Tag Archives: Web Analytics

Analytics 101: Turning Data into Insights

Whether you’re running a company website or a personal blog, it’s important to find out how the content you create is performing, and how you can improve upon it. Tools such as Google Analytics and 1&1 SiteAnalytics are easy to “set and forget,” and can be incredibly useful for turning large amounts of data into actionable insights.

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The Benefits of Analytics

A few weeks ago we posted an introductory article on the subject of Web analytics. In that article we touched briefly on what it was, why it was beneficial, as well as provided a short glossary of relevant terms to be familiar with. If you are a business owner and have a grasp on what the subject of Web analytics is, here are some more specific ways that it can help your company.

Fundamentally, Web analytics can help you to better evaluate your keyword selection. At this point you should understand the value of search engine optimization for your business, and how associating the right keywords with your company is an effective way of driving traffic to your website. Out of the selection of keywords that you use, however, how can you be sure which ones are providing the most success? With analytics, you can not only see how often a certain term is being searched, but how the specific users searching for you behave once they visit your website. This information can help you adapt or adjust your keyword strategy for the future, which can drive even more traffic to the website.

This can also lead into a better understanding of your audience. The users searching for those specific terms are also your prospective customers. Being able to understand their behavior, and how they react to specific areas of your site, is a huge benefit to your business. Analytics can help you visualize where you need to make adjustments to your online presence. Additionally, your visitors are coming to your site via several avenues. By looking over the data for your web traffic, you can see the different ways that your website is visited.

Analytics help you determine the usability of your website. The goal of any website is to have a logical flow, with useful information that can found through easily understood navigation. Data of how your users navigate through the site is the best way to determine where you might need to make adjustments. Without analytics, you would have to test users in another setting to figure out where they might get confused. Instead, you can look over the reports from your website, and see exactly when and where users might be leaving the site too soon. Your goal is to allow customers to seamlessly navigate your website.

Finally, you can use Web analytics to track individual marketing efforts as well. Everywhere you promote your website, you can use a customized, trackable URL that is specific to that promotion. The number of conversions generated can vary greatly from one promotion to another, and analyzing the traffic from each one is very simple. This information can help you conclude what elements of your marketing strategy are the most successful.

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An Introduction to Analytics – Part 2

Part One of this Introduction to Analytics went over the basics about the benefits of Web analytics, but in Part Two we will review a few fundamental terms that you should familiarize yourself with to successfully analyze your website traffic:

  • Hit – In the most basic sense, a hit is any time a file is requested from the web server. This is a useful statistic, but since it does not account for unique visitors, it is not as valuable.
  • Unique Visitor – This refers to an individually identified user that views pages on your website within a certain time period. This is a more valuable measurement than hits, simply because hits account for a very broad measurement of site views, instead of tracking individual users.
  • Bounce Rate – This figure refers to the percentage of visitors who leave the page without navigating to any other pages on the site. Obviously, as a business you want the lowest bounce rate possible. However, you can use this information to evaluate your website and find out what is turning customers away.
  • Page Views – The number of page views can be seen for every page on your website. Not only does this tell you which pages are more popular on your site, but it can also tell you how long visitors are staying on that page. Understanding how visitors spend time on your site is the best way to strategize future updates and redesigns to improve your traffic.
  • Impressions – Impressions refer to each time an advertisement is loaded on a visitor’s screen. This number is often factored into the cost of online advertising placements.
  • Conversion – Perhaps the most important part of analytics is the conversion rate. This refers to the ratio of visitors who “convert” standard website visits into a specific action that you intended for them to make. For example, the goal for your website could be to lure customers to purchase a specific product or service – a conversion takes place when you meet that goal.

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An Introduction to Analytics – Part 1

In some other articles on the Online Success Center, we briefly touch on the topic of Web analytics – the study of traffic patterns to a specific website. This is important for managing a website for your business, so it is essential to fully understand what it is and how it works. The information garnered from Web analytics can help your business in many areas, and offers you a detailed comparison of visitor data and site navigation patterns.

One of the foremost and easiest benefits to see with Web analytics is how you can determine the needs of your Web server. Analytics help you determine how much traffic your website receives, on average, so you can adjust your bandwidth accordingly. As your website – and web traffic – grows, you can keep a close watch to evaluate when you might need to upgrade your server capabilities.

A major benefit for Web analytics is to measure and maximize your return on investment (ROI). You may use several different online marketing techniques to drive traffic to your website, but without analyzing the data, you wouldn’t be able to know which technique was the most effective. Web analytics tools can easily identify which sources generate the most traffic, and the most sales conversions for your business online.

This new knowledge can also help you customize your marketing efforts to take advantage of the most successful campaigns. With Web analytics, you have access to real-time information on what types of messages evoke a greater response in your target audience. This feedback is invaluable to marketers trying to tailor their marketing tactics more efficiently. You could be advertising your website in two different areas, and determine from there which outlet is the better option for your ROI.

Check back later today for a review of some of the fundamental terms you should familiarize yourself with to successfully analyze the Web traffic for your business.

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