If you’re an entrepreneur seeking to expand your business online, building a website is a great way to get started. A website will inform customers and prospects about your offerings as well as help your business gain online credibility and visibility.
But how do you check if your website is delivering these expected results? Website analytics is the answer. Website analytics analyzes the traffic to your website and helps find ways to improve it. It should be an integral part of your online business strategy.
If you’re wondering whether website analytics is right for your business, this blog is for you. This 101 guide has everything you need to know about website analytics—from the definition to the steps of effective website analytics. Let’s get started!
Website analytics is the process of analyzing the behavior of a website visitor. It involves tracking, reviewing, and reporting visitor information to measure website performance.
There’s a lot of user data that you can collect by analyzing your website, including how users interact with your website, which pages they visit, and how long they stay on a particular page. Tracking this data and converting it into action points to improve visitors’ experience and gain more customers is called website analytics.
When put to the right use, website analytics helps you understand consumer expectations and whether your offerings are catering to their needs.
Website analytics measures the performance of your website based on three metrics:
|Marketing metrics||If you’re engaging users through your website content.|
|Conversion metrics||If you’re selling products and services through your website.|
|Business metrics||If you’re making money through your website.|
Marketing metrics: These metrics help measure if your website has all the relevant information to engage and convert visitors. Factors such as page views, returning and new visitors, average time spent on a web page, and number of exits are measured under marketing metrics.
Conversion metrics: These metrics help measure if your website is converting visitors into customers. Adding relevant product information that addresses consumer pain points can help increase the number of unique visitors and lead to product purchases.
Business metrics: These metrics help analyze your sales numbers to check if you’re making a profit. Factors such as returning customers and multiple purchases are measured under business metrics. They help understand how well your offerings are catering to customer needs and what the scope of improvement is.
Optimizing your website for marketing, conversion, and business metrics creates a seamless path for your visitors—from awareness to conversion. But you have to support the process with the right information and tools.
Extracting data from your website manually can be slow and inefficient—sometimes not even possible. Website analytics tools can do that for you.
A web analytics tool provides an HTML code that’s inserted into your website’s source code. Once successfully added, the code helps extract website data (user behavior and activity) based on the metrics you want to track.
Here’s how a website analytics tool optimizes your website’s performance and enhances site visitor experience:
Real-time tracking of user activity on your website (desktop and mobile traffic)
Real-time tracking of key website metrics and traffic sources
Pulling out relevant information via a customizable dashboard
Visitor session recording and live performance testing to capture gaps
GetApp offers a range of web analytics software tools to deliver the best website experience to your visitors. Compare multiple tools, read user reviews, and choose software that best fits your website needs and budget.
Start by defining the goals you wish to achieve through your website. It could be increasing sales, enhancing brand awareness, or gaining website visitors. The goals can be both qualitative and quantitative, depending on your business model.
To ensure effective tracking, ensure your goals:
Are achievable and clearly defined
Help achieve overall business growth
Establish both short- and long-term growth strategies for your business
Once you’ve set the goals, determine how your website can assist in achieving them. This will let you measure your website’s current performance along with the areas to be improved to meet your goals.
For instance, if your goal is to boost brand awareness, your website should have detailed information describing your products or services and the ways they can address customers’ needs. This will make visitors aware of your offerings and their benefits.
Ways to identify gaps in your website against the set goals:
Map out the buyer journey: Document all the actions buyers take before they purchase your product.
Conduct market research: Understand visitors’ pain points, needs, goals, and motivations.
Evaluate your website: Check if your website addresses all the concerns you identified during market research.
Analyze competitors: Assess what other companies in your market are doing and compare it with your website initiatives to identify the missing areas.
Document the gaps identified during your analysis and find solutions to close them. These solutions will be your actionable insights to optimize website traffic and performance. Some gaps could be just minor tweaks—say color change—while others may require making significant changes to your website’s appearance. We suggest preparing two separate lists of minor changes and major changes to remain focused on streamlining the effort.
Some suggestions to effectively understand the gaps:
Analyze where your website is lacking and what’s the reason behind it.
Determine how much each shortcoming contributes to current business challenges. Examples of such shortcomings include low traffic due to lack of information and reduced online sales due to the unavailability of payment details.
Pool all the information collected in the previous steps to prepare a website analytics strategy. Your strategy should include the challenges as well as appropriate solutions to enhance your website’s user experience and performance.
Use the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis to build an effective strategy. The SWOT tool organizes problem areas as well as recommendations using visual representation to effectively map the root cause of problems. Here is a sample SWOT analysis for your website.
|Strengths||Relevant and unique content, Easy-to-locate information, Quick sign-up and checkout process|
|Weaknesses||Slow page loading, Poor-quality content and images, Long and confusing login process|
|Opportunities||New technology usage, Easy payment services, Innovative marketing tactics|
|Threats||New competition website, Poor security compliance|
Once you’ve prepared a strategy, the next step is to start implementing the identified solutions and monitor their effectiveness.
Now that you’ve built a strategy, measure its effectiveness to make sure it stays on track. More than a thousand small and midsize businesses (SMBs) believe that measuring progress is the hallmark of success. Over half of these businesses use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the results.
In website analytics, KPIs are quantifiable metrics to monitor and analyze user behavior on your website. Bounce rate, page view or sessions, and on-site search queries are some examples of KPIs to track for measuring your website performance.
Additionally, you can use A/B testing to learn how visitors are reacting to different website elements such as design, content, and ads. In A/B testing, you create two different versions of your website in terms of content and design to identify which version is creating more engagement among visitors.
Measuring success will help you improvise and come up with a better online strategy in the future. Here are some tips to do it right:
Stay relevant to the set goals
Have one solution for each goal
Include relevant and fresh data
You can consider investing in data and analytics (D&A) technology to help your team interpret raw user website data into actionable insight. Cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), software, and the internet of things (IoT) are the top tech innovation areas for businesses investing in D&A, per Gartner’s 2021 Emerging Technology Product Leaders Survey. Half of the survey respondents invested in D&A to grow their customer base, and over 40% did so to enhance their existing products and services.
Analyzing the data you collect on your website helps you gain insights into future growth opportunities, discover new market trends, build a strong customer base, and a lot more. All you need is a strong web analytics strategy and supporting tools.
Website analytics software tools effectively track and analyze website data to help you identify how well your website is converting visitors. As you scale your online business, web analytics data assists in allocating more resources toward effective website building and preparing an optimization strategy.
Ready to use analytics to optimize your website’s performance? GetApp has you covered. Our Category Leaders in Web Analytics highlights the top web analytics products based on verified user reviews. You can also compare multiple products and read software reviews from verified users to make an informed purchase decision.
Gartner 2021 Emerging Technology Product Leaders Survey
This survey was conducted to understand technology product leaders’ investment and approach in adding emerging technology to their product roadmaps. Research was conducted online from April through June 2021 among 268 respondents from China, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Singapore, the U.K., and the U.S. Sampling in these markets focused on targeting technology hub locations/areas.
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