Analytics Explained, and How You Can Benefit From It

Web analytics is the measurement, collection and analysis of data relating to your internet website, online campaign, social media, mobile media or advertising.  Data collected by web analysis tools is placed into reports so that it can be better understood.  The purpose behind web analytics is to give us a greater understanding of our website and how to optimise it to performto its greatest capability.  The reason it web analytics is helpful is because it does not just track hits to a site, but it also tracks user behaviour such as bounce rates etc.

Although it can be hard to understand why a user does anything, web analytics helps because it monitors behaviour as a whole which makes users actions easier to understand.  Analytics tools were created specifically to monitor and refine data on this subject, from there, the tool gives us an easy to understand chart or table that simplifies the situation and helps make the data easy to take in.  These charts will are purely quantitative and tell you exactly what is happening on your site, they tell us what is happening, not why.
There are several steps to the web analysis process: Outcomes, Measure, Monitor and Act.
Before anyone ever enters into a project, they must first decide what they want to gain from it, what is their goal?  It is important that the outcomes we hope for are both specific and quantifiable.  For example, I want to increase my site hits by 10% by the 31st of December 2012.
When deciding what metrics we want to measure, we must determine what it is we should be tracking.  For example, if we are measuring an email campaign we should be tracking delivery rate, open rate, bounce/invalid rate, click-through rate, etc.  Generally whether it is website hits, email campaigns, social media pages etc, what most people want is to find the conversion rate above all else.
There are many reasons for monitoring, three very important things you are monitoring at all times through analytics are:
·         Where you are – what exactly is happening on what you are monitoring
·         Where you want to be – are you currently at a rate that will help you achieve your goal?
·         How you will get where you want to be – if you need to change something to achieve you goal, it will make you aware of it
The most important thing about monitoring is that you can be made aware of any issues and make adjustments to what you are monitoring so that you can achieve you goals.
If changes need to be made, you have been made aware of any issues and you can make them, and still monitor their success.  Analytics allows you to see what’s working and what is not, and make changes based on your findings to achieve your goals.
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