This may sound cliche, but a good one to repeat again. Any business will not progress without understanding its customer requirements. Web analytic is one powerful opportunity to understand the customers and thus improve the business.
Typical questions that businesses have about customers:
- Who are your customers?
- Who is coming to your site?
- From where they are getting here?
- How many of them are purchasing services or products?
If you don’t use web analytics to track the behavior of traffic to and on your site, then you won’t know the answer to any of these questions! If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then you won’t know if you need to change your advertising sources, upgrade your products or services, or rearrange the content and pages on your site. In order to know what is effective and what isn’t, you have to analyze your traffic.
How do you analyze web traffic?
The best way is through tracking software. We are listing some of the leading web analytic tools as of 2015:
- Google Analytics
- Clicky from GetClicky.com
- Mint from HaveAMint.com
- Church Analytics
- Open Web Analytics
There are some key metrics which help to understand performance of a website and the way forward. These are some of the common KPI's that most of the web analytic tool can provide. Below we will briefly look at each of them.
Website bounce rate
Tracking software will let you know some key information about your traffic. One of these is ‘bounce,’ that is, when a visitor comes to one page on your site and doesn’t explore further before leaving. If most of your visitors bounce right off your site, it doesn’t matter if you get 10,000 visitors a day. What you need is targeted traffic, visitors who land on your site and stay there, exploring what you have to offer.
You may find that your bounce rate on one page of your site is extremely high, while other pages exhibit a lower rank. Now, not only do you know that this is happening, but you know exactly where it’s happening and you can fix that page so that it entices people to stay.
Top pages and landing pages
It’s important to know what pages your visitors think are the most important on your site. By viewing your top pages report, you know which pages to focus on as you look to improve your site and which pages will have the most impact if you make changes.
Origin of visitors
The next thing that your web analytic software can do for you is check out where your visitors are coming from. How many typed in your address directly? How many came through a link on a search engine? How many linked to you through another site? You may be paying for advertising on a site that is creating any traffic for you. Now you know and you can cancel that advertising subscription and save yourself some money. You may see that you are getting a high amount of traffic from another site. Perhaps you will choose to target similar sites for link backs in hopes of getting the same results.
Where do your visitors go once they get to your site? Are they landing on the pages you want them to? Are they filling out your forms or purchasing your inventory? How many are returning and how many come just once? It is with this information that you will be able to use web analytics to further figure out what it is that your site needs in order to convert visitors into buyers.
This is called a conversion rate, the percentage of visitors to your site who make a purchase or subscribe, and it is critical in building a successful website for your business. In fact, it is the entire point of web analytics and the reason for carefully and accurately tracking your visitor’s activities: to raise your conversion rate as much as possible.
Improving your conversion rate starts with tracking and web analytics. Without the accurate information, you cannot analyze the activities of your visitors. When you analyze the activities of your visitors and compare the results to what you would like to see happen on your site, page by page, then you can make changes to achieve those goals. After you make changes, check your numbers and use web analytics again to figure out what needs to be changed next. In this way, you can stop wasting your time and money on advertising and SEO techniques that aren’t drawing or maintaining traffic and stick to what works, pulling targeted traffic and turning customers into repeat customers.