You invest a lot in your business. With business development, generating leads, creating content for social media, and marketing efforts, you work hard to make sure all bases are covered. Is your website covered?
In this age of big data and Google Analytics, you can improve your website traffic and conversions quickly and for free! Follow our step-by-step guide below and make improvements now.
Set Up Analytics
You may be using a program or hiring a company like Stingray Branding to develop and analyze your website analytics. If you aren’t using any tools to analyze your website’s performance, Google Analytics is free and offers a huge amount of metrics and data. In fact, the biggest challenge in web analytics is choosing which metrics are useful and discarding the rest. Luckily, we are here to help!
Signing up for Google Analytics is free and easy. You will create an account or log in to your existing Google account and follow the simple instructions. Fill in the required information, check the boxes with each option you want, and click Accept. This will generate a tracking code which you will add to your website. Then you sit back and wait for Google to track your site and collect all of that wonderful data.
The next step is to take inventory of your website. Consider the purpose and goals of your website and how they align with your business goals. To choose what to track in your analytics, understanding the purpose of your site is paramount. You will want to include the following areas in your website inventory:
- The mission of your business or organization. This sounds simple, but your mission is what drives your company and what all efforts revolve around. Take time to develop your mission and put it in writing here.
- Current marketing activities. This includes social media marketing and email marketing, among other activities. What are you doing that is driving traffic to your website? List those efforts here.
- The primary purpose of your website. Look through the pages and functions of your website. What is the primary purpose? Are visitors coming to your site for research (find address, numbers, company’s purpose, etc.) or to complete a sale (do you have an e-commerce site?)? Understanding the main purpose of your website is vital in forming your metrics.
You will then develop your Analytics Framework. This step may take some time and will involve multiple departments in your company. Following the outline provided by Avinash Kaushik, author of Web Analytics 2.0and analytics expert, you will form your framework in this way:
- Develop your business objectives. These are the big-picture purposes for your website.
- Create actionable goals for each objective.
- Decide on key performance indicators for each goal. How will you know when you’ve reached your goal? How will you track it? These KPIs are the metrics you will look at to decide how you are reaching your goal.
- From your goals, decide on the target. Bullseye! The target is the actual number, percentage, date, or another specific outcome that you are shooting for in your goals.
Here is an example of a company’s Analytics Framework:
|Build a following of people who are passionate and loyal followers of our brand||Increase engagement across all social media accounts||Facebook reactions, comments, and shares. Twitter followers and shares. Instagram followers.||Increase aggregate followers by 42% and engagement activities by 50% by Q3 2018|
The framework itself is quite simple. However, deciding on each item requires time and reflection. You need buy-in from the leadership in your company and input from each department. However, this step is absolutely necessary to create and track meaningful metrics and in turn, improve your website and make more sales!
Understanding Your Data
You’ve set up your Google Analytics account and with a few days of analyzing complete, you are now ready to check out what the Google bots have found! Exciting, right? That is until you log in and see page after page of options. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and to be confused about where to start. There are tons of articles and even free Google Analytics courses you can read to understand the options on your account. Here are a few tips on deciding the most important metrics for you to follow and how to use them to improve your website now. And by the way, if you’d like to get more comfortable with the Google Analytics platform without potentially deleting all data for your website, you can have fun with their demo account!
- Find detailed demographics of your visitors. Your perception of your typical customer could be way off. Having the demographic data will help you not only understand your customer better but also decide who to target in your marketing.
- CTR and Time on Page. These two factors are big indicators of Google’s search ranking. You want to increase both to appear higher in SERPs. Under Behavior, you can see the Average Time on Page and Unique Pageviews metrics. These are helpful to track to understand if you are improving the CTR and TOP.
- Check out the sources that visitors are using to access your website (social, emails, referrals, etc.). When you track the sites that are bringing visitors to your site, you can see the areas that are your best referrers and also the impact of your marketing efforts (for example, if your Facebook promotions are increasing web traffic).
The Bounce Rate is a useful metric. Depending on the use of your website, your desired bounce rate may be higher or lower. For example, if your site’s primary purpose is fact-finding – visitors come to find your address or phone number, your bounce rate will be higher. In this case, you want visitors to be able to find your contact information quickly and get in contact with you faster. However, this can affect your SEO and so it is generally recommended that you find ways to bring customers to your website and linger a while. A blog is a great way to do just that!
Analyze Your Metrics
The next step in your web analytics journey is to decide which metrics matter for your Analytics Framework and to analyze them. Kaushik refers to these as Critical Few Metrics. What are the major conversions happening on your site that drive your business? If a KPI for your site is email subscribers, for instance, you will want to track how many people are clicking on your Subscribe button. You will also want to track the path that led your website visitors to subscribe and increase what you’re doing right and improve where you’re losing traffic.
Finally, after analyzing your data and determining how to improve your Critical Few Metrics, institute your improvements. If visitors are leaving after only visiting one page, perhaps you need an on-exit survey to determine how to improve the layout of your site. You can perform A/B testing on your site to determine how small changes can improve outcomes. A quick tutorial is available at wpbeginner.com. Testing is a must for any website. If you’re not testing, you’re not improving!
Stingray to the Rescue
We get that web analytics can be confusing. With big data all around us, the biggest challenge is sifting through what’s available to find meaningful metrics and develop actionable outcomes. If you’re lost in the sea of data, we can help! Our SEO packages can bring your site higher on Google’s search pages. Our website design can streamline your site, make the information clear and organized, and attract visitors to your site. You can give us a call for a free consultation and we will help you navigate the changing tides of web analytics!