WHAT DOES WEB ANALYSIS ENTAIL?

1. What does web analysis entail?

Web analytics is also known as digital analysis or web controlling. It refers to the data-driven analysis of online key figures using tracking systems to identify customer behaviour. Based on the information gained, the efficiency of the company’s website can be increased and success can be monitored.

The efficiency increase and success control of the company website is made possible by the web analysis department analysing the click behaviour of the users (more precisely: user segments) with the help of defined key performance indicators (KPIs) and thus being able to show potentials as well as trends.

By analysing click behaviour, distributed over a period of time, it is possible to identify, among other things:

  • technical weaknesses,
  • customer interest in products or articles,
    conversion killers,
  • Effectiveness of entry channels,
  • Insights into the user experience,
  • and much more

2. In which area is web analytics incorporated in the company?

Web analytics is often situated between IT and performance marketing. On the one hand, it provides the two corporate departments with self-generated reports and recommendations for action so that data-based decisions can be made. On the other hand, web analytics enables IT and performance marketing to cooperate with one another. To do this, certain technical frameworks must be put in place so that web analytics can capture new data and the performance marketing department can use this data. Web analysts must define and pass on to IT all the technical aspects needed to implement tracking. After IT has implemented these requirements, the web analysts have to check the tracking again. Then a final approval can be given by the marketing team.

Analysing the customer journey or customer relation management, as well as the creation of scoring models using predefined KPIs, requires a deep understanding of statistics. For this reason, web analytics has been working increasingly with the data science department since 2005.

In addition, topics such as cost and revenue development, efficiency of the invested online budget as well as planned and actual figures are important for the management. Thus, in many companies, the management communicates quite intensively with the web analytics team.

3. How to conduct web analysis?

Tracking:

Indispensable for the work of a web analyst is a tracking system that collects the data on a website. Companies mainly use one of the following tracking systems for data collection:

  • Google Analytics
  • Webtrekk
  • Adobe Analytics
  • Econda
  • AT Internet
  • eTracker
  • Matomo (formerly Piwik)

The work of a web analyst takes place in the front end of a tracking system. The defined KPIs and the already existing dashboards can be retrieved and analysed on a daily basis.

The following questions can be answered with the help of the KPIs:

Are there any abnormalities regarding the performance of the website?
Are the daily, monthly and annual targets being met?
How effective are the campaigns and how can parallel campaigns be analyzed?
Do campaigns and online channels work together? If so, how?
Is a more effective budget allocation of online channels possible?

In addition, they can be used to effectively gain new insights and thereby increase (online) efficiency as well as to verify online measures with numbers. Detailed information on tracking tools and the individual providers can be found here.

Visualisation:

To visualise data for stakeholders or your own analysis, web analysts need to be familiar with visualisation tools, in addition to tracking systems. Companies typically use one of the following tools:

  • Tableau
  • Klipfolio
  • Microsoft BI
  • js / D3.js
  • Google Charts
  • Gephi
  • The necessity for the use of these visualization solutions arises from the fact that tracking systems have different restrictions in data visualization. In addition, the use of special visualization tools becomes more important the more web analysis deals with topics from the field of data science and/or additional data sources have to be used for the analyses.

Big data / statistics

A deep analytical and statistical understanding can be particularly helpful when merging different data sources or analysing correlations between campaigns and online channels. Therefore, in addition to acquiring tracking and data visualisation tools, a sound knowledge of statistics should be taught.

Thus, a web analyst should be able to operate one of the following statistical tools:

  • R
  • SPSS
  • SAS
  • STATA
  • XLSTAT

Programming:

Since web analytics only works properly if the data is also collected correctly, web analysts should understand how the technical data collection through cookies, event parameters and co. works.

The following knowledge is of high importance:

  • PHP/HTML
  • Java/JavaScript

If a web analyst is responsible for the documentation and integration of a tag management system to standardise tracking, he should have good JavaScript skills. In addition, these web analysts should generally be able to find possible errors in the source code that are responsible, for example, for low event numbers such as low “catalog downloads”.

4. What kind of web analysts are out there?

There are few web analysts who are experts in all the areas listed above. They often need the support of the department concerned to perform an analysis. Accordingly, web analysts can be divided into three types:

Type A: technical web analysts

The technical web analysts deal with the design, implementation and testing of tracking codes. They work with the tag management system and integrate the respective codes independently or together with IT in order to keep tracking consistent, among other things. They also ensure that the new tools required are integrated into the existing software landscape. Often, the technical web analysts are also the admins of the tracking tools used and thus manage the assignment of rights as well as all issues regarding naming conventions. How are the goals and conversions defined and technically recorded? Does this relate to the naming convention?

Type B: online marketing web analysts

The online marketing web analysts have a deep knowledge in online marketing and can be used for SEO, SEA, display or other online marketing topics. In addition, the web analysts are called web controllers in this case, since they deal intensively with cost-revenue analyses and ROI. In doing so, they provide important data relating to the performance of online marketing activities and point out possible potential. The tasks of an online marketing web analyst include the creation of planning folders and annual forecasts.

Type C: data science web analysts

Data science web analysts often have a natural science background and deal with statistical evaluations in order to achieve efficiency improvements. The duration of projects of a statistical web analyst can stretch over several years. The activities of a data science web analyst include, as with the online marketing web analyst, the creation of planning folders and annual forecasts for the respective departments. In addition, the visualisation and maintenance of (real-time) dashboards can be part of his tasks.

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