What Web Analytics Can Do For You

May 26, 2015 by

Web analytics is more than squeezing out insights from your clickstream data. It is the screenplay of your Internet movie. It is the plot of your online novel. It is the melody of your online symphony.
Web analytics answers the what, who, why, and where of your Internet presence. It tells the story of your site, and the visitors who land on your site. It answers the questions of what they are looking for, why they are visiting, and where the came from.

Analyzing Your Clickstream

The clickstream tells the story of your search engine strategy. Are your keywords attracting the audience they were intended to reach? Are the landing pages that visitors reach providing the content searched for? Is the bounce rate for the landing page the result of poorly placed keywords, or does it represent a visitor who did not have the time to view the content but bookmarked the page for future viewing.
After landing on your site, did the visitor explore and enjoy the experience? Did they view more than the one page? Did they find the information they sought and moved around for a while?
More importantly, does your site provide a truly inspired user experience? For most website developers, the architecture is the point of emphasis. For the copywriter, the content presented is important. For the marketer, the number of sales completed is the focus. For the visitor, the quality of their experience while on your site is central.
Web analytics is the Rosetta stone for unlocking the key to a successful website. Be it an ecommerce site, an information site, a blog, or a news aggregation site, understanding the behavior of the visitors who reach your site can be divined from the clickstream data compiled with your analytics platform. That behavior reflects the quality of your site.

Key Performance Indicators for a Fast Start

Using carefully selected data can create a picture that tells the story of your website’s performance. The key is in choosing the right measurements that provide the insight for optimizing your site. That is where your analytics specialist comes in. He should be able to create specialized reports based on the relevant data.If you do not have an analytics specialist, you can learn to run the application yourself.

Nine Key Measurements:

1. Total Visitors. This measurement tells you if your website is showing up on search engine results pages.
2. Unique visitors. This measurement shows the number of visitors who found your site and did not come back. This metric shows one of two things, the visitor landed on your site by accident, or the keywords she used did not accurately reflect the content on your site.
3. Return visitors. Tells you how many visitors returned after an initial visit.
4. Bounce Rate. This measurement tells you how many visitors landed on your site and left immediately. This could be seen as a negative measurement, but if that same visitor shows up in measurement number 2, then it can be a way to target visitors who may have initially landed on your site, saw some value, but had no time to explore and bookmarked the page for future viewing.
5. Entry page. This metric tells you what page the visitor entered your site on. It is a way of testing your PPC ads, and keyword strategies.
6. Source of traffic. This metric tells you where your visitors are coming from. This report can help with your keyword strategy and PPC placement.
7. Time on site. This tells you how valuable and relevant your content is. If a visitor is spending quality time with your content your on the way toward having a productive site.
8. Number of pages viewed before conversion. This metric shows how your content is convincing the visitor of the value of your offer.
9. Conversion rate. This is the most important metric. Without conversions there is no revenue.

Embrace the Data

By focusing on these key performance indicators, your web analytics platform can be a very profitable tool. The key is to simplify the number of reports. Once you have gotten a feel for the program, you can begin to refine your analysis. Web analytics can be overwhelming to anyone who has no experience with the platform. Taking baby steps can turn a novice into an expert. And there is plenty of free information available for you to learn from. So, instead of wondering why your website performance is poor, set up an analytics program, and take the guess work out of managing your online business.

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