Site Analytics, also known as Web Analytics, is the process of reporting, collection, and measurement of internet data for the purpose of understanding website usage. Site analytics is not just a resource for optimizing and analyzing web traffic, but is also a tool used for market research to assess the effectiveness of a website.
Analytic applications can help businesses measure the results of their marketing campaigns. It also helps them recognize traffic changes after launch of new features or other marketing implementations. The amount of traffic received and measured is an approximate result of whether the strategy is successful or not. The number of visitors and page views a website receives is used as a gauge to measure a site’s popularity.
There are two types of site analytics; on-site and off-site analytics:
On-site analytics measures the visitors traffic once on the website. This includes measuring and monitoring which landing pages are generating conversions. The data is typically compared against key performance indicators which is used to improve the website or marketing campaigns.
Off-site analytics refers to the measurement of a website’s potential audience, visibility, and comments happening on the internet as a whole, regardless of whether one own or maintain a website.
Site Analytics Key Terminologies
Hit – The number of requests for a file from a web server. In other words, the number of time a page on a website is requested for view. The number of hits typically denotes the popularity of the information being requested; however, that is not always the case. A website consists of multiple files, each of which is counted as a hit as the page is being loaded, the number can be arbitrary and more of a reflection of the number of pages than popularity. Total number of visitors typically provides a more realistic assessment of popularity.
Page view – a single page view can generate multiple hits as all resources are required to load the page (images, .css, and .js files)
Visit / Session – a series of page requests from the same person within a time of no more than 30 minutes between each page request. In other words, the session ends when the visitor goes to another site or 30 minutes elapses between page views, whichever comes first. If the visitor leaves and then returns within 30 minutes, then the visit will count as one visit, but two sessions.
First Visit / First Session – a unique visitor who has not made any previous visits to the website, also know as Absolute Unique Visitor.
Visitor / Unique Visitor / Unique User – a visitor that views pages within a defined time period (day, week, month, etc.) Unique visits count once within that time period. If the visitor makes multiple visits, the identification is to the visitor’s computer and not the person, typically via cookies and/or IP. Therefore, the same person visiting from two different computers will be counted as two unique visitors.
Repeat Visitor – a visitor that has made at least one previous visit to the website.
New Visitor – a visitor who has not made any previous visits to the website.
Bounce Rate – the number percentage of visitors that enter and exit the same page without visiting any of the other page on the website in between.
% Exit – the percentage of visitors that exit from a page on a website.
Visibility time – the total time a visitor spent viewing a single page, blog, or ad banner.
Session Duration – the average amount of time visitors spent on the website each time they visit. This is an estimate for new and repeat visitors.
Page View Duration / Time on Page – the average amount of time visitors spent on each page of the website. This is an estimate for both new and repeat visitors.
Active Time / Engagement Time – the amount of time visitors spent interacting with content within a web page (mouse clicks, hovers, scrolls, etc.) This measure is an exact account of the length of engagement through the last page view.
Page Depth / Page views per Session – the average number of page views a visitor accumulates before ending their session. The total is calculated by dividing the total number of page views by the total number of sessions.
Frequency / Session per Unique – this measure is sometimes used to measure the loyalty of a website’s audience. This frequency measures how often the visitors come to a website. The total is calculated by dividing the total number of sessions/visits by the total number of unique visitors.
Click path – is the sequence of hyperlinks that were followed by one or more visitors on the website.
Click – a click is a single instance of a visitor following a hyperlink from one page to another.
What are your thoughts about Site Analytics? Has use of this strategy help you improve your website’s visibility or traffic?