Session vs event analytics


    The owner of any site, especially one that should be profitable, wants to know who and how visits his site. And the most simple and free answer to this question is given by the most popular analytics systems: Google Analytics and Yandex metrics. But do they provide answers to questions interesting to business and how accurate are they?

    Indeed, it is very interesting to watch how your site is growing, gaining momentum, increasing the number of views and visitors, watching how much time they spend on the site and how far they go deep into the site.

    But most often, if you have Google Analytics or a metric, you go into it, see what excellent numbers there are, how the number of your visitors has increased, and the analysis ends there.
    But if you are an analytics guru, then you know how to set goals and can measure how many visitors have reached the payment page. But this does not give you the picture you need, because you still need to be able to build cohorts, and select only those visitors who have achieved the goal, who have done this for all their life.
    As a result, if you are not a world-class analytical ninja, then you spend a lot of time and do not see the big picture.
    The question is, what do the alternatives look like?

    Let's talk about event and session analytics. Let's see what it is and how they differ.

    Here is perhaps the best description of these two approaches:
    Sessional analytics tells you what happened; event analytics tells you who did it.

    This is the difference between session analytics (Google Analytics, Yandex Metric) and event analytics ( Kissmetrics , mixpanel ): session analytics is directed to your site, event analytics, in turn, to your potential customers.

    Sessional analytics give you an idea of ​​your site: which pages are most visited, which demographic groups are most likely to visit your blog or your landing page.

    But, if your business is built directly on the monetization of visitors (as is often the case with web services and online stores), using session analytics you do not understand how your customers behave. And if you do not understand who your customers are and how they behave inside your site, then how can you figure out how to make the service better for them so that your business continues to grow? Understanding your visitors is a critical moment and deserves detailed attention.

    Correctly configured event analytics can help you answer questions:
    • how many users made an order or purchase regarding all who came to the site for the specified period and from the specified channel?
    • which button on the page gives the most conversion result?
    • How effective is this or that channel for attracting visitors to the site?
    • Does the added functionality affect sales?
    • What is the effectiveness of e-mail newsletters? And can we increase it?

    The answers to these questions are much more important than knowing the time spent on the site or the bounce rate.

    There is something else that event analytics can do:
    • collect data on the actions of each user
    • Define user segments (users who are at different stages before making a purchase)
    • work with segments, highlighting a specific group of users to understand why, for example, users have not completed registration.


    Comparison of event (mixpanel) and session (Analytics) analytics

    Google analytics
    View Site Pages
    Events appear manually, which is difficult and sometimes mistakes are made.
    Automatically, by tracking the code.
    Funnel tracking
    Easily customizable funnels
    It’s difficult to configure funnels through custom events
    Real time tracking
    Live event viewing
    Events are not tracked in real time.
    Setting goals
    Easy parameter based tasking
    Pretty complicated setup through customs reports.
    A / B testing
    Collection of user activity data with additional properties to track A / B test scores
    A / B test framework is automated, but difficult to use.
    Link Click Tracking
    It is difficult to do this automatically when the pages change.
    Automated, URL based
    It depends on the data point, so you need to be careful and not spend the quota.
    Free up to 10M data points / month
    Fast support from an engineer in a short period of time
    White papers are the best source.
    Collects data about the actions of each user and contacts left
    Aggregated data for all users

    Event analytics looks more interesting. In addition, it can provide not only analytics, but also other additional opportunities to work with your users.

    We are sure that the described features are just the tip of the iceberg. Since knowledge about the actions of each user and the data that he left is an unexplored klondike to increase the effectiveness of any resource.

    Therefore, we are developing the service , which is based on collecting data on user actions, but is not limited to building funnels and measuring the conversion of various actions.
    For example, imagine an on-line chat that knows about each user’s action, about his interests in a particular product or service.
    Orpop-up window with a proposal to leave an e-mail , which appears according to the scenario: for visitors to the site from Yandex who came in for the 3rd time, they added the product to the basket, but did not leave the mail (and did not buy it).

    Read the previous article on the simple setup of event analytics.

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    What web analytics services did you use?

    • 88.1% Google analytics 112
    • 78.7% Yandex Metric 100
    • 13.3% Mixpanel 17
    • 9.4% KISSmetrics 12
    • 3.9% Woopra 5
    • 1.5% Heap analytics 2
    • 3.1% Hubspot 4

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