Should I Use Web Site Analytics?back to blog
During the web site design and development process you should make the decision to include web site analytics and tracking on your site to make sure you can have access to your site’s performance over time. You will want to set-up analytic reporting through a service like Google analytics. Google provides a free analytic software you can use to view and track the performance of your web site. You will need to add a code to your site’s html to have the service collect information for you. There are many things this service will tell you. You can even set-up custom goal funnels so you can see if the user goes through the steps that you would like them to while visiting your site. You can view all this information in the web site analytics dashboard and drill down to see the findings closer.
What can web site analytics tell me?
Here are a list of some of the more useful information web site analytics can provide:
Location – The location of your user base can be recorded and a percentage of users from particular areas can be compared.
Pages – You can see which pages are viewed for how long, in which order they were viewed and which ones are most or least popular with your audience.
Referring sites – You have the ability to see which sites, banners or search engines have sent people to your site.
Time on site – You will find out the average time a person spends on your site in general
Form completion or submission – You will be able to see if a person, starts, completes and/or submits a form.
Bounce Rate – This will tell you how many leave the site after viewing a particular page.
What do I do with this information?
Optimize, optimize, optimize. A web site is a living, breathing thing that has to be reviewed for performance, form and function through web site analytic reporting. You should make changes to your site based on those findings. For example, if you have a high bounce rate on your homepage you want to make sure your site is tagged with the correct keywords and that action items are clear. If someone gets referred to your site by your association with a keyword that is not in direct relationship to your service or product, a person might land there take a quick look and leave. Or if user gets to your homepage and the navigation isn’t clear or there isn’t something to bring them in further visually and content wise, they will leave quickly as well. Making simple fixes can sometimes make a big difference in your site’s performance.
Through constant reviewing of the web site analytics you will slowly see how your changes effect traffic. You will tinker until you get the qualified, engaged traffic you desire.