June 7, 2010
Web analytics is a valuable tool for website performance monitoring and measurement. Website owners and administrators prefer to use Google Analytics, in particular, because of its easy-to-use features that simplify website tracking, analysis, reporting, and corrective activities.
Google Analytics has a user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it popular among expert and non-expert website operators. A wide range of features — advanced segmentation, e-commerce tracking, analysis tools, and APIs – provide accurate data gathering and reporting.
Why are tools such as Google Analytics important for website performance tracking? In the old days, website owners have no accurate means to gather data and assess the successes or failures of their websites. Google Analytics tracker scripts which are embedded into website pages gather relevant data for each accessed page. This data is interpreted and presented to website owners in varying perspectives, trends or patterns. The resulting data aid website owners in assessing whether traffic generation strategies, marketing campaigns, or whatever business goal they have set, are effectively achieved or not.
Intelligent Data Mining and Analysis
Google Analytics is popular with website owners because it is easy to deploy and is able to gather accurate statistics on website performance. It can generate accurate reports and present it in a way that is understandable to technical and non-technical users.
Depending on the goals of the business, there are several features in Google Analytics that are useful for goals or performance tracking. Here are a few of them:
- Customized segmentation. Website owners can use segmentation to focus on monitoring website data relevant only to the site’s business goals.
- API packs for data manipulation and tracking. The Data Export API allows client applications development that can be integrated into Google Analytics data transformations, while the Tracking API allows for customization of the way the tracker script gathers data.
- Analytic tools. The core strength of Google Analytics comes from the use of statistical methods making use of multiple dimensions, filtering and pivot tables, among others, to mine relevant data.
Performance Monitoring Flexibility
Google Analytics provides customization of data variables useful in aligning monitoring activities with business goals, which are then sent as reports to website owners in aid of decision-making. The bottom line is that only needed data are presented in custom reporting, giving the convenience of browsing only useful data instead of a multitude of unnecessary information.
Performance monitoring is made flexible and can be deployed in any of the following scenarios:
- E-commerce monitoring. It is possible to correlate e-commerce transactions with targeted keywords and marketing campaigns, and measure customer engagement with the site, as well as identify new sources of revenue.
- Multi-channel tracking. It allows tracking not only traditional channel access but also other sources such as mobile phones applications and websites.
- Benchmarking and Goal comparison. Threshold levels can be tracked from sales to conversions, making it possible to assess the current performance of the website.
Using the same infrastructure the supports the Google search engine, Google Analytics assures integrity of the data gathered, as well as the privacy of visitors to the website. Together with its multiple features and ease of implementation, this is one analytic tool that can really support comprehensive and accurate site performance appraisal.
Debbie A. Everson is the CEO of SearchMar.com, experienced SEO Consultants and Search Engine Optimization Agency to over 2,000 small businesses. Read my SEO Blog for hints and tips. Follow me on Twitter @searchmar. Call 1.866.885.6263 to speak to one of our SEO Consultants and receive your free consultation.