Web analytics is the process of capturing web site traffic and analyzing its behavior.
Web analytics are key to understanding who your customers are, where your web traffic is coming from and what kind of traffic is converting and increasing sales of your products and services. Without web analytics, you risk wasting your high value marketing dollars on blind pursuits attempting to increase traffic to your web site.
Benefits of Web Analytics
- Allows you to precisely monitor web traffic
- Helps you optimize your web site
- Enables you to formulate a precise marketing and sales plan Monitor
Using web analytics, you could know how long a visitor stayed on your web site or a particular page, who they are and where they came from. You would be able to know their clickstreams (how they navigate your site), the keywords they used, and how they came to be in your website (referrer pages, search engines, etc). You would be able to determine how many times a user or a visitor returned to your website and which pages were given preference.
In fact, a web analytics tool could detail your website usage down to the minute. It would tell you about your visitor’s nationality and language. It can even pinpoint the city of origin. Of course, it will tell you the IP addresses and the host used for access. Further analysis would reveal if your visitors were there to actually check out your site or if they were accidental visitors. Most certainly, you will know how many visitors you get daily.
Once you have carefully studied the actions of your visitors or web users, you would be able to act accordingly in order to optimize your website. You would also have an idea about changes needed and the aspects of your website that may appeal more to your market. You would know which pages are most viewed and which are basically ignored. You would be able to adjust certain aspects of your website that need improvement or changes. You could then fix any technical problems; or you could also improve, streamline or reshape site navigation to better assist your site users or visitors.
Web analytics will be able to assist you in preparing for an e-marketing plan and course of action. This is highly effective because your plan can be based on actual facts and not mere probabilities. You would be able to really know what your market wants. By tracking the items which were highly viewed, you would learn which products/services received the highest response. You would also be able to enhance other programs that you have already employed like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. You would be able to get more clients, as well as monitor and keep your clients interested.
What Web Metrics Should You Start Measuring Today and Why?
What is the average number of visits to your web site?
Conversion can mean many different things depending on your business. A Free trial download, the sale of a product, and the completion of a contact form are all types of conversions that have value to your business. You should know the average number of conversions and the number of conversions per visitor to your site.
FORMULA: # of Conversions/ # of Visitors = Conversion rate%
Most popular pages on your site:
What content on your web site is attracting the most views? How has this changed over time?
Top referring sites/mediums:
How are visitors coming to your web site? Which search engines, forums, articles, paid ads, or email are driving visits and conversions to your site?
What keywords are visitors using to find your site? What keywords do visitors use that convert into sales/ leads/ contacts? What keywords don’t you see? Sometimes the most telling keywords are the ones that you don’t see. If you sell air filters for Chevy trucks and you have zero visits to your site for the keywords “Chevy air filters”, you have some serious keyword and Pay-Per-Click optimization to do!
Average visit time and average number of pages per visit (engagement):
When someone arrives at your web site, how engaging is the content? Do they stick around and visit multiple pages? This can vary greatly by referrer and keywords visitors use to arrive at the site as well, so make sure that you keep a close eye on your primary keywords and referrers. Also keep an eye out for new sources of traffic that have a higher engagement level than your site average.
The opposite of engagement – this is a measurement of the visitors that left the site as soon as the page loaded. This is going to happen, so don’t get too discouraged by the numbers. Depending on your industry your bounce rate should stay under 50%. Anything higher than that may mean that your site is either optimized for the wrong keywords or you are targeting the wrong markets.
Geographic and language settings:
Where in the world is all of this traffic coming from? Of course, if your product or industry has international appeal you would want to know which countries and what languages your visitors speak, but even local business should be looking at this information. For example, when we started looking at the traffic from regions where a local contractor actually serviced, we noticed that 75% of those visitors had their language setting set to Spanish, but the web site was only in English. Obviously, it became a high priority for that contractor to offer a Spanish version of his site.
For each of these metrics, you should know if the numbers are increasing or decreasing. Is this a seasonal trend or is this a part of some other market force?
How often should you check / report on your web metrics?
It can be very addicting to check these metrics constantly and you have to be careful not to spend all of your time poring over the different variables. So, the question often asked is how often should you check your web metrics? Daily, weekly, monthly? The typical answer is as often as you can take action based on the results. If you started a new Pay-Per-Click campaign, you probably want to watch the results on a daily basis at first to make sure that it is performing properly. If you spot any anomalies, you can catch them right away and take corrective actions.
Tools You Can Use
Check out this great list of a variety of tools designed to help you track traffic on your web site: http://mashable.com/2007/06/25/analytics-toolbox/
One of the most commonly used analytics packages is Google Analytics.
Click here if you’d like to watch a demo
Supplemental Information on eNewsletters:
- The Basics of Web Analytics
- Gaining Success from the Benefits of Web Analytics
- Web Analytics Dead? No, Just Maturing