Simply put, web analytics is a way of measuring the behavior of the visitors that come to your website. Such analytics take into consideration things like where visitors are coming from and what they’re doing when they visit your site as well as things like pageviews, time spent on page, sources of traffic and visitor demographics. There are hundreds of metrics that web analytics can measure – it’s how you interpret them and use them that makes the difference. A good business owner will comb through and analyze these website stats, learn how people are using the website and make the appropriate adjustments with the website itself and with any marketing plan so that the website contributes better to the overall business goal. However, far too many business owners are still overwhelmed by the data that can be gleaned from web analytics and thereby spend either not enough time - or no time at all - analyzing and learning from them. That’s a mistake. Here’s why:
Evaluating Ad Performance
Marketing campaigns are important to a business, but there’s a big difference between marketing that works and marketing that doesn’t. Web analytics allows you to actually gauge the true success of a campaign, not just through clicks and interactions, but by seeing how any traffic from such a campaign interacted with your site. This better allows a business owner to see what worked and what didn’t. Custom tracking codes can also be added to any link that reverts back to your website, thereby allowing you to better measure just how effective a certain campaign is.
As previously mentioned, web analytics can help gauge visitor behavior. Analytics can help you see how long visitors stay on certain pages, how well any various sales pages convert and more. Understanding what works and what doesn’t can help you to improve your site so that ineffective pages become more effective.
Good businesses utilize SEO, or search engine optimization, to improve search rankings and attempt to bring in more visitors from online searches. Web analytics helps with this by allowing you to see individual sources of traffic coming into your site, which thereby allows you to analyze search phrases that are bringing traffic in. By knowing what phrases people are searching for, you’re then better able to incorporate content onto your website with the appropriate phrasing, leading to what should be a boost in online visitors and, ideally, sales conversions.
Web analytics allows you to compare and contrast progress (or lack thereof progress) from just about any point in your website’s history. This better allows you to see the payoff from any changes or adjustments you made in the past to better optimize your site. It’s cool for a business owner to see how far his business has come over time by appropriately implementing the information gained from analyzing their website. This also allows you to see how visitor behavior has changed over time.
While the aforementioned are all big benefits of using web analytics, perhaps the biggest reason as to why you should start taking this seriously now is because it’s free. That’s right, web analytics services from the likes of Google and others are free to use, so the only cost to you is the time investment that you put in to acquiring the data and deciphering what it means and how it can help your site and your business. That being said, there’s no excuse not to be utilizing this important data to help optimize your website and grow your business in the process.