Monday, May 11, 2009

A brief explanation of web analytics

Web analytics is the objective tracking, collection, measurement, reporting, and analysis of quantitative internet data to optimize websites and web marketing initiatives. (You'll want to pick up Avinash Kaushiks Web Analytics: An Hour a Day) Thrive Learning Institute teaches how to set up, analyze and make profitable decisions from your web analytics.

Web analytics should be the lens that all business owners view the success or failure of their business and the basis for strategic decisions and tactics. They'll be able to set realistic goals by analyzing what has and hasn't worked in the past and be gather information and trends across all their marketing campaigns to discover which strategies are having the greatest impact on their customers and therefore determine which areas of the company are thriving and which could use a little more work.

For example, businesses can determine what is attainable in their future by evaluating past successes and failures. Also, by analyzing trends across marketing channels, marketers can learn which strategies have the most impact on their consumers, and therefore determine which areas of the company are thriving and which need improvement

The history of web analytics is miniscule compared to the massive tomes that grace our libraries about various subjects that have dramatically effected the human race. However, while the field is still very small,Web analytics is having a huge impact on the world of internet marketing and is making many people very, very rich. I'll give you a very brief explanation of how It's birth.

In the beginning navigating the internet was very straight forward. Type in the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) and a file with links and text would be 'served' to you by a server and that was it.

Servers record their transactions in what is called a log file. Some clever person realized that these files could be read by a program to provide data on the popularity of the website. He subsequently wrote that program and thus we see the birth of Web Analytics.

These logs were capturing data on not only page hits (the number of times people accessed a websites files) but also file name, time, referrer (the website making the request) IP address, browser identification, operating system and so on. So things began to get interesting cause you got to learn about where these hits were coming from and each hit became unique.

Soon enough business people and marketers began to get interested in this information but it was unfortunately all Greek to them … or php. So another sneaky person built a program that would automatically sort out the information in the log files to produce basic metrics. The first true commercial log analyzer was released by IPRO in 1994.

The last 15 years has been a trend of gathering more useful data and making it easier for the common webmaster to analyze and from said analysis make profitable decisions.

what serious business owner wouldn't want to know what marketing techniques are actually working and which are not?

For a more comprehensive and in depth look at web analytics and how the everyday internet entrepreneur can use it effectively check out Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik.
Or sign up with Thrive Learning Institute for one on one coaching on any online business subject you want.

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