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Getting Started with Web Analytics

Web analytics is the measurement, collection, and analysis of internet data for purposes of optimizing website effectiveness and marketing campaigns. Web analytics data can empower business owners with insight on how to increase conversions (e.g. sales, leads, whitepaper downloads, information requests) from their websites and how to maximize their marketing return on investment (ROI).

I’m often asked to give my opinion on different third party analytics products.  For many marketers, the decision on which product to implement is not an easy one as the web analytics landscape has changed drastically over the last few years.  Although there are a number of alternatives, most online marketers end up choosing between two products: Google Analytics and Omniture Sitecatalyst. Google and Omniture are on top of the web analytics industry, competing products are falling behind quickly. Here are some pros and cons of the top two web analytics products:

Google Analytics

Omniture Sitecatalyst

The best way to get started with web analytics is to implement a basic platform and expand your knowledge as your site develops. I started with the basic Google Analytics code on my site and then slowly branched into conversion tracking, traffic segmentation, and ecommerce implementation. I also experimented with some other products when Google Analytics could not deliver what I needed to see.

What has your experience been with Google Analytics or Omniture?  Are there any other platforms a web analytics newbie should consider?