Article by Higher Education Marketing
The Web Analytics Association defines Web Analytics as: “The measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage.”
Web Analytics, in other words, is information culled from your website and used as the basis of all future optimization, design, development, and marketing. With a Web Analytics tool (like Google Analytics), you can find out which advertisement medium (print, email, social media, radio, television, etc) is most effective, and can measure the impact of each advertising campaign.
With Web Analytics you can effectively monitor your website’s statistics in real time, gauging the impact of marketing initiatives like Search Engine Optimization (SEO and Pay Per Click Marketing (also known as Search Engine Marketing). Doing so allows you to make informed decisions on website design and optimization, and ultimately maximizes your return on investment (ROI).
Web Analytics is generally used for four major website categories: lead generation, e-commerce, customer support, and content.
Here are some of the more commonly used Web Analytics terms, as defined by the Web Analytics Association:
Page ViewsPage views refer to the number of times a page (an analyst-definable unit of content) was viewed. When people talk about a website’s popularity (e.g. “It gets a lot of hits”), they’re usually referring to page views. However, this doesn’t actually represent the amount of people visiting your site.
Visits/SessionsA visit is an interaction, by an individual, with a website consisting of one or more requests for an analyst-definable unit of content (i.e. “page view”). If an individual has not taken another action (typically additional page views) on the site within a specified time period, the visit session will terminate.
Unique VisitorsThe number of inferred individual people (filtered for spiders and robots), within a designated reporting timeframe, with activity consisting of one or more visits to a site. Each individual is counted only once in the unique visitor measure for the reporting period.
Entry and Exit PageThese are the first and last page of a visit.
Landing PageA page intended to identify the beginning of the user experience resulting from a defined marketing effort.
Visit DurationVisit duration is the length of time in a session. Calculation is typically the timestamp of the last activity in the session minus the timestamp of the first activity of the session.
ReferrerThe referrer is the page URL that originally generated the request for the current page view or object.
Search ReferrerThe search referrer is an internal or external referrer for which the URL has been generated by a search function.
Click-throughClick-through is the number of times a link was clicked by a visitor. This may occasionally be refered to as “clicks”.
Click-through Rate/RatioThe number of click-throughs for a specific link divided by the number of times that link was viewed.
Single Page View Visits (Bounces)Visits that consist of one page view.
Bounce RateSingle page view visits divided by entry pages.
ConversionA visitor completing a target action (this may be anything from filling out a request for more information form, or signing-up for a newsletter, etc).
Conversion RatePercentage of visitors who complete a multi-step conversion process with a defined beginning and end within 30 minutes, whether it be signing up for a newsletter, buying a product online, or some other desired outcome.
Take the time to review and understand these terms. Knowing your way around the basic terminology is the first step in truly understanding what you’re measuring when working with Web Analytics.
Higher Education Marketing specializes in Web Analytics for lead generation and e-commerce websites. Contact them today for more information.
About the Author
Higher Education Marketing has provided analytics-driven marketing solutions for schools and colleges for more than a decade. A full service Internet marketing firm, Higher Education Marketing utilizes Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Mobile SMS Alerts, Pay Per Click and Social Media Marketing to remove the guesswork from marketing. The Montreal-based firm is an officially certified Google Adwords partner, and it works closely with St?phane Hamel, an internationally known eBusiness Strategist and Online Analytics advocate.
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