Web analytics is the name given to the data collected about a website’s users. It measures information about users, such as:
- Where a customer is geographically
- How a customer came to that webpage (search engine, copied link, advert, etc.)
- What did the customer do while they were on the site
- What the customer did on the site (log-ins, message board posts, reviews, purchases, etc.)
The site owner can then use this information to build a picture of their customers. It can help them determine:
- What their most popular source of web traffic is
- What their most popular products/services are
- What kind of audience do their products most appeal to
- Which pages of their site are most likely to lead to a purchase
- Which pages are most likely to result in a lost sale
Analytics are gathered by a line of code written into the page’s base code. This code tags each user as they move around the site, showing the owner where they went and what they did. These tags can be stored as cookies in the user’s device to continue where they left off when they return. The same is true for the collection of their data.
Google Analytics is the most popular web analytics tool, though businesses have other options like Mixpanel and CrazyEgg for measuring unique data such as users’ browsing patterns and actions.