A Great Briefing on Web Stats

Around Capulet, we're staunch believers in web stats. In an imperfect world, web stats (also known as web analytics) offer precise and exacting information about your website's performance. I spend a lot explaining what all the terms (clickthroughs, visitors, referrerals and so forth) in the average stats package mean, and what's important. Now, I may just point them to James's thorough explanation of what web analytics is all about:

Just as with a car, some of the measures in your webstats are useful for managing and enhancing your website. Some of the measures are just added on information to sell the car, because they make sense to the folks who built the webstats packages or because they could be added.

Two improvements that I'd suggest:

  • A comparison of server-side and 'web bug' (such as Google Analytics or Webside Story) packages. I've found the latter to be much more accurate, and would discourage clients from using the likes of Webalizer or AW Stats.
  • A discussion of the site overlay feature that many stats packages offer, and how it's instructive.