Installing Tracking on Your Website

hoangvu

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Website analytics is the study of online user behavior for the purpose of improving sales. By adding analytics capabilities to your website, you will be
able to measure:
- Where visitors are coming from (e.g., search engines, type-in traffic, banner ads, etc.)
- What pages they are visiting the most
- How much and how often they convert (e.g., buy your products, sign up for your e-mail
newsletters, request more information, etc.)
- How long they stay on each page
- How quickly they leave
- How much every page on your site is worth to you
With this information, you can make your site better.
You’ll have the insights you need to improve your site design, create a better user expe-
rience, and streamline your conversion pages.
The end result? Higher return on every advertising dollar you spend.
These insights will be contained in your website analytics reports. These will be your new
best friend.

The two approaches to collecting website data

Analytics packages utilize two basic approaches to gathering traffic data from your website: log file analysis and page tagging.Log File Analysis Log file analysis was the original approach to tracking visitors. The web server on which your site is hosted records all user access information in a log file. This file contains such information as the visitor’s IP address, the time of the request, and the URL of the page they visited. Some analytics packages use this data to generate their analytics reports.

The data contained in these log files are not always accurate due to the presence of web caches. If a visitor revisits a page, the second request can be retrieved from this visitor’s cache. In this case, no request will be made to the web server, and the visitor’s path through your website will be lost.
Similarly, log files tend to have difficulties distinguishing visitors who connect to the internet via large ISPs or those who have dynamic IP addresses.In order to set up an in-house logging system, you’ll need access to your web ervers. You’ll also need to purchase, install, and configure the software. This is ordinarily only cost-effective if you already have a high-volume website with at least a six-figure revenue stream.
For more modest sites, we’ll want to consider the next alternative.

Page Tagging

With the page tagging approach, a small snippet of JavaScript code is inserted on every page
of your website.When a visitor reads one of your pages, the code passes along certain identi-
fying pieces of information about the page and the visitor to an outside web analytics com-
pany. They maintain all of the hardware and software and generate your traffic reports on a
near real-time basis (usually under 24 hours).

Page tagging eliminates errors caused by web caches. Even if a visitor fetches your page from
their local browser cache, the JavaScript code is still executed and the information is saved. Also,
it is much easier to record additional information such as the size of the order, the SKUs that
were purchased, browser capabilities, and so on. In fact, some tracking services can even gener-
ate heat maps that will show you what links and images attract your visitors’ attention. Now
that’s power!
However, page tagging isnt perfect. Some visitors will have JavaScript turned off and will never
be tracked. Sometimes the tracking data gets lost in transmission over the internet and the visitor’s
information is not recorded. Also, this approach requires you to share sensitive financial informa-
tion with an outside party, and this may conflict with your company's data security policies.

Which Is Better?

Both approaches are useful and can typically be used interchangeably. However, for the purposes
of this book, we will recommend page tagging. Page tagging is fairly accurate and easy to set up;
moreover, there are free packages available, so the price is right. However, there is one very important consideration to be aware of with page tagging. In my experience, this approach will understate your traffic by about 10-15%. Thus, it is very important that your site is getting sufficient traffic so that this error is minimized. If you are only getting 20 sales a month and your package loses
track of three of them, your decision-making ability will be compromised.

The solution to this is to ensure that your site is getting a reasonable amount of traffic before
you begin to take your analytics data too seriously. A great way to do this, of course, is by using
pay-per-click advertising. We’ll go into great depth on this in the third part of this book. For now, let’s get started withanalytics.

MY pick :Google Analytics

For all of the above reasons, we’re going to recommend Google Analytics. It’s a solid, robust package that wont overwhelm the first-time web marketer, and it’s extremely popular. Best of all, it’s free.
 
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