Analytics can tell you a great deal about who's looking at your website, how they arrived there and what they do while they're looking - here's how to use that data to improve your website.

Analytics provide information on:

  • The number of visitors
  • Traffic from different search engines
  • What the visitor was searching for
  • How visitors travel through your website
  • Which other websites send visitors to you
  • Visitor numbers from your social media feeds
  • Geographic location of visitors
  • Number of visitors from mobile phones and tablets
  • How many visitors have become leads or sales directly from your website
  • Trends such as an increase in visitors from mobile devices or changes in the geographical location of visitors

 Viewing the data

  • Detailed data is available from within the main administrator section
  • Set up regular emailed reports of key statistics
  • Set up dashboards that show key statistics at a glance

It is essential to determine the most important data to monitor. For new websites this will be visitor numbers, what keywords were used in organic searches, where visitors came from and the pages they viewed. You should also compare mobile and tablet performance to PC/laptop performance.

In time look at how many visitors come from your social media channels and online advertising. You may target an advertising campaign in a specific location and look for geographical data, you may find patterns for times of the day when more visitors come and target advertising for those times. By drilling down into the data, patterns appear that suggest ways in which your website or your marketing efforts can be improved.

By tracking the flow of visitors through your website you can see how visitors pass through, what they clicked on (via in-page data), how you keep visitors engaged and where people leave the website. This should inform decisions to create calls to action on specific pages and edit page content to encourage the next step in your sales funnel.

A simple strategy:

Decide on the key statistics for your website - For a young website this may be keywords, referral sources, geographic location and mobile performance, for older websites this may be more specific.

Create regular reports and a dashboard - Set up simplified reporting on the key data for an "at a glance" view of website performance.

Analyse the data - Review the data monthly.

Keep a close eye on performance on mobile devices - Mobile browsing is increasing, monitor the mobile and tablet statistics.

Check your referrals - See which other websites send visitors to you, paying particular attention to social media and advertising websites you have paid for.

Measure how many visitors become customers - Ensure website visitors are send to a specific page after a sale or sending a contact form and monitor visitors to those pages.

Act upon the results - Make changes to your website, marketing activities and search engine optimisation based upon your data.

Use analytics to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns - Monitor visitors numbers from paid for advertising and social media channels.

Get professional help - There are many e-marketing and SEO companies who provide this service.

Article by Ian Elcoate of Tad Web Solutions Limited.

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