What is Web Analytics? - Definition, Purpose & Strategy

Instructor: Joseph Komor

Joseph has taught High School Engineering and is a constulatant for the Space Program.

Explore web analytics and it's definition. Learn about how and what data is collected, the purpose, and the strategies and goals that can come from online web data.

Web Analytics

Have you ever been on a website that displays how many visitors have been to that same page? Have you ever wondered how websites ensure you can find what you want? Web Analytics is the processes of collecting, storing, analyzing, and reporting a user's web utilization. When you visit a website such as a clothes store, a web analytics software immediately logs measurable information about you and your computer. This data is then used by engineers in order to properly analyze your habits, wants, likes, and dislikes. This general idea of data collection and the subsequent analysis of such data is called web analytics.

Data Collection

What kind of data is collected? Let's take an example of you shopping for a new bathing suit online. When you go online, there are many ways to find what website you'll buy from. You might google search a blog posting stating 'the top five trendy bathing suit companies,' or you might already know which website you want to go to. Nevertheless, data on how you got to that specific website will be recorded.

Let's say you ended up at This is a fictitious website for example purposes only. Every click and the lack thereof is logged.

Once you visit, the following data points are logged:

  • Time of visit
  • How you got to the website (also called referral URL)
  • What you searched for
  • Time on each page
  • How many times you visit
  • Location of computer
  • Web Browser
  • Total Length of time on website

Data Analysis and Strategy

Once the data is collected, it's up to engineers or professionals to analyze the data in order to create a new way to optimize web presence. For an example, you just visited, and you as a consumer clicked off the website after being off put by how hard the website was to navigate. The data that the website collects can lead the professionals to the conclusion that the web navigation needs to be changed. The data can also reflect how effective sales are, how effective specific marketing ads are, and how effective different features graphics and products are.

The team/individual in charge of web analytics then devises a strategy with the company in order to specifically launch strategies to retain customers, boost sales, and create efficiency.

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