Just the word ‘analytics’ can be off-putting to some, and we understand. Analysing data at first thought can be considered tricky and a little intimidating, however it doesn’t have to be.
The best place to start is to identify what it is you’re looking for – what do you want to know? Ultimately, when looking at website data, we’d anticipate that you’re hoping to understand how your website is doing.
Questions you may ask in the process:
– How many people are visiting my website?
– What pages are people visiting?
– How many people read my blog post?
– Why aren’t people staying longer?
– Why aren’t people buying xyz?
Website analytics may not be able to explicitly answer the ‘why’ questions, however the data can help you to make inferences and monitor the changes you make.
So you’ve got your questions, you know what you’re looking for, where do you start from here?
Choose your analytics tool
Many website platforms will host their own analytics tools, and to be honest, they’re very much the same in terms of the range of data they provide you with – which is a very good thing. If your platform doesn’t have its own analytics function, there is always Google Analytics – a widely used and trusted tool for measuring website activity.
Understand your website goals
Are you hoping to improve traffic? You’d probably want to start looking at the number of hits your website currently gets, on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Look for trends in peaks and drops, and see how that corresponds to changes you’ve made to your site – have you just added a new blog for example?
This is the most valuable step in website analytics. The best way to measure how well you’re doing is to compare it against something – a previous week, month or year for example. Over a period of time you’ll be able to see what your top performing periods are, and then you’ll be able to implement changes to continue to improve the great periods and lift the weaker moments through methods such as promotions and additional content.
See where your customers are coming from
It’s very useful to know where the traffic is coming from, and analytics tools will tell you this. For example, if a lot of traffic is coming through your social media pages, you’ll know to continue to grow these channels as they’re working for you – learning from best practice is a great place to start.
If the numbers are low for traffic from search engines, you may want to consider improving your SEO and potentially investing in PPC. All of this is learned via your analytics tools, so it’s essential that you monitor it regularly to grow and improve your online business and presence.
… and where they end up
Learning which pages on your website are most popular will tell you a great deal about your customers and what their interests are. This will support in building your online presence and creating relevant content.
Understanding at what position in the site your customers leave is also useful. If there is a stand-out page that sees the highest abandonment rate, it would be worth revising the content and signposting to alternative positions on the site. Where you lead them and how you do so will largely depend on the nature of your business and your website.
Want to find out more about how we can help with website analytics? Get in touch.