Is your SEO strategy or online marketing plan successful? How do you know? Really? The only way you can know without a shadow of doubt that your site is performing at its maximum capacity possible is by using web analytics. These are tools SEOs and marketers use to collect, measure, and analyze data related to websites and other user activities.
In as little as one hour a day, you can realize significant benefits with web analytics. When you put this awesome option to work for you, you can quickly begin to see results in the form of increased traffic and higher revenue. Take a few moments to see what a bit of time and analysis can do for your business.
Learn About Visitors
Analytics provide valuable data on your site visitors. You know how long each visitor was on your site. You can easily determine where they originated and what they did once they entered your site. Are some of your web pages more popular than others? Are your visitors quickly leaving your site? Visitor behavior is a primary focus of marketers. It is getting much easier to gather this type of data. And it is incredibly helpful to know this information so you can target traffic that is more likely to convert to customers. It’s nice to know you have thousands of visitors but if they never respond to your calls to action, it’s rather pointless.
Remove Conversion Barriers
Being able to identify conversion barriers is invaluable. And because analytics provide data in real-time, you can immediately address issues that impede conversions. This can be anything from using bad publisher sites to broken links on your own. The point is you don’t have to work in the dark. You literally have information at your fingertips you can use to improve your online business success virtually overnight. Removing barriers to traffic conversions is an absolute must if you want your site to be productive. You can use information creatively to make changes to your website to reduce bounce rates and increase conversions.
Because you are better able to target your content to specific audiences, you can use web analytics to personalize your content to those markets. Doing so will improve conversion rates which means more revenue. Geo-profiling is a specific method that allows you to determine the location of your traffic so you can use targeted marketing approaches that will drive even more traffic to your site. Information on user behavior makes it easy to adjust your content in such a way that you immediately benefit with improved traffic and conversion rates. For example, emails marketed to targeted demographics are more productive than a general campaign.
Improve Site Optimization
Once you know what works and doesn’t work on your site, you are in a better position to enhance your SEO efforts. After identifying ads on your site that perform, you can do more of those and eliminate the ads that have no or low response rates. You can also strengthen your content optimization. This may involve conducting more in-depth keyword research. Do you have pages that nobody seems to be noticing? You need to revisit those pages, both in terms of the keywords you are using and the actual content. Come up with several different versions. With web analytics you can use split testing to see which of the pages perform better for you. You may find that your overall site navigation needs to be adjusted if you have pages that are never visited.
Discover Profit Sources
It’s important you know where your profit sources are so you can protect them. Analytics gives you very specific information on each web page, ads, products, and content that directly impact conversion rates. Those with high conversion rates are your profit sources. You don’t want to make changes to those that are producing revenue unless you can improve them in some way. Identifying them is the first step. If you make changes to your site without knowing this, you may end up losing revenue. And it may be difficult to rebuild profit sources.
Identify Social Media Influencers
This is fast becoming an essential feature of web analytics. Knowing what drives your social media traffic can inform your social media marketing activities. Analytics allows you to know down to the keyword level what is going on with your customers. This includes their behavior and preferences. Having this information allows you to create specific marketing approaches that will engage those users. You also have the chance to develop new business opportunities that meet the needs of your target market.
It has never been easier to know what your online competition is doing. You can actually compare your online marketing strategy with those of your competitors. With this information you can leverage your strengths to outpace competition. You can tap into new opportunities while strengthening brand awareness among online users. Analytics lets you see what keywords your competitors are using so you can make adjustments to yours. Knowing where your competitors are getting their traffic can pave the way for you to target those same sources or avoid them altogether, depending upon your specific strategy.
Strengthen Online Marketing Plan
An overarching goal of web analytics is to help site owners improve their online marketing plans. You may have developed your initial marketing plan based on assumptions but you can fine tune it using hard facts thanks to the data your analytics provide. You can use web analytics for everything from optimized content to affiliate marketing and PPC campaigns. Not only will you be better positioned to attract new traffic to your site, you can retain your current customer base for effectively. Analytics should inform your marketing plan which is a fluid document that changes as new opportunities arise.
Measure Return on Investment (ROI)
Without using analytics, you simply don’t know if you are spending marketing money in the right place. You may be paying for website modifications when the issue is your paid traffic sources. Throwing money away for any reason makes for bad business. It doesn’t take much to run through a marketing budget if you are paying for traffic. So you need to accurately measure ROI for every single marketing activity you undertake. Analytics can actually help you save money both in the short term and long term.
Use Data-Driven Decision Making
Web analytics can help your online and offline business activities. Specifically you will have real-time data you can use to make smart and timely business decisions. When you use data to drive your business, you have a better chance of being successful. In fact, data-driven decisions are the very foundation of a growing business. You need to know what customers want and provide that to them when they want it if you want to succeed. Analytics gives you the ammunition to do this in the most cost-effective and streamlined way possible.
Find Emerging Trends
Analytics can help you spot emerging trends in your industry that you can take advantage of by developing new business opportunities or creating new products and services. You can drill down to see how the trend got started so you can determine if it is merely a fad or it is here to stay. This is an often overlooked benefit of web analytics. Analytics are not just site specific. You can see what type of activities are taking place across the web and determine how to leverage them for your own gain.
A one-size-fits-all online marketing method simply does not exist. You must customize your approach by using every tool at your disposal. And web analytics is one of the most powerful because your site can only be effective if visitors have a positive experience. Visitors make or break your online business. Analytics can help you make sure visitors get the experience they expect and become converts.
There are many web analytics tools and programs you can use for your business. Many are free while others require payment to use. Review the leading options and select one or two that are most appropriate for your company and industry. You can try several before deciding which best fits your needs. The important thing is to actually use the tools to benefit your business.
Experts debate whether you should stick with one tool or mix it up. It’s your business – take time to see what will help you the most. Each analytics tool or program works different from others and provides different types of data. Learn what each has to offer and go from there.
Once you have learned to use web analytics, you can allocate a portion of each day to review data and make adjustments where needed. This will result in your site becoming more successful each day as your web presence and brand visibility grows. You can assign this activity to a team member or outsource it to a web analytics company who will provide reports on key performance indicators so you can better manage your business success.