Check if analytics is used by a website

Sitebeam analytics test screenshot

Why is it important?

To 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?

Sitebeam 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.

Sitebeam 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.

The score is based on the percentage of pages which use one or more forms of analytics, weighted for their relative importance. The best possible score would come from using analytics on every single page.