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It’s crazy to think that some people in this day and age still don’t use web analytics programs! Can you imagine only using raw web logs and other archaic technologies that report minimal information about your site? In the past, I thought this can only be a few people, but more times than none when I speak to folks who have low performing sites I come to learn that they don’t even know how their sites perform in regards to traffic. I found this great analogy of a site with no analytics tracking capabilities:
Imagine getting in your car without a map, with not only a place to be, but also a time you need to be there. Unless you have a homing-pigeon-like ability then you really have little chance of getting to where you want to go, much less being there in a specific timeframe. You may have an amazing car (website) and a fabulous driving ability (service/product), but you need to navigate to where you want to be (with your services/products being purchased by customers).
This example raises the point that you cannot get where you are going in general and with your website if you do not know where to go or where you are coming from. Every website has a purpose- it’s a tool which should be leveraged to bring you revenue. Analytics provides the map of how to achieve this. Without it, you’re essentially leaving your online success to chance.
Strategic Internet marketers are always collecting data from web analytics for a host of reasons. These reasons provide valuable insight, and are actually the invaluable tools for improving strategies, adjusting marketing budgets and a host of other marketing related enhancements. Here are some of the things you can do with the data you collect.
Measure Offline Data – All offline marketing campaigns should be tracked and measured as well as online campaigns. Having clear tracking for offline marketing like tradeshows is an important way to compare the results of your entire marketing strategy.
Measure Traffic Sources– Find out how your visitors are finding you. Knowing which of your sources are driving the most traffic to the website will allow you to determine how well the search engines index the content on your website. Additionally, it will give you the information to know if social media is actually working and which email campaigns are driving traffic. If you locate the best traffic generating sources, you can drill down further to strategize on what types of calls-to-action you place on specific pages.
Conversion Rates- Getting visitors to the website is the first step, getting them to convert is the next. Doing variant or A/B testing with landing pages and calls-to-action allow you to test which are converting at a higher average. Then determine which keywords are giving you the best top, middle, and bottom of the funnel leads.
Ensure that your data is clear & true- Don’t focus on one metric. For example you notice an increase in traffic one week, what was the cause of this increase? Many times you are the cause of traffic spikes doing audits on your articles or content. Do not fall victim to false positives.
Close the Loop – Most marketers are concerned about their ROI because knowing where to devote more time, energy, and resources are important. Closed loop marketing or finding out which campaigns are driving the most traffic, leads, and most importantly customers. You want to devote your valued resources on campaigns that are converting into customers and business.
You should now feel compelled enough to implement a web analytics on your site(s). If not I hope you have good web sonar to guide you where you are going. If you are looking for a analytics program you can try a freemium web analytics software .
This article from Hubspot- “How To Use Web Analytics To Become A Better Marketer” is a great read for online marketers interested in wielding the power of analytics.
For those who don’t think they need it now, trust me, you will one day. If you didn’t know about web analytics until recently, this is the first reason you need it. One day you’ll need to know how well your website and web presences are “performing”.
Don’t even worry about what I mean by performing. It doesn’t matter. Why? Well, with even the most basic implementations of web analytics (the same exact tag on every page ) you’ll begin collecting so much data that you will be amazed one day in the future.
This basic tagging is so simple I consider it a zero dollar ($0) investment. How can you argue that math?
Whether that future need is for you or for someone you bring in to manage it, they will need historical data. If you bring someone in (internal or external) and immediately ask them to affect the following changes:
- Increase our organic rankings
- Track our pay-per-click campaign success
How can you expect them to measure their progress without historical data? Sure, you could tag your site and collect two weeks’ worth of data as a benchmark, but what if you have peaks and valleys within a month? Or even within a year?
Close the Loop – Most marketers are concerned about their marketing ROI , knowing where to devote more time, energy, and resources are important. Closed loop marketing or finding out which campaigns are driving the most traffic, leads, and most importantly customers. You want to devote your valued resources on marketing campaigns that are driving actual customers and business.