Web analytics

Web analytics: Better performance through data-driven decisions

Aki Ollenberg & Annika Anikari // May 11 2023

#web analytics #web development

Web analytics: Why and what?

The content and the nature of a website can vary a lot between different companies. Sometimes you run very complex digital services on your websites, and sometimes a page with contacts is enough for getting found. Regardless of the purpose of your site, the site often uses web analytics for getting insight into the performance of the website and on user behaviour. There are different types of web analytics:

  • Site-centric web analytics typically involves tracking user behaviour on a website, including metrics such as page views, time spent on site, bounce rates, and conversion rates. A conversion is any user action that’s valuable to your business; for example, a user purchasing from your store or subscribing to your newsletter are examples of common conversion. Site-centric analytics tools also provide data on the most popular pages on a website, the sources of traffic, and the devices and locations of users.
  • User-centric web analytics provides insights into how users interact with a website and what kind of content or visual and functional elements they find appealing. User-centric web analytics typically involves tracking user behaviour across multiple sessions and devices. User-centric analytics includes metrics such as clickstream analysis, user paths, and user flows, and it also provides data on user demographics, interests, and behaviours. User-centric analytics can be used for personalising the user experience, improving engagement, and increasing conversion rates.
  • Campaign-centric web analytics is used for analysing the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns, such as email campaigns, social media advertising, or search engine marketing. Campaign-centric web analytics typically involves tracking user behaviour that is specific to a particular campaign, including metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated. Campaign-centric analytics tools also provide data on the effectiveness of different marketing channels and the return on investment (ROI) of individual campaigns.

By monitoring the chosen KPI’s you’ll get a better understanding of the actions that are needed for providing your visitors interesting content, increasing their engagement, and getting more traffic and better conversion rates on your site. With this information you have the opportunity to grow your business and focus the improvements and allocate resources more efficiently to areas where they make a difference.

Choosing the Right Web Analytics Tools

There are a huge number of different analytics tools. Which one to choose? Is one tool enough or should you use a combination of several tools? You will find the optimal tools by concentrating on the following topics:

  • Objectives: What do you want to achieve through web analytics? 
    First and foremost, consider your business objectives and what you want to achieve through web analytics. Different web analytics tools have different strengths and may be better suited for specific business goals. For example, if you want to measure website traffic and user behavior, Google Analytics might be a good fit. If you’re focused on tracking social media engagement, tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social might be more appropriate.
  • Data Collection and Reporting features
    Consider the data collection and reporting features offered by different web analytics tools. Look for tools that provide accurate, reliable data and offer reporting options that meet your needs. Some tools may offer more advanced reporting features, while others may be more basic.
  • Privacy

Notice that some tools collect more personal data than others and may transfer data to 3rd parties and 3rd countries. Some may be maintained on your own area or maybe even in your own premises. Check that the legal basis for processing personal data and the safeguards for transfers to international organisations are in place.

  • Ease of Use
    Some tools may require technical expertise or a significant amount of time to implement and configure, while others are more user-friendly and accessible to non-technical users.
  • Integrations
    Consider whether the web analytics tool candidate integrates with other tools and platforms you use, such as your content management system, email marketing software, or social media platforms. Integration can help streamline your workflow and provide a more comprehensive view of your digital presence.
  • Costs
    Some tools may be free or low-cost, while others may require a significant investment. Consider your budget and the ROI you expect to achieve through web analytics. Remember that as the downside of flexible configuration, you might need dedicated resources to maintain the tools and this is seen as additional costs. Sometimes the ready-made templates and the ease of use can be significant reasons to choose the tool.

Choose the tool or toolset that meet your unique needs and provide the data and insights necessary to optimise your digital presence – and if you need help, we can help you in both choosing the tools and setting them up in your environment! Using analytics tools is not a target as such. They don’t have any value if they don’t help you in making data-driven decisions for getting better results from your website.