Web analytics entails measuring, collecting as well as analysing web data. Through the process of analysing this information you will be better able to comprehend how effective your website is. With this information you will be able to optimise your website for improved usage.
Before starting to use any new tools, such as Google Analytics, it is important to understand the value and outcomes of the specific benefits offered by web analytics.
Monitor your visitors and users
Web analytics can provide key metrics and statistics such as visits, unique visits, bounce rates, top content, top keywords, referrer sites and traffic source.
Optimise your website
Once you have identified trends in user behaviour, you will have sufficient information to take actions like changing the content on top landing pages, changing or adding to the site’s navigation structure, adding additional calls to action on the home page or restricting URLs.
Formulate a sales and digital marketing plan
After analysing the web data, key insights can be drawn from reports which can have a direct effect on digital marketing plans. For example, online customer trends may help marketers to leverage a specific product or target a certain geographical location merely by analysing data to see the top traffic sources.
PPC campaigns may change keyword bids or email campaigns may highlight different products due to seasonal consumer trends. Even the frequency and time of day can affect the success of a digital marketing campaign.
Measure the profit contribution from online marketing initiatives
All businesses that have an online presence should use web analytics to calculate their Internet marketing profit contributions. Using tools such as Google Analytics also enables you to create goals with specific values. Completing these goals helps to monitor goal conversion rates and allows for effective site optimisation.
Predict future trends
Over time you will start to see trends in online behaviour. When traffic to your site is high you will be able to see which pages are more popular, what causes an increase in traffic and where the majority of visitors come from. These trends help to predict future behaviour making it easier to plan and execute future digital marketing campaigns based on past experience.
Keep track of the competition
It is critical to analyse and follow your competition:
- How much traffic do they get?
- Where does the traffic come from and where is it going?
- Is it possible to intercept this traffic and guide online users to your site instead?
For example, perform a search for terms that relate to your website. Take note which competitors appear on the first page of search results and in sponsored links. Visit each competitor’s website and view their source code. Here, you will be able to see their metadata:
This is just one small example of how you can study your competitors’ SEO and online marketing techniques.
Searching for key terms and comparing your own website ranking in relation to your competitors is always a useful exercise as it affects how often your brand is seen and is a good benchmark to compare your own company against your competitors.