What is web analytics, and does it all matter? This is the first of a three part series dealing with the fundamentals of web analytics, including insight generation and vendor selection.
A lot of business owners are faced with the challenge of making sense of web analytics, thinking that driving traffic to your website is enough to deliver new business. Your website is like a bus and web analytics is the driver — you need to have one.
In reality, many businesses do not really know how to maximise the use their website traffic to drive leads and conversions. The website is built, the SEM campaigns are kicked off but then what happens next?
For modern business, a website can be the most crucial marketing platform that you have. Regardless of what type of advertising that you do, (radio, billboard, newsprint, TV, search, social) your website will generally outperform them all as they're usually the first point of call for potential clients. They will want a single platform to check your products, services, your hours, your skills, expertise and other valuable information about you. When utilised properly, your website allows you to connect to your customers beyond simple conversations.
(photo credit: Chris McElroy via linkedin.com)
So you have a website? Now what?
Web analytics measures basic and advanced metrics across your site; how many visitors, where they're coming from, how long they're staying, what they look at. It's a means of measuring, collecting, analysing and reporting on Internet data for the purposes of understanding how a website is used by its audience and how to optimise its usage.
These are all valuable insights into how your website impacts upon your visitor. While having a wider understanding of the behaviour of your customers on your website, it is important to understand that business requirements and insights from web analytics is unique. A SaaS start-up may want to drive visitors to a sign-up form, while a publisher will probably want to measure time on page and similar engagement metrics. It's important that you understand what metrics matters because this will give you the most relevant information in driving future marketing and business decisions.
If you can measure it, you can manage it.
Get the right people on the bus in the right seat and let web analytics drive each one to their destination.
(photo credit: Sanchia Aronberg Calling all start up small business people)
In the next part, we will take an in-depth look at analytics metrics and how these can be utilised to drive insights.