What is web analytics? a beginner's guide

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If you have a website, the best way to track what your viewers are doing and what they respond to is through web analytics. Web Analytics use tools to collect, report, and analyze user and website data into an easy to understand format. The goal of these analytics programs is for you to determine which of your strategies are successful or not.

Content Measurement

Figuring out how to measure the success of your content is essential to your business. Creating a call-to-action so that your readers will buy what you’re trying to sell them, or click a link you’re directing them to can be measured by a number of web tools and programs. There is an abundance of such tools available, as this post: 25 Best Website Analytics Tools shows. It’s a good starting point for those who are looking for something that may be used in conjunction with or to complement existing Google Analytics data which many website owners already use.

Framework items like targets and KPIs are also measured by web analytics programs. Let’s take a look at how these items contribute to your traffic.

Goals: These measure what goal you have for your website. Why do you have this website? What problem are you trying to solve? If you’re a fitness blog, one of your goals would be to educate people on how to make healthy choices.

Objectives: The next step is to outline what it will take for you to achieve your goals. How are you going to reach your goal? Your fitness blog will likely need content, and you can get content by writing blog posts or recording podcasts.

Calls-to-Action: You’ll use a call-to-action for accomplishing your objective. How am I going to make my audience click a link? Is it better to use a free book or a seminar to make my viewers give me their e-mail? A call-to-action for a fitness blog may be a free workout plan if they subscribe to your e-mail list.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Metrics that determine if your calls-to-actions are working. An example would be your clickthrough rate for a specific keyword or search results from google. SEO (search engine optimization) is essential in this step.

Targets: What you hope to accomplish. How many people do I want to click my call-to-action? How many readers do I want per month, so my metrics are high? A clickthrough rate should be no less than 10%; if it’s lower than this, it’s an indication it isn’t working.

The Best Practices for Web Analytics

A data-driven environment is key to your success as a business owner. Your customers will want high-value content because that content will drive clicks. If you have a yoga e-book on a home hardware blog, you’re going to get a reduced clickthrough rate.

Don’t just focus on traffic reports, because these don’t actually matter in the end. You’ll want readers on your website, but if they don’t respond to your call-to-action, you won’t make any money. There are blogs with 7 million views per month that make less than blogs with 100,000 views a month because they know how to use SEO and web analytics.

Learn what your data means because when you show this data to your employees or shareholders without context, they won’t know how to use the data for success in your business. Make all data relevant. You should also communicate with your stakeholders frequently, so you know what your audience wants, and what weaknesses there are in your marketing strategy.

Finally, don’t just look at your visits in a specific time period, because that won’t be a good representation of your website. Look at the users lifetime value. What do they do every single day on your website? Having too narrow of a focus will make you miss opportunities for selling.