Web Analytics

What Are Web Analytics?

Web analytics is the measurement and analysis of digital data, such as your site performance or other similar metrics, that can help you understand user behavior on web pages.

With analytics, you can determine various user activities such as how long they stay on a page, how often people bounce off (bounce rate), how many pages they visit, and whether they used a specific link to reach the content.

So, businesses can use web analytics to calculate and evaluate their site’s performance metrics and look at any aspects they may need to improve. Such data can be precious in helping marketers understand what drives an ad campaign and what attracts viewers’ attention.

You can also evaluate your conversion (or sales) rate by using a web analytics platform.

But why is it so crucial to keep track of this data?

Why Web Analytics Are Important

Website analytics can provide deep insights and data that can create a better user experience for website visitors. What’s more, you can optimize your SEO and everything else to ensure that you rank high in search results.

Without analytics, you won’t know what to focus on, what’s working, or what’s not.

Understanding customer behavior is also key to optimizing a website for key conversion metrics. For example, web analytics show you the most popular pages on your website and the most successful purchase paths.

That aside, you may also utilize website analytics to accurately track the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns to help guide your future efforts.

How Web Analytics Work

Most analytics tools (such as Google Analytics) ‘tag’ their web pages by inserting a JavaScript snippet in the web page’s code.

Using this tag, the analytics tool counts each time the page gets a visitor or clicks on a link. The tag can also gather other information like device, browser, and geographic location (via IP address).

Other than that, web analytics services may also use cookies to track individual sessions and determine repeat visits from the same browser.

Since some users delete cookies and browsers have various restrictions around code snippets, no analytics platform can claim perfect accuracy for their data, and different tools sometimes produce slightly different results.

Ways to Optimize Web Analytics 

So, now that we know how web analytics work, let’s look at some methods to optimize this data to give you the best results:

  • Encourage a data-driven environment for decision-making.

After collecting the data that shows you if you are meeting your digital goals, find out what steps you may take to improve your KPIs. 

For instance, you may ask, is there high-value content (based on user feedback to the website) that is not getting any traffic?

Find out why through user path analysis or engagement analysis of top sources for that page. Then, leverage the experimentation and testing tools to try out different solutions and find the best placement that generates the most engagement for that page.  


  • Avoid only focusing on traffic reports

While data related to visits, page views, top sources, or top pages can be useful, it still only skims the surface. Large numbers can be misleading — more traffic or time spent on site doesn’t necessarily equal success. 

So, be sure that you also gather other metrics such as click-through rate and engagement statistics to help better evaluate your performance.


  • Always provide insights with data

There’s no purpose in reporting numbers to your stakeholders with no insights on your business or user goals. So while collecting and presenting the data, make sure that it’s relevant and meaningful to your online goals, and that it shows what you’re trying to find out.


  • Avoid being snapshot-focused in reporting

That aside, it’s also important to note that only prioritizing site visits doesn’t capture the richer and more complex web experiences that happen online. Pan-session metrics, such as visitors, user-lifetime value, and other values that provide a longer-term understanding of people and users, allow you to evaluate how your website has been doing as it matures and interacts with visitors, especially the returning ones.


  • Communicate clearly with stakeholders

Lastly, before you disclose this data to stakeholders, take some time out to deeply understand what it means for your site, the strengths or weaknesses it depicts, and what it tells you about your audience. Remember that web analytics are only valuable if you use them in the proper context.


Key Takeaway

Web analytics forms a crucial business data component and gives valuable insights into your online marketing campaigns or site performance. If you know how to optimize it properly, you can go a long way with analytics!