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WOA100 Web Analytics Session 2 Methoodologies

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					WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics
             Session 2

                        Expanded and Adapted from lecture notes by: Ali Shah
       Sources: wikipedia.com and Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics by Brian Clifton
               Class 1: Quick Review



The role of websites in modern day business
 •   History of web analytics
 •   Understanding why your website exists - Assignment 1
 •   Connecting to Business Goals
 •   Information Web Analytics can provide
 •   Offsite v.s. Onsite measurement tools
 •   What is Google Analytics?
 •   Identify measurable business outcomes tied to websites ( KPI)
 •   The role / job of a Web Analyst




                                                        Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
         Review: Business outcomes

A websiteʼs existence should be tied to “measurable” business
outcomes... this is what web analytics is all about!

•Lead generation - creating sales leads
•Content / Media - engagement, loyalty

•Online support / self-service - FAQ, knowledge base, technical support

•Commerce - online/offline purchases




Definition of Web Analytics:

“Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data
for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage.”

- Digital Analytics Association




                                                           Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
                         Letʼs begin!!!


                             Google Analytics I



•   How websites have evolved
•   Data collection methodologies - Server log files vs. JavaScript tagging
•   Cookies (1st party vs. 3rd party)
•   Online Privacy
•   Online resources - Google Analytics Account Set up




                                                       Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
The Internet & websites have evolved

Where were we in the past?
 •   Brochure sites / pages
 •   Geocities
 •   News threads
 •   Email - text only
 •   ICQ and the birth of instant messaging
 •   Limited knowledge, difficult and expensive to build, slow Internet speeds




                                                           Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
              History of web analytics


In the beginning, it all started from hit counters...




• Standalone counter to track the number of “hits” to a page
• Great during the “text only” Internet age
• A “fun” add-on for any website
• With the arrival of images and graphics, hit requests ballooned
• Became a meaningless number...




                                                           Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
                                 Server log files
                                                                                                             Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server_log




    Server log files

    •   A web server log which maintains history of page requests
    •   W3C maintains a standard log format (Common Log Format)
    •   127.0.0.1 - frank [10/Oct/2000:13:55:36 -0700] "GET /apache_pb.gif HTTP/1.0" 200 2326




Typical content:                    Typical uses:

•Client IP address                  •Analysis of traffic patterns
•Date / Time                        •Website administration

•Page requested                     •Hosting resource allocation

•HTTP code & action                 •Fine-tuning sales efforts

•Bytes served

•User agent

•Referrer




                                                                       Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
                    JavaScript Tagging
                                                                                          Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_analytics




Modern Web Analytics Tools
•   Each webpage has a “tool specific” snippet of customizable JavaScript code

•   JS code notifies third-party server when a page is rendered by a browser
•   Sends an invisible image request with webpage and visitor info

•   Data is processed remotely by Web Analytics company to produce web traffic reports
•   Company also manages process of cookies (to uniquely identify visitors)




                                                          Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
Server log files vs. JavaScript tagging
                                                                                         Source: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics
                                                                                                          by Brian Clifton




 •   Logfiles contain data collected by   •   Page Tags collect data via the
     your web server and are                 visitor's web browser and send
     independent of the visitor's            information to data-collection
     browser.                                remote servers.

 •   = Server-side data collection       •   Page Tag: JavaScript code
     captures all requests made to           placed on each page of your site
     your web server




                                                        Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
Server log files vs. JavaScript tagging
                                                                                         Source: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics
                                                                                                            by Brian Clifton
                                                                                             Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_analytics




Server Log File Analysis

Advantages:

•Produced by web server - no changes to website required.
•Data is kept on the company's own servers in a “standard” format making it scalable from
software to software.
•Log files contain information on visits from search engine spiders crawling the website.
•Historical data can be reprocessed easily - not possible Google Analytics
•The web server reliably records every transaction it makes.
•Page tagging may not be able to record all transactions. Reasons include:
  JavaScript disabled (browser behavior)
  Human error resulting in omitted tags from webpages - no tag, no stats!
  Static web pages (PDFs) where tag addition is not possible


                                                            Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
 Server log files vs. JavaScript tagging
                                                                                            Source: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics
                                                                                                               by Brian Clifton
                                                                                              Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_analytics




   JavaScript Tagging

   Advantages:

   •Page open = Page counted; Cached pages are not counted by the server (log files
   undercount human activity)
   •Page tagging can report on events which do not involve a request to the web server, such
   as interactions within Flash movies, partial form completion, mouse events such as onClick
   •Tags manage the process of assigning cookies; log file analysis requires server to be
   configured
   •Page tagging is available to companies who do not have access to their own web servers
   •Lately page tagging has become a standard in web analytics.


The data collection methodology that Google Analytics uses is the “Software as a
Service” (SaaS) page tagging technique.


                                                             Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
                                  Cookies

Definition
“A cookie, also known as a web cookie, browser cookie,
and HTTP cookie, is a piece of text stored on a user's
computer by their web browser. A cookie can be used for
authentication, storing site preferences, shopping cart,
contents, the identifier for a server-based session, or
anything else that can be accomplished through storing text
data.”
                                                   - Wikipedia

Key elements                                                                          Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_analytics
                                                                                      Source: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics
                                                                                                       by Brian Clifton


•Page tag solutions track visitors by using cookies
•The visitor's browser stores the cookie information on the local hard drive
•Cookies are not malicious and can be deleted by a user at any time.
•For web analytics the main purpose of cookies is to identify users for later
use - with an anonymous visitor ID

                                                            Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
                           Cookies (conʼt)
                                                                                              Source: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics
                                                                                                               by Brian Clifton




Some cookie flavours

•Persistent cookies - are those that are still available when the browser is closed
and later reopens
•Session cookies - last only for the duration of a visitor's session (visit) on your site
• Secure cookies - for visits to secure sites https://
First party vs. Third party

•First party cookies - only the website domain setting the cookie information can
retrieve the data

•Third Party Cookies - the website domain setting the cookies can also list other
domains allowed to view the information.



Using first-party cookies is a best practice, from a visitor's privacy viewpoint.


                                                               Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
Cookies enhance the web experience

  Session management
  • Shopping carts - allows visitors to continue shopping after adding to cart
  • Login - sends user passwords for authentication purposes

  Personalization
  • To remember personal preferences. Example: Amazon, Yahoo!, other sites?
  • Stores pre-entered form details such as the username, email address, etc.
  Tracking

  • Cookies help track a visitors web browsing habits
  • Used for path tracking and delivering ads to specific segments




                                                          Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
       But what about online privacy?

Online Privacy
• In modern day Internet, does online privacy exist?
• Do you routinely accept/delete cookies?
• Should advertisers be allowed to track visitor behaviour for ad serving purposes?
Let’s discuss...



Cookie Privacy Spectrum
• Where would you place yourself on this spectrum?
     Accept All                                                                                      Delete All



    Left-Wing                        Centered-Leaning                                          Right-Wing
  Cookie Privacy                      Cookie Privacy                                          Cookie Privacy




                                                           Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
       Google Analytics and Privacy?

• GA cookies collect standard Internet log data and visitor behaviour information in
anonymous form (IP address, time and date stamp, browser type ...)
•They do not collect any personal information such as addresses, names, or credit
card numbers
•According to GA Privacy policy - as a Google Analytics user
“ you must post a privacy policy (on each website with GA tracking code) and
that policy must provide notice of your use of a cookie that collects anonymous
traffic data.”

•GA terms of service state that you will not associate the data gathered from your
website with any personally identifiable information

What does Google Analytics do with the data it collects?
•GA provides advertisers with transparency and accountability they need in order to
have confidence in their pay-per-click modes (AdWords) - to compete with Microsoft
and Yahoo!
•Without the Support Access setting enable, Google staff will not be able to access your
report data
                                                           Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
      What is Google Analytics?


Review

•   FREE hosted web analytics solution -
     • SaaS (Software as a Service)
     • ONSITE reporting
     • page tag solution that uses first party cookies

•   Tracks website visits and LOTS of other “business” metrics

•     Helps answer difficult questions
    •  How are visitors using the website?
    •  Is the online content working to meet business objectives?
    •  If eCommerce, where are shopping carts being abandoned?
    •  Can the navigation of the website be improved?




                                                     Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
                        Google Analytics
                                                                                           Source: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics
                                                                                                            by Brian Clifton




Key features...

•   Track Goal Conversions (KPIs)
•   Campaign Tracking (Tag URLs)
•   Integrated with other suite products e.g AdWords, Ad Sense = Advertising ROI
•   Track Social Media Love Buttons - visitor engagement (not activity on Social Sites)
•   E-Commerce Reporting
•   Internal site search reporting
•   Funnel visualizations - paths visitors take before conversion e.g. e-commerce checkout
•   Customized Dashboards - key data selections for at-a-glance comparison
•   In-Page analytics - graphical way of looking at popularity of links
•   Geomap Overlay Reports - graphical -where visitors are connecting from
•   Advanced Segmentation - isolate and analyze subsets of visitor traffic
•   Data Exporting and Scheduling - CSV, email reports
•   ....and more
                                                            Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
                       Google Analytics
                                                                                           Source: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics
                                                                                                            by Brian Clifton




What GA does NOT do...

•   Service Level Agreements ( Google Analytics Premium - for large/enterprise clients)
•   Indefinite Data Retention (GA - 25mo, GA Premium - 36 mo)
•   Provide Professional Services (implementation, training, analysis etc.)
•   Data Reprocessing (Urchin)
•   Import Third Party Data (export to Excel)
•   Per-Visitor tracking (against privacy philosophy - alternative Urchin
•   Need more processing power? Receive more then 1 million visits per month? GA
    Premium (cost $150,000 / yr)




                                                            Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
         How Google Analytics works...
                                                                                               Source: Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics
                                                                                                                by Brian Clifton




1.Visitor view your page with GA Tracking code

2.Automatic request is made for the GA master file - Java Script file downloaded only

once during a visitor session - Further requests from visitor’s browser cache

3.With the file in place, referrer information plus visitor data are collected (page URL,

time stamp, unique ID, screen resolution etc.)

4. First party cookies are created to identify the visitor - or updated if the visitor is a

returning one

5. For each page view, informations is sent to Google data collection servers

6.At regular intervals Google processes data and updates your reports




                                                                Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
           How Google Analytics works...
 Visitor types
 web address
                                               Invisible GIF request
                                                 sent by webpage
                                                containing all visit
                                              details captured by GA



Request sent to
 web server to                                                                                   Reports
render the page                                                                                 Processed


                                                 Google
                                                Analytics
                                              Secure Servers
  JavaScript Code
     Executed
   (calls track page view method)



                   Google Analytics uses
                   1st party cookies (read/
                    written at this point)


                                                                       Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
    Issue of cookies and JavaScript

Google Analytics

•   In general, 1st party cookies are considered safe by web users today.

•   What’s the impact of users blocking / deleting cookies?

       •   Blocked cookies
       •   Deleted cookies

•   Other issues / scenarios where tracking code may or may not execute:

       •   JavaScript is disabled on browser
       •   JavaScript errors on page due to other scripts or code errors
       •   Cached pages (tracked only if visitor still connected to Internet)


     Web analytics reporting will never be 100% accurate!

                                                          Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
            Review & Quiz Preperation

Key Terms / Concepts

Chapters 1-3
15 Multiple Choice or True/False Questions
each question = 1%

 •     Define: Web Analytics
 •     Offsite v.s. Onsite measurement tools
 •     Key Performance Indicators
 •     What is the role of a Web Analyst?
 •     Data collection methodologies - Server log files vs. JavaScript tagging
 •     Cookies - How they work? Accuracy Issues?
 •     First Party v.s. Third Party Cookies
 •     Online Privacy Issues - Google Policy
 •     What is Google Analytics?
     •  FREE hosted web analytics solution -
           •  SaaS (Software as a Service)
           •  ONSITE reporting
           •  page tag solution that uses first party cookies

                                                           Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
                           Hands On:


Google Analytics

•   Visit: http://www.google.com/analytics/

•   Create a new account or sign in with an existing Google account
       •  Verify your account
       •  Login again
       •  Sign up for Google Analytics (button)
       •  Enter the website you want to generate code for
       •  Give it an account name
       •  Enter name / country
       •  Accept terms of service
       •  Code generated

Note: one email address can have multiple accounts in Google Analytics



                                                       Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah
                 Online Resources...

Google - Conversion University

 •   Visit: www.conversionuniversity.com
         •  Contains Google Analytics IQ Lessons: Follow these lessons to
            prepare for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ)
            test ($50)
 •   You Tube Play List “Google Analytics IQ Lessons” by
     ConversionUniversity: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?
     list=PL953EF4F771134336&feature=plcp

 •   Where to Start?
      • IQ Lessons : Under Fundamentals: Watch the Account
        Administration Presentation
      • Watch: Introduction to Google Analytics Video:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?
        v=H1Opn4DS88k&list=PL953EF4F771134336&index=1
        (Good Review of Today’s lesson)

                                                      Seneca College: WOA100: Introduction to Web Analytics - Class 2 - Lecture notes by: Ali Shah

				
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