It is important to measure the progress of your online efforts but even more important to use metrics that will help improve your brand. Analytics can be defined as the process by which you collect and analyze data. In regards to your company website, you are collecting and examining information about user activity, system performance and so on. This data allows you to better adapt your marketing and content strategies. It can help you know which things to pursue and which to tweak. Basically, analytics help you modify your site to the needs of your target audience.
What should you be looking at? The possibilities are endless, but here are a few things to get you started.
This information is based on consumers’ online travel and purchasing activities. It can include location, age, gender, and interests. You can examine whether someone is a new or returning viewer and whether they are on a mobile device or desktop.
This allows you to gain an understanding of how your site is shown in search results as well as which search terms bring you the most traffic. It also lets you learn which other sites are shown to consumers before they click on your site.
Sources or Channels for Incoming Traffic
Understand how visitors get to your site. They could be “direct” – a user who typed in your exact URL; “search” – a user who chose your site from the results of a search (also referred to as organic traffic); or they could be “referral” – a user who arrived at your site after clicking a link on another webpage. Referrals can be broken down to subcategories such as social media, email, paid search, etc.
What are visitors doing on your website? What paths are they taking through it? How many pages were visited? Where did people hover but not click? Which links did they click? What did they like or review or leave a comment on?
How much time was spent on your site? What is the average duration of a viewer’s session? Less time can mean either poor content, poor navigation options, or could be directly correlated to how relevant your site is versus what the visitor was looking for. Understand what people are finding appealing and spending time on and what might be making them leave.
How many times does someone visit your site and leave without doing anything else? Consider whether this is a result of poor targeting or a weak landing page.
Are visitors completing and submitting forms? Are they leaving feedback and comments? Are they clicking the call to action on the pages they visit? Are they spending money?
Exit or Abandon Pages
At what stage are visitors leaving your site without converting? Can you “fix” something to improve the user experience at that point in the funnel or on that page? Cart abandonment rate is especially important to identify so you can address any patterns you may find to understand why people are leaving your site without making a purchase.
Look at Comparisons
New visitor conversion versus bounce rate. Is your landing page missing the mark?
Page views versus traffic sources. Which channels are bringing you the most engaged consumers?
Look for increases or decreases in total website visits to see what may have changed during those highs or lows.
Evaluate the ratio of new versus returning visitors. Are people impressed enough with your website to come back?
How are your pages performing in comparison to one another? Which pages attract visitors for longer periods of time? Which pages have a comparatively high bounce rate?
Is your website performing better for mobile device or desktop users? Are the trends within the two groups similar or vastly different?
And it goes without saying that site speed should be analyzed through a resource like Google Analytics as it will also provide suggestions for improvement.
Analytics should inform the content you display on your site. They can help you understand how to better help your customers and how best to encourage them to engage with your brand. Use the data to improve what isn’t working so you can grow your business, increase conversion rates, and satisfy more customers.
To learn more about gathering precise data regarding visitor behavior on your website and, more importantly, what to do in response to that data, contact the experts at Strategy Driven Marketing now.