Web analytics, where to start?

Analytics software like Google Analytics can seem like it provides too much information so where to start when trying to understand what all that data means?

Analytics software allows you to know how well your website is going. Firstly it is important to know what is success for your organisation, also what are you trying to achieve with your website? Only then can you decide how to measure your website's success.

To get you started, I have listed a series of questions you might want to ask yourself. You can use these questions as a rough guide when digging through all of your analytical data.

What is your business trying to achieve with having a website?

Is it to attract more customers?

Knowing the quality of the visitors coming to your website is very important. Lots of visitors does not always mean your website is successful. If your goal is to find more customers, attracting 10 leads to your website is better than attracting 100 random people if they will never be interested in your product / service.

Maybe it is to sell products online?

This is a clear goal that is easy to track, also try to think deeper into why people want to buy products using your website and how can you make your website visitors experience better so they are more likely to return.

Educating your customers and building trust might be your main goal?

This can be measured through getting physical feedback from your customers. Adding and monitoring comments on blog articles is a good start.

How valuable is each page on your website?

Knowing what pages are good at helping you achieve your goals is fundamental. It is also important to know what makes a web page successful and what makes a web page unsuccessful.

Which pages are more popular?

Please note that quality is just as important as quantity.

How valuable is a visitor?

Putting a price on each website visitor is a great idea to give your visitors value. But consider which visitors are more valuable. For example visitors coming from google could be more valuable than visitors coming from other search engines, or visitors at night might be more valuable than visitors during the day. Profiling your target market and knowing how they respond to your website can be very helpful for focusing your efforts in the right direction.

Which website visitors are valuable and which are not?

Try to split your visitors up to find correlations on which types of visitors are achieving your goals more often than others, then try to find out why. For example if mobile users are more likely to buy products from your website, then improving the usability of your website for those users could be a good idea.

How can you tell which website visitors are part of your target market?

Analytics software can give you clues, reading into analytics is an art and not a science, but the better you are at interpreting analytics the stronger your strategies can become.

Where are most of your ideal visitors coming from?

Are they coming from google? Or maybe they are referrals from another website. Finding out this will help you decide how much money, effort and time is worth spending in any direction.

This article has only scratched the surface of website analytics. Fortunately thanks to google, enterprise quality analytics software is now completely free. I have included a video below explaining the basics of google analytics and if you want to install Google's analytics software go to www.google.com/analytics to get started.

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