Web analytics according to Wikipedia, “is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage.” You can have both off-site and on-site web analytics. Off-site analytics happens off your website and may consist of collecting information about your business from other entities such as social media. On-site analytics measures the behavior of potential customers once they are on your website.
The main tool that webmasters use to perform on-site analytics is Google Analytics, but there are other tools out there that you can also use. Typically, each social media offers their own tools for analytics that you can put to use; some offer integration with Google Analytics as well. There are many different metrics you can analyze when collecting data.
* Traffic amount – You can look at web analytics and determine how many people in general are visiting your website on any given day.
* Traffic sources – You can also find out where the traffic is coming from, such as which links did they click to get to your site. Did they get there from a search engine search, or via a referral link?
* New versus repeat visitors – You can also see how many people are new visitors and how many people are repeat visitors. This is relevant to know because it will help you know how sticky your site is.
* Length of visit – You can look at the analytics to determine how long visitors stay on the site and how many pages they’re reading. This is important because you ultimately want to know what people are doing and what is causing them to leave or choose to stay and buy.
* Conversion ratio – You can look at analytics and find out if you’ve met your goals in terms of conversions. Conversions are people who bought what you are selling, or clicked on and purchased affiliate products and services.
When you realize that the most important things you want to find out with web analytics are how you’re making revenue and how you can make more of it while also pleasing your visitors, then you realize how very important going through all these numbers is. If you don’t know where you stand, and you don’t know where you want to go, you’ll be lost. These numbers help you establish a base and a goal to work toward.
Many business owners try to function without ever doing any web analytics. This is a huge mistake because you honestly don’t know if something is working or not if you don’t study the numbers. Web analytics helps you determine what to do to make any campaign better. Shooting in the dark isn’t going to work. But, working with real data does work.
You can never know which avenue is the best place to spend your time and money if you’re not conducting analytics. There are so many places you can spend your time and money marketing online – from paid ads, to social media, to blogging and so forth.
If you don’t know which is working and which isn’t, you’ll be wasting a lot of time and money. Put web analytics to use. They do all of the above and so much more.