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Get to know the visitors to your website and they will get to like you

08 November 2013 / 19:11:26  GRReporter
6731 reads

Ivan Petkov

Having a website without knowing what people are visiting it is like having a shop without seeing the customers who are shopping in it. There are many ways to get to know your audience and track the trends in its attitude towards your website. I will present just some of the tools with which you can get to know your audience.

Google Analytics

Like many Google services, Analytics is not their work. The company, which created the tool, is called Urchin on Demand and Google acquired it in 2005.

I would say that Google Analytics has become one of the compulsory systems measuring the visits and traffic of websites. Its numerous advantages are as follows: a very well designed international and free service, offering a lot of functionalities and tracking a variety of indicators. Due to the advantages, the service is equally good for every website, whether it is local, regional or international. Google Analytics offers a lot of functionalities which the majority of users can find complicated. Due to its popularity, however, various materials, tutorials, articles about it are available on the Internet, including support from Google, and forums where you can ask when encountering a problem.

Every new user needs to know that the use of Google Analytics (and of any other system measuring the visits) requires a special code on the website. So, you will need to contact the person who maintains your website.

In addition to the abovementioned indicators, Google Analytics is able to show you the keywords through which users of Google search engine have come to your website; the most popular pages on your website and how many people have visited them; the sources of traffic, i.e. how the users have come to your website – through an advertisement or a search engine, from a social network, from another website which has referred to yours, for example, etc.

Google Analytics works very well in symbiosis with Google advertising service AdWords. Its capacities to track user behaviour on your website, from entering it to leaving it, or to making a purchase, are impressive.

You can set your own filters to collect specific information.

Although Google Analytics is a professional tool, tracking the traffic of websites, I would recommend that you make an account and track the main indicators at least.

The training videos from Google Analytics channel on YouTube can help you. Here I will share a video with an overview of the service:


The service is an alternative to Google Analytics, but it has a free and a paid version. The free version includes basic statistics that are sufficient for every new user who wants to acquire a general idea of ​​the visits to his or her website. I will share, on the basis of my experience, that very often the statistics from Google Analytics are different from those from StatCounter. I however think that the data from Google Analytics are more reliable although they are much more detailed.

It is interesting to know that the company is based in Dublin and its founder Aodhan Culle was only 16 years old when he launched it.

As in Google Analytics, here you can obtain information on the main indicators explained at the beginning of the article as well as on some specific ones.

Unlike Google Analytics, StatCounter also provides general statistics covering all websites tracked by it. For example, on this page, you can see statistics about the most used browser or the most popular operating system. This information may be useful to analysts, specialists as well as to journalists from IT editions who often use it too.


Gemius services are paid and are targeted to sites that need specialized and reliable information. I mentioned at the outset that the metric services cannot obtain information on the profile of the users who visit a particular website. Especially for advertisers, such information is of great importance, as it will enable them to target their messages to the most appropriate group of the Internet users. Companies such as Gemius play a significant role in this case, as they are able to collect this kind of information and make it available to both website owners and advertisers.


Using the experience gained in the USA and referring to the maxim that there is no gain without risk-taking, an American investor, Global eMarketing Corporation, established a Polish technology company in mid-June in 1999. The company had gradually realized that the dynamic and fast-growing Internet industry would need specialized tools for marketing and research, and the creator of Gemius had sought to materialize the ideas of the young professionals.

Gemius in Poland

The first task of the small team was to build the tracking system Gemius which later gave the name of the company. From 1999 to 2002, for the first three years of its operation, Gemius became the undisputed leader among web analytics companies in Poland. It was the only company in the country offering research focused on websites which set industry standards.

The interest of customers proved that, at this time, the companies in the industry had realized the potential of the Internet and were looking for more tools to help them optimize the use of the Internet in their work. In response to this demand, the management of Gemius had decided to expand the activities in two directions, namely product and geography, with an emphasis on the readiness to respond to customer needs. Within just one year (2002-2003), Gemius added to its portfolio five new products for research. It started offering comprehensive and holistic measurement of the effectiveness of online advertising campaigns, analyses of the profiles of Internet audiences and individual research projects on behalf of individual customers.

A significant point in the development of the company and the entire Polish Internet was the first publication of the results of the study, measuring the audiences, Megapanel PBI / Gemius (now known as gemiusAudience on the Polish market too) in January 2005. This project had started years earlier, on the initiative of company PBI and the development of the methodology was completed in October 2004. So, Gemius began to measure the audiences of websites and Internet applications in Poland. This analysis had quickly become the standard for online media planning in the industry.

Benefits from gemiusAudience for owners of websites

Advertising revenues are a significant source of funds for most websites. The results of the gemiusAudience study are the foundation of advertisers’ budget planning. The survey provides information on

- the socio-demographic profile of users visiting a particular website
- the target groups among which a particular website is popular
- the effect of comparing the website of interest with competitive websites
- the doubling of the audience of several websites that have the same owner.

Furthermore, the results of gemiusAudience allow a direct assessment of the impact of promotional or popularizing activities of an online service. The effectiveness of the activities can be measured, for example, when the traffic increases (the average time per visitor to a website) or when the number of realized impressions increases. Therefore, the analysis of the results of gemiusAudience allows optimization of the marketing activities of certain Internet services.

Facebook Page Insights

I have mentioned several times the social networks and their importance regarding the change in consumer habits and their impact on various metrics. Very often, a small family owned business may not have its own website but it has its own Facebook page. The social network is constantly updating the tools through which you can track what happens to the fans of your business page.

The latest version of Page Insights, the statistics tool, has been expanded and now it includes very useful information. The use of a specific user profile is one way to find out the type of your audience. Facebook can boast that it has the most complete information regarding user profiles. Here is the composition of visitors to the Bulgarian version of GRReporter:

Explore in detail the visitors to your Facebook page. The majority of them are regular visitors to your website too. Although the data from Facebook Page Insight are not related to your website, you can get a good idea of ​​the composition of the people who are interested in your materials, not only on Facebook, but in general.

Alexa Internet

Alexa Internet, a subsidiary of, is based in California and it provides paid services related to web traffic. Established as an independent company in 1996, Alexa was acquired by Amazon in 1999. Alexa uses browser plug-ins to collect data on consumer behaviour, which it then transmits for analyses. In 2013, Alexa provides traffic data, global rankings and other information on 30 million websites.

You do not have to register or put a special code on your website to view the basic information provided by Alexa. You can simply enter the website address and Alexa will show the relevant information. This is very convenient for a quick reference.

I decided to perform a quick check on the validity of the data and typed

Alexa supports the history option just for the first 100,000 sites in its rankings. To my great surprise, it ranked only the Greek version of our website although its English and Bulgarian versions are more popular.

There was a significant discrepancy in the results obtained from Google Analytics and Alexa. For example, the difference in the time that users spend on our website was double and the trends radically different.

Be careful when using free statistics from Alexa. Toolbars are no longer as popular as they were a few years ago and the statistics you obtain may be partial and incomplete.

The paid service of Alexa relies on a code that you have to put on your website and these data would be much more accurate.

You have at your disposal different types of tools that can track the visitors to your website in order for you to know them, find out what they are interested in and what they are looking for. If you have a small business, the free tools will be sufficient. For a serious online business, you can take advantage of the paid services. Knowing your users is the key to the success of your website.

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