Introduction To Web Analytics

What Is Web Analytics?

Web analytics is a way to track how a web page is traversed and used by the people that visit it. According to Margaret Rouse, “The use of web analytics is said to enable a business to¬†attract more visitors, retain or attract new customers for goods or services, or to increase the dollar volume each customer spends.”

Uses of Web Analytics

Web analytics is a powerful tool that can provide a variety of interesting data to web developers. The main method of identifying a single visit to a website is using a session. When the website is first accessed, a session is generated for the user. The session tracks the order in which pages are visited, where the webpage was accessed from in the world, how long the user visits the website for and where the user exits the webpage from.

Information on where your users are in the world is helpful as you can use it to guide future development such as localised versions or translations of your website. The exit page of the user (where they “bounce” from) is great for flagging whether certain pages are fulfilling users needs, or not providing the answers they want. If someone bounced from the “Contact Us” page, then you can be assured that they are more likely to have found what they were looking for. On the other hand, if the user bounces from a blog post on different types of rocks, maybe the page is simply not engaging to your audience.

Advantages of Web Analytics

Web analytics gives the developers key insights into how the users are interacting with and navigating their website. This leads to better informed development decisions, and minimises time wasted on features that no one is going to use. As web analytics is a quantitative type of data collection, this means you can use statistical analysis techniques to create summaries of your data.

How Web Analytics Can Be Used In Games

Web analytics can be applied to games through the use of event tracking. Events are triggered by the player performing a specific action, such as picking up a power-up, or completing a level. This allows developers to see where the player is getting stuck, what items they are missing and when in the game the player considers purchasing a micro-transaction. Tracking player interest in micro-transactions can be particularly important due to the money involved. Often it is used to optimise the options available to players, as it can show which bundles sell the best, and how likely a player is to make a repeat purchase.

Disadvantages of Web Analytics

In the world of social and mobile gaming, analytics are used heavily to influence game design. As a result, there are many copycat games that are difficult to tell apart from one another. Furthermore, web analytics only give you symptoms of design flaws with your game. As a developer, you may not understand why everyone is quitting after level three, unless you actually talk to someone playing the game. It may turn out that the game is extremely difficult at that point, or it is too easy and players are bored.

Conclusion

To use web analytics effectively, you need to combine it with other forms of data analysis, particularly qualitative methods to better explain what your event tracking is showing. Web analytics is a powerful tool for collecting huge amounts of data on what your players are doing, but it’s important to make sure that the data you gather is relevant, and can be used to improve your games in the future.

References:

https://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/Web-analytics [website] [accessed: 13/12/2018]