The term “analytics” traces the procedure of gathering data and analyzing it to draw out any patterns or trends, looking at what that data tells us. It’s like transforming a list of numbers into practical information and action points. But what is exactly web analytics?
Table of contents
- Why Should Businesses Use Web Analytics Tools?
- Web Analytics Best Practices
- Final Thoughts about Web Analytics
While almost anyone with a website can see value from understanding their web analytics, they primarily help those utilizing their website to drive brand awareness and new business/revenue. The insight acquired from web analytics allows businesses to understand their online presence and gauge their current website success.
To any business, a website is essential; the online nucleus and lifeblood of marketing campaigns, pipeline success, and consumer retention. Knowing the finer workings of your business website is logical, so decisions can be made to boost the results you gain (be it conversions, downloads, or form fills). Web analytics deliver definitive and objective understanding, giving businesses the best chance to dominate their online market or at least see whether they’re spending on the right digital marketing services.
Many factors of web analytics are specific to your business: what metrics you track, how you build out reports, and what tools you use. But some best practices help anyone collect, analyze, and report website data more effectively. Let’s look at a few.
● Choose metrics that align with your business objectives
Concentrating on only one or two metrics won’t deliver enough insight into how visitors interact with your site, but tracking every metric may give too much information to be actionable.
To ensure you’re concentrating on the right metrics, start by plotting your business objectives. Think about what the top preferences are for your website. Do you desire to lower your site bounce rate? Are you looking to draw more new visitors or better retain existing ones?
Once you have one or more purposes in mind, come up with particular strategies you’ll implement to get these objectives, such as fixing broken links and images, modifying your site’s copy, or better optimizing for your mobile audience.
● Use data to drive decision-making
After gathering your data, determining whether or not you met your purposes is only the first step. The next and more important step is utilizing that data to test, experiment, and make changes on your site based on these web analytics.
● Don’t limit your focus to traffic
Understanding and reporting traffic data — including page views, top traffic sources, and most viewed pages — is essential. But it’s just one part of your website performance. High traffic doesn’t always mean success. If you’ve ever worked with a professional digital marketing agency, you should know that traffic is never the most important item on the report. Also remember, you can always drive more traffic to your blog, you must learn how to convert them.
● Always pair data with insights
If you report that your website got 1 million unique page views and 400,000 new visitors this month. Writing only the numbers delivers an incomplete picture of your website performance. For all we know, these numbers could suggest:
- A growth from last month.
- A drop from the previous month.
- A development from the last month but a significant year-over-year decline.
That’s why you need to pair your data with insights. Suppose you instead report that your website got 1 million unique pageviews, which exceeded last month’s unique pageviews by 20% and showed a significant increase yearly. In that case, the data is much more meaningful and actionable to you and your fellow stakeholders.
● Look at your data in the context
While gathering data and doing web analytics, think about it in context. What variables or larger forces could be affecting the numbers? For instance, algorithm updates, seasonality, and bots can majorly impact your traffic and other metrics.
Think of that a few pages on your site saw significant spikes in traffic. These posts weren’t updated recently, so look where this traffic came from. If the traffic largely came from one country where you usually don’t see much traffic, this was probably malicious bot traffic, which accounts for a quarter of all internet traffic.
Viewing your data in context can aid you in better understanding, analyzing, gaining insight, and making informed decisions with your data.
● Share and ask for feedback from stakeholders
As an analyst, you desire to provide information to stakeholders in an understandable and actionable way. You also like to ask for information and ideas from these stakeholders. They can offer valuable feedback on how they utilize the data, what else they intend to see or understand about their users or website, and how they think they can boost the user experience or other issues the data uncovers.
Final Thoughts about Web Analytics
Considering the mentioned facts, it’s straightforward to connect the dots – the term “web analytics” is this process, mainly applied to data drawn from a website. This data is extensive in its array but is often in metric form (numerical) and generally contains figures such as overall web traffic and page visits.