Your website is likely being monitored by at least one analytics service; you can easily sign yourself up for Google Analytics, and then never have to worry about it again. For the sake of argument, we’re going to assume that you do use Google Analytics.
Regardless of what you’re using, analytics in general tell you different things about your visitors, and about your website’s performance over time. Things like where people come from, what they do on your site, and when they leave can all provide invaluable insight into the minds of your visitors, and as you know (from our recent blog post), visitors are often potential customers who only need a little encouragement to convert!
Analytics can help you track your long-term stats
Your website’s analytics can reveal insight into what’s happening on your site right now in real-time, look into your site’s performance over the past year, or any time in between. Depending on how long your website has been online, a vast range of performance data is available to you. You can use the general overview page of Google Analytics to get an idea of your site’s growth over time – if your numbers keep steadily climbing, you’re doing something right!
Learn what your visitors do once they arrive
With most analytics services, your site tracks visitor behavior in terms of page views and total number of visitors, both “unique” and returning. You’ll see how many “Entrances” you have, or how many people landed on a given page of your site. You’ll also find out how many people left, which is known as an “Exit %” or “Bounce Rate” – the only difference between those two is the circumstances under which a visitor leaves, so for right now don’t stress too much about separating them, they’re often very similar stats.
The truth is, most people will come to your website, either find the information they’re looking for or come up empty-handed, and leave again, never to return. It’s just the way things work on the web. What you can do is take the information your analytics give you and tailor your content to your visitors, providing them with additional value so that they have a reason to stay on your site longer, and perhaps return at some future time.
Find out where your visitors are from
Analytics can also show you where your visitors are coming from. You can find out which countries are your best sources of traffic, as well as which websites and search engines are sending you the greatest number of people. If you find out that 90% of your user-base is Australian and they’re finding you through Google and Bing, you know where to place your ads and whom to target. This can save you a lot of money in advertising costs over time!
See your site through your visitors’ eyes
Do you know which web browser is used to view your site most often? Your analytics can tell you if more people are viewing your website using Internet Explorer on a desktop computer, or Chrome on a smartphone. This data is very valuable, because it can help you focus your design efforts towards the majority of your potential customers. Regardless, you should still consider a mobile-friendly website as the number of users on the mobile web continues to skyrocket each year.
Find the key in your keywords
An analytics service can also tell you a little more about which keywords your visitors were looking for when they came to your website. This is especially useful when a visitor finds you via their favorite search engine – now you can tailor your content to include this keyword and hopefully keep bringing in visitors with similar searches. You can also find out which links your visitors clicked on to get to your website, which can tell you more about the websites they came from, and which keywords those pages are optimized for, so you can optimize for them too if they’re relevant to your business.
Now it’s your turn!
Take 20 minutes and log into your analytics account to find out more about your visitors, where they come from and how they found you. Then put together an action plan of how you can harness that data and improve your content to attract other visitors.
Web analytics can seem very complex, and they can be a bit daunting to make sense of, but they’re well worth the trouble!
We would be honored to help you make sense of the analytics data you have, and tell you what you can do to enhance your website and craft your content in such a way as to bring in more traffic and convert more visitors to customers than ever before!