Web Analytics Consulting History Part 1

Web Logs Becomes Web Analytics

In 1999 I was working for abc distributing in North Miami.  We had been using Webtrends at the time for web analytics.  Actually I don’t think we called it web analytics.  We called it Web Log Analysis. Logfile analysis did not last long. These web logs were just the files that track every file (like image, html, etc.).  We actually call these hits.  Hits are anything that hits the server.  The problem with hits, which would eventually go away as well, is hits are not real people.  You can have one visitor who visits one time, but because there were 50 images in the page, 10 javascript libraries adn 10 other things, there were 70 hits during that one browser session.  Alas, hits goes into the bin of not so important history.

Accuracy vs. Knowing What Was Going On!

What drove this large ecommerce company I worked for to move to cloud based web analytics is that the logfiles got to big to analyze. I found this out the hard way when I was trying to merge together the log files of several large web servers.  There was like 4 gigabytes of data per server.  Maybe today that sounds like not so much.  Actually it is a lot still when it comes to trying to merge millions of lines in files. We needed at least 5 front-line servers at abc distributing, because at the time you needed a bunch of servers with an F4 in front to handle their traffic.  Unless I merged all those files and ran one report, there was no way of knowing the sites real traffic.  I needed an answer quick.

Hitbox To The Rescue

So at that time, the leading lower end cloud based analysis solution was called Hitbox, by Websidestory (always thought that was a nice play on words).   Hitbox would eventually be acquired and merge into Omniture Site Catalyst, which I also have expertise in.  Just happens I was around so early on in the web analytics field that I was helping the Hitbox team figure out what to actually look at.  Years later, as I look around for web analytics consulting work, I still see that web analytics has been relegated quite often to a not so important task done by a not so important employee.  Alas, that is where using a seasoned web analytics consultant like myself can make a big difference.

Seasoned Web Analytics Expert

So, if you are looking for a web analytics expert, do not hesitate to contact me to find out what I can do for your business.  It really does not matter if it is Omniture SiteCatalyst, Coremetrics, Google Analytics or one of a dozen others out there.  I have the experience to help you.  Getting the right consultant can make all the difference. Please fill out the form below to contact me.  Thanks, Dan Gudema.

Click here to go to Web Analytics History – Part 2 – SEO becomes a thing

In-Page Google Analytics, The Killer Web Analytics App

The Killer Web Analytics App

Today I noticed this new Google Analytics feature in Beta called In-Page analytics. Very simply it is the ability to pull up a specific web page and visually see all the clicks, sales, conversion rates and some other stuff by every link on that web page. They have had this around in the past, but not at this quality of usability for zero dollars.

This is not a new feature, in fact, its just Google Analytics catching up with all the enterprise analytics companies in the market such as Omniture/Adobe, Coremetrics/IBM and Webtrends. Is this good news? Great news for users of analytics, because it makes life a lot easier to analyze stuff visually. Well its not good news for the old guard of web analytics as Google chips away at features that used to cost thousands per month. This is basically another step towards devaluation of analytics tools. Not sure how many companies are out there still doing analytics. I remember at a conference when Mr. Stern declared that there were 83 web analytics companies at the time around 2003. And I have seen new ones join the fray in the last few years while old ones like Hitbox have become a thing of the past, being gobbled up with Omniture, which was feasted on by Adobe.

Why Is This In-Page Analytics Different?

Well this in page analytics is not actually as you surf your website. That is a major difference with competitors and how they run. Typically they almost all worked like this. You turned on some application that is local or browser based, so either you download something or click on a new add on per a browser and then surf the site. This required a lot of effort to surf around and honestly the in page analytics I used by Omniture/Adobe and Coremetrics/IBM hardly worked. In fact even their staff steered us away from it. This new Google In-Page Analytics has really created a great feature, where it grabs the page from the website and it all seems to work… Nice.

How To Use In-Page Analytics

Quite simple to use. Just login to your google analytics account and click on CONTENT in the left side bar and you will see a red BETA next to In-Page Analytics. Once you click on In-Page Analytics you will notice that your home page shows up. Notice that links have a little div/verbiage above them with a stat like 1% or 50%. That stat and others are showing you what percentage have clicked through, purchased, and how much they have purchased.

Hitting It Out Of The Park

So this proverbial Holy Grail of web analytics seems to do all and suffer none when changing to use revenue, goals, or any other analytics. Yes, the bigger enterprise solutions do have more bells and whistles and flexibility when it comes to in-page analytics, but you have to admit this is pretty much an amazing tool. You could quickly look over your home page or any page and make a determination visually what link is working well and what does not work well. This turns web analytics into a real science and brings this cool method to the masses.