Web analytics involves gathering, converting, analyzing, and reporting user traffic data in order to understand and optimize Web site usage. Anyone with a Web site can benefit from this information. At the simplest level, it’s useful to know what kind of traffic a site gets. But if used correctly, analytics can go well beyond that. Web analytics can be the key to developing a successful strategy to drive more traffic through a site, build awareness for a brand, and generate more business.
How should businesses interpret Web analytics data — and leverage that information to decrease bounce and increase sales on their website?
Here are just a few examples of the questions that analytics can answer to inform future marketing and sales strategies:
Gather Data. The first step to analyzing the effectiveness of a Web site is to collect the data. This is fairly simple, since most Web hosts automatically store basic information—IP address, date and time, error messages—on the server each time someone visits the Web site.
Converte, Report, and Analyze Data. There are a wide variety of analysis tools available. Whatever analysis tool is chosen, it should provide a number of standard reports. Each report can offer valuable insights into why Using Web Analytics to Increase and Optimize Web Site
Learn about your visitors. Use Site Search data Analytics, where you can find out the terms people are searching for while they are on your site, along with the page they were visiting at the time. Look at your Landing Page metrics, where all your website traffic lands from- search engines and other referrers.. An engaging Web site will draw visitors back time and time again. This is desirable because it builds brand recognition and increases sales. Therefore, the goal is to have a high ratio of visits to unique visitors. If the ratio between these two measurements is low, the content may not be adequately sparking visitors’ interests. It could be that the web interface does not look good, the navigation is not intuitive, or maybe the content is not meeting the public’s needs. As changes are made, keep an eye on this report—if the ratio begins to increase, the right steps are being taken to remedy the issues.
Pay attention to bounce rates. Review the bounce rate, to see where you are losing customers. Look for pages with higher traffic and high bounce rates relative to your other pages. These high bounce rates can indicate a problem with the information, layout or call to actions. A bounce rate of more than 50 percent may indicate a serious retention issue. It could be possible that the content wasn’t what they were looking for, or perhaps the site didn’t look polished. No matter what the reason, a high bounce rate indicates a critical problem that needs to be addressed quickly and thoroughly.
Remember that using Web analytics is an ongoing process, which means needs and goals will change often. But the extra effort required for regularly-scheduled reviews and maintenance pays off in the long run with improved site traffic, better flow of information, heightened awareness, and increased business.