Surprisingly some companies still do not use Web Analytics to improve their website’s performance.
The old saying in business that “If you can’t measure it – you can’t manage it” should really be changed when talking about the Internet. It should now read “If you don’t measure, you can’t manage it”. The question of being able to measure it is really no longer an issue.
Practically everything that happens online is measureable with Web Analytics. You can of course tell how many people are coming to your website, but there is a huge amount of additional information readily available, for example
- Where visitors came from – is your traffic local, national or coming from oversees? If you’re selling Pizza in Cork – there’s not a lot of value is having hundreds of website visitors from the US!
- How are visitors getting to your site – this is hugely important if you are spending money on marketing. This can tell you what is working and what is not. Which campaigns or activities are giving the best return on investment?
- What keywords are bringing visitors – this will tell you what people are searching for when they find your site. 80% of internet activity starts in Google or one of the other search engines. Are you being found for the right phrases? Is your SEO or Search Engine Optimisation giving results?
- What pages are being viewed in your site – what are your site visitors interested in? Does this match what you think they would want to see? If not maybe you are missing an opportunity or pushing the wrong product or service.
- Exit pages – at what point are users leaving the site. Is this where you would expect them to leave – or is something turning them off.
The list goes on.
All of this information can be available free of charge. Google Analytics is a free tool that can be (in my opinion should be) included in every website. Without this or something like it you have absolutely no visibility on what is going on. Of course installing this on the site is only the first step – you also have to invest the time and effort in understanding the information that web analytics is giving you and reviewing this on a regular basis. It is part of running any business today – just like reviewing your accounts or checking your stock.
So what are the key steps to take?
- Whether you are starting with a new website or already have one in place – make sure that Google Analytics is installed. (If someone is building a site for you and is not planning to install analytics – you should go elsewhere)
- Make sure that you have the login details and information to be able to access the reports – they’re very user friendly – but like everything else you need to give it a little time.
- Clearly define what measurements are important to your business. A mistake that many people make is that there is so much information available, that they don’t focus on the important points.
- Establish a process/discipline to review performance and trends on a regular basis (at least once a month) and take action on what you find. At the next review measure the impact of that action.
In many cases the effective use of web analytics can be the difference between success and failure of your website.
Contact us today for more information on web analytics setup or monitoring.