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April 12, 2017updated 12 Oct 2022 4:19pm

What is web analytics

There are alternatives to Google Analytics for checking how well your web site and marketing campaigns are doing, here's a few

By Sam

Web analytics is the process of tracking, reviewing and reporting data to establish how much activity a website gets. The analysis of the traffic, as well as of the general website data, has the objective of improving the users’ experience and measuring success.

The data that is collected through analytics revolves around page views, traffic sources and referring sites. It also is part of customer relationship management analytics (CRM analytics) to make better business decisions.  

web analytics
Web analytics (Image: Shutterstock)

Why are web analytics used?

Web analytics have multiple and varied purposes. For instance, it can help to achieve greater visitor numbers and meet targets. 

The process of web analytics has some vital steps. First, one needs to set business goals which define the key structure that will help the website thrive. Then, it is a matter of collecting and processing data, setting the data against useful metrics, and then reporting it in a meaningful way. Once all this information is available, there needs to be an online strategy, so a plan to meet the website’s business goals. 

These numbers can be used to elevate underperforming pages and further improve higher-performing ones.

Web analytics help to track the effectiveness of the online marketing campaign to make the website not only easier to use but also to motivate change when needed.

What are the biggest analytics platforms?

The most popular analytics platform by far is Google Analytics, which is free and helps to analyse website traffic, users, bounce rates and real-time visitor count. 

Adobe Analytics is second, and it is usually used on an enterprise scale. It is not free, but it is a solid alternative to Google Analytics. Next up are Mixpanel, which offers advanced product analysis and business analytics by tracking customer behaviour across websites and apps, and Matomo, which is a bit more basic, but it is only free if the website is self-hosted.  

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Other free web analytics platforms are Yandex Metrica, mostly used for traffic stats and user behaviour data, and Baidu Analytics, which records website visitors, traffic sources and conversions.

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