What does the Analytics Test do?

The test checks to see if Analytics software is used on each page of a website. 

Why is it important?

To best improve a website, you need as much useful information about how it is currently being used as possible. Analytics software typically records a huge amount of information, including:

  • How many visitors your site has
  • Amount of new / repeat visitors
  • Where they go, and in what order
  • What areas of the page they click on
  • What computer capabilities they have

How is it measured?

The Website Performance Testing software has a database of recognised Analytics tools, and it searches for key 'signatures' for each of these on every page. Any matches are recorded and shown in the results. There are two main ways Analytics can work - via:

  • Log file analysis - the logs of webpages visited are analysed, usually in batches.
  • Page tagging - a usually invisible image is downloaded together with each webpage and tracks the user.

WebScan can only detect page tagging, as by definition there is no detectable indication of log file analysis on a public website. We strongly advocate the use of page tagging in preference to, or in tandem with log file analysis. Both approaches have their uses, but page tagging offers more detailed information then log file analysis, and is increasingly favoured as a result. For more detail, see this article on web analytics.