Analytics - The most important word in a site owner’s dictionary
Are you struggling to bring in the hits on your website? Have a stable readership but want to take the next step? Perhaps you are already doing well but want to evaluate the ways in which you can push further. Whatever your scenario and regardless of what kind of business you have, it is now almost unthinkable to go into 2017 without the use of analytics. Simply put, analytics is one of the most important tools that any website can have at hand.
Knowing how to use them effectively and understanding how to get the most out of them could potentially be make or break for your business. Analytics can help you pinpoint mistakes and fix them in time, as well as give you the whole picture so that you can make smart business decisions.
What are analytics and what do they do?
Before delving into the world of analytics, it is important to understand that they are and what they do. Analytics is the collection and interpretation of figures and data related to a website. They have three main facets which can offer a major boost to your site:
- Tracking and measuring your results over a period of time
- Understanding the numbers behind visits
- Give an insight into how you can convert a one-time visitor into a regular
Save time and money with analytics
Analytics provide a quick and easy way of assessing what works and what doesn’t, giving a business the opportunity to either fix an issue quickly or continue and push on with a tactic or approach that seems to be working.
Indeed, implementing them can also improve your ROI (return on investment). Knowing what works will give you a wider scope to decide where to spend your budget, and reduce the risk of spending unnecessarily high amounts ineffectively. Throwing your money towards AdWords or a social media campaign without knowing whether it is having the desired effect could be disastrous in the long term. Analytics can stop this before it’s too late.
The gym analogy that explains analytics
Consider analytics in the same manner as if you were going to the gym regularly. You work out several times a week because you want to achieve a certain result, such as to become more muscular. With an online business, your target might be to reach a wider audience, or create greater engagement.
Now, if you were to go to the gym for several months you would hope to see some results, but it would be important to track your progress and determine what works and what doesn’t. Without it, you would be wasting plenty of hours on the weights and hard-earned money on a membership fee.
If you dive headfirst into your site and fund a social media campaign for example, it would be irresponsible not to track whether it is working. If you can’t tell whether your campaign is bringing in new users and if it is generated interested, you may be throwing money down the drain. In the gym analogy, it is your muscles that will suffer. With analytics, your site will be doing likewise. In both scenarios, your wallet will be taking a hit.
The key points to look out for in your analytics
- Once you have an analytics programme set up, it is useful to know what to look out for amongst the data. There are a few important areas that may hold the key to knowing how to achieve your goals.
- Traffic. Put simply, this is the amount of users coming to your site, but it can be broken down further to yield greater information. Search traffic will show you how many people found you from search engines, which can be a good indicator of your success.
- Social. An overview of your social media links will be able to tell you which platform is giving you the most ROI.
- Bounce rates. Are people going on a single page of your site and then leaving? If your bounce rate is high then you can look into making your content and website more appealing beyond single pages.
- Top landing pages. Which part of your website are people entering? This can be a good indicator of what is popular and what appears to show up on searches. From here you can tailor your pages to keep users on your site.
- Exit pages. At what point do users tend to leave your site? If users are leaving from key content or your home page then there is a problem. Analytics will identify this and you will have a starting base to attempt to fix this.