We all know that an online presence is essential in this day and age but getting the right image is only half the battle in getting those all important conversions. The real meat in a web presence is being able to analyse the way in which consumers and customers interact with that presence and then take actionable steps to improve it.
What are web analytics?
In a nutshell, analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of web data for purposes of understanding and optimising web usage. Web analysis not only provides information about the number of visitors that come to your website but it opens up a whole wealth of information about your web presence that otherwise you simply could not understand.
Web analytics provides insights and helps you grow your business by understanding amongst other things:
- Search terms and keywords that deliver users to your website
- What those users look at when they visit your website, what is of interest to them and what is not
- The performance of your social media pages and the amount of traffic those drive to your website
- The quality of the content you produce and how effective it is in relation to your website
- Consumer trends and how they relate to your market sector and target market
The most important metrics to track and make use of
The results from analysing this data leads to rich insights for your business and can help you to optimise your web presence for conversions. There are tons of metrics that can be viewed using a whole host of analytics suites (more on this later) but the most important ones are outlined below.
Visitor Numbers – This is the one that resonates with most people, put simply – how many people are visiting your website. This allows you to see how effective your latest advertising campaign was at driving traffic for example. This metric allows you to see how well your marketing efforts are working for you overall.
Referral Source – Closely linked with visitor numbers, this metric will show you how your visitors arrived at your page, whether that visitor came from search engines, social media, outside blogs or paid advertising etc. This metric will allow you to segment your audience and helps you to understand the differences in behaviour. It also gives you an opportunity to devise a content creation strategy for each medium, ultimately leading to more conversions.
Bounce Rates – The dreaded metric that tells you how many people immediately leave your site after arriving. In the simplest terms – this shows you what is working and what is not allowing you to make changes and test outcomes.
Exit Pages – When visitors enter your site, they go on a journey – clicking on links and visiting different pages before eventually leaving. The exit page is simply the last page of this journey and these are important to understand how your site visitors are interacting with your content.
Conversion Rates – This is when a visitor makes a purchase or completes a predefined goal – submitting a form, visiting a page etc The higher the conversion rate, the better you are doing as a business and ultimately the more money you are making.
Take action on the results
To ensure you are getting the most out of web analytics, you need to ensure you are not only analysing the right data but then taking action to rectify anything that might be detrimental to your business. If your sites bounce rate is very high then you need to understand why and make changes quickly – it could be that your website loads too slowly or you have unsightly images etc. Understanding and utilising the data from web analytics is far more important than simply driving traffic to your website hoping to make a sale. If your web presence is failing in analytical data then it is failing in the real world and costing you money!
Goals you should keep in mind for business are things like account creation, newsletter signups, ebook downloads and anything else that you can measure as a good sign of visitor interaction. For more information on setting up goals in Google Analytics yourself then please click here for a step by step guide from Google.
If you are reading this and thinking that you really need some help to take charge of your web analytics and improve things for your business then please contact me today for a free consultation.