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Website Analytics October 21st, 2007
I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way. ~Mark Twain
Have you heard lately the buzz of a new breed of professional called Web Analyst? I wish you did. It will deceptively sound like a normal conversation. You think you understood it all each word of the conversation but your brain goes fuzzy the moment you try to add it all up…
Jeez!! What was that “bounce” thing and…bout that “visitors” and “unique visitors”. "Cross segmentation", "A/B testing", "Multivariate testing." Listen a little longer you are likely to think the babble is from bunch of spaceman training for NASA’s mission to Mars!
The frontier to be frank may not be the red planet but on the World Wide Web its importance is no less significant. Any advancement in technology or area of knowledge is always preceded by development in language and vocabulary that describes exactly the ideas and puts two people of an industry on the same page. In other words it makes it easier for birds of the same feather to flock together and not get bird brained. 🙂
But for sometime now we have eagerly awaited for the latest arm of Internet Marketing (IM), Website analytics to take shape around the most basic terns in the Web analytics field. It means getting down to the brass tacks and ensuring that a particular technical term conveys only one idea and means the same thing to every one in the powwow.
Finally, finally the grey beards at the Web Analytics Association have come out with 26 new metrics which finally every body agrees on and were revealed in the Search Engine Strategies show in San Jose.
And here are the new terms:
A page is an analyst definable unit of content.
This means its you who decides what a “page” is, including not a very page like technology like Flash and Ajax.
Term: Page Views
The number of times a page (an analyst-definable unit of content) was viewed.
Content, such as XML feeds (RSS or Atom) and emails that can be delivered to both web browsers and non-browser clients are not typically counted as page views because the request or receipt of the content does not always correspond to the content being displayed.
A visit is an interaction, by an individual, with a website consisting of one or more requests for an analyst-definable unit of content (i.e. “page view”). If an individual has not taken another action (typically additional page views) on the site within a specified time period, the visit session will terminate.
Different tool providers use different methodologies to track sessions. Ask your tool provider how this metric is computed. A typical time-out period for a visit is 30 minutes, but this time period is configurable in many web analytics applications.
Term: Unique Visitors
The number of inferred individual people (filtered for spiders and robots), within a designated reporting timeframe, with activity consisting of one or more visits to a site. Each individual is counted only once in the unique visitor measure for the reporting period.
Term: New Visitor
The number of Unique Visitors with activity including a first-ever Visit to a site during a reporting period
Term: Repeat Visitor
The number of Unique Visitors with activity consisting of two or more Visits to a site during a reporting period.
Term: Entry Page
The first page of a visit.
Term: Landing Page
A page intended to identify the beginning of the user experience resulting from a defined marketing effort
Term: Exit Page
The last page on a site accessed during a visit, signifying the end of a visit/session.
Term: Visit Duration
The length of time in a session. Calculation is typically the timestamp of the last activity in the session minus the timestamp of the first activity of the session.
The referrer is the page URL that originally generated the request for the current page view or object
Term: Internal Referrer
The internal referrer is a page URL that is internal to the website or a web-property within the website as defined by the user.
Term: External Referrer
The external referrer is a page URL where the traffic is external or outside of the website or a web-property defined by the user.
Term: Search Referrer
The search referrer is an internal or external referrer for which the URL has been generated by a search function.
Term: Visit Referrer
The visit referrer is the first referrer in a session, whether internal, external or null.
Term: Original Referrer
The original referrer is the first referrer in a visitor’s first session, whether internal, external or null.
A visitor completing a target action.
Phew!! I have just done enough to wet your appetite fora more indepth explanation of the terms you could download a PDF with definitions of all the terms and register yourself as an Website Analyst by at http://www.webanalyticsassociation.org/