Web Analytics

Definition of Web Analytics

  • Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of web data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. It is not just a process for measuring web traffic but is also a tool for business and market research, and to assess and improve the effectiveness of a website. *

Process of Web Analytics

  1. Collection of data: HTTP requests/Network Requests
  2. Processing of data into information
  3. Developing KPI
  4. Formulating online strategy

Origins and History of Web Analytics

  • The early internet involved the use of logs in 1993. Every time a certain HTML element was requested by the user, it created a "hit" on the log. Each "hit" was recorded onto a log file. In the past, these log files weren't very detailed and couldn't tell much about the user. A "hit" per user couldn't trace a path on where the user was going, how long they spent on the site, nor could provide an analysis on what they were looking for.

Today's Version

  • Today, web analytics has evolved greatly. Now, there are multiple types of "hits." We can track users and determine what page they were on, for how long, and make a path on what things they were looking for.

Case Studies


  • Nabler is a digital Analytics company that was established in 2004. Today, they have grown substantially and became a google publishing partner in 2015.
  • They consulted a small apparel company based in Boston, because they were suffering from low conversion rates, little web traffic, and average order values.
  • To solve this problem, Nabler strategized a plan to bring back former customers and increase conversion rates. They used strategic and personalized advertisements. They tracked log details to find the number of quiet accounts and abandoned shopping carts.


  • The Boston based apparel company saw an 88.5% increase in conversions, and a 25% decrease in cost per conversion.

Harvard University

  • Harvard University, in an attempt to get more people to enroll in their Continuing Education program, partnered with LunaMetrics
  • Using Search-Engine-Optimization (SEO) and Pay-per-Click (PPC), the goals of increased web traffic and enrollment were met


  • 89% increase in visits from organic search
  • 75% increase in registrations from organic search
  • 30% increase in click-through rate (CTR) with AdWords
  • 124% increase in return on ad spend (ROAS) with AdWords


  • Panasonic is known well for its technology products, and has specific advertising campaigns for each product
  • Panasonic wanted to know how to centralize all of the data about customers in their campaigns into 1 database to analyze the trends in customers


  • Look at customer website viewership as a whole by looking at time of each session, web page turns, and keyword searches
  • Look at who was spending the most time, who would be the most likely customer for their product

Increased return on advertising by 30%, on-click advertisements by 300%, and reduced bounce rates by 50%

PBS teams up with LunaMetrics (By Google Analytics) to increase viewership and conversion rates for their PBS stations.


  • Use two account codes: one for the entire website, and one customized for each producer
  • Use advanced features, such as event tracking, to monitor video views


  • Drove a 30% increase in traffic
  • Boosted registered users by over 30% by improving the registration process
  • Created two new video portals thanks to clear understanding of video consumption

Strengths of Web Analytics:

  • Can quantitatively show the value of content online
  • Is a strong representation of data, and can be used to verify assumptions
  • Increases the ability to reach out to users

Weaknesses of Web Analytics:

  • Some methods of data collection are considered invasive
  • Numbers are just numbers, it does not tell us why
  • With a wealth of information, who is to say what is most important?

Future of Web Analytics

  • In an age where Internet usage is not diminishing, the prospects of web analytics are good
  • However, it is worth noting that web traffic in and of itself is diminishing, as the use of apps and other forms of media (mostly the former) are increasing.
  • As more and more firms use apps to market, conduct operations and do business, it is important that such apps use data analytics; web analytics will not be extinct, rather it will be redefined.
  • With that being said, new definitions of “media” analytics will provide new data sources and a new frontier for econometricians and statisticians - a wealth of opportunities to optimize performance for both businesses and governments

Web Analytics is dependent on data, and one way to collect data is through lifelogging. In addition, this analytical data can be expressed in augmented reality technologies. From these examples, as well as the ones expressed through the case studies, the tangible applications of Web Analytics is clear.

Consulted websites:

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