Web analytics is not just a tool for measuring website traffic but can be used as a tool for business research and market research. Web analytics applications can also help companies measure the results of traditional print advertising campaigns. It helps one to estimate how the traffic to the website changed after the launch of a new advertising campaign. Web analytics provides data on the number of visitors, page views, etc to gauge the traffic and popularity trends which helps doing the market research.
There are two categories of web analytics; off-site and on-site web analytics.
Off-site web Analytics is typically the starting point for discovering the opportunity for your website. It allows you to gain a better understanding of the opportunity and potential web traffic for your business. It also allows us to estamiate the effort comptitors are going to within your industry.
Off-site web analytics refers to web measurement and analysis regardless of whether you own or maintain a website. It includes the measurement of a website's potential audience (opportunity), share of voice (visibility), and buzz (comments) that is happening on the Internet as a whole.
On-Site web analytics is all about monitoring your sites performance and adjusting it accordingly to get better performance from your site and enhancing the users experience.
On-site web analytics measure a visitor's journey once on your website. This includes its drivers and conversions; for example, which landing pages encourage people to make a purchase. On-site web analytics measures the performance of your website in a commercial context. This data is typically compared against key performance indicators for performance, and used to improve a web site or marketing campaign's audience response.
Historically, web analytics has referred to on-site visitor measurement. However in recent years this has blurred, mainly because vendors are producing tools that span both categories.