What are website analytics?
In general terms, website analytics can be understood as the measurement, collection, and reporting of web data. Knowledge of web analytics is a great tool to have, as you can use it to drive business and learn more about your target market. In this article, we go through the basics and help you understand the different ways you can use this great tool to your advantage.
There are two categories of web analytics
- Off-site – web measurement and analysis that measure your potential audience. You do not need to own a website to understand these analytics.
- On-site – the more common of the two, it measures the behavioural patterns of your existing audience, ie: once they visit your website. This is the category we will be focusing on below.
Business owners with their own websites have one goal in mind – how to increase traffic. Web analytics can be used to do the above, but can also be used to gauge and improve the effectiveness of your websites.
By providing you with website visitor data, the analytics will identify ways to help website owners optimize content to grasp their attention. Using the data available, web analytics can determine whether the application of popular trends will help you reach your goals, and create strategies on how to improve the user experience.
You must have come across the term Google Analytics?
The most popular search engine decided to take matters into its own hands and designed free tools that can be used to analyse your website without relying on other applications.
Google Analytics understands your website’s users and helps develop strategies to evaluate how well your content and products are doing. By using this free tool, website owners can access their unique insights and connect them to achieve better results. The foolproof interface comes with reports that can be shared easily. Built to work hand in hand with Google advertising and publishers, you will be sure to reach the right customers.
To ensure you are following the right path and using Google Analytics to the best of their abilities, generate traffic by using Google Ads to promote your website. Google offers conversion tracking, which is a free tool that shows a website owner the customer’s actions after they interact with the ads. This can involve purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter or downloading your app. Google conversions offer better tracking and encourage a call to action on your website.
How can web analytics help with your marketing?
Web analytics have evolved over time and are considered an essential market research tool, as larger companies adopt digital marketing strategies. The application of the analysis gathered can help companies measure results of their newly launched campaigns, and estimate how incoming or expected traffic to a website changes. It also tracks the number of page views, essentially telling you which campaign is performing the best.
Made up of a combination of business metrics, marketing analytics include areas like return on investment (ROI), marketing attribution and overall marketing effectiveness. Gathering data from different marketing channels (eg: websites, print, social media), the marketing analytics consolidate this information making it easier to track across different platforms, resulting in efficient decision making.
Marketing analytics look at some important questions –
- How well are the marketing campaigns performing to date and how will the numbers change in the long run? How can these numbers be improved?
- How well are your campaigns doing compared to the competitors? Could you be putting your resources into other channels?
- What is the next step – a new campaign, restructuring brand, changing direction, etc?
What are web analytics services?
To use your web analytics to their fullest potential, it might be wise to opt for a web analytics service. This can be done by downloading applications that collect data then help you analyze the information properly. Analytics services can be done in real-time and create a custom analysis of your data, to improve conversion and customer visits.
Many web analytics services will let you conduct A/B or split testing, where you can compare two versions of a web page, and measure how their performance differs. This can be a great tool to improve site performances, as the changes can be made permanent after assessing how well they work.
So how do these magical web analytics actually help track content?
By using the age-old technique any business uses – setting KPIs or key performance indicators. These can include purchases, subscribing to your website or creating an account.
Every website has a set of goals, which may include the above. The most basic features will allow you to track page views and visits. However, it is possible to use your web analytics to define your KPIs to track interactions, and personalise them to fit your goals. By further employing funnels, you can tract the exact path where a customer has lost interest or strayed from the intended course.
Measuring your content is critical in developing an effective website and helping it stay relevant. Understanding your customer, tracking their behaviour, likes and dislikes will help you improve your business and encourage them to return to your business website. Web analytics are a great tool to have in your arsenal and should definitely be an area of focus in your marketing plan.