Getting the Most out of Web Analytics
Web analytics tools are advancing at an incredible rate, offering a steadily increasing variety of useful data to businesses with live sites. For this reason, gleaning some practical value from this sheer mass of statistics can appear overwhelming. Data for data’s sake is nice, but the true value of knowledge lies in its ability to help your company make informed decisions. So how can you transform this deluge of data into an effective plan of action? We’ve got a few tips to get you started:
Page Visits – Studying your site’s most visited pages can give you a better sense of what your average visitor is interested in. Identify the positive attributes of those pages and try to incorporate them into the rest of the site.
Pages Per Visit – As a general rule, the more pages your users are reading, the more engaged they are with your site. However, if the pages-per-visitor ratio is high while visit duration is low, then your visitors may be having trouble finding what they’re looking for, in which case you might want to rethink your site’s navigation.
Bounce Rate – A site or webpage’s bounce rate (or exit rate) represents the percentage of visitors who leave the site without proceeding to any other pages. While you would expect your contact page to have a high exit rate, high rates on other pages indicate opportunities for improvement in the presentation and content of your site. Try to engage visitors from the get-go.
Traffic Sources – Keeping track of how users arrive at your site can foster valuable insights into how you can maximize traffic for the least cost. Are there enough organic visits that you can cut back on paid advertising? How effective are your social media campaigns at referring new visitors to your site?
Organic Search Keywords – SEO is critical in attracting new visitors, so if your site isn’t ranking well in high-volume keywords, then it may be time to add those target words and phrases to your site’s visible copy and Meta tags. Periodically updating content, especially if you implement trending keywords, is another way to move up the search results page as Google prioritizes content freshness.
Mobile Users – What percentage of your site’s visitors are on mobile devices? Use this information to ascertain how much your company should invest in the quality of its mobile site and whether or not you should consider implementing responsive web design.
Conversions – Make sure to stay focused on your conversions; amassing site visits is pointless if those visitors aren’t engaging with your business. Take note of the most frequent conversion paths and create clearer calls-to-action wherever your site is losing potential customers.
Keep these tips in mind as you start to sift through that analytics report in the search for practical data. Do you have your own analytics suggestions? Leave them in the comments!