Articles & White papers

We publish an ongoing series of articles on various topics related to digital analytics and website management.

The topics are practical in nature, and the articles meant to provide concrete suggestions. Our goal is to offer advice for managing websites or apps and understanding the nuts & bolts of the internet.

If you would like to see an article on a particular subject that is not covered here, please send us a suggestion.

  • Access Facebook user profile data with FB Login

    Use Facebook visitor data to populate your analytics reports Have you ever wanted to have in-depth details about your website visitors or app users? If your users "login with Facebook" and login to your site with their Facebook credentials, you can access... Continue reading
    Updated: March 2016
    193
  • Hits or pageviews?

    Hits, visitors, visits, pageviews: what are the differences? Technical definition of a hit Each file sent to a browser by a web server is an individual hit. Technical definition of a pageview A pageview is each time a visitor views a page on your... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    102
  • Third-Party Cookies vs First-Party Cookies

    Who wants a cookie? What are cookies? Here are a few over-lapping definitions; A small data file placed on your computer by a website that you visit. A piece of code placed in your browser by a website server. A text file placed on a hard drive to store and... Continue reading
    Updated: August 2016
    98
  • How to write a website Privacy Policy

    a Privacy policy is A privacy policy is a document telling visitors to your site what information you collect and what you do with that information.  Very simply: it is a short explanation of what you are doing to observe visitors to your website. Information to... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    88
  • Definitions of Big Data

    Q: Can you please provide me with a definition of Big Data? A: The definition of Big Data is a moving target. In order to make it possible to follow the discussion, as it evolves, we see have started a list of definitions of Big Data, as we read them on the... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    36
  • Social Media Advertising

    There is a tremendous movement towards advertising and presence on social media platforms. Facebook recently announced a billion monthly users who have generated more than a trillion likes. Read the BBC story here. Accordingly, advertising patterns are changing. More... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    30
  • Clickstream or clickpath analysis

    What is clickstream analysis? Clickstreams, also known as clickpaths, are the route that visitors choose when clicking or navigating through a site. A clickstream is a list of all the pages viewed by a visitor, presented in the order the pages were viewed, also... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    26
  • Bounce Rate and Click-through Rate

    What is Bounce Rate? (bouns rāt) n. The bounce rate for the homepage, or any other page through which visitors enter your site, tells you how many people 'bounce' away (leave) from your site after viewing one page. So, if the bounce rate from your homepage is... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    25
  • How to Buy Traffic

    Pt 1: lead generation and how to buy traffic. 3 pt article. We discuss 3 ways of driving traffic directly to your site, and present our findings. Part one talks about paid inclusion in newsletters, and ads / banners on tech & marketing sites. The 3 articles are... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    21
  • Web Metrics 101

    If you are looking for information about how to improve your site with stats, please see our article Making Stats Work For You. What are they, and why measure them? There are various terms used to describe the science of recording and interpreting website statistics.... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    19
  • Improve Google ranking and PageRank

    Google is your friend At the moment, Google is by far the most popular internet search engine in the world. At the time of writing, Yahoo is the second largest, having taken over a majority of remaining smaller engines (Inktomi.com, Altavista.com, fastsearch.com,... Continue reading
    Updated: January 2014
    19
  • Buying Traffic - Bulk Clicks

    Part 3 Purchasing bulk leads / traffic / clicks We suspected this was a crazy idea to start with but we had to try it, in order to find out if this sort of traffic works. The answer is that it does not work, and that it is a pure and simple scam. We purchased targeted... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    18
  • Definition & Differences Between Hit, Page, and Web Counters

    Hit, Page, and Web Counters –– the difference All three are counters; devices which display the number of visits which have been made to a website or page within a website. Some important differences are: how many pages are measured (single or multiple... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    17
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and campaign management

    Pay-per-click advertising Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and campaigns are the primary way of advertising on the internet. As of May 2009, the three largest players in the market are Google, Yahoo, and Bing. A PPC campaign lets you determine exactly who comes to... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    15
  • Online Privacy Issues

    Privacy issues We receive many questions asking us about what tracking services can and can’t do, questions about ‘online profiling’, ‘digital blueprints’ and leaving a ‘data trail’. We have posted numerous articles on the site... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    14
  • Goal-oriented User Behavior

    Visitor Goals Take-home message: visitor website behavior is goal-oriented. People who visit websites are usually trying to accomplish something. Your job if you work on a website is to facilitate this. There are some essential questions to ask; What are people who... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    14
  • Choosing Search Terms

    Search term keywords e.g. www.google.com/help.html Search terms, also referred to as keywords, are the words, terms, and phrases that visitors use to find your site. There are many ways to work with search terms and keywords. For example, selection of keywords... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    14
  • Buying Traffic - PPC Ad campaigns

    Perhaps not a surprise, but our research has led us to believe that PPC is the "safest" way to get targeted traffic, as you have a high level of control and accountability. Part 2 PPC Pay-per-Click ad campaigns This is the revolution created by the internet... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    12
  • Drop in traffic conversion

    A Case Study in Usability: What to do when website traffic conversion drops. This article presents a case study in website usability. The goal of the article is to develop strategy for responding to a (sudden) drop in website conversion activity. A conversion is defined... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    11
  • Search Engine Optimization

    Search engine optimization (Ŏp'tě-mĭ-zā'shěn) n. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making your website easy to find on the internet. This is done by optimizing your site for the search engines that people use to surf the internet. A well... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    10
  • Using Statistics for Website Management

    Q: “So I've added my 4 week trial to our web store pages now how do I get the most out of it? Any help would be greatly appreciated.” A: To get the most out of your trial, and out of a site statistics and tracking program, you need to ask questions.... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    9
  • Paid Adwords & free Google traffic

    Everyday your site gets traffic from Google. The problem is how to tell whether the visits are paid adwords clicks or referred from free organic results. Here are some sample questions: "How can we tell if google traffic is adwords paid traffic or free... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    8
  • Why do I need a website tracker?

    Example 1 Did a specific company visit your site?: drill down to the individual. You sent an email to a company and want to see if anybody from that company looked at your website. You can see a list of all visitors from that company, and view their clickstreams through... Continue reading
    Updated: May 2013
    8
  • Show me all Single Girls using my App on an iPhone.

    Data and the Art of Segmentation Based on Social Media Q: What is segmentation: A: Segmentation means categorizing your audience. You collect data and segment or slice it in to different categories. Segmentation is also referred to as filtering. Q: Why is it... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    7
  • Traffic Conversion: Return on Investment (ROI)

    Return on Investment (ROI) Just like a brick-and-mortar business, a website needs careful management to ensure commercial success. Content management decisions should be based on web metrics, not guesswork. Setting measurable business goals and monitoring progress will... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    7
  • Understanding Big Data

    Part 1: Introduction - Age of Big Data Picture the Second Coming of the Internet, we are just entering the 2nd inning. The whole point of the discussion, and of Big Data, is how to ask the data questions. The data is only valuable if it is used to make decsions.... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    7
  • Online advertising strategies

    Sponsored search vs. content networks Q: Where do your ads appear? A: You choose! 'With great power comes great responsibility' - from the first Spiderman comic book. Search engines advertising technology puts control in the hands of advertisers.... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    6
  • Scalable Analytics; High Traffic Website Measurement

    Understanding Change Now available: real-time high volume traffic reporting, think hundreds of thousands, millions, of visitors and page views. We have made our Most Popular Pages report on-demand. We start this article with a quote from the Xoriant blog which... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    6
  • Web analytics dashboard - customer engagement

    Enterprise Dashboard We are very pleased to release a Dashboard, currently available for Enterprise clients. For ten years we have been perfecting the art of displaying a lot of actionable information in a small intuitive space. With the release of our dashboard... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    6
  • Use Case - using OT to understand your clients

    Case Study for Opentracker Custom Reporting Using the Opentracker Big Data service to get a better understanding of your clients. A special thank you to Patrick Crowley, Digital Content Marketing Manager for ePubDirect, for talking with us. Executive summary: a... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    6
  • Introduction to Big Data

    We've published a two-part article called Understanding Big Data. Please click on the titles below to be taken directly to the articles. Part one: Cutting through the Hype Key points: Definition of Big Data What Opentracker does to solve this problem An... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    5
  • Creating web traffic growth

    Change creates growth this leads to The opentracker law of website traffic: Given a constant environment, website traffic will remain unchanged unless you take action. "Unchanged" refers to: the number of new visitors, visitors entering by search... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    5
  • Mobile App terminology

    App is short for applications We support both 'Native App Tracking' and 'Web App Tracking' together they make up 'Mobile App Analytics'.  The terminology is defined below. Definition of Native apps Native apps are applications... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    4
  • 1-click User-Tagging

    Tag and add notes to Visitor Profiles We are very pleased to finally release User-Tagging, which is now available. User tagging allows you to actually edit the Visitor Profiles for each and every visitor with a simple mouse click. Watch a video that demonstrates... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    4
  • Updating, Redesigning Or Migrating Your Website Without Losing Analytics

    Every website goes through changes periodically. You can update sections, do a complete redesign, or you can transfer your current website to a new platform or content management system. When doing any of these things there are a number of things you have to think about,... Continue reading
    Updated: April 2016
    4
  • Website Market Position

    General introduction: Your internet market sector Study statisics for your sector of the internet. An analysis of your environment will help you plan, for example where to advertise :: go where people are. Ask why people are going where they go and determine if there is... Continue reading
    Updated: May 2013
    4
  • 10 Tips To Get Through Tough Financial Times

    How can you see where you are going if you can't see? Use tracking and stats to help you during financial downturns. Use facts and reliable information to make better decisions: how and where to allocate budgets and resources.   Generate growth and... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    4
  • Complexity and Real-time search

    There is complexity everywhere. Crossing the street in the city is an example of complexity. In the case of Opentracker we are specialised in reducing complexity into useful information. What have we learned about Big Data? We've learned that the point is not... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    3
  • EU Cookie Law Confusion

    The European Union has enacted a Cookie Law. As you can imagine the legality surrounding the interpretation and implementation of the law is complex. As a tracking company, we are doing our best to keep abreast of developments. One of the factors complicating the... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    3
  • Track user logins

    Do your customers login to your website? Did you know that you can send us a signal whenever a person logs in to your website; their email address, user name, account details, loginID, etc?  We will place this data into the visitor profile & clickstreams. You... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    3
  • "Google search" through all your traffic data

    We have released an incredibly powerful feature only available in Opentracker: easily search through all your visitor traffic data in realtime. Q: What does that actually mean? A: that means you can enter any search term that interests you and get results based on... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    3
  • Why Your Search Terms Don't Show Up, and What You Can Do About It

    There used to be a time when it was possible to log into analytics tools such as Opentracker to see a wealth of data about keywords; specifically, the keywords people used to find your website. With this information you could then track conversions, and make improvements in... Continue reading
    Updated: June 2016
    3
  • w3.org and p3p standard privacy policies

    p3p is: Platform for Privacy Preferences Project (p3p) In some instances cookies will not be accepted unless a p3p technical document is provided. The document explains what the cookie is meant to do. Based on security protocols; the intention of the cookie and user... Continue reading
    Updated: May 2013
    3
  • Email-to-a-friend | Send report as PDF

    Send it with 1 click. With one click, you can now send a PDF of a report from the Opentracker interface to any email address. Send a copy of something interesting to yourself for future reference, or email to a colleague, friend, client, manager, etc. Create a... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    3
  • Tracking via api.opentracker.net

    Did you know we provide a tracking api? Just log anything you need via log.opentracker.net. Look at our tracking api at http://api.opentracker.net
    Updated: February 2016
    2
  • New Feature. Universal search - starting with search top pages.

    Search for specific pages Opentracker users can now see a Search field in the Top Pages report. This is a "universal search," kind of like a google search, but through Opentracker.   This is something that we have been planning for some time, and... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    2
  • Big Data Orientation

      Ownership of data This is especially an issue for larger, more traditional companies, for whom data is something that is always kept on-site. Using IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-service) means letting somebody else host, store, and manage your data, so that they... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    2
  • Making stats work for you

    General introduction: making decisions based on stats Understanding website traffic and visitor behavior is crucial to any goal-oriented or business website. Manage your website and make well-informed daily decisions based on the knowledge of who's visiting and what... Continue reading
    Updated: January 2014
    2
  • Website Market Worksheet

    A worksheet for planning traffic growth This article is part of the series Change Creates Growth. This article addresses our goal to provide practicle tips for increasing traffic in current internet conditions. The worksheet below is made up of questions. The answers... Continue reading
    Updated: May 2013
    2
  • Populate your CRM with individual visit data

    Hello World! We've got this really nifty API which opens with Hello World! (The same historic text runs across our ultra-cool business cards: see below for some eye candy) Can I populate my CRM with visitor data?  I see that Opentracker has an API which we... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    2
  • Tracking vs log analyzers

    Human events versus server activity Why do tracking services show a lower number of visitors than statistics recorded by log analyzers? The answer lies in the difference between unique visitor tracking and log analyzing. Log analyzers record all measurable activity,... Continue reading
    Updated: September 2015
    2
  • New Report added - Custom events

    Custom events are events that you can add to the Opentracker reporting interface. You can write information to your database in Opentracker, by sending us any event you want to report on. Once you have gotten things set up so that you can write custom events to your... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    2
  • Building Online Community

    Building (and measuring) a community of visitors to your site One secret of sites like Facebook, Amazon, ebay, Twitter, and Yahoo is 'customer loyalty', which means a community of returning visitors. These sites have generated trust. To begin replicating this... Continue reading
    Updated: May 2013
    1
  • Social Media Advertising

    There is a tremendous movement towards advertising and presence on social media platforms. Facebook recently announced a billion monthly users who have generated more than a trillion likes. Read the BBC story here. Accordingly, advertising patterns are changing. More... Continue reading
    Updated: February 2016
    1
  • You've Got Data - PPC Search Terms

    Update your PPC campaigns on a regular basis put valuable search term data to work The internet is built on words - here is the data from  opentracker reports that we would like to highlight: Top search terms Visitors by search term Companies report - search... Continue reading
    Updated: May 2013
    0