Web Analytics is a technique used for the collection, measurement, analysis and reporting of the data concerning the use of websites and web applications.
Web analytics has been growing ever since the inception of the World Wide Web, evolving into a very comprehensive technology that can extensively track, analyse and report about data.
It is used to effectively measure many aspects of direct user-website interactions, including the number of visits made, time spent on the site, the click path, etc.
Brands that want to leverage web analytics usually hire a specialized web analytics agency or a digital marketing services provider who can also handle web analytics.
What does a web analytics agency do
Web Analytics agencies are thought to be the lifeblood of your digital marketing efforts.
They are the ones that set the scope, as it were – showing you the direction to take, when it comes to making strategic and tactical decisions with respect to digital marketing.
To begin with, web analytics agencies audit your current analytical practices and get a thorough understanding of your business goals.
Then they identify KPIs relevant to your business and arrive at a data collection strategy.
They then translate the strategy into an actionable data collection plan, customize the analytics tracking codes offered by the web analytics platforms and ensure that the desired data is collected.
They configure reports in the web analytics platform with the available data and schedule the same.
The web analytics agencies analyze the reports generated from the analytical tool and deliver insights to help you drive your business decisions.
Benefits of working with a web analytics agency
A typical web analytics tool gives you information like -
- How many users and visitors you have on your website at any given time.
- Where are they coming from?
- How much time do they spend on the website?
- Bounce rates
- Exit pages
- And so on.
However, these basic metrics do not add much value to you.
When you work with a web analytics agency, they will give you easy-to-understand reports about the various sources of traffic and website conversions.
They will also analyze the data provided to find out what produces the most profit to the bottom line.
Most sophisticated web analytics agencies also create customer profiles to facilitate personalization and drive lead generation.
Web analytics agencies don’t limit themselves to just giving you web analytics reports. They also track and analyze the performance of your campaigns to help you make strategic decisions – like the choice of media vehicle, for instance - and drive lead generation.
Web analytics agencies can also help you spot potential problems in your website and help you with Conversion Rate Optimization as well.
Typical roadmap provided by a web analytics agency
Web analytics agencies help your analytical maturity evolve over time. Given below is a typical analytical maturity model.
Basic implementation for page-level tracking
Web analytics agencies usually start by implementing the default tracking codes offered by the web analytics platforms. This is the first step in your analytics journey.
Once the basic tracking code is deployed across your website, the web analytics agency would start delivering basic reports.
Out of the box reporting gives insights on where customers are coming from and how well they engage with the website.
Typically, these reports are used to discuss the goals and deliverables of the past month (whether you met them or not). They track the number of visitors to your website, the keywords that brought them there, the number of unique visitors, time spent by the visitor in your website, and the channel they used to approach your website. Reports talk about exactly what you did during the month that went by.
Tracking and reporting events
The next level of maturity is to track specific events in your website - such as the clicking of a banner or a call-to-action button, completing a form or entering some values in a field etc. With access to this data, the web analytics agencies would be able to give you an in-depth reporting of the performance of your website or campaign, with respect to your goals.
Analytics-driven form optimization
Usually, when the objective of your website is to generate leads, your audience is expected to fill out a form. However, for various reasons, they may drop-off after entering information only in some fields. Tagging each form field helps the web analytics agency find out exactly where users exited, and tell you what can be done to fix it.
Integration with a data layer to track additional metrics
Web analytics agents use the data layer in your website to track user activity easily as the information stored in these structures is easy to access, based on which, it is possible to develop a better user experience. Web analytics agencies also collect additional information like product IDs, product price, cart value, etc. and come up with more sophisticated insights that really add value to your marketing efforts.
Role of Web Analytics Agencies beyond Reporting
The role of web analytics agencies has expanded beyond that of just generating simple reports. The web analytics platforms now have the capability to capture intricate data, giving agencies the ability to expand their scope.
Here are some of the areas where web analytics agencies actively contribute these days -
Personalization is the process of creating customized experiences for visitors to a website. Rather than providing a single, broad experience to everyone across the board, website personalization allows companies to present visitors with unique experiences tailored to their needs and desires.
User experience testing
It is important to give visitors to your website, great user experiences. Web analytics experts know the relation between web experience and conversion. So they test different aspects of the users’ web experience. Ecommerce sites covet this information from web analytics agencies so they can improve user experiences and increase conversions.
When it comes to conversions, web optimization plays an important role. Web analytics agencies use optimization to leverage great user experience in content, web design, and even in images, as it helps users in their customer journey and helps maintain brand uniqueness.
Customer Journey Analytics
Customer journey analytics is one of the very important capabilities that a high-standard web analytics platform should have. This helps the web analytics agencies to view and analyse data sequentially, and it can combine all data sources and make it a single reporting view.
Web analytics is a highly evolutionary function and it is important for you to have the right web analytics partner that not only delivers out of the box reports, but also supports with in-depth analytics and functions that are contemporary and emerging such as personalization, optimization etc.