Taking the first steps into web analytics

Tacking onto last week’s SEO discussion, this week’s reading dives deeper into how google actually searches web pages. From my limited experience, the gist of it is this: google uses what’s called a googlebot to crawl webpages (sort of like how a spider crawls around it’s web), and then uses that information to index websites based on all the information it found. When a user goes to do an online search, google’s machines search these indexes to return results. According to google, relevancy is determined by over 200 factors (this is when your SEO comes in handy).

Understanding this information is a crucial first step in using web analytics, a topic I am very excited to learn more about this week. Whether we are running an online portfolio, a large e-commerce site or a simple informational page about the local veterinarian; it is important to know where your website traffic is coming from. Why you ask? Well, for one it gives you some concrete data about whether your sales tactic is working. With web analytics on a retail site, you are better able to see what content drives the most sales rather than simply guessing what works best for your client. Also, you are able to see which population you are reaching. Are you getting a lot of hits from your local audience or people in Russia? If it’s the latter, you may want to know why!

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5 Responses to Taking the first steps into web analytics

  1. Haha, I remember that class. Fun times. Also…now the only thing I can focus on is how there are spiders crawling into my computer. Thanks, Emily, that will totally not haunt me for life or anything.

    I think that knowing where people are visiting your site from is an important point, you don’t want to make a joke about Soviet Russia if 45% of your audience is Russian. It helps you realize your audience. A lot of the problems I tend to have with the internet is I forget that the audience I’m speaking to isn’t myself in a room with a computer, but literally anyone with a web connection. Keeping track of the demographics helps tailor those conversations, jokes, etc., to my audience.

    • Emily Davis says:

      Oh, you’re welcome! Yes, I think you bring a great point about the voice. I often run into a similar issue when managing social media pages at work. It’s hard not to think I’m just talking to people exactly like me.

  2. alanyskpl says:

    Good example with the retail site using web analytics. I agree that it will definitely tell a company hold to gain more sales and from what kind of audience to gain it from. As a freelance designer, it will also be able to tell someone who is visiting your site and what type of companies are looking into your designs. This can help you find more jobs in those fields. I believe there are many other sites like Googlebots that can perform the same type of analysis.

  3. I just had a meeting with a client, a shopping mall, discussing initiatives for the next 2 years and how research was so key to the changes we wanted to make. The main initiative was measurements! Who was coming into the mall due to what marketing tactics, what demographic were they? It’s crazy how much of a difference you can make in your websites success by knowing what works and for WHO. As much as Google Analytics makes my brain fry it really is key to understanding if we’re looking to create a successful site, especially a retail one! 🙂

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