Getting Started with Web Analytics – A Guide for Newbies
The most common reason for people to learn web analytics is to identify and fix problems with their websites. Perhaps you’re struggling to attribute sales on your e-commerce site to the right sources. Or you’ve noticed a spike in traffic but are not sure why.
Web analytics helps by providing an established set of processes & tools to capture, collate, & analyze data to deliver insights into website performance, user behaviour, and more.
Knowledge of analytics is thus important for any professionals working in the digital industry.
But where do you begin learning?
A great way to start would be to familiarize yourself with what the biggest names in the field are saying. Leading international thinkers with many thousands of followers are often able to influence thought on a global scale, placing them at the forefront of the wave of innovation. It pays to read what they have to say.
Here are a few popular influencers for you to follow -
1. Avinash Kaushik: The co-founder of Digital Marketing certification training provider Market Motive, and Digital Marketing evangelist for Google, Avinash is the go-to person for web analytics and digital marketing. He has been writing about web analytics on his blog Occam's Razor and has also published a book on the subject Web Analytics: An Hour A Day and Web Analytics 2.0. It doesn’t matter which of his posts you pick out to read, there is something to learn every time.
2. Marshall Sponder: Marshall is an expert on web analytics and SEO/SEM. He writes on a both social media and web analytics. Having worked with companies like Monster and IBM on their web analytics, you can trust that Marshall knows what he is talking about.
3. Nathan Gilliatt: For business and executive leaders with no idea of the value of web analytics, this is a blog that will help you become a web analytics evangelist. He simplifies the complicated concepts in web analytics making it easy for anyone to learn from his blog.
Many influencers also maintain personal blogs where they share their insights & advice with an eager audience.
Here are a few web analytics blogs for your reading list -
1. Web Analytics land: Although this blog has been inactive since 2003, its exceptionally-rich archive is perhaps the best resource on Adobe Analytics on the web.
2. Usability Tools: If you are looking to learn more about the tools in web analytics, this blog is one you should definitely visit. With a collection of tool recommendations to use for both desktop and mobile, Usability Tools is a regular destination for UX experts & even designers, in addition to analytics professionals.
3. Data Set Go: If you are new to analytics, then this blog is one you should visit. It offers a rundown of the basics and lays the groundwork to help you build a strong foundation in web analytics.
If shadowing influencers seems like a great way to learn, how exciting would it be to learn from them – directly?
Many of the influential web analytics gurus regularly consult for e-learning companies and serve as faculty for popular certification training courses.
Here are a few web analytics certification providers with high-profile faculty developing the course content -
1. Market Motive: With Market Motive’s course in web analytics, you will gain domain knowledge and learn how to leverage data through web analytic tools and draw insights for business and marketing.
2. Analytics Academy: This provider offers training courses in web analytics as well as other data analysis tools. These courses are extremely helpful if you are looking to take up the Analytics Individual Qualification exam.
3. Simplilearn: Powered by Market Motive, Simplilearn also offers a course in Web Analytics. With 25+ hours of high-quality up-to-date eLearning content, downloadable workbooks and exercises, online progress quizzes, and practices tests, anyone looking to build their career in Web Analytics can take up this course.
Once you are done learning up about Web Analytics and have a bit of knowledge on the subject, there are tools that you can use to understand the behaviour of your website better.
Here are the most popular web analytics tools to help you hit the ground running -
1. Google Analytics: A godsend for bloggers & webmasters, Google Analytics is used to track and analyze data about web traffic. The tool allows users to check which keywords are bringing in the most visitors to pages and what aspects of the design are turning them off. A website report is generated which includes information about traffic sources, visitors, goals, e-commerce, and content.
2. Kissmetrics: Another popular analytics tool, Kissmetrics allows the website owner to track all the movements of the individual visitor across the website. While the tool allows you to observe and analyze changes in user-behavioral patterns over time, it also provides useful data on most-recent and typical referrers. The main feature of Kissmetrics is the ‘Timeline view’ that keeps a log of the visitor’s activity on the site in an easy-to-understand format.
3. Crazy Egg: This analytics tool uses heat-map technology to give website owners a visual picture of what the visitor is doing on the web page. It provides a visual map of the user’s movements and their interaction points on the page. This helps you identify locations that see the most activity – and why.
Can you think of any other great web analytics tools to use? Which web analytics thought leader do you swear by? Let us know in the comments below!
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