Website Analytics: How to Read Them & How to Use Them

The online space offers marketers and businesses a myriad of information. A part of this wealth of knowledge is website analytics. These insights offer businesses an insider’s look into what’s working for their websites and what’s detracting the customer from taking action on the page.

Learning how to read and use this type of data can be a huge advantage for your digital communication strategy. You can get to know your audience on a more personal level and therefore craft a successful website that ultimately converts users to customers. What’s not to love? So, to help you get started, we’ve put together a quick 101 on everything you need to know about analysing your website’s data.

What is Website Analytics?

In short, web analytics can be described as a way of collecting data pertaining to what’s happening on your site. This data will cover everything from how long your visitors were on certain pages for, where they came from, what actions they were taking on your site, and which content they particularly fancied. In other words, it’s all about getting to know how your audience interacts with and responds to your content.

By understanding this type of consumer behaviour, you can, in turn, start improving on CTAs that see users fading away or enhance your latest sales funnel. For example, if a user spent a few seconds on your landing page before clicking out, there’s a high chance that there are some major improvements needed to prolong their interest.

Most marketers and business owners make use of the Google Analytics tool. This tool offers ease of use and a clear break down of your website’s data. With the Google Analytics platform, all it takes is to input your website’s URL, select the appropriate data sharing options, and add the Google Tracking ID plugin to your WordPress site to get started. Once your analytics are up and running, you can start making use of the following features:

  • Audience Overview: interests, geographical location, mobile or desktop, behaviour
  • Page Views: highest hits, lowest visits, bounce rates, unique page views
  • Acquisition Source: organic search, referrals, social media, direct

Google Analytics

How to Use Website Analytics to Your Advantage

While the benefits of using web analytics may be clear, the truth is that they are only advantageous once you know how to utilise the data correctly. Think of it this way: a map wouldn’t be all too helpful if you didn’t know how to read geographical points or directions, right?

Well, knowing your web analytics is like learning to follow map directions. The data collected by analytics can map a path to victory for your business. With this in mind, here are 5 key web analytics that you should learn to read and use to your best advantage.

Audience Overview

The audience overview is the first thing one will be presented with when using Google Analytics. This page offers users insights into their website’s overall visitor behaviour. Amongst this data set, you can make use of the amount of page views your website has gained in a certain time frame as well as the average bounce rate.

Your audience overview will give you a summary of your website’s general performance. From these statistics alone, you can start to gauge whether or not your website is performing optimally.

User Overview

For example, if you had to compare your website’s number of page visits from a few months ago, you should hopefully start to see an incline in statistics. Unfortunately, when you start seeing higher bounce rates or a decline in numbers, this is where you’d want to start paying more attention and employ a more thorough investigation.

Behaviour Flow

One of the key points of using web analytics is getting to know how your audience interacts with your content. Information like this can tell you how users are coming to your site and what their first actions are. By knowing how you’re drawing people in and which actions are most appealing, you can start investing more time and effort behind these funnels.

If you’re running a Google AdWords campaign, web analytics is particularly useful in seeing how impactful your ad is. You will be able to determine which keyword got their attention, how long they stayed on your site, and if your content was able to solve their problem as a consumer.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate relates to the percentage of visitors who enter your website and quickly leave without exploring other pages. Ideally, this is what you’d like to avoid when crafting an effective sales funnel and CTA strategy.

When it comes to your bounce rate, it’s best to keep this number as low as possible. A bounce rate of higher than 30% generally means that there is something wrong with your content. It could be due to slow page loading times, poor website design, or hard-to-navigate layouts. Regardless, having a high bounce rate will indicate that there is a problem that’s limiting your website’s ability to convert users to paying customers.

Acquisition Source

There are 4 main traffic sources that your website may face: search engines, backlinks, email campaign links, and social media. Using web analytics allows you to determine which acquisition channel is most effective and which can be done away with. Ergo, you can double up on the strategies that you know are converting users and free up the time for more effective measures.

Mobile vs Desktop

As we already know, mobile is huge for digital marketing and for pleasing Google. With these analytics, you can start tracking the number of users who are coming to your website through their desktop or mobile devices. Even if the difference of users is slight, it will tell you where you should gear your efforts and whether or not your website needs further mobile optimisations.

The bottom line is that website analytics is a huge game-changer for webpages and businesses. Being able to get an insider’s view into how your audience reacts to your content will make for a strategic move in catering for your target market.