In the early days of the web, the use of analytics was of interest only to webmasters, so they could understand the ‘technical’ performance of a website. However, as websites have become increasingly essential sales & marketing tools – chances are many of your customers would rather interact with your website than with one of your employees – the role of web analytics has taken on new significance.

Today, web analytics play a critical role in measuring the value of websites in a commercial context, and are used to support a wide range of activities, from measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty, to tracking the value of online and offline marketing and advertising campaigns, and optimising website design.

One company innovating in this area is eTracker. eTracker’s solutions measure a visitor’s journey from the point they land at a site, and tracking everything else thereafter – from the pages the user clicks on, right down to the areas on the page they move their cursor over (which has proven to correlate directly with the information visitors actually see on the site). Such a model provides customers with valuable insight into the usability of their website, and provides scope for further user-focused optimisation. There is even a ‘visitor questionnaires’ product that provides tactical and strategic recommendations for actions to increase customer satisfaction.

Clearly, usability is essential in ensuring the success of a website. But without more detailed web analytics, how do you find out whether a visitor enjoyed surfing your website, what they read and, indeed, what they actually saw?

Given the commercial importance of websites today, web analytics looks an area poised for significant innovation and growth.

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