Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Learn Web Analytics

The purpose of my blog over here is to understand and learn web analytics and, in process, learn some new concepts through it. Now I do not say that I know every concept in web analytics, but I will try to do justice to whatever I shall be talking about in this blog. But, it all begins with knowing what web analytics is..

What is Web Analytics?
According to wikipedia, web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. Sounds very complicated, isn't it? Basically internet data has a way of measurement and obviously collection; and the purpose of any data measurement and data collection is to analyze and draw some conclusion. This conclusion is presented in the form of report. Now we have collected, measured, analyzed and reported all the internet traffic data, but there has to be some purpose to it. All this is done so that we may optimize our web usage. In other words we want as much traffic to our website as possible and we are doing the required internet research for it. Well, this is the most basic concept of web analytics, but merely understanding it won't get you anywhere. You have to jump in with both feet to really grasp the core analytics concepts.

Types of Web Analytics
Broadly web analytics can be classified into two categories.
  • Off site.
  • On Site.
On Site
When you are talking about off site web analtics, you are dealing with things from an outsiders perspective. Meaning you are not the owner of the website and yet you want to measure various aspects of the web site like measuring traffic, page rank etc, then such analytics is called off site web analytics.

Off Site
On site web analytics is something that you measure when the visitor is on the website. Things like how much time he stayed there, which page of your website user read the most, which is the page one which user lands directly etc.. But, these days the distinction between on site and off site web analytics is getting blurred and to talk of them in two different contexts is something which is very difficult to do. Following article should give you some insight of what web analytics is.

Key Definitions

Page Views
The number of times the page has been viewed.

If the user has a tangible interaction with the website then it is called a visit. Typically various aspect of the visit can be viewed by a web analyst. It may contain one or more page views.

As you can see the blog post is completely incomplete but due to various reasons, i shall not be doing this any time soon.