I sent out a tweet last night about my upcoming e-book on local business web analytics, and I happened to see an interesting response this morning from a well respected member of the web analytics community. Jacques Warren ( blog, twitter) pointed out through an image that my book landing page showed the book title, Web Analytics for Brick and Mortar, but that the actual text of the page explained simply that it was a guide to Google Analytics for small, local business.
His tweet asked if semantically, these days, was Google Analytics = Web Analytics. And when he says EQAUL TO, he essentially means the end all and be all, as my web page text accidentally indicated.
I responded back saying of course that I didn’t feel that way, and that in fact the book covers other things. The exchange got me thinking though. What IS web analytics these days?
An Understanding of the Web as it Relates To Us
That’s what it means to me, anyways.
Web Analytics is no longer (and hasn’t been for a while now) a pretty, soft edged graph version of our web logs.
Web analytics instead has become a serious and massive aggregation of available information about the living, breathing web, and a subsequent dissection and understanding of where our website and brand fits into that biosphere.
We no longer limit ourselves to worrying about Page Hits, or Bounce Rates, or even ultimate conversions.
We now look at how social media perceives us, and what different sets of people, from different sets of places do with our content, our products, and ultimately us as an organization.
We may even agree that we can learn more about our customers by how they talk about us in social media than what they buy, or do, or ask us about on our own web pages.
I think we can DEFINITELY agree that analytics, especially for large organization, changed instantly and dramatically the moment we stopped putting our own URLs at the bottom of our television commercials, and instead started advertising our Facebook pages.
The venue for customer interaction had changed, and web analytics had to grow and change with it.
So in the final analysis, it’s not ever safe to say that web analytics is equal to Google Analytics, despite it’s popularity. In fact, it’s no longer safe to say that web analytics is any one piece of software, web service, or funnel.
Web analytics is indeed an understanding of the web and how it relates to our business. I may now have to re-think how I position the book. That, or more accurately describe its contents, which indeed heavily Google Analytics related.