The Evolution of Web Analytics: Page Views and Events - Deepstash

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Server-Log-Analytics: The Early Beginnings of Web Analytics

When a visitor visits a web address, the browser makes a request to view the files on the page. A record of these requests is kept in the server log.

You could see the visitor’s IP address, when the visitor landed on your site, the browser they used, etc.

Analyzing these server logs were analytics was the start of web analytics.

Here's where the concept of page views begins (it is also why gets outdated).


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Why Page Views is Not Enough

The early websites were pretty basic, just static pages with limited text, images and hypertext. Any interaction with the website meant redirecting to a new page, so a new page view.

The functionality & interactivity of the website has evolved a thousand-fold since.

  • Elements and interaction: There are videos, forms, CTAs and so on. How do visitors interact with individual page elements and sections?
  • Conversion funnel: Consider processes happening on one page, with each step loading within the page. How do you map this?

Page views alone doesn't cut it anymore.


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Enter Events

Everything that happens on a website is an event.

Button clicks, clicks on outbound links, form submissions, video plays and watch time, e-book downloads and so on.

Basically, every action worth measuring can be measured and optimized.

  • Measure all kinds of metrics through the same dashboard (instead of one for traffic and one for forms, one for demos and so on)
  • Make your A/B testing, CRO more effective
  • Find which offerings and messaging gets more traction.


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