Web analytics can help you budget, optimise your marketing efforts, make informed small business decisions and provide insights into your customersâ€™ behavior.
Some of the main things you might considerÂ are:
- What customers want: You can see what keywords and search terms customers are using in order to find your site. This could be useful for budgeting especially when it comes to PPC campaigns and SEO strategy.
- How people get to your site: This could be organic search, monitoring percentages coming in from social media or other sites. This is really handy for understanding your consumers, but also for your content strategy.
- The quality of site content and design: User experience is one of the most important elements of a site and that includes good site content too. Understanding where people are leaving your site and then drilling down to understand why are paramount to increasing your conversion rate.
- Trends: Identifying trends and then implementing them into your strategies is highly effective.
The almighty metrics
There are 5 essential metrics that you need to understand to harness the basics of web analytics. These are your visitors, referral, bounce rate, exit pages, and conversion rate.
You can monitor the number of visitors that come to your site. This can then be separated into return visitors and unique (first time) visitors. In short, you can see how many new people are discovering your site, but also (if there is an increase in return visitors) how many of your visitors are becoming loyal to your brand.
Referrals are essentially where people are arriving from when they visit your site. Is this social media, an external blog post or organic search? This not only allows you to have a greater understanding of where, on the internet, your consumers are, but also what they read. In terms of content, this is gold dust because you can start to craft content targeted at those sites or increase expenditure on social media ads, for example.
Your siteâ€™s bounce rate is the rate of people that land on the site and then immediately leave. This could be down to poor content, design, user experience or simply that youâ€™re ranking for the wrong keywords. People will leave your site if it is irrelevant or too hard to use. Bear in mind that a 40 – 55% bounce rate is relatively average, but knocking it down into the 20s is phenomenal.
Exit pages identify which pages people leave your website on. These particular visitors have spent some time on your site but do not convert. If one page has a particular high exit page rate, you should consider analyzing and optimizing it. It could be an issue from bad copy to confusing layout or irrelevant content.
Ultimately, as a business, you want to make money. Your conversion rate is when a consumer makes a purchase (or does whatever the purpose of your site is). The higher your conversion rate, the better youâ€™re doing as a business.
In order to use web analytics effectively, you have to analyse the right data. Understanding how well your business is doing is far more important than your site traffic. This should align with your overall core business strategy as well as the finer details in your marketing and content strategies.
Business goals that you might want to keep in mind are: leads, trial signups, account creations, newsletter signups, white paper downloads,Â book downloads and anything else that generatesÂ cash flow.Â Most web analytics tools do this, but some might require some additional set-up to get your business goals into place.
Web analytic tools
There are several free and paid web analytics tools you can use. Below is a list of the top tools: