Why Should You Care About Web Analytics?

A guest post from Tom Markiewicz, founder of StatsMix:


If you have a web site, you’ve probably heard the term “web analytics.” You may have also been told you should be analyzing this data. But what are web analytics? How important are they and what should you be focusing on?


StatsMix The Web Analytics Association‘s definition is “the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage.” Some examples of analytics are unique visiting users, page views, and the length of time spent on a site. Newer metrics are also emerging from social media and include Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and YouTube channel subscribers.


These stats all provide a different, yet important, view of how people are interacting with a site. Many services, both free and paid, are available to track the different web analytics. Google Analytics, by far the most popular service, is free and delivers a good baseline of all the important metrics. Other analytics services, including Alexa, Compete, and Quantcast track publicly available data. Each provides slightly different analytics, but offers an insightful view of visitors. Web sites generate useful analytics even if the owners are not explicitly collecting it!


Why spend precious time focusing on web analytics? Well, the old adage still applies: What’s measured improves. Regardless of why you want visitors to come to your site, it’s critical to understand when they’re visiting, what actions they’re performing, and then ultimately how to increase engagement.


Once you start tracking metrics, the next step is using them to make informed decisions. What is causing traffic to increase or decrease on your site? What’s actually moving these metrics? Was it a blog post you wrote, a comment someone made on a popular site, or an article on your company somewhere? Figuring out actionable metrics is the key to using web analytics for your business. Just as you keep a close eye on finances, it’s important to keep track of the performance of your web presence.


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Tom Markiewicz is the founder of StatsMix, a service focused on aggregating web analytics and creating small business dashboards.  StatsMix was reviewed on KillerStartups.com and by Emily Chang.  You’re invited to follow Tom Markiewicz on Twitter and StatsMix on Twitter.

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Comments

  1. I love opening my email in the morning and seeing the note from StatsMix. I start my day with the knowledge of what went well (or maybe didn’t) the day before. The statistical summary provides terrific insight to help me analyze the performance of my web media presence.

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