The Benefits of Using a Web Analytics Tool

Scott Shockney

While many personal websites aren't necessarily in need of advanced analytics, a well run business website should provide some basic information. Web analytics can provide too much information for a personal website and create "analysis paralysis", as they quickly cause confusion and become a useless tool for the casual webmaster. However, for a business website, great web analytics tools are essential to maintain and improve your website.

Web analytics provides consistent measurable feedback from your visitors. Your visitors' "web footprints" left behind from their visits to your website are a great indicator of the relative strengths and weaknesses of your website. Some of the basic information a good web analytics tool will provide is:

The total number of visitors to your website over a certain time period.
  • How they got to the site, which search engine did they use?
  • What keywords and keyword phrases brought them to your website? Are these keywords relevant to your web content, do you need to upgrade your web copy?
  • Which pages are visited most by your website visitors? What was the length of their visit on your website?
  • What is the demographic profile of your website visitors? Where are your visitors geographically located?
The most common web analytics tools collect visitor date in two different ways. The first approach collects data from a server log file, and the second by tagging each webpage with a JavaScript tracking code. Some web analytics methods combine these two methods and can provide more relevant data than is possible with either of the two single methods.

Understanding all these different web analytic methods might seem complex, but it doesn't need to be. Very basic web analytics tools are available for free from many hosting companies. Web analytics solutions that are used to track sites that directly or indirectly make money are more robust and generally cost money. They can provide detailed visitor information, conversion, advertisements, and a lot more including a breakdown of all this by product. If ever you wanted a rusted adviser to observe your website's performance and offer improvement suggestions, then your answer lies in installing a suitable web analytics program.

Author Bio

Scott is currently the Director of Marketing and Lead Acquisition for Moonstone Interactive; which provides affiliate program management, channel marketing, paid search management and E business consulting, search engine optimization, and other e-business services. Scott has been involved in online marketing since 1997. His years of experience involve online marketing and lead management process development, partner relationships, and initiating and managing paid search strategies for companies including AutoNation, AutoWeb, E-Loan, and Moonstone.

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