Model and how that may be optimized to drive the Average Revenue Per Visitor.
  10. Identifying the metrics of a website which can be measured and improved, by structured approaches from the viewpoint of design and planning.

Today, having a dedicated landing page for your customers or prospects is the key to converting them into leads. But with the right analytics, the key performance criteria and how you fare against those criteria can be determined. The key insights will help you to convert these footprints into action items that drive revenue for your initiative or firm. This domain thus will provide an understanding of the all-important landing page, web surfing behavior and  optimization tactics to create consistency and a direct path to purchase in the B2B market. For you as a practitioner, that means optimizing that path to drive revenue.

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.

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