With the analytical tools available for websites, it’s no longer an issue of trying to collect data. Now, it’s more an issue of what data do you collect.
And, ultimately, what do you do with it?
Those aren’t easy questions to answer, because no “one size fits all” approach works for every website and e-commerce business. That’s why many companies turn to outside consultants such as Bayshore Solutions when solving challenges with website analytics and measurement. If you’re not ready for outside help, at a minimum, you should take advantage of Google Analytics. It’s free and can provide valuable information on your website’s performance.
Measurement and analysis of website analytics is a fluid process that never ends. The ability to change tactics and strategies quickly is one of the main advantages of data analytics – you know when something is or is not working.
It’s a continuous process. Information is certainly powerful, but the latest information is clearly the most powerful.
There are some basic website analytics to measure that typically prove important for all websites. They include the following areas.
Every site gets visitors. But that number could include one person visiting the site 25 times. That’s certainly important to know – there’s a loyal customer! But it doesn’t give a clear indication of how many different people are coming to the site every day, week and month. This provides a good measurement over time on whether you are attracting a larger audience through your digital marketing efforts.
This is known as the “where did they come from?” data. Advanced analytics programs offer the ability to see how visitors entered your site. Was it from a Google search? A post on Facebook or Twitter? Another site that provided an inbound link to your site? Knowing how visitors enter your site can help focus digital marketing and outreach efforts.
The other end of the line from referrals. This data shows what page a visitor was on when they left your site. This can be helpful in many ways, but obviously if one page consistently comes up as the “exit page,” then it warrants taking a look to see if content or navigation needs to be changed.
Usually this is the Top 10 pages, although you can set this to be the top 25 or even 50 if you like. This is important because it tells you at a glance what pages visitors are most frequently viewing and whether the navigational flow through the site is working as you had planned.
The bounce rate measures the rate at which people entered your site and then immediately left. The time on site per visitor number also give you information on this issue. It’s important because if the bounce rate is high, it means people are not seeing what they expect to see when they come to your site and, therefore, leave. You need to make sure your marketing funnel is consistent throughout the buyer journey.
The conversion rate is really a one stop, bottom line number. Whether you are trying to get visitors to make a purchase, fill out a form or offer their email address, a conversion is the ultimate goal. Conversion rates differ depending on the action you are seeking, the type of site you have built and how people are entering your site. While many factors contribute to the conversion rate, it’s a quick way to see how the site is performing overall.
These six metrics can help you determine how the site is performing, what needs changing in site navigation and whether you have the right content. Putting it all together can prove challenging, especially on a continuing basis. Hiring professionals to handle the task for your company is often the smart move.