Having an optimized online digital presence in this day and age is essential to the success of your business. But you probably already know that, as we’ve said it over and over again in any blog we’ve written. Anyway, back to it. A website should never be thought of as static. In the words of Ron Popeil, a website is not a “set it and forget it” thing. Websites need constant updating to ensure they remain relevant. Failure to do so can result in lost sales and poor search rankings.
But how do you know what updates and changes need to be made? What will continue to make your website relevant to your target audience? What is it that your target audience even wants? What is and isn’t working? You may have—hopefully—done a lot of market research already and that’s great. But as annoying as it can sometimes be to a business owner, people’s needs and wants are fickle. And what worked before, may not work now. Or maybe despite your best efforts, it never did work—yikes! But you don’t know what you don’t know. Enter the world of website analytics.
What are Website Analytics and Why is it Important?
Website Analytics is a way of collecting and analyzing vital data from your website that can help uncover missed opportunities. The information in these reports can uncover visitor behavior, demographics, where they come from, where they spend most of their time, what they’re doing, etc. This in turn will give you the information you need to further optimize your site to increase sales conversations, by giving people what they want. It is the tool that will give you the answers you need to steer your website in the right direction. Now let’s delve a bit deeper.
Get to Know Your Current Visitors
By analyzing your current visitors, you will gain valuable information such as age, geographic location, gender, and what device and operating system they are using to browse your site. This demographic information will show you whether or not you’re reaching your target customer, or it may reveal who your actual target customer is. If you find that many of your customers are on a global scale, you may want to consider providing the ability to view your site in multiple languages. Or if you know that many of your visitors are accessing your site from a mobile phone, you’ll be able to focus more on ensuring that you website is optimized for mobile use.
Optimize Visitor Experience and Stay Relevant
Website analytics doesn’t stop at just providing demographic facts. It can also show you how your visitors are interacting with your site. Are people spending more time on a single page and ignoring others? What is the average time a visitor spends on each page? Are people even staying on your website? What buttons are they clicking on most? This information will give you the ability to optimize what is working and eliminate what is not. You will be able to see where you hook most of your visitors or where you lose them.
For example: if you have a high bounce rate or low rate of engagement, chances are you’re not providing the content people are looking for or making it easy to find it. But without website analytics, you wouldn’t know that a change needs to be made. Giving people exactly what they want directly converts to an increase in sales conversations.
Maximizing Your ROI
Many businesses make the mistake of throwing out a lot of marketing dollars and hoping something will stick. While this might eventually work, you’ve spent an awful lot of money to get the information that website analytics could get you for much cheaper.
Proper analytics will reveal the marketing channels that are more successful. Are you getting a lot of website traffic from the paid ad you put on Facebook? If not, is it a good use of your money to continue? Without analytics you won’t know. Perhaps you’ll find that an incredible amount of your traffic and sales conversions are coming from a particular sales funnel. This information will help you focus your marketing effort further on that funnel and spend your dollar more intelligently.
What’s even better? You can pinpoint every step of your customer’s journey—understand what they’re doing or not doing, before submitting a form, reading a blog, making a purchase, etc. This information is vital to the success of your website.
The website events that we can track is astounding, and too much for this article. But to give you an idea of just how granular we can get, check out this sample report that we’ve compiled. It contains all of the metrics that you would need, to understand where and how to optimize your website.
Keeping Up with the Jones’
Chances are that unless you provide a one-of-a-kind highly specialized product or service, you’ve got market share competition. Website analytics will show you how you’re doing compared to others in your industry. Are your sales conversions lagging? Are you missing out on an opportunity or marketing channel that others are finding lucrative? Are visitors interacting with your website less than others in your industry? Are you even part of the conversation? If not, you’ll know it’s time to change things up.
Search Engine Optimization
This is the Holy Grail of website success and can be a crucial aspect of your digital marketing. The more organic traffic you have to your website, the higher you’ll rank in search results. By knowing who your visitors are and what they want, you can create targeted content that will entice people to visit, linger, and interact—all things that search engines look for when ranking websites.
To sum it up, without website analytics you’re just like Jon Snow—“you know nothing.” Failing to analyze what is and isn’t working (on a regular basis because we can guarantee it will change) on your website is the equivalent of getting into a car, closing your eyes and hoping you get to where you’re going safely. Website analytics can be overwhelming and knowing how to comb through the information and pull what is most relevant can be a bit much. But don’t worry, we can handle that for you. Just promise us one thing…don’t be a Jon Snow.