To many people, installing web analytics for their site seems to be an ego issue – they want to know how much traffic they have so they can brag about it to everyone they see on the street. To a web marketer, however, being able to understand the data from these web analytics packages and using them to make marketing decisions is a must.
If you want to learn to use your analytics data for marketing, here are some snippets of information worth gathering and some questions worth asking yourself, when you view your web analytics reports.
1. Keywords – What are the keywords that lead people to your site? Which ones of these keywords are converting into inquiries or sales? How are these keywords already ranking on the search engines this month? How can you get these keywords to rank better?
2. Bounce Rates – What is the bounce rate for your website? Benchmarks these rates with similar sites in your industry. How are you doing? How do you improve your bounce rate?
3. Time on Site – What is the average visitor time on site for your website? Is this reasonable, considering the type of content on your site? If not, how can you engage the visitor better so they spend more time on your site, or how can you help your visitor perform their transaction faster, so they spend less time on your site?
4. Geographical Traffic Sources – Are you getting to the countries that you want to target? If not, what factors can you change in your website configuration (hosting, domain, content, marketing) to make sure you be more prominent in the search engines for that country?
5. Top Content Pages – Which are the pages that are most viewed on your site? Look at the top 10 pages – what do they have in common, and how can you create more pages that are similar to the top 10?
6. Screen Resolutions and Web Browsers – What are the screen resolutions used by your visitors? Is the current design of your website catering well to these visitors, or do they have to scroll horizontally in order to view all your content? Are your visitors coming to your site through a mobile phone browser? If so, are you catering to that segment of visitors by offering a mobile version of your site?
When you have your analytics tracking code installed correctly to track events and virtual pageviews – that is where the fun comes because you can not only track which pages of your site gets visited and for how long, but also what your visitors do on each page (to a certain extent).
Remember, the inferences you draw from your analytics data and the decisions you make can make or break your site. Take time to answer these questions as you look at your analytics reports.