The Web Analytics Association has just announced the publication of some standard definitions for a few foundational Web analytic metrics.
26, in fact.
These methods cover areas of visits, content and conversion. Adoption by a critical mass will hopefully create consistency across terms in the analytics sector.With the mutability and variability of new media technologies, marketers have been falling all over themselves trying to track user behavior. AJAX has rendered the pageview completely useless, for example. And now you've got a world of analytics options to choose from, including behavior-tracking analytics, video (cough-cough Big Brother) technology, and complex and enigmatic multi-variable algorithms like the ones Google uses.
With a full eleven months of development behind it, the WAA document continues where its 2006 definitions left off, covering unique visitors, pageviews and visits or sessions. All other definitions spring from this base.
Analytics software providers are encouraged to understand the terms in order to promote a "better overall understanding" of analytics, as well as a stronger base for the industry as a whole.
"The market for analytics tools is booming and, with increased interest from all areas of online marketing, these standards benefit both the users and practitioners and will only accelerate the advancement of the analytics industry," prattled Avinash Kaushik, both WAA board member and author of Web Analytics: An Hour A Day. To get to the meat of the matter, download Volume I of the WAA Standards Analytics Definitions.
The Web Analytics Association was developed to promote a better understanding of Web analytics via education, advocacy and standards - kind of like the W3C, except in a tighter niche. It was founded by a handful of industry leaders and benefits the sector at large by protecting the interests of vendors, consultants and educators that must in some way interact with Web analytics.
You can learn more about them or become a member of the Association at the WAA website.
If you've already downloaded the new definitions and have something of your own to add, drop us a line in the comment box.