Website analytics: it can be a bit of a scary subject for online service providers. Getting into it feels like old-fashioned maths classes at school. Everything’s just so complicated and technical. And the people who teach it seem kind of scary.
Unfortunately, simply avoiding website analytics isn’t a good idea. Doing so could result in wasted money, missed opportunities and a lack of clients arriving via your sales pipelines.
If you’re confused by website analytics, don’t worry; this post is here to help. We break down all the jargon and explain what it means in simple terms.
What is web analytics?
Web analytics are just reports based on data users generate when they visit your website. For instance, statistics might show you how many visitors you got in a 24-hour period, or how long users remained on your site after arriving via search.
You don’t have to collect the data for analysis yourself. Software, such as Google Analytics or Fathom Analytics, does it all for you automatically. All you have to do is interact with these programmes to get reports on the information that’s useful for you.
Most online service providers start by tracking a few helpful metrics and then build up from there. Over time, you can gain an understanding of the value of each statistic, its limitations, and how you should use it. Eventually, you can track your marketing more comprehensively and see how it is performing in real time, like a pro.
Why web analytics matter
Because the number of ways you can market your company online is infinite, firms need tools to help them narrow down their choices. After all, they have limited budgets. They can’t afford to spend money on everything.
That’s how web analytics lets you shape your strategy. You can glean valuable information, such as how many users access your site on mobile, to determine your optimal campaign.
Which metrics matter most for website analytics?
There are potentially dozens of website-related metrics you can track. However, you can get a lot of insight just by starting with a fairly small list.
The following are some examples of metrics that are well worth following if you are a newbie:
- Bounce rate: The bounce rate is the percentage of people arriving at your site who immediately click back to search. If this rate is high, it is an indicator that you’re not providing users with the value they expected
- New visitors: The new visitor metric tells you how many users have unique IP addresses, and how many have been to you before. This statistic is helpful for figuring out whether your marketing campaign is attracting new customers or returning clients.
- Pageviews: Pageviews captures the number of times users viewed pages on your site. It is the total of all independent page views and users. For instance, if a user clicked a page, then refreshed their browser, that would count as two page views.
- Unique pageviews: The unique pageviews metric shows you how many times users viewed a page in a single session. Unlike pageviews, the statistic doesn’t count when users refresh their browsers or click back to a page multiple times, giving you a better picture of the real interest in your site.
- Sessions: Marketing pros call groups of interactions “sessions.” For instance, a session might include arriving on your site, clicking your sales pages, or interacting with a contact form. Most tools, including Google Analytics, consider a session to be a 30-minute period, starting from the time of the first click on your site.
- Returning visitors: Returning visitors show you how many people are coming back to your site after the first visit. Improvements in this score could indicate that your marketing is good at holding onto customers and generating loyalty.
- Traffic sources: Lastly, you might want to track your traffic sources. This metric shows you where your visitors are coming from and, therefore, can be helpful for assessing the effectiveness of your sales channels. For instance, if more people are coming from organic search, it could mean that your SEO is paying off. Likewise, if they are coming from paid social, then it could mean that your social media ads are working.
In summary, website analytics tools show you how your website is performing. Metrics help you keep your marketing on track while avoiding strategies that don’t help your business. Need some help? Contact us about our Website Care plans that include monthly website analytics.