What is Web Analytics
Analytics is the data you collect on your website. The data you collect on your website will determine the success of your digital marketing campaign. The data is like a map. Without it, you are as good as lost.
Data we get from Analytics is used to:
- Improve experience
- Find new opportunities
- Discontinue failing ideas
The best part of digital marketing is that we can track end user behavior,the way he consumes and interacts with content and our campaign, in great detail. There’re number of tools available that help in understanding both, the qualitative and quantitative results of our campaign. We can track the current performance, and also forecast and project the future trends of our digital marketing efforts using these tools.
We can capture data within three media types:
- Paid Media – Your paid media will make up everything that you, well, pay for. This will include channels like Google AdWords, Facebook paid ads, and display marketing.
- Owned Media – Your owned media will encompass channels like your website, your list of customers that you use to send out e-mails, and a blog that has an active readership.
- Earned Media – Earned media is the world of organic press. Your social media accounts, mentions on other blogs, and articles written about you make up the channels within earned media.
And all of these channels overlap, just as a user will overlap as they interact with each. And together, these make up the foundation of online marketing.
Measuring Owned Media – Data on website, emails, blogs
- Number of visitors
- Location of visitors
- Individual page visits
- Visit duration
- Abandonment page
By reviewing your analytics, you will get a clear picture on how your users found your website,whetheror not they are finding what they want, and if your advertising objectives are driving relevant traffic and good results.
With resources like Google Analytics and Adobe’s Omniture SiteCatlyst, we can install a tracking code on every page of our website. From there, we’ll have a goldmine of data to leverage, segment and co-relate.
Get real-time insights on your digital marketing efforts, activities and campaigns by comparing them with peaks on the analytics graph.
With a resource like Google Analytics, you would install a tracking code on every page of your website. From there, you’ll have a gold mine of data to leverage, segment and co relate.
For example, if you created a new landing Page, and the same day see a drop in traffic and conversions on your site, you can assume that the problem is with the new landing page and it is not serving its purpose, and attribute the drop in site traffic and conversions to it.
Similarly, if you re-design site, and see increased web traffic same day, suffice to say that new design is attracting more user attention and visitors to your site.
When you do a sponsored post or ad campaign on LinkedIn and Facebook, and see a sudden spike in site visits graph on same days when you compare it with analytics, you know the source is your social media campaign, and that it is in right direction.
Measuring Paid Media – Ads, sponsored stories, banners:
- Display marketing – text and graphic banners.
- Facebook Ads
- Twitter Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Google AdWords
Paid Analytics are typically tied to a reporting platform provided by the tool you are using to run those ads. This data is extremely useful as it gives granular details on which ads are working, what targeting makes sense and more. But, you should at the same time, try to track as much data as you can in another tracking tool independent of that provider. This way you can check the accuracy and evaluate things from different perspective.
More often then not, the way your platform data reports conversions is different than how you report them. And this works by installing a small pixel on your conversion page which informs the platform that a sale happened.
So if you have an advertisement on Facebook driving traffic to your Landing Page, you want to use campaign tracking tags or Goal Tracking in Google Analytics and the Facebook Advertising Dashboard simultaneously. This way you can make comparison between data, identify any discrepancies and test if your conversion pixel is actually working.
Measuring Earned Media – Posts, comment, tweets, video views
- Social media fans and followers
- Mentions and # Tags
- Video views
- Tweets and re-tweets
Final part of our measurement comes from Earned Media. Measuring earned mediais typically a little difficult. Here, the outcomes are not necessarily decided by your spent, but how interesting the user thinks your products and services are.
You can study behavior of your social media fans. How they comment, mention and interact on tweets about your products. Thy number of times your You Tube videos have been viewed.
You may have many dashboards that you can use to collect all this data from, and you want to look at it alongside all other advertising matrix’s you have.
The best way to measure resultswith earned media is to have your own goals and objectives that you can measure against. For example, if you decide 20,000 Facebook fans would increase your revenue potential by Rs. 5,000, then you can track how you’re approaching that goals and plan efforts accordingly.
Websites track visitors through:
- Tracking Pixels
Understanding and interpreting your data becomes all the more easier and meaningful if you understand the piecesthat make data collection possible. Every action you take on web is tracked one way or another. The pages you view, the files you download and even demographic and interest data can be recorded. This data is captured through what are called Cookies and Tracking Pixels.
Cookie – It is a small text file with ID tags, that a website installs on your computer’s browser directory or program data subfolders. This file may contain information about the webpages you visited and when, a unique identifier, and if you are authorized to view certain logged in content. Typically a cookie doesn’t have much identifying information. The website itself stores its own corresponding files and matches your cookie ID to the records on the server. This is useful for knowing whether the user is returning for the second time, how long between visits, and even what advertisements they have clicked into.
Cookies are often indispensable for websites that have huge databases, need logins, have customizable themes, other advanced features.
Cookies usually don’t contain much information except for the url of the website that created the cookie, the duration of the cookie’s abilities and effects, and a random number. Due to the little amount of information a cookie contains, it usually cannot be used to reveal your identity or personally identifying information.
However, marketing is becoming increasingly sophisticated and cookies in some cases can be aggressively used to create a profile of your surfing habits. Like virtual door keys, cookies unlock a computer’s memory and allow a website to recognise users when they return to a site by opening doors to different content or services. Like a key, a cookie itself does not contain information, but when it is read by a browser it can help a website improve the service delivered.
Types of Cookies
- Session Cookies – Session cookies are created temporarily in your browser’s subfolder while you are visiting a website. Once you leave the site, the session cookie is deleted.
As you continue to browse the web and load advertisementsfrom the same publisher, they will see a list of types of sites you visit and how you interact with these ads. Basis this data, publishers can make better customer strategy and show you only those ads that your most likely to engage with.
Tracking Pixels – Little 1×1 pixel images that allows you to keep track of how many users visit your website or see your advertisement.
What Tracking Pixel does:
- Stores information on web server
- Uses 1×1 transparent image for tracking through ads and creative
- Keeps log of unique URL’s it has been requested from
- Gives info on conversions
An agency, advertiser, or other third party might decide to trackimpressions with a tracking pixel. A tracking pixelis simply code inserted into a custom or third-party creative that makes a server call and returns a transparent 1×1 image. Theseare little 1×1 pixel images that allow you to keep track of how many users visit your website or see your advertisement.
So howwould we know that user interacted with our ad, be it through some promotion banner on some other website, or our email campaigns.
When useropens the email and or clicks on a banner, one of the ways that we will know that user did so is that he will ask our server to download our little tracking pixel.
So, when an advertiser wants to know how many users see their ad they use a tracking pixel. What they do is embed a small, transparent PNG in their advertisement that the user can’t see but the advertiser can keep track of.
Each time a new person visits the website or opensa mail where the ad is, that user has to download the advertisement, including the 1×1 pixel transparent PNG. Every time a user downloads the image, their computer sends a message to the advertiser’s server saying:
“Hey, send that pixel over to this computer at IP Address 220.127.116.11.”
The server says, “Yes, Sir,” sends the tracking pixel over to that IP Address, and makes a note of the event in its server logs.
At the end of the day (or week, or month), the advertiser looks at their server logs and counts up all the different IP Addresses who requested that tracking pixel; if 10,000 different IP Addresses requested the tracking pixel be sent to them, that means 10,000 people saw the ad.
This is the same technology that allows web analytic services like Google Analytics and Chartbeat to tell how many people visited your site.
Example: Yousee and click on an ad to buy a movie ticket. The most you click, you’ll receive a cookie downloaded on your device. The cookie will include information about time, where you clicked, what banner was clicked, when you clicked it, an so on.
At this point of time, the advertising platform knows that its ad received an impression, was clicked, but it has no record of the sale.
Now, you continue and go on to buy the movie tickets. On the confirmation or check-out page, the website is going to look at the cookie saved on your device, pull the information from it, and send it back to the server through the Conversion or Tracking Pixel and now, the advertising platform will connect the dots indicate a sale for that ad.