Like many internet marketing buzzwords, "web analytics" is often used in different ways depending on whom you are talking to. Most generally, web analytics are statistics that measure visitor behavior, site traffic, and other variables to support decision making about search engine marketing programs, site design, and other controllable factors.
For example, web analytics might include determining what content is most popular with a site's visitor’s so that future content development could be prioritized. Similarly, tracking common visitor paths through the site could lead to design changes in order to increase conversion or time on site. Evaluating traffic sources and the behavior of visitors from each source can help determine advertising expense allocations. Adding financial data allows calculation of the ROI of pay per click advertising.
Just about anything to do with site statistics can be considered web analytics, so one might encounter a free hit counter supplier using the buzzword along with a provider of high-end outsourced visitor behavior analysis.
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