In a world of growing data use and data collection, web analytics has become a tool that no business should go without. Metrics from web analytics are constantly being collected even if you are not looking at them, and can be a tool for your business to evaluate and expand marketing strategies and best practices.
57% of companies say growing traffic to their website is one of their top marketing priorities (HubSpot). As a result, it’s important to understand what your data from web analytics could be telling you about your company’s marketing performance.
Metrics from web analytics such as pageviews, bounce rates, traffic sources and conversion rates can give insights as to what content people are interested in and what channel is most efficient. Matching your business activity with the right analytics tools is one of the first steps to getting started.
If you are already using analytics tools, or have been persuaded to update your marketing strategies, here are 5 ways to improve your use of your web analytics:
Find the web analytics platform best for your website and data use
Not all analytics platforms are made equal, and some might cost you more than your data is worth. There are many free options such as Google Analytics, Yahoo Analytics, and smaller companies such as GoingUp and Grape Web Statistics that will allow a website owner to see visitor activity on their site.
If you are expecting more traffic on your website, or want to be more specific with the data you are collecting, paying for a software solution might be a better route for you to take. Depending on your marketing research budget, there are many options that range from $5/month to a few thousand per month.
Each analytics tool requires varying levels of expertise to use, though the cheaper options will be more user friendly for basic analytics purposes.
Understand your customer base and web visitors
Web analytics can tell you a lot about the customers that participate in your business. Consumer interests, wants or needs, and product pairing can be told through data collected about their activity on your site.
By observing the data that comes in from your website, an analysis can help assess where your company should best focus your efforts depending on customer interest and how visitors arrive to your site.
Depending on page views, page navigation, and conversions, analytics can tell you what people are looking at and whether their product/service research on your website matches your expected web visitor journey.
For example, if your web analytics are showing a significant number of clicks on a certain product page but not a low conversion rate, it could indicate that the message of that product could be improved. If a similar product is not getting clicked on, take note of the differences between those products.
Remember, the data collected from your website will not only help with your marketing strategies, but your sales and product messaging as well.
Look for trends
Trends found in your data allow your business to plan better and forecast for upcoming quarters. If there’s a spike of web activity happening in one quarter, that might be a great time to launch a new marketing campaign or release a new product/service. Match your business announcements with times that your consumers are already available on your website or social media platforms.
Spikes can be indicators that something you recently launched or have been promoting is doing well, while unexpected anomalies can be puzzling and could require further investigating.
Keep track of your data regularly, whether that be on a month to month basis or bi-weekly scheduled reports to help you stay up to date with your website activity.
Use your analytics to improve your web design
Web analytics is information about how the pages on your website are functioning. One section of a page might get more attention, which could show up in the form of more clicks or page actions from that area. Improve your website engagement by planning to feature your key product/service in this section, where the most visitors are likely to see.
For example, you might have a form listed on your website, but you notice that the amount of forms being filled does not follow the same trends as website traffic. Look at other sections near the form, and analyze the traffic to those sections. Compare trends from this section of your site to another section. If trends are the same, it could indicate that page placement of the form is not ideal, especially if you are hoping to capture conversions from web form fill outs. Notice if the trends are different. If the sections near the web form are getting a lot of action but your web forms are not seeing the same response, reassess whether the form is necessary or if there is a better way to collect the information you are seeking.
One of the greatest forces that web analytics can have on your website and marketing is to better gauge your goals. Are the goals that your business is setting realistic for the amount of traffic that you receive from the website? Is there a way to increase your goals and your traffic that you are not utilizing? Check out this blog post for more data-driven marketing considerations that you can leverage in your business.
Establishing web analytics into your company’s marketing strategy and goals can give insights into user participation in your marketing activities. Find the web analytics platform that works best for your website and data use to understand your customer base and web visitors. Look for trends that will indicate good times to launch a new product/service or track marketing campaign performance. Use your analytics to improve your web design to maximize the efficiency of your website. With this new information about your company, set your goals and use your web analytics to evaluate performance and increase productivity.