Defining Web Analytics Web Analytics is … the process of analyzing the behavior of visitors to a Web site. The use of Web analytics is said to enable a business to attract more visitors, retain or attract new customers for goods or services, or to increase the dollar volume each customer spends. the formal discipline of studying user activities on a website or web application to understand how well it fulfils its objectives and meets the user requirements, and to seek ways to optimize it to become more usable, relevant and efficient.
Introduction Click streamClick stream is “the path of mouse clicks and keystrokes avisitor makes in navigating through a Website.”The web server log contains a record of every http or ftp requestmade as a result of a visitor’s interaction with the web site theserequests are stored in the form of Log Files these log files arefurther analyzed and reports are generated out of theseanalyzed Log Files
Web analytics measures the basics: • Who • Where • When • What • How Much
What is a website tracking system? Do you need to know whos visiting your website, and what they do when they get there?•A tracking system will tell you whos doing what.•A website tracking system is a tool suite that provides you with a full set of statistics to help you monitor and track visitors to your website.•A tracking system collects statistical data about your visitortraffic and aggregates the data into meaningful reports.•The goal is to help make website management decisions on adaily basis, for example content updates.
Technologies that can be tracked:All html based webpages, including the following extentions:.html.htm.asp(x).php.jsp.cfmSecure SSL pages that are located on a secure serverAll types of forum and bulletin boards; including Phpbb, Vbulletin, UltimateBB etc.All kinds of web shops; including StoreFront. Shopfactory,Salescart, Numerous blogs; including Blogger, Movable Type,Livejournal etc.Intranet pages (as long as the visitor has a open internet conne
Sample & Content of a Log File188.8.131.52 - - [06/Nov/1998:14:54:33 +0000] "GET/image/navigation/top_nav/jamba _dips_stat.gif HTTP/1.0" 200743/navigation/top_nav/jamb a_dips_stat.html HTTP/1.0" "Mozilla/4.05 [en] (WinXP; I)" "Cookie data here"Here is a list of items which get recorded in the log:IP addresshostname (not usually activated for performance reasons)identd (not usually activated as the other end usually doesntsupport it)Date and timeRequest methodRequest pathRequest protocolResponse statusResponse content sizeReferrer pathUser agentCookie valuesLogging header
Reviewing the vocabulary Hits meaningless measure for web analytics Page Views fundamental measure of web analytics Visits and Visitors most times inaccurate and can be very misleading Unique Visitors not accurate unless the web site and analytics software is configured for specific counting of unique visitors Visitor Sessions Most times inaccurate and can be very misleading
Reviewing the vocabulary Web Server Logs The source data, the gold mine Click stream The navigation path of a web user through your site Spiders, Crawlers and bots Automated programs that scan through web sites Proxy Servers Intermediary computers that pool requests and talk to the internet on behalf of a group of users Cookie - Small piece of Information
Developing Strategic Insights Expertise is more important than technology A firm that has a great analyst armed only with Excel will bury a firm that has invested heavily in technology but has no expertise to use it strategically
Reason 1: The Web is a microcosm of the business Media and marketing Sales Web analytics Customer IT service
Reason 2: The Web offers rich customer data Actions Responses Behavior Attitudes Predictive Analysis
Reason 3: The technology scales to other channels Desktop Contact Devices Retail apps center and media
Traffic reports andtrends Monitor visitors Top listsTraffic summary Online visitors Top requested pagesPage views First-time visitors Top requested files Top requested directories /Visits Returning visitors pathsVisitors Referred visitors Top search enginesNew & returning visitors Duration of visit Top search keywords Click stream / ClickPages viewed per visit path Top referrersReloads Time viewing page Top exit linksWeekly Entry page Top exit pagesMonthly Exit page Top entry pagesBounce rates Exit links Referring site Referring search term
Most recentlyTechnical data requested: Geographical dataBrowsers & versions Pages CountriesOperating systems &versions Files RegionsScreen resolutions Search engines CitiesScreen colors Search keywords DMA-codesDomains Referrers ZIP / postal codes Exit links Telephone area codes Exit pages Continents Entry pages Subcontinents
Real-time Visitor Monitor Track Unique VisitorsEnhanced clickstream Track unique visitors overanalysis. Explore visitor long periods of time. Trackclickstreams live on a real- first-time and returningtime graphical interface. visitors.Search Term Analysis Detailed Referrer ReportsTrack, record, and analyze Top referrer and searchsearch terms used to find engine lists. We bring youyour site. Complete list of the "page before". Seeterms ordered by actual search results page,popularity through time. one click before your site.
Share Information With Ease Simple to Install Intuitive & User-friendly.Add colleagues as users. Add One line of code to add toclients & their sites. Download your pages. Start trackingreports into MS Excel. in minutes. drill-down demographicsCountry, Company/ ISP Cities, states, ZIP codes & Area codes for N.See which companies visit America. Also see U.S.your site. Detailed reports DMA - Direct Marketshow all traffic by country of Area Stats.origin.
The Process of Web Analytics Web Analytics lead to strategic ACTION! “When Forrester Research asked Web analytics users what the hardest part about using analytics is, 53 percent said acting on the findings, more than double the 24 percent who said its pulling data together. Until organizations actually act on data, a Web analytics initiatives return on investment (ROI) is zero. Acting on the data is the most important element of Web analytics -- and the part organizations struggle with the most.”
Summarize Helps knowing what Visitors think about the web site It helps locating the Geographical area of the Visitors Helps knowing likes & dislikes of visitors in regard to web site & make any changes if required It Reports the Market Trends Helps increasing the Search Engine Ratings
Reviewing the vocabularyWeb Server Logs Web sites are hosted on a web server. Each time you request a page on the internet you are actually making a request to the web server to send you the page, its images and any associated files. These requests go to the server and the server responds by sending the files to your machine’s browser based on IP address that was used in your request. Every request made to the web server is generally stored in a log file housed on the web server. Each request for a page, an image or file travels from your machine to the server with your IP address and other relevant information. Once it gets to the server, the server retrieves the files and stores the request in the web server logs. Web server logs are the basis for much of web analytic work. These files can be huge depending on the traffic to the site. A retail site’s logs file may be 100 Meg per day. Without these files web analytics is not possible.Click Stream A clickstream, or click path, is a list of all the requests made by one visitor to the web server. The click stream will include the path that the user navigates as they view a web site. Understanding the clickstream of many users often gives a web analyst key insights into how a site is used by its audience. Clickstream analysis is a fundamental methodology used by web analysts to understand the web audience and their behaviors.
Reviewing the vocabularySpiders Computer robot programs, referred to sometimes as "crawlers" or "knowledge-bots" or "knowbots" that are used by search engines to roam the World Wide Web via the Internet, visit sites and databases, and keep the search engine database of web pages up to date. They obtain new pages by “crawling through a web site’s pages following its links. As it crawls the web sites it is updating its list of known pages, and deleting obsolete ones. Their findings are then integrated into the “search engines database”. Other firms may also use robots and crawlers for scanning web sites. This is one of the major sources of false usage data reported in web analytics software.Proxy Servers Most large businesses, organizations, and universities these days use a proxy server. This is a server that all computers on the local network have to go through before accessing information on the Internet. By using a proxy server, an organization can improve the network performance and filter what users connected to the network can access. When an individual within the enterprise requests a URL, the request is filtered and received by the proxy server. If the requested file is not found in the proxy servers cache, the server acts on behalf of the user, and requests the page from the server on the Internet using its own IP address. In this case the log files will reflect the IP number of the proxy server, not that of the individual user.
Reviewing the vocabularyCookies A cookie is a small piece of information which is created when you interact with web pages programmed to either store or read the cookie. The cookie file is stored on the web visitor’s computer and may contain any information that the web site owner wants to store. Cookies can only be read by the web site(s) that actually created them so there is some ways to shield the values that are stored in a cookie from being generally read by other web site. The information inside a cookie is stored as a series of name / value pairs separated by a standard delimiter. For instance a cookie may look like Information can be stored to help you identify specific data on your web visitors. In the hands of a skilled webmaster, the cookie offers limitless possibilities in the areas of web customization and user tracking. Cookies are like little identification cards passed out by web sites. Each cookie has six definable attributes: a name, a value, an expiration date, the domain for which the cookie can be read, the path in which the cookie can be read, and a Boolean security setting.
Reviewing the vocabularyWeb Analytics Software The technology that is generally used to parse through the massive amounts of data generated from traffic to your web site are tools within the web analytics space. These technologies allow webmasters and web analysts to scan the underlying web data to see basic metrics and measures of use. The tools range in sophistication from shareware to enterprise wide data warehouse components. The tools generally use different methods for calculating traffic measures. No tool will provide the data needed for the CMO, the marketing department or others interested in using the web for marketing, marketing measurement and strategic outreach to clients without significant human talent. To effectively use these tools, the firm needs expertise that can configure the tool, configure the web site to deliver the appropriate date for the tool, and most importantly analyze the resulting data so that it can be transformed into strategic insights that can support client acquisition and retention.
Reviewing the vocabularyHits The retrieval of any item, like a page, an image or document from a web site will increment the Hit count. The term has been grossly misused as a measure of web traffic. Hits are only measures of the number of calls made to a web site server. When a visitor reviews one web page, calls are made to the server for the page’s HTML code and all of the images, audio/video files and other supporting files of which there many be dozens. Therefore one page on the web may cause 1 hit or hundreds of hits.Page Views - One of the fundamental measures of web traffic is the Page View. This is used extensively in web analytics. Page Views count the number of times an actual human web visitor sees a web page that is delivered to their browser. Page Views are measures of the number of Impressions that have been made with the content of your web site. Because Page Views is a basic audience metric, it is one of the fundamental measures that should be reported within web analytics.Visits / Visitors When a user arrives on a website, he or she is considered one visitor regardless of how many web pages he or she looks at. Visits can be calculated in many ways. Therefore the measure is not standardized causing major problems when comparing the traffic from multiple sites using different web analytics software. Visits are either counted using the IP address, a unique ID stored in a cookie or some combination of data that allows for identification of the web visitor. Visitor measures are often very inaccurate and misleading.
Reviewing the vocabularyUnique Visitors Although often reported in web analytics software, unique visitor measures are often very inaccurate and misleading. Unless you have configured the analytic software and your web site to specifically count unique visitors, this measure may be meaningless, grossly under reporting actual visitors. Unique visitors measures require some method to uniquely identify the web visitor. These measures are also time based. You can determine unique visitors for one day, one month or one year – all resulting in different counts.Visitor Session A Visitor Session is a defined quantity of visitor interaction with a website. The definition will vary depending on how Visitors are tracked. The Visitor Session is a session of activity that a user with a unique IP address or Cookie ID spends on a Web site during a specified period of time. The site administrator determines what the time frame of a user session will be (e.g., 30 minutes). If the visitor comes back to the site within that time period, it is still considered one user session because any number of visits within that 30 minutes will only count as one session. If the visitor returns to the site after the allotted time period has expired, say an hour from the initial visit, then it is counted as a separate user session.