What is access analysis | Explanation of main indicators and analysis points

However, even if Google Analytics is introduced, it seems that there are many companies that are neglecting it, and even if they are watching, they are only checking the increase or decrease of access.

Access analysis is performed to analyze user behavior and guess the psychology behind it.

No matter how good your analytics tools become, they only provide you with data. The data itself does not tell us the psychology of the user. It is important to analyze the numbers that appear, understand the user’s psychology, and put it into concrete measures.

In this article, we will explain the basic definition of access analysis, commentary on the main indicators, and tips for actually connecting to measures.

access analysis

Table of Contents

  1. What is access analysis?
  2. What is the purpose of performing access analysis?
  3. What are the main indicators you want to see in access analysis?
  4. How to create an access analysis report?
  5. Access analysis tool
  6. Key points when working on access analysis
  7. 3 types of access analysis tools
  8. Systematize Opportunities to Hear User Voices

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What is access analysis?

Access analysis refers to following the behavior of users who accessed the website owned by the company and analyzing the data.

And the “access analysis tool” picks up the user behavior data necessary for access analysis.

First of all, let’s take a look at how access analysis tools can understand the trends of users who access websites, and how far they can be tracked.

Mechanism and features of the analysis tool

Website information resides on their respective web servers.

When a user accesses a target website from a web browser such as Google Chrome or Safari, a browsing request is sent to the target website’s web server behind the scenes.

If you can get the data from the web server, you can safely browse the website.

All such interactions between web browsers and web servers are recorded in the web server as access log data.

The idea of ​​access analysis seems to have originated from the idea of ​​using the access log data stored in the web server.

What is the purpose of performing access analysis?

What is access analysis for? At HubSpot, we believe that the purpose of traffic analysis is to improve the user experience on our website .

Improving the user experience through access analytics can lead to higher conversion rates and increased traffic. In order to achieve each of these goals, approach access analysis from the following two perspectives.

  • Infer the intent of users who converted
  • Improve your content and increase traffic from each channel

Let’s take a closer look at these two points.

1. Infer the intent of the user who converted

What do you want your visitors to do and what do you want them to do?

In short, think about where your conversion points are .

For example, let’s take the owned media of a B2B company as an example.

Suppose that this owned media wants users who have flowed in through organic search or web advertising to register for an e-mail newsletter or download white papers or free eBooks.

In cases like this, find out how the users who actually converted ended up on your website and what actions they took.

If you understand the user’s behavior path well, it will be easier to infer the insights of the user who converts .

If you improve the website flow and content from there, the user experience will be better and ultimately the results will be improved.

It is also effective to follow the behavioral paths of users who did not convert, especially those who left immediately before.

2. Improve your content and get more traffic from each channel

In access analysis, you can investigate which channel the user visited from, such as whether the user visited from a search engine such as Google or Yahoo!, or whether they visited from Twitter or Facebook, and which page they arrived at.

Knowing which channels your users are coming from and what content is popular can help you better understand what your users are looking for .

For example, let’s say you find that many of your users reading articles about introducing remote work flow into the article via Facebook.

In that case, it can be inferred that the main user image of the article is “business people who frequently use Facebook” and “high interest in remote work”.

For such people, we can improve the user experience by increasing the number of articles related to remote work, or by increasing the number of articles in categories that are likely to be of interest, such as inside sales and DX.

As a result, more similar users will be able to visit your website, which will lead to an increase in the number of accesses.

What are the main indicators you want to see in access analysis?

Let’s take a look at the indicators used in access analysis and their meanings.

Number of accesses

The number of accesses can be broadly divided into “number of users (number of unique users)”, “number of PV” and “number of sessions” . Care should be taken when using these numbers, as each number means something different.

number of users

The number of users is sometimes called “unique users”. It refers to the number of users who have visited the website, excluding duplicates. For the number of users, keep two things in mind:

  • No matter how many times the same user visits the website in a day, the number of users is “1”
  • However, if the same user accesses with different browsers or devices, it will be counted separately.

In the following cases, the number of users is counted as “2”

  • When browsing with Safari after browsing with Google Chrome on one smartphone (or PC)
  • When viewing on a PC after viewing on a smartphone

Number of PVs

The number of PV is sometimes called the number of page views. The number of page views refers to the total number of times a page on the website was displayed. The number of PV will be added in the following cases.

  • If the user reads 3 different articles, the number of PV will be “3”
  • If you read two different articles and press the browser’s “back” button to read the first article again, the PV number will be “3”
  • If the web page does not load properly and is reloaded on the same page, the PV number will be “2”

number of sessions

A session (visit) is the number of times a user visits a website. The number of sessions is an important number that is also used for other metrics. The session count has the following definitions:

  • Session ends if there is no activity on the website for more than 30 minutes
  • After leaving the website, if you return within 30 minutes, it will be measured as “same session”
  • If you return to the website via different referral sources, advertisements, media, etc. within 30 minutes after leaving the website, it will be counted as “another session”.
  • The session ends at midnight. For example, if you visit at 23:55, continue browsing the web page, and transition to another page at 0:05, the time from 23:55 to 23:59 and from 0:00 to 0:05 Metered as “another session”

The “number of users”, “number of PV” and “number of sessions” explained so far are also explained in detail in the following articles. If you are interested, please take a look.

stay time

Time spent on a website refers to the amount of time a visitor stays on the website. Sometimes called “session time”.

By measuring the staying time and comparing multiple web pages, you can measure the readability of popular web pages and web pages. You can also measure whether users are satisfied with your website content by calculating the average time spent on site.

However, this is only a guideline and does not mean that the longer the better.

If the information you want to know is found immediately and the browser is closed on the spot, the stay time is short, but it can be said that it is good content that delivers useful information to the user.

The average stay time can be calculated by the following formula.

Average Dwell Time = Total Dwell Time of Visitor / Number of Sessions

Staying hours are explained in detail in the article below. If you are interested, please take a look.

Migration rate

When a user who visits a website looks around other pages, it is called “excursion”. The “migration rate” is an index that shows how much one user has looked around the website .

The migration rate can be calculated by the following formula.

Migration rate = number of PVs / number of sessions

bounce rate

A bounce is when a user leaves a website after viewing the first page they visited. Bounce rate is the percentage of users who bounced.

A high bounce rate can be caused by a mismatch between what the user wants and the content of the web page.

Pages with a high bounce rate need to be improved, as there may be causes such as influx of users who do not match the page, or the content of the page being difficult to understand.

Bounce rate can be calculated by the following formula.

Bounce rate = number of bounced sessions / total number of sessions

withdrawal rate

Exit refers to the user leaving the website. The percentage of users who leave is the exit rate.

By determining the exit rate of each web page, it is possible to determine which page on the website was viewed and where the problem was on the web page.

What needs attention is that there are both “when the user gets the information he is looking for and is satisfied and leaves” and “when the page is unattractive and leaves”. It is necessary to check the character of the page instead of mechanically looking at the high and low exit rates.

Pages where a high exit rate is not a problem include purchase completion pages and registration completion pages. Conversely, if the user leaves in the middle of the target behavior, attention and improvement are required.

The withdrawal rate can be calculated by the following formula.

Exit rate = number of exited sessions / number of all page views

The migration rate, bounce rate, and exit rate are explained in detail in the following articles. If you are interested, please take a look.

conversion rate

A conversion is when a user takes a desired action on your website. You need to define what you mean by “conversion” in advance. Actions that can be set for conversions include:

  • E-mail magazine registration
  • white paper download
  • Member registration
  • Document request
  • purchase
  • inquiry

The conversion rate is an indicator of how many of the users who visited your website converted.

Conversion rate = number of conversions / number of sessions

We will discuss the concept of conversion in more detail below. If you are interested, please take a look.

How to create an access analysis report?

If you want to share the indicators confirmed by the access analysis tool with other members involved in site improvement, you can use the report function to extract the data.

However, since there are a wide variety of indicators that can be obtained from access analysis tools, first clarify the purpose of creating a report, decide the data you want to obtain, and then create a report. Identify the data you need according to your purpose and extract it into a report.

Most access analysis tools have built-in reporting functions, so the creation itself is not that difficult.

What is the purpose of the access analysis report?

If your boss or another team requests an access analysis report, be sure to ask the requester what they want to know.

For example, the request from the boss of the team promoting content SEO often wants to confirm the return on investment.

In addition, requests from other teams often want to confirm part of the analysis data.

In this way, what kind of data to extract will change depending on the purpose.

Get a solid understanding of the metrics your company values, such as number of users, number of conversions, year-over-year number of sessions, etc. Then extract the relevant data and put it into a report. No matter what kind of report you create, it is a good idea to configure it around the following three axes.

  • share numbers
  • Share your interpretation of numbers
  • Compare with control data

I will explain three points in a little more detail.

share numbers

Extract the necessary elements from the data obtained by the access analysis tool and write the numerical values ​​in the report in an easy-to-understand manner.

Share your interpretation of numbers

Let’s share not only the numerical value but also the interpretation of “how to see the numerical value” as a set .

Different people see the same number differently. Since the report may be shared with other related departments, try to make the explanation easy to understand even for those who are unfamiliar with access analysis.

Compare with control

For example, if you get a “bounce rate of 60%”, you can’t judge whether it’s a good number or a bad number just by looking at that number. That’s why it’s important to compare.

Commonly used comparison axes include:

  • Time (last month and this month, same time last year and this year, weekdays and holidays)
  • Users (new and repeat users, men and women, non-purchasers, first-time and repeat buyers)
  • Environment (PC and smartphone, iPhone and Android, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer and Firefox)
  • Region (Kanto and Kansai, metropolitan and rural areas)

Let’s output a report from the access analysis tool

Most access analysis tools, including typical access analysis tools such as Google Analytics, have a report function. The report function makes it easy to create reports.

If it is Google Analytics, the above report will be created on the home screen. My reports display the following data by default:

  • user
  • new user
  • session
  • Sessions per user
  • page views
  • page/session
  • bounce rate
  • average session time

My reports can be customized by adding graphs and tables. You can also create custom reports that provide more detailed analysis than My Reports.

My reports and custom reports are also explained in detail in the following articles. If you are interested, please take a look.

Access analysis tool

From here, we will introduce free and paid access analysis tools.

Free and paid access analysis tools are also explained in detail in the following articles. If you are interested, please take a look.

Free access analysis tool

As for free access analysis tools, in addition to the very famous Google Analytics, there is a service that can be used in conjunction with a “heat map” that visualizes user behavior in colors.

We will introduce each service in detail.

Google Analytics

It is a free access analysis tool that has already been introduced by many companies.

Although it is free, it supports the basic functions and report creation required for access analysis.

Although you need to customize it yourself, it is also possible to visualize the analyzed data.

The following article explains the functions and installation method of Google Analytics, so if you are considering introducing it, please refer to it.

Google Search Console

Google Analytics is an access analysis tool provided by Google.

With Google Search Console, you can find out how your web page is performing in Google search results and where you can improve.

By using it in conjunction with Google Analytics, you will be able to more accurately understand the status of the website and the movement of users.

Ptengine

Ptengine has a free version and a paid version, but even the free version can analyze access up to 3,000 PV.

You can also use one “heat map” that visualizes the user’s stay time and clicked place with color.

Heatmaps have the advantage of intuitively grasping without having to follow detailed data.

It is also characterized by its unique functionality, such as the ability to edit websites with no code and the ability to easily conduct A/B tests.

The heatmap is explained in detail in the following article. If you are interested, please take a look.

Similar web

Similarweb is a tool that allows you to compare the access status of your competitors in addition to the access analysis of your own site.

Similarweb accumulates data by crawling more than 1 billion pages every month with its own crawler, and by combining various data to generate estimated values, it is possible to compare with competitors.

In the free version, the collection period of web traffic data is limited to 3 months, and keyword analysis is restricted to the top 10, but in the paid version, the data collection period is up to 3 years, and more than 500 keyword analyzes are possible. Restrictions are lifted.

Paid access analysis tool

Paid access analysis tools have features that free ones do not have.

Google Analytics 360

Google Analytics 360 is one of the functions included in Google Marketing Platform, an integrated marketing tool for large companies.

The data update frequency of the free version of Google Analytics is 24 hours, while the paid version of 360 is 4 hours.

Also, the maximum number of hits per month for the free version is 10 million, while the number of hits for the paid version is 1 billion. The number of hits is the smallest unit of processed data in Google Analytics, and every user interaction is counted as one hit.

As it is a service for large companies, the price of Google Analytics only is not disclosed.

The following article also explains in detail the differences in functions from the free version of Google Analytics 360. If you are interested, please take a look.

Adobe Analytics

Adobe Analytics is an access analysis tool provided by Adobe. This is also a service for large companies, similar to Google Marketing Platform.

Features of Adobe Analytics include the ability to use AI-based analysis reports, and the ability to customize easily, while requiring a certain level of knowledge and skills on the part of users.

The cost is a pay-as-you-go system in which the fee is determined by the number of times data is sent to an analysis service called “server call”, and is divided into three stages.

The specific price is not disclosed, so please contact us.

AI analyst

AI Analyst is an analysis tool that analyzes a huge amount of website data and suggests improvements.

AI analyst is used by linking with Google Analytics, so it is characterized by easy initial settings. A major feature is that it makes suggestions for improvement using AI, such as telling you ads that are not working well, or telling you which pages you should guide to in order to increase the conversion rate.

If you set the items you want to analyze in advance, you can automatically create easy-to-understand reports, making it easier to implement measures that lead to results while reducing the man-hours required for aggregation.

Marketing Analytics & Dashboards

The access analysis tool provided by our company HubSpot has the advantage of being strong in marketing because it can be linked with CRM tools. Not only can you analyze your website, but you can also follow the behavior of each customer in detail.

( CRM tools refer to tools that can manage customer information.)

See Marketing Analytics & Dashboards | HubSpot” for reference.

The features of the eight tools introduced above are summarized in the table below, so please use it as a reference when choosing a tool.

Key points when working on access analysis

The main purpose of operating a website is to obtain the desired results through the website.

In order to achieve greater results, we analyze and predict the user experience on the website from data through access analysis, and improve the user experience.

Therefore, when performing access analysis, keep the following two points in mind.

  • Clarify the problem and purpose you want to solve
  • Make a hypothesis based on the obtained values

By clarifying the purpose of access analysis, the numerical values ​​to be seen in access analysis become clear.

We also asked Mr. Taku Ogawa about the points in conducting access analysis.

[Profile of Takashi Ogawa]

After working as a web analyst at Recruit, CyberAgent, Amazon Japan, etc., became independent. She specializes in KPI design, analysis and improvement. He has been running his blog “Real Analytics” since 2008. Over 500 lectures nationwide.

Representative Director of HAPPY ANALYTICS, Visiting Professor of Digital Hollywood Graduate School, AVANCELLMONT CAO, UNCOVER TRUTH CAO, Faber Company CAO, Japan Business Press CAO, SoZo Chief Analysis Officer, Nifty Lifestyle Outside Director, Web Analytics Association Advisor. Web analyst master.

His publications include “Web Analysis Theory”, “Web Analysis Reporting Course”, “Web Analysis with Manga”, “Website Analysis and Improvement Textbook”, “Your Access is Always Seen by Someone”, and “What You Want to Do” A book that understands all about Google Analytics analysis and improvement that can be drawn.

“Analysis is premised on improvement. It would be better if it came first.In order to support that, we will use the data and analyze it.By doing this, we can judge the validity of the improvement idea.” (Mr. Ogawa)

Also, if you can’t come up with an idea for improvement, make a hypothesis based on the data you obtained, and plan a website improvement plan based on that hypothesis. That way, you can repeat the PDCA cycle of repeatedly verifying improvement measures.

“For example, by comparing articles with a high read completion rate and articles with a low read completion rate, we may be able to see the points of articles that are read. Finding the common points of the articles that are read based on the data, formulating hypotheses, and steadily repeating the verification will lead to improvements.For example, an article with a high read completion rate will have a headline once every two screens. There may be common items such as the inclusion of , or the use of multiple images.” (Mr. Ogawa)

In addition, Mr. Ogawa points out that there is a stance that you should have when performing access analysis.

“Hypotheses are almost never 100% correct. In reality, it would be better if 30% of the results were as expected and the remaining 10% gave hints. Success or failure will be divided, which is why we need to persevere in analyzing access.” (Mr. Ogawa)

3 types of access analysis tools

There are several types of access analysis tools that we have introduced so far. Here are the characteristics of the three types.

1. Features of “server log type access analysis tool”

Access log data includes not only requests sent by users via web browsers, but also access logs when search engines visit to obtain website data.

Server log type access analysis tools extract and analyze only request information from web browsers from miscellaneous access log data.

2. Characteristics of “packet capture type access analysis tool”

Packet capture type analysis is a mechanism that captures content data requests from websites and data transmission information from the web server side, converts them into access log data, and analyzes them.

3. Characteristics of “Web beacon-type access analysis tools”

Neither the server log type nor the packet capture type were originally technologies used to acquire user access information. On the other hand, Web beacon-type tools were developed for the purpose of acquiring user access information .

In the case of web beacon type, the tracking code is embedded in the web page in advance, and the access information is sent by reading the code every time the user browses.

Access information is sent to an analysis server for access analysis, and from there it is sent to access log data.

Many access analysis tools, such as Google Analytics and the HubSpot analytics tool provided by us, use this web beacon type.

In addition, the content of the data that can be retrieved also changes depending on the type.

The web beacon type can collect real-time data, and detailed data such as heat maps can be collected, but the server log type cannot.

The server log type has the feature that crawler access can also be analyzed, and if even the log remains, it is possible to acquire data from before the tool was installed.

The packet capture type, like the web beacon type, has excellent real-time collection capabilities, and can also measure images, audio files, PDF files, etc. individually.

I have summarized the installation method, measurement accuracy, merits and demerits of the three analysis tools introduced so far.

Systematize Opportunities to Hear User Voices

At the beginning of this article, I wrote that the purpose of access analysis is to improve the user experience .

In order to improve the user experience, of course, it is necessary to deepen the user understanding. In order to deepen our understanding of users, it is necessary to collect both quantitative and qualitative information by listening directly to users in addition to access analysis data.

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