Post #4 – Analyze This

Posted on November 15, 2012

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Web 2.0 has introduced us to significant changes that affect how we do business. We’ve discussed the many different ways we can market a brand’s message through Web 2.0 but how do we study its impact? This is where web analytics comes in to play.

Avinash Kaushik knows a lot about web analytics. He wrote the book “Web Analytics: An Hour a Day” and has since coined a new term called “Web Analytics 2.0”.

He describes Web Analytics 2.0 as:

(1)   the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your website and the competition,

(2)   to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers, and potential customers have,

(3)   which translates into your desired outcomes (online and offline).

Therefore, the purpose of web analytics is to help guide you through your consumers’ behaviour.

The most widely used measurement and analytics tool is Google Analytics. It could track visitors from any referrer including search engines, display advertising, pay-per-click networks, e-mail marketing and even links through PDF files. According to Minuco, Google Analytics is meant to show “high level dashboard-type data for the casual user, and more in-depth data further into the report set”. It is also integrated with Google’s AdWords, so that you can optimize your advertising ROI.

There’s a very useful Youtube video on how to use Google Analytics for beginners and as I watched the video, it reminded me of the stats I see when I log onto WordPress. It seems to me that WordPress has its own analytics like Google although much simpler in terms of key performance indicators (KPI).

Under “Site Stats”, WordPress users can view their visitor patterns by days, weeks, and months. Clicking “Summary Tables” will lead you to a page that will elaborate even more on the patterns and it displays the percentage changes per day, week or month. WordPress can tell you how many views you have had today, on your busiest day, and all-time. There are also analytics that indicate the referrers and search engine terms that have brought visitors to your blog.

WordPress follows many of the recommendations written in our “Basic marketing O2” textbook. It does not exceed ten KPI measures and it provides a dashboard that is easy to read and analyze. Analytics should be “more intelligence and less data”. Kaushik (who is a Google Analytics evangelist) explains, “We’re very passionate about not doing data puking, which is essentially what many tools do today.”  Fortunately, I do not think WordPress is puking.

It makes perfect sense that WordPress would have analytics. On WordPress, you are essentially trying to spread your thought, opinion, or message through the web and you hope to optimize its reach. This would be why many bloggers are interested in what their readers are like and how readers are interacting with their blog.

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