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Understanding the Importance of Web Analytics for Your Website

Resourcely-Marketing-importance-of-analyticsHave you ever wondered how many people actually read that blog you spent hours and hours writing?

Do you want to know how people get to your website, how long do they spend on each page, or why they left your blog?

Web analytics is how you do it!

The performance of a website must be measured no matter the industry or market. Understanding what your audience is looking for and then designing your content in way to be found by them is essential to your website success. By using web analytics and as your website visitors move from page to page, you can see patterns and get a little insight into their mind: what pages they liked or disliked, what content caught their interest, and what they were actually looking for.

The subject of web analytics is extensive. The goal of this blog is to get you thinking about their importance for your online presence and give you few ideas for improvements.

What Analytics Tools Can I Use?

There are many tools to choose from. When considering what analytics tools your website needs, it is important to consider the size of your business and to know what kind of insights you are looking for. For small businesses and startups, cost would be of great importance. Google Analytics, which is a free service, generates detailed statistics about your web traffic and could be the perfect choice for you. It is also one of the most simple and robust analytics tools out there. It takes few minutes to add a simple script to your website and you can start generating reports, which will help you find out where your visitors are coming from (social media, email marketing, etc.), what pages they visit, and how many are repeat visitors (among other website traffic data). The downside, if you are not working with a website specialist or a marketing professional, is that you have to figure it out on your own as they do not offer phone technical support. They do, however, have an extensive support pages, which you can read through and learn from.

For larger businesses, you may consider paid services or few analytics tools in combination. Products, such as HubSpot, provide not only web analytics reports, but also other marketing tools together in one place - email platform, blog platform, social media management platform, CRM, reports, and many others. Though costly, this platform is very easy to implement and the company offers great technical support over the phone and email, in case you need help.

What should I measure?

Performance measurement for your marketing program is also important - any business owner would want to know which marketing efforts worked and what did not, right? So, here are few simple and meaningful metrics to follow:

  • Unique visitors - the number of visitors that have never visited your website before the event of becoming a visitor (for a given date range).
  • Returning visitors - how many people return to your website for a given period of time.
  • Bounce rate - it shows how fast a visitor left a particular page.
  • Exit pages - it shows the page your website visitor left from.
  • Traffic Sources - it refers to where your traffic came from.

How Do I Use This Data?

  • Unique visits

If your traffic (number of unique visits) is increasing over the period of few weeks or months, that is normally a good sign. It means you are getting more and more new people coming to your website. If this metric is not increasing, however, you may need to evaluate your pages and figure out what to improve. There are many ways to do that - increase the amount of published content (make new blog posts, add new videos and pictures), optimize your content, create newsletters or email campaigns, and work on social media marketing.

  • Returning visitors

Returning visitors is a metric to watch out for as those are the people truly interested in your content and are more likely going to convert into customers. This increase in this metric shows that your content is engaging, user-friendly, and informative. Retaining those new visitors and designing a remarketing campaign can be highly effective if you do not see many repeat visitors. You can send those who provided their email address special deals or coupons via an interesting, well-designed email marketing campaigns and newsletters.

  • Exit pages

You worked hard to get your website up and running. Now you want to make people stay for a while or your marketing efforts could be wasted. Pay attention to what pages visitors are leaving from. It could mean that they are either not finding what they are looking for or they do not find the content interesting. Examine the top exit pages and their exit rate - high exit rate might be irrelevant if you have a lot more visitors as well. You could, however, be providing content that is not well-written or irrelevant causing your visitors to abandon your website altogether. If a specific exit page is linking to a partner company or a distributor's website, exiting your website from there could be totally fine (if that is the desired action).

  • Bounce rate

If, for example, your homepage bounce rate is a little under 50%, this would mean that at least half of the visitors to your homepage move on to additional posts or pages from your website. Your bounce rate also shows those visits that were not long enough to be considered full visits. This often happens when people click on links pointing to one of your web pages, then immediately realize this is not what they were looking for and leave. It could also happen if your content is not engaging - your visitors will likely "bounce off" and not return. High bounce rate indicates that visitors did not like your particular content or they did not find what they were looking for. High bounce rate could be caused by other problems as well - maybe your page is loading too slow or images or videos are not working. It's best to take a look at different devices and navigate through your website to check for errors and broken links.  If, however, you have any goals that only require people to visit one page on your website, then you may not have to worry about bounce rate too much.

  • Traffic Sources

The traffic sources section shows where your website visitors came from. It is a way of learning what advertising efforts are working and what are not. Those sources could be Organic Search, Direct Traffic, Referral Websites, Social Media or Email Marketing. If you are getting a lot of traffic from organic search, investing in search engine optimization (SEO) could improve your visits further. If social media, for example, brings very few visitors, but you are spending a lot of time posting on Facebook and Twitter, it might be the wrong marketing channel for you. In that case you might want to invest your time in a different type of marketing (video, blog, email, etc.) or consider improving on your social media marketing skills.

Almost every business today has a website, however, many seem to neglect the importance of web analytics as a powerful tool for improving your website content, which can result in more traffic (more visitors) and more conversions (customers). If you would like to find out how Resourcely Marketing can help you build a highly converting website, contact us today.

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