As the business world continues to move rapidly into the online space, more companies are beginning to invest heavily in online retail. In fact, consumers spent $861.12 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020, up an incredible 44% from 2019. This is the highest annual e-commerce growth in at least two decades and it’s only expected to increase into 2021 and beyond.
The age of digital commerce has officially arrived and with it comes incredible opportunities within the field of digital marketing. Now more than ever, companies are investing billions of dollars into online marketing campaigns, search engine optimization, CRM development, and web analytics. The demand for jobs within these fields is at an all-time high. Here’s why you should consider starting a career in this field.
What is Web Analytics?
Web analytics is the collection and analysis of web data to better understand or optimize web usage. Almost every successful Fortune 500 company utilizes web and data analytics to measure the ways in which people are interacting with their online content. They then use these analytics to better understand how people arrive at their particular website. They also judge how well a particular digital marketing strategy is performing. Web analytics has also become a tool of great value for getting a grasp on how customers make purchase decisions. This can prove to be extremely important in website design improvements and converting visitors into customers.
What Does Having a Career in Web Analytics Mean?
The main responsibilities of a web analyst are to help in the creation of procedures for data management, data analysis, web projects, and web data security. A web analyst will routinely analyze the trends of online traffic. They will also learn the ins and outs of customer online experiences pertaining to a particular website or online marketing campaign. Then, they will use this information to make recommendations to companies. These recommendations could be in areas such as website design, online advertising, and other aspects of digital marketing.
Some of the other responsibilities of web analysts include managing analytic software and application infrastructure. This responsibility may require a field of knowledge in the installation, upgrading, tuning, link building, performance monitoring, and troubleshooting of a particular software. It could also require knowledge of the accurate recording of web log files to keep track of changes or shifts.
What are Some of the Skills Needed by a Web Analyst?
Employers in search of web analysts are looking for experience in the interpretation of website traffic data, data visualization, website dynamics, market research, and an overall knowledge of internet development, web models, integrated media, and mock-up drawings of websites.
Companies also love to see a multidisciplinary background of knowledge of both data analytics and business in general. Plus, they like an understanding of the different traffic drivers out there, as well as great presentation skills. Presentation skills are important because being able to properly explain to company executives your data analysis is one of the most pivotal aspects of the field as a whole.
A web analyst will also most likely require a solid understanding of many of the data-tracking software and tools within the field, such as Statistical Analysis Systems (SAS), statistical regression models, Google Analytics, Spring Metrics, Clicky, and Chartbeat. These are some of the more common tools utilized on a daily basis for web analysts in the business world.
How Do I Know if I Am Cut Out for Web Analytics?
If all the skills that I just mentioned are daunting right now, that’s okay! It’s perfectly normal for you to wonder if you are actually ready to work in the field of web analytics, especially if you are just starting out. Many of the aforementioned skills are things that you steadily learn through schooling and experience.
There are certain questions you might want to ask yourself before deciding that you want to be a part of this booming industry.
- Do you find data and statistics interesting?
- Do you often have ideas on how to make a particular website better when you are browsing the internet?
- Are you a creative and technical individual?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a web analytics job might be just what you are looking for.
How Do I Actually Go About Becoming a Web Analyst?
The most important thing to consider before becoming a web analyst is whether you have a passion for data and statistics. In any career, having a passion for what you do is vital. It will allow you to both enjoy your job and succeed within that field.
That being said, if you wish to be a web analyst, it begins with a solid education. You do not necessarily need a college degree, but it was found that about 55.6% of web analysts have a bachelor’s degree, with another 30.2% having master’s degrees. Typically, web analysts have degrees in the fields of business, marketing, accounting, and statistics. However, it is most definitely possible to get a great job within the field of web analytics with just a high school diploma or GED as well. This route will just require an established understanding of data visualization, analytical software tools, and internet development as a whole.
After you obtain a solid education in the field, you then must decide what role you want to have. Generally, web and digital analytics jobs fall under two different categories. There’s an analyst role, where you actually create and present your analytical findings through reports. There’s also a technical role, where you will primarily deal with finding, mining, and sorting through relevant data using tools such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics.
What is the Difference Between an Analyst Role and a Technical Role?
Deciding whether you want an analyst role or a technical role all depends on your set of skills. It will also depend on what you hope to accomplish within the field of web analytics. Both roles are extremely pivotal and equally as important to a business.
Having a technical role essentially means that you are dealing with the behind-the-scenes of data analysis. A majority of the coding work is done by someone in a technical role. You will be using a variety of coding languages to formulate different graphical analyses of large imports of data, and ensuring that data is sorted accurately. As previously mentioned, an excellent understanding of data analytic tools such as Google Analytics is necessary within a technical role.
If you aren’t as interested in coding, the other role you could potentially occupy would be an analyst role. An analyst essentially takes the graphs formulated by technical analysts and interprets them in relation to a particular website or company. These analysts must have excellent analytical skills as well as presentation skills. An analyst is the one to actually present your findings in an easy way for the average executive to understand. These findings are what actually incur change within a company.
Ultimately though, the two roles, although pretty different, need each other to be successful. Without a technical role, there would be no analyses to interpret. Without an analyst role, data analytics would provide little to no value to companies. Whichever role fits your own skills better is the one you should go for!
How Do I Actually Secure a Web Analyst Job?
Once you feel confident in your education and the role that you wish to fill, actually finding a job is next up! Although searching for a job is often difficult, the market for web analysts is growing exponentially. More and more companies hope to utilize analytical tactics to help drive traffic to their websites and grow their brands. If you are just starting out, don’t be afraid to take jobs at smaller companies. One of the most important aspects of the field of web analytics is experience. The only way that you are going to get this experience is by starting out small!
A Job in Web Analytics Might Be Just what You’re Looking For
The average salary for web analysts is $69,919 a year with great potential for growth in the coming years. If you are interested in data analytics and want a job with great job security, a job as a web analyst might be the perfect position for you!
FAQs about Is Web Analytics a Good Career?
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