Are You Harnessing The Power Of Web Analytics To Improve Your Online Business?
Two of the first questions that I will always ask when I meet a client for the first time
- Do you have Web Analytics on your site?
- Are you using the Web Analytics data in your decision making?
I continue to be amazed when people answer no to both of these, or answer yes to the first and then go searching through e-mails to find that latest report in answer to the second. For a business who is serious about the internet – not using Web Analytics is like not looking at your Profit and Loss accounts on a regular basis. You are flying blind and will make poor decisions.
When the expression ‘web analytics’ is mentioned, the majority of us would associate it with the free tracking toolGoogle Analtytics which businesses, and internet marketers in general, use to see how many visitors their sites are attracting. The fact is that most websites include good analytics. The problem is that many of us fail to realise the richness of information that Google Analytics and other good website analytics tools can bring.
Web Analytics – Not just measuring “hits”
Web Analytics tools aren’t purely for detecting how much traffic or ‘hits’ your site has gotten over a period of days, weeks or months and anyone who uses them purely in this vein is definitely missing out on a significant opportunity.
With clear goals set out for your website and for your marketing activities, Web Analytics can be used to provide a wealth of information about performance – helping you to make investment and other business decisions going forward.
With this in mind, here are just some other ways that you can utilise Web Analytics tools to help you with your offline and online marketing performance.
Measuring the overall effectiveness of offline as well as online advertising
Traffic source information is one of the most powerful tools in Web Analytics. You’re spending time and money on marketing – but what is working and what is not? This is not only relevant to online marketing, but if planned properly can also provide you with great insights to your offline marketing performance.
You may well have recently spent a good part of your marketing budget on having a well crafted, glossy brochure drafted up and printed, but do you know how many brochure recipients are actually clicking through to your site? Why not place a link in your brochure/flyer leading to a custom landing page (enticing people to click through to your main website) which registers in Google Analytics exactly how many people are taking this action. This will give you a good indication of just how effective your offline marketing efforts are and will also allow you to compare the performance across different campaigns.
For online marketing efforts – if you are paying to be included in directories or association listings – which ones are bring in traffic and which ones are not? Of the ones that are bringing in traffic – which are converting?
Website Navigation and Sales Funnel Analysis
Most Web Analytic tools including Google Analytics have a navigation and “sales funnel” analysis capability. These provide detailed information on where site visitors arrived, what pages they viewed and more importantly at what page potential customers are exiting your site. It is here that you can start to tweak and test these pages in order to improve the retention and conversion rates of your site.
Regional specifics within Web Analytics
Most analytic tools including Google Analytics have a breakdown of the visitors that have clicked through by country, region or area. This is good to know if you are looking to target a specific region of people and want to know whether it has paid off and if they are showing interest. Furthermore if you are a local business, it will tell you whether the visitors your are getting to your site are really relevant to your business!
These are just some of the ways in which Web Analytics can be used but there is a lot more information that someone could extract from them. Used correctly they are a powerful tool that will directly help any online marketing plan. However many companies simply aren’t using them as effectively as they should and to the untrained eye analytics data can seem somewhat confusing. For this reason it is advisable that companies either have someone inhouse trained in Web Analytics data or alternatively get some help in this area.
Website Analytics tools are powerful pieces of kit but the question remains…are you using them to their full potential?
If you need more information on how these tools work, then contact WSI to discuss exactly how you can get more from your Web Analytics package.