Web Analytics: What They Are and How to Use Them to Improve Your Business
Digital Marketing Consultant
Have you ever ventured into the web analytics pages on Facebook, Twitter, or your personal website and walked away confused? The data we collect is only as good as our interpretations of it. If you’ve ever found yourself asking “what are web analytics?” This guide will help you
Did you know the web analytics market is projected to grow to $3.09 billion in 2019? That’s a compound annual growth rate of 18.3%. The question to ask yourself is why?
What is web analytics, and why are big names like Google and Microsoft investing tens of millions of dollars into this market? Let’s answer the why first: MONEY.
That’s it, pure and simple. Marketers have a need. Web analytics fill that need. Companies build web analytics tools and monetize them.
Fortunately, that doesn’t necessarily translate to a user fee. Some tools, like Google Analytics, are free. Google creates a wide variety of tools to increase brand awareness and support their advertising services.
Next, we’ll jump into the what of the matter. Then we’ll discuss specific metrics worth scrutinizing with your web tools. Read on.
What is Web Analytics?
Expert marketers take time to review the results of their campaign efforts. Yes, they want to make sure they’re hitting their projected outcomes, but there’s more to it than that. They analyze their results, so they can figure out what’s working and decide how to make it better.
They need reliable data from which to build their analysis. That’s where web analytics come in.
Web analytics tools (like Bing Analytics, Kissmetrics, and Crazyegg) analyze data from your website. Data includes things like clicks, page views, dwell times, traffic origins, and heat maps. You can also run the same analysis on competitors’ websites.
You then use that data to improve your customers’ online experiences. That may entail moving something on your website for easier access. It might mean choosing a different topic for your blogs.
Those changes should also move your customers closer to your desired goal. That depends primarily on where the said client falls into your sales funnel. Your goal may be to increase brand awareness, sign up for your email list, or read your blog post.
Web analytics give your accurate, real-time data that you can use to improve your digital presence. Those adjustments lead to improved customer experience and more sales. That’s the sum of it.
Track Visitor Origins
If you know where your traffic comes from, you can widen that pipeline.
Imagine for a moment that you discover most visitors find your website through a link in your LinkedIn profile. You can redirect your marketing efforts to improve your LinkedIn profile, posts, and ad campaign. You’ll improve your leads from a guaranteed source.
As you study your visitors’ origins, you’ll see patterns. Focus on the demographics. They’ll help you narrow your target audience and open your campaign to new, similar audiences.
You’ll also learn who isn’t visiting your website. If you’re paying $10,000 a month for Facebook ads but receiving a 0.01% click-through-rate, something’s wrong. You can use data analytics to find the problem and fix it.
Know Your Audience
As any expert marketer will tell you, understanding your audience is paramount. The more you know about their habits and demographics, the easier it is to focus your campaigns. The more you understand their struggles, the simpler it is to speak their language and solve their problems.
Before you build your product or service, perform a deep dive. Find out where your target market hangs out in the digital world. Look for videos, blog posts, and forums. Watch and read everything they post.
Learn what makes them tick.
Optimize Landing Pages
Most marketing campaigns direct customers to a landing page. It’s usually during the final step in their sales funnel. These pages always compel visitors into action.
Sometimes that action is to make a phone call to your representative. Other times it’s to buy your digital artwork. The goal always includes them taking action that leads to a conversion.
All the effort you put into nurturing your leads depends on this final sales device. It’s not uncommon to see conversion rate improvements of 100% just by tweaking this page.
Web analytics will give you the information you need to optimize your copy and your layout. We caution you to adjust only one detail at a time, and only change it in small increments.
Track Bounce Rates
Bounce Rates indicate problem pages. If your bounce rate is high on a given page, something needs adjustment. It may be your copy, pics, format, text color, or something elsewhere, like your advertisement.
If you find a page with a high bounce rate, uncover the root problem by thinking strategically. First, read any comments on the page. Next, use your SEO and web analytics tools (like this free website audit tool). They typically give you advice on how to fix your problem.
If nothing obvious sticks out, you can begin tweaking details on the page itself. Use the same strategy we used on your landing pages.
Analytics tools give you feedback on any number of criteria. We always recommend to beginners that you try out a handful of free tools. Nowadays, they each come with their own set of bells and whistles.
One tool may track visitors’ navigation on your website and give you that information in the form of a heat map. Another may track the same action but show you the results in the form of a pie chart. Still, another might track something else entirely, like the most popular time of day for your competitor to add a blog post.
Use your analytics tools to hunt-down trends. Study them. Remember, negative trends are just as helpful as positive trends.
After you study the data for a month, you’ll begin to see patterns. They’ll point out which types of data are most constructive for your marketing strategy. Every business is different, so it’s impossible to guess what feedback will help you most.
You just have to jump in, try a wide variety of tools, and see what works best for your situation.
Have we convinced you of the importance of web analytics tools? If you said “no,” you’d better head back for a second read. We don’t want you wandering around wondering, what are web analytics, anyway?
If you’re confused, or you’d simply like to talk to a real person about marketing strategy, then do something about it. Take five minutes to contact an expert now.