1Google Analytics for Robust Website Analytics Deepika Verma, Depanwita Seal, Atul Pandey

2Table of ContentsI.INTRODUCTION .3II.Method for obtaining data for web analysis.3III.Types of metrics and values .4IV.Data Collection and Analysis .5V.Competitors.8VI.Advantages of google analytics.10VII. Recommendations .10Acknowledgment.10References .11

3Abstract— Google Analytics is an enterprise-class based web analytics tool which provides a transparent view of website traffic andmarketing effectiveness. Google Analytics has powerful and advance features that give rich insight into the websites and improvewebsite ROI (Return on Investment). This research paper consists of case study on Google Analytics, which demonstrates featuresGoogle Analytics provides and reports it generates. On the basis of the evaluation of web usage, web site owners or E-businessmarketers can enhance the efficiency of marketing, and web traffics. This paper will also present the limitations of the GoogleAnalytics and propose better approach to overcome the issues.I. INTRODUCTIONn today’s digital world, almost everyone is dependent on Internet. Internet enables E-commerce, E-learning, social networking,banking, discussions etc through online websites. To get more customers or visitors, E - business and website owners need tooffer better quality website. Web Analytics serve the purpose of understanding and optimizing web usage.Web Analytics collects, analyzes, and reports data about numbers and types of visitors, page views, and much more. GoogleAnalytics is the most widely used web analytics application that helps to understand the behavior pattern of website visitors.Google Analytics emerged from Urchin Software Corporation, which Google bought in 2005. Over the years, Google analyticshave managed to gain popularity because of its simplicity and numerous advanced features for site owners and professionalmarketers. The site owners and marketers can identify how visitors actually interact with the websites by using this tool. Autogenerated report by Google Analytics facilitates the site owners and the marketers to improve site designs, drive targeted traffic,and increase profits.III. METHOD FOR OBTAINING DATA FOR WEB ANALYSISThere are two methods for obtaining web data: Web Server Log data: Data obtained from user’s web server can be parsed by client-side software to make the datameaningful. Page Tag data: JavaScript code placed on each tracked page provides in-depth information about the page and theclient’s browser device.A. Web Server Log DataWeb Server Logs give more accurate and comprehensive output, hence better insight in to website. They record variousinformation from each request made to the server. Server logs also provide important information about time and type of request,domain request, referring URL, 404 requests, broken links, and various other informations. This way you can fix these problemsto better accommodate your users and the search crawlers. Logs are very detailed as they contain information such as Imagerequests, CSS files, JavaScript files, Search engine bot traffic.In Server logs it is difficult to track at user level, little information about how visitors use site, requests from search enginebots can distort figures and they don’t count views of pages which are cached. Typically server logs are read with some LogAnalysis Software such as AWStats (Advanced Web Statistics) and Webalizer.Pros Counts every request to server User own the dataCons Expensive initial investment Things / events cause counts to be inaccurate:o Search engine spiderso Proxieso Dynamic IP Addresseso Cache Data parsing required before analyzing Cumbersome management of Server Logs Storage intensiveB. Page Tag DataPage tag-based web analytic systems obtain similar data as server logs. Additionally, they obtain information about the client’s

4browser, operating system, custom IDs and tags, as well as conversion data, unattainable from server logs.Pros Cons Cheaper to set up / Pay as you goBelieved to be more accurate than server logsSpeed of data reportingFlexibility of data collectionDependant on JavaScript & CookiesImplemented required for every tracked pageSometimes complex tag implementationsWho owns the data?Privacy issuesSlight performance issuesIII. TYPES OF METRICS AND VALUESFig. 1. This figure shows how the value of the data obtained increases as the data becomes more uniqueThe core metrics obtained through web analytics are: HitsA hit represents a request to a web server. A web page may create several hits to a web server. One for the web page, otherrequests for each image on the page, any includes, etc. Therefore, a web page that contains 6 images would create 7 hits to a webserver. So except for the needs of server support staff, this metric provides no business value. Page ViewsThe Page View metric represents the number of times a web page, be it static, or dynamic, has been displayed. It is useful fordetermining the popularity of select content. VisitA Visit (or session as Web Trends refers to is) is represented by activity during a period of time (usually 30 minutes) that takesplace on a website. VisitorsVisitors are one of the most unique metrics used in web analytics. By default, a visitor is represented by an IP address or acookie. Uniquely identified visitors are cross referenced by another back-end system, usually an e-commerce or CRM system.

5IV. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSISThe data on Google Analytics is accessed by registering site on Google. After performing some basic configuration details, asmall text file containing the security key needs to be download into the server. Then JavaScript snippet is added to each page ofthe site to activate the collection of data. Website is taken for doing data collection andanalysis using Google Analytics. Google Analytics helps not only E-businesses but also helps sites which are not for commercialpurposes such as personal Blogs. Google Analytics has developed numerous useful and valuable features that increase sales,profits, and visitor satisfaction. Google Analytics few key features are as following.A. Setting GoalsBy defining a goal in Google Analytics it tracks and generates reports to measure business objectives. It measures analyticsusers’ site engagement goals against threshold levels that they define.B. AdWords IntegrationIf site owners advertise through AdWords, Analytics will optimize AdWords performance of their sites with keywords, group,and campaign. For tracking ROI from AdWords, analytics users need identify which keywords, ads, and campaigns lead toconversions on their site. AdSense reports shows which site content generates most revenue.C. Complete campaign tracking capabilitiesGoogle Analytics tracks data from various sources such as email campaign, banner ads, offline ads, and more to provide ROIanalysis.D. Bounce RateThe bounce rate report presents how many people come to Google Analytics user’s site and leave without going anywhere.High bounce rate indicates that visitors find webpage irrelevant. Analytics allows users to view bounce rate over time, and itshows how it varies from page to page.E. Mobile trackingGoogle Analytics has introduced mobile analytics tracking. It tracks mobile websites, mobile applications, and web enabledmobile devices. For mobile tracking reports, Google Analytics users need to install server side script.F. Flash, video, and social network application trackingGoogle allows analytics users to track Flash, video, and social networking sites. It tracks usage of Flash, Ajax, socialnetworking, and web 2.0 applications.G. Comparing Date RangeAllows comparison between two different time intervals

6H. Deep Geographic DataIt allows viewing how a user’s site is performing in various city or country. It helps users to identify the most lucrativegeographic markets.I. Local Conversion DataAfter setting up conversion goals, Google Analytics shows user the site conversion in different locales. For E-commerce sites,marketers can adjust their offers based on how they are performing geographically.J. Funnel VisualizationA funnel represents the route that users expect visitors to take on their way to converting to the goal. Funnel visualization pageallows users to see how frequently visitors abandon goals. By knowing the information, site owners can fix the pages that resultin lost opportunities and where their customers go.Fig. 2. This figure shows an example of how a funnel is divided in to various segments and what visitor activity at each level is.K. Navigation SummaryIt Google Analytics can be used for Visitor navigation patterns. If visitors are not following the desired navigation, then siteowners need to redesign the webpage.L. Email ReportsGoogle Analytics has a feature to set up reports, and schedule to whom and when they will automatically be sent. GoogleAnalytics sends report to specified email addresses.

7M. Exclude internal trafficUsually a user of Google Analytics spends more time on his site than anyone else. If it is not excluded, data can be skewed.Google Analytics filters out traffic from IP address, which website owner specifies.N. Search engine trafficGoogle Analytic shows data pertaining to search engines. It shows names of various search engines and the traffic each one ofthem is sending. It informs the site owner about the comparison between search engines traffic with other traffic sources. It alsoidentifies which search engine sends the most traffic, so it helps site owners to improve their websites based on SEO efforts.O. Advanced segmentationSegments allow certain types of visitors such as new visitors, returning visitors, paid traffic, and more accumulate together. Itfacilitates compare and analyzes segment performance.P. Customize DashboardGoogle Analytics Dashboard plug-in for word press gives user holistic view about Google Analytics data. Customizabledashboard gives an opportunity to user for incorporating report through drag and drop functionality. User can run customdashboard as an interactive web application on intranets, websites or Blogs, etc.

8Q. Analytics intelligenceGoogle Analytics Intelligence tool creates custom alerts, for major changes in website behavior. It automatically notifies thesite owner, when threshold reaches the target.R. Advanced Analysis ToolsIt performs advanced table filtering. Users can sort and filters their tables of data. This tool allows users to analysis data deeplyand manipulates data in the right report table.S. Data exportAnalytics allows exporting any data or report with Data Export API or email into PDF, Excel, CSV, TSV, or XML files.V. COMPETITORSGoogle Analytics has various open source as well premium based competitors. This research reports compare few of thecompetitors in both the categories with Google Analytics.A. Piwik vs. Google AnalyticsFeatures of Piwik: Is a PHP MySQL software program It has a excellent interface that can be configured as well. It is also free. It can be easily installed but not as easy as Google-Analytics. It needs some programming skills to be installed. The data is stored on local servers. This helps us to control the data and helps in further analysis. This data can also beconnected to other different data as well.Features of Google Analytics: It's absolutely free. It provides a decent interface which is easy to use. It is easily understandable. It is quite easy to be installed. It does not run on local servers but on Google servers.Conclusion: Piwik is basically for those having their own websites and not for Blogs and Google pages. To access raw data,Piwik is pretty good alternative. However, Google analytics is easy to access and one does not need to install it. Also, accessing

9raw data on ones' won sever consumes a lot bandwidth and apace.B. Omniture Site Catalyst vs. Google AnalyticsFeatures of Omniture Site Catalyst: Its premium software Extremely customizable implementation however very complex The site catalyst reports are more detailed and are much better and superior than the Google analytics reports. The collected data is one's own and is kept private and confidential.Features of Google Analytics: It's absolutely free. It provides a decent interface which is easy to use. It is easily understandable. It is quite easy to be installed. It does not run on local servers but on Google servers. Real Time Reporting System Implementation is quite easy that included copying some code into the site's source code.Conclusion: No doubt, Omniture is more robust than Google Analytics. However it does not matter at all for the highereducation websites. This is because the use in higher education has not reached that far. So, keeping in mind the complexity ofOmniture, Google Analytics must be preferred.C. Yahoo Web Analytics vs. Google AnalyticsFeatures of Yahoo Web Analytics: Its Yahoo is also free. However, it provides much greater page view limitations. Reports are generated in HTML, Access, PDF or CSV. Yahoo is in the process to develop an application support. However, it is not certain. User management is quite easy. It also allows users to access on site basis like Google Analytics. Along with IP filtering, Yahoo also uses cookie-based filtering. Data is stored on Yahoo server.Features of Google Analytics: It's free of cost. It provides customized reports in the form of PDF, XML, CSV and TSV. However, it allows users to have only onedashboard for each site. So, no multiple dashboards allowed. As it's a free service, there is no guarantee of application support when using Google analytics. However, Googlesupport frequently monitors various forums to help the customers. Users can only use one of the two of privilege/access (read only) levels for each website. Filtering is done in many ways including by domain, ip address, site section, referrer, page title etc. Data is stored on Google server.Conclusion: Yahoo Web Analytics is better than Google Web Analytics in many ways. However, Yahoo Web Analytics isunavailable to the masses and a bit complex for them to understand.D. W3Counter Web Analytical tool vs. Google AnalyticsFeatures of W3Counter PRO: It is not free with PRO version. It tracks multiple website with a single user account. With a pro account page views has been increased to 1, 00,000 pages. It has Real time view of activity over one's website. It is also auto updating. It has a secure and invisible tracking code. Rests of the features are similar to Google AnalyticsFeatures of Google Analytics: It's free of cost. It provides customized reports in the form of PDF, XML, CSV and TSV. However, it allows users to have only onedashboard for each site. So, no multiple dashboards allowed. As it's a free service, there is no guarantee of application support when using Google analytics. However, Google

10support frequently monitors various forums to help the customers. Users can only use one of the two of privilege/access (read only) levels for each website. Filtering is done in many ways including by domain, IP address, site section, referrer, page title etc. Data is stored on Google server.Conclusion: It is recognized as one of the few best alternatives to Google Analytics. However, it is not free and without thePro account it has very limited features. So, this is the only reason it cannot beat Google Analytics.VI. ADVANTAGES OF GOOGLE ANALYTICSA. CostIt is absolutely free. This is the coolest feature for most of the people involved.B. UsabilityIt is not just bound to the experts. Anyone without having strong programming skill can use it. It has made analyzing very easyfor both the specialists and the non-specialists.C. Availability of tutorialsGoogle provides an online tutorial to learn about Google Analytics. It has made learning the system extremely easy.D. InstallationIt is easily installable. There is no programming skills required to install it unlike in other analytical tools.E. Visitors views by Geography, Timeframe and Source.It allows getting and viewing the number of visitors to the site based on some time frame. It also allows one to find thegeographical location of all the visitors and also the source which helped them find it.F. Visitor’s detailsIt also provides details of each visitor including the time of their stay on the website, the web pages the accessed, the numberof links they clicked on etc. There is also a concept of Bounce Rate that shows the number of visitors in and out of a web pageand also the visitors who stayed longer.VII. RECOMMENDATIONSA. TechnologyGoogle Analytics uses Page Tagging technology. This means it can only record information on browsers with JavaScript. FewBrowsers do not support JavaScript. Some examples of spiders are GoogleBot, MSNBot etc. While Google Analytics performsquite well in tracking human visitors, it fails in doing the same with the spiders. Hence, Google Analytics should come up withtechnology which could not only intercept JavaScript enabled pages but also non-JavaScript pages. This will help in increasingthe accuracy of the data and analysis.B. Real Time DataGoogle Analytics should work towards real time data availability so that user can view the results/analysis in real time. Rightnow, there is no availability of data report in real-time. It takes around a day to see one's data.C. PrivacyGoogle should work towards security of user’s data. The data is not stored in one's local server. It is stored in the Googleserver. Thus, Google has full access to user’s data and user is not aware how Google uses his or her data.ACKNOWLEDGMENTWe are extremely thankful to our professor, Rakesh Ranjan, who guided us in the best way possible and supported us from theinitial to the final level of the research. Finally, we convey our regards to all the people who supported us during the completionof this research paper.

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This tool allows users to analysis data deeply and manipulates data in the right report table. S. Data export Analytics allows exporting any data or report with Data Export API or email into PDF, Excel, CSV, TSV, or XML files. V. COMPETITORS Google Analytics h