Why Analytics are Vital for Your Website
Web analytics measure the make or break quality of your website and its content. Not reserved for those who are simply interested in statistics, a good utilization of the information provided by web analytics can not only help drive more visitors to your website by seeing what works and what doesn’t but can also help properly monetize your site by pinpointing correct marketing approaches.
The analytics all boil down to the Internet’s one common denominator – visitors. A closer look at their behavior, where they come from, or how long they stay on your site can paint a valid overall picture of your website’s current and foreseeable success. For instance, let’s say you have a website that covers stories on the technology of the net. Applying analytics to your site can highlight in detail which of these stories or topics gains the most views. If articles based on net neutrality gain the most clicks, a further focus on such articles can help retain these visitors, gain new ones, and, chiefly, increase brand awareness and SEO.
You can also discover where these visitors are coming from. Are they using direct links from social media, other websites, or, most importantly, are they arriving at your site via organic searches online? Gauging these origins can indicate the effectiveness of your social media campaigns, root out if visits to your site are from real people vs. spam bots, or determine if people are searching for your site directly online. Did they arrive to your site because of a relevant article or are they searching for it by name?
One of the key features analytics provide is the ability to scrutinize visitor path flow. This information can help you discover the effectiveness of your site map, layout, and increase your return on investment by seeing how many clicks or page visits a visitor must overcome to make a purchase on your site. Furthermore, this information can help diagnose broken areas of your website. Are there interruptions in your visitor’s paths caused by broken links, missing buttons, or slow load times on certain pages? Where is your visitor becoming engaged and where along the path can you potentially be losing them?
Overall, the knowledge provided by these metrics can help you identify the best changes and directions to apply to your site by giving you the opportunity to make informed, data driven decisions for your property.
The availability of services providing analytics are not only numerous but many of the best options are free. Google Analytics has become one of the industry standards, graphing behavior flows, bounce rates, new vs. returning visitors, and much more. It can also help evaluate your website for optimal clickability based on layout and highlight real time interactions. The service is very comprehensive although with a slight learning curve. The wealth of information can be daunting on first glance but once explored it is generally simple to use. Other popular services include Spring Metrics, Woopra, and Kissmetrics. Additionally, many popular social media platforms offer their own analytics such as Facebook Insights and YouTube Analytics. Twitalyzer examines the effectiveness of your Twitter campaign based on followers, retweets, and engagement.
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