Suffice to say that analytics play a pivotal role in the world of digital marketing. Data helps tremendously when developing your content strategy, social media campaigns, making changes to your website, and essentially all other aspects of your digital marketing strategy.
But understanding analytics can be a challenge if you aren’t familiar with which you should be keeping an eye on. As your friendly digital marketing consultant, I’d like to share with you some basics about web analytics. By better understanding web analytics, you can make valuable improvements to your website – which should ultimately improve your sales and your business.
What Are Analytics
Analytics is the system by which you collect and analyze data. This information is collected from your website, as well as through other channels like your social media profiles and includes information involving site visitor activity, SEO performance, and other key areas.
Generally, data is collected everytime a user visits your website or social media profile(s), tracking them from when they first enter until they leave. This individual data is recorded into a larger databank where you can begin to see bigger trends, like which website pages are attracting the most visitors and which pages have the highest bounce rate.
Ultimately, the more you know about your site visitors and customers, the easier it is to figure out how to draw them in and get them to spend more.
Key Analytics to Monitor
The truth is that there is a ton of information that you can draw from your analytics but the secret is to set goals beforehand and use the data to measure how far or close you are to reaching them. It’s important to recognize that your digital marketing campaign doesn’t always have to be about conversions and sales, you can also focus on:
- Building strong customer relationships by providing meaningful information.
- Building your company up as an expert in your industry.
- Building up and promoting higher value services.
- Attracting a newer, more lucrative client demographic.
In terms of basic data metrics, you should be keeping an eye on, you’ll want to take note of the following key analytics:
- Visits – This is the number of visitors that come to your site within a given time frame (which you can dictate). The same visitor can be counted as multiple visits. For example, 1 visitor coming to your site 10 times within a month will count as 10 visits.
- Unique Visitors – This data focuses on the number of unique individuals that visit your site within a given time frame. Visitors are only counted once, regardless of how many times they visit your site.
- Page Views – This metric measures the website pages that are viewed by visitors. You can determine the average page view per visitor using this “formula” (Page views ÷ Visits = Page views per visit).
- Time-on-Site – This is the average amount of time that users stay on your site during a visit.
- Bounce Rate – The bounce rate is the measurement of how quickly a website visitor enters and leaves your site. The lower the bounce rate, the better.
- Top Pages – Knowing which pages are receiving the most love can prove to be vital as it helps to show you what your audience responds to and prefers. You can use this info to make adjustments to the rest of your content.
- Conversion Rate – Your conversion rate is essentially the goal that you have set for your visitors. You can calculate this number by dividing the number of unique visitors you get and the number of those that “convert”, which can include:
- Making a purchase
- Submitting an email to join your mailing list
- Sharing on social media
- Liking your page
Common Traffic Sources
A key component to effectively understanding your website traffic is knowing where your traffic is coming from. By effectively knowing where your visitors are coming from, you can spend more resources on these components. For instance, are your site visitors finding you on Google? Then you’ll want to place emphasis on your SEO strategy to ensure they are able to find you organically via this (and other) search engine.
In terms of traffic sources, the most common ones are:
- Organic – Traffic that comes via search engines.
- Direct – Traffic that comes from someone typing in your URL in their address bar or through a bookmark.
- Referral – Traffic that comes from another website to yours.
- Paid Search – Traffic that comes from search engines that have a search ad of your business.
- Social – Website traffic that comes from social media networks (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
Again, knowing where your traffic is coming from can help you to improve your overall marketing strategy. A qualified digital marketing consultant can help to break down the numbers and conversion rate by traffic source to uncover which works best for you and how you can continue to optimize this source.
Improving Your Conversion Rate
Alongside using this data to make meaningful adjustments to your overall digital marketing strategy, make sure to also:
- Include plenty of calls-to-action throughout your website and make sure they are in areas where they can be easily found.
- Make the checkout process as seamless and quick as possible. A convoluted checkout process can lead to plenty of abandoned carts.
- Headlines and sliders should grab visitors’ attention and include CTAs.
- Experiment with A/B testing on ads and landing pages to see what type of copy and images customers prefer.
Keep in mind that web analytics are not the end all of your digital marketing plans, but should, nonetheless, play an important role in your overall strategy. Use these data points as the tools that they are and make 2019 a record year.