Web Analytics: Your Priceless Business Tool

Web Analytics: Your Priceless Business Tool

Posted on December 13, 2016 Mary Merritt

You've heard of Google Analytics - it's a great free tool, and you're already doing great if you've got it installed on your website. Half the battle is to start measuring (with Analytics or any other proficient metrics tool). Even if you're only measuring for future reference, you're on the right path - but should you just install the scripts and forget about it? NO WAY! That wouldn't be nerdy enough, now would it?

The real power of measuring your web traffic comes from being pro-active: spending a bit of effort figuring out what you can and should measure beyond the defaults, and then leveraging the data. It's not just something we NERDS want you to do - it's good business practice to make decisions and changes based on cold hard DATA and goals, not guesses, personal opinions, and corporate politics.

Google Analytics measures a number of great metrics by default:

  • Audience demographics, behaviors, & technology (language, operating system, browser, mobile or non-mobile, new visitor vs. returning, etc.)
  • Traffic sources (direct traffic, organic search traffic, referrals, etc.)
  • Paid and organic search keywords used to find your content
  • Pageviews & content information (popular pages, landing pages, exit pages, site speed, etc.)

But... if you want to gather the really valuable information, you need to use Analytics to measure non-default behaviors and the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are unique to your website:

  • Do you sell products in an ecommerce store? Make sure you've enabled and configured Ecommerce Tracking.
  • Do you collect leads through a contact form? Definitely track contact form submissions as an event & a goal.
  • Does your website prompt users to subscribe to a newsletter? Track user subscriptions as an event and goal.
  • Do you offer white papers, ebooks, or other valuable lead generating downloads to visitors? Track clicks on the download links as an event and a goal (with a little searching there are a number of javascript tools that do this for you, automatically).
  • The data shows you that many users are bouncing? See if they are clicking on outbound links in your content by tracking clicks on outbound links as events.
  • Not sure if the new homepage layout will increase or decrease leads & sales? Set up some split testing experiments.

After you identify and begin to measure your website's KPIs the real fun begins. Are Facebook visitors your best customers, or merely looky-loos? Are your intern's blog posts pure gold or trash? Does the new fancy design actually increase ecommerce sales, or did it tank your conversion rate? What is your average cost per lead for a specific marketing campaign? The possibilities seem endless - we're getting excited just making up these hypothetical metrics!

Hopefully we've made it clear: every business website can benefit from an analytical approach to customizing & reviewing their web metrics tools & data, and defining concrete goals... so, do you have an Analytics expert on your team? If not, NerdyMind would love to be your Analytics implementation and analysis partner - give us a call to discuss the possibilities!