Imagine your best friend just opened a new store.
What's the first thing you're going to ask them when you stop by after work for a glass of wine?
“How many people showed up? What did you sell?
It's a natural question, given the amount of money your friend invested in building that business. Hopefully, they had a good day to be able to recoup some of that investment.
In fact, they may be able to use the response to get more business.
Maybe your foot traffic increased after running ads. Or they shared that visitors like to buy cold drinks in the afternoon. Because they've noticed these patterns, your friend continues to test ad campaigns and puts some extra soda in the fridge after lunch.
Just like your friend makes adjustments based on their experiences and data collected in their store, you can do the same with your company's website.
Almost every interaction between your website and visitors can be measured and tracked. These analytics can be a gold mine if you want to invest in promoting your website and improving the customer experience.
Wondering how to use website analytics to increase your business performance? We break it all down here.
Website analytics is the art and science of analyzing website data to understand and improve website traffic, user experience, and business results. You can use a variety of sources to collect this data.
This packet of data contains information about what the user viewed, how long they viewed it, and how fast the web server loaded it. The Google tag can also be configured to record specific events, such as clicking a link to another website or interacting with a photo carousel.
Google receives this constant stream of activity reports and compiles it into a useful dashboard for you to see. Multiple clicks from a single visitor are organized into one session. Since visitors may visit your site more than once, Google classifies these sessions into groups to identify unique visitors.
They reveal clues about where that visitor came from, what content they looked at, and what kind of technology they were using. Google Analytics organizes this information into a series of reports for you to explore.
In some cases, an analysis tool can integrate information from web scraping and other external sources into this analysis.
For example, Google Analytics can connect with Search Console, PageSpeed Insights and Google advertising data to enrich its understanding of the customer.
You can even compare your website's performance against similar websites in your industry. These tools give you a holistic view of your website's impact on the world.
The fun part of running a brand is that you get to create stories and tell them to the world.
He is also responsible for making sure those stories come true in the way of attracting customers and generating sales.
The same logic applies to getting back the money you spend on your website. You will need a certain amount of traffic to justify that investment. More importantly, some of these visitors need to convert into customers. So where do your paying customers come from?
A good website analytics program allows you to answer these questions and turn things around when things don't work out. Sometimes these results will surprise you. You may find that your website is attracting a very different audience than you initially expected.
Businesses use website analytics to understand many different things about the usability of their website, their customers and interests, the most popular pages, and more.
For example, let's say a puzzle website was aimed at young moms, but then you noticed that one of your new games was appealing to a different audience: older people. This discovery prompted some quick changes to the page layout and theme options to attract their new fans.
You can gain big by reviewing your website results with an analytics expert or digital agency. Since many website analytics tools let you drill down into the data to see the details, it's easy to dig into trends and discuss them as a team.
Let's move on to some of the most commonly used website analytics metrics and what you can use them for.
Traffic trends are a great place to start your review, especially if you're comparing recent results to past periods. Be sure to adjust your view for any changes based on day of the week or seasonal traffic patterns. This type of data can show you how big your current audience is. Some standard traffic metrics are:
From there, I suggest looking at some metrics to understand the user experience.
When visitors come to your website, do they interact with the content and become buyers? This is something you can often improve with A/B testing. Standard user experience metrics include:
You can also take a look at the technical performance of your website. Modern users expect their website to load quickly, especially on a mobile phone.
The good news is that speed issues are easy to spot with a few tests and can easily be fixed by a web design agency or developer.
Keep an eye on:
Most analytics tools allow you to drill down into smaller segments of your traffic and compare results. This is a great way to compare the performance of different pieces of content. Do the same for referral sources, user locations, and other navigation technologies.
You can spot opportunities to redesign key elements of your website, adjust your ad budget for better results, or increase your investment in high-performing content.
We'll walk you through four of the most popular website analytics tools. Each of these website analytics examples offers a different perspective on the performance of your website and your digital brand.
Google Analytics is one of the most popular website analytics tools on the Internet. You can analyze website performance by traffic source, content, web browser technology, and user geography.
The most addictive feature of Google Analytics is real-time monitoring, where you can see how many people are currently using the site. You can access all of this information from your desktop or from its handy mobile phone app.
If you grant additional permissions, Google Analytics can integrate with other Google products, including Google Ads, Google AdSense, and Google Webmaster Tools.
Connecting these different products will give you access to audience demographics and search data.
The platform also collects data about how quickly your web pages load and allows you to track these statistics over time. This feature is useful when you're trying to resolve a technical issue, as you can match these performance changes to the time the code was published.
Designed with beginners in mind, Google Analytics provides an easy way to track website traffic and user experience. The basic version is free. A more advanced corporate version is also available.
Overall, the tool strikes a good balance between being easy to use and advanced features under the hood.
Google Lighthouse is a feature of the Chrome web browser that gives you a detailed view of technical performance of your site.The results appear as an overall score and a list of suggested improvements.
Google Lighthouse uses data from various sources.
Combines real-time analysis of the current web page with historical tracking data from other Chrome Browser users. It also runs diagnostics on accessibility (making your website usable for people with disabilities), SEO elements, and technical best practices.
While you won't be using this every day, the Lighthouse helps ensure your technical items are on point.
Our upcoming website analytics tool doesn't actually touch your website.
Instead, Semrush tracks how your website appears in search results. You can use this tool to see what search terms a website ranks for and how its organic search engine traffic has changed over time.
While it may not directly analyze every aspect of your site, your search performance is a good indicator of your site's performance. For example, the architecture of your website will affect its ranking in the SERPs.
For brands looking to increase their organic search traffic, Semrush can help you target the right goals. Their keyword research tool shows you the different variations of a theme that people are searching for. It can also provide perspective on how difficult it will be to rank for a specific term.
Finally, it will show you what terms competing websites are targeting. You can combine these insights to focus your content strategy on the topics your team is best positioned to win.
For an additional fee, Semrush has a competitive intelligence suite that you can use to analyze competitors in more detail.
For example, you can see where their traffic is coming from, what types of advertising they run, and what pieces of content are performing well. These are ideas you can use to improve your own content selections and your digital marketing strategy.
If digital marketing were golf, Hotjar is your putter. Hotjar is a tool you use to help make small design changes that can significantly affect your digital marketing score.
You can log user sessions, see where they clicked, and collect feedback on your website. Hotjar can help you understand why a user made a particular decision and guide your product design and improvement efforts.
They are not the only product in this space. Crazy Egg has many similar features. Use these tools when you're ready to dig deeper into your user experience to optimize the way people move through your website.
While data is powerful, context is critical.
From a marketing and user experience perspective, there are a lot of moving parts here. Your customer's usage patterns may change based on the time of year, day of the week, or news events.
For example, you probably shouldn't get too excited about a big jump in conversions in Q4 (due to holiday shopping), but you might want to take a closer look if sales pick up in January.
Unless, of course, you're selling self-help guides to New Year's resolutions, in which case the opposite trend is more appropriate.
Always balance what you see in the data with a common sense perspective on how the business works.
Similarly, beware of "vanity metrics" that don't directly drive business results.
Never confuse being popular with being profitable.
While it may seem great to have a lot of followers and visitors, they are not the same as generating sales.
Focus on understanding which audience members are most likely to become customers and position your content and marketing to reach these prospects.
The most important thing to remember about website analytics is that every interaction between a user and your website can be tracked and measured.
By doing so, you can unlock many ways to improve your performance, from fixing bugs to creating great content and invest in better marketing.
Data is a powerful tool you can use to accelerate your growth, customer engagement, and brand reputation. To optimize the value of your website: