If you are a business selling online, there are large benefits to understanding your customer and how they operate on your site. Collecting data that analyses your customers’ behaviour as they enter, navigate through and exit your site is essential to thrive.
There are plenty of tools that can help with this, Google Analytics being among the most widely used. Regardless of the web analytics tool you opt for, the data should help guide refinement and your site’s evolution.
Here are 6 ways to use web analytics to develop your website and business:
1) Measure web traffic
Basic analytics tools should be able to tell you core information such as the number of visitors to your site and where they have come from. Web traffic is important to help you understand behaviour and how people are finding you, or what they are looking for on your site.
Did they click through to your site from a search engine? Or social media? Or by typing in your web address directly? What terms did they search for when looking for your site? What terms did they search for on your site?
2) Visitors count
Seeing your visitor count can help you define what is working and what is not. Did you notice that your visitor count shot up after running a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ad on social media? Did it not shoot up after running a PPC ad on social media? Do certain months have higher visitor counts, or certain times of the day? Do more people visit your site on mobile or desktop?
All of these questions can help you really drive down solid facts that will help you play to strengths and take another look at weaknesses.
3) Bounce rate
A bounce rate is a percentage of the number of people who enter your site and then leave without looking at other pages. It should not be confused with exit pages (below).
It may seem negative but you should always consider the why behind someone “bouncing” on a certain page. Perhaps they went onto a page to find out key information, found that information and then left straight after.
4) Target market
A good analytics tool should give you insight into the demographics of people exploring your site: male or female, age range, interest and hobbies, predicted income, location, predicted size of family, and so on.
Understanding this will allow you to adapt your website to appeal to your demographic. Not only this but it will give you invaluable insight into whether or not you are reaching the audience you want to.
5) Goals and conversions
Goals and conversions are perhaps the most important part of your analytics; the metric that measures how much you are selling! Setting goals is a great way to directly see how much of a certain thing is being achieved: how much of your product is sold, how many contact forms have been filled out, how many people signing up for your newsletter.
Setting up clear conversion goals is the best way to gain insights around your ROI.
6) Exit pages
Exit pages are the pages that a visitor leaves your site. This is after your site has been explored.
Seeing where people exit your site should help highlight if they are getting to where you want them to go or leaving your site too early in the customer journey, before they have gone to checkout for example.
Getting the right analytics on your site will give you invaluable information. There is an incredible amount of data you can glean from good web data tools, with a little practice, and this data will really help you adapt to your customer wants and needs.