If you have a website and do not have any web analytics tracking in place or are only looking at the initial overview of users, sessions and pages viewed, then you are truly doing a disservice to your website and business potential.
A website with good analytics tracking has the potential to improve its performance once the data has been reviewed. By looking deep into the website data, a smart website administrator can find ways to improve user engagement, reduce unqualified traffic and turn visitors into paying customers!
Why Are Web Analytics Important?
Analytics provides an opportunity to better understand web usage by the vast numbers of people who use the internet, and how to create an engaging website that draws their attention and ultimately turns them into customers. Analytics measures, collects and reports the data from your website by how users interact with each web page.
From this data, you can determine the when and why users take certain action with the website.
- When are users visiting your website?
- Why are users visiting your website?
- When do users make a purchase on your website?
- Why do they or why DON’T they make a purchase on your website?
These are all important factors to understand in order to create an engaging website that attracts qualified users who are ready to purchase, download, or become members of your website. Basically, Google Analytics provides the tools that businesses and marketers need to determine if a website is successful.
Clickstream Data vs Segmented Data
Clickstream data refers to data collection and analysis of the order and pages that a website visitor views. The path of user interaction is called the clickstream.
This data is important to understand how individual users travel the web and can be used to report patterns, trends, and pathways to a given page, product or purchase.
Segmented data means dividing website traffic into specific groups (segments) to better understand their relationship to the market. Segmentation can help identify customers with similar buying strategies to help target them better during future campaigns. The ability to define and segment groups of individuals by interests, location or needs can help marketers increase goal conversion of qualified visitors.
For example, if you are a business based in North Carolina, and only provide service to the local market, then any visits or leads from Michigan are unqualified and would need removing as the data is refined. By comparing the results of the segmented data to the total results, a marketer can determine better ways to target the North Carolina based web traffic.
The best strategy will be to use both clickstream and segmented data sources to gain a broader understanding of the data report.
Know Your Goals!
In order to turn an unsuccessful website into something that draws visitors and engages them enough to “convert” from casual users into committed ones, a marketer should understand the goal of the website or business. First, do you want your users to purchase products or do you want them to sign up for a newsletter?
Each goal may have a unique audience that requires a customized experience to draw them through the conversion funnel. A conversion funnel outlines the steps a user takes through the acquisition process before completing the goal.
For example, if you own a shoe store and provide online sales, then the goal is to garner sales from online shoppers.
Imagine that a customer wants a new pair of shoes. They will likely seek out an online retailer by searching for the shoes they want to purchase. Once the shopper has found a website that supplies the product, they add the item to the shopping cart and complete the sale.
The process that the user takes to make that purchase is the conversion funnel.
Analytics provides the data of this transaction for future reporting, and with enough data, marketers can make decisions to improve the customer experience. The end result should be increased sales.
How Do You Know What Goals are Important?
Ask yourself, “What do I want my website visitors to do?”
Once you have a clear goal, such as “complete the contact form” then you can move forward. If your website is a non-profit charity looking for volunteers, then your goal may be volunteer sign ups. An educational website might determine content downloads as the measure of success.
Whatever is important to your success is what you should focus on during an analytics evaluation. But, don’t focus on the wrong data. It is important to find the right information and crunch the data by diving deeper with segments and parameters. If you only focus on the number of users visiting your website as a measure of success, then you are missing a huge piece of the puzzle.
What Are Some Ways Web Analytics Can Help My Website?
Analytics can help determine:
- Why a visitor left without converting into a lead
- Which pages have high exit rates or bounce rates
- Data by location – Global, National and Local results
- Keywords used to find the website
- What content visitors click or interact with
What Does the Data Mean?
Determine how your website is performing by expanding basic reporting to include the custom segments needed to get a better understanding of what is and is not working. If the website is performing poorly, update or re-purpose the current content.
Examine which content needs improvement, and then make the necessary changes that will engage users and keep their attention.
A high bounce rate suggests that your website is not performing well once a visitor enters a webpage. This could be a result of unqualified traffic finding the website and leaving because they did not find what they were looking for. For better targeting, try improving the on-site SEO and paid advertisements. If the content is what the searcher is looking for, then they are more likely to interact with the website and become a new customer.
For pages with high exit rates, determine why a web visitor left and you can improve the experience to keep and engage future visitors.
A few easy ways to quickly improve a website would be to:
- Review website load speed
- Find and repair broken pages/links
- Avoid clashing colors
- Add social icons
- Call to action needs improvement
Make sure to include a way for a visitor to contact you. After all, if the user cannot get to the final goal, then your website cannot convert the visitor into a customer. Remember to make the process as easy as possible for your guests. Otherwise, they may leave your website and never return. Simplicity is crucial.
- Contact forms
- Phone number
- Address of physical location
View Case Study: 9 Times More Website Traffic for a Regional Trailer Sales Company
A Good Source for Web Analytics
There are hundreds of analytics providers all vying for the opportunity to provide data collection on your website. Some are free services, while others are paid. Google provides a free analytics service that is probably the most widely used web analytics reporting tool on the internet.
Are You Having Trouble Understanding Your Website Analytics?
Unless you regularly dive into your website analytics, it is quite understandable to become overwhelmed by the data. That is why working with a digital marketing team that is experienced with data analysis is a smart investment. Your marketing coordinator should be able to help improve your website’s conversion by understanding what your website visitors are doing and how to convert them into clients or customers.
The digital marketers at TheeDesign understand how to segment your data, decipher the information and provide you with an online strategy that will achieve results.
If you want to work with a team that understands web analytics, that can provide you the information needed to take your business to the next level, then consider contacting the internet marketing professionals at TheeDesign in Raleigh, NC at 919-341-8901 or schedule a consultation.