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Web Analytics: get more than just a great looking website

So your website looks exactly how you want it to, but then what do you do with it?

How do you know if your target audience likes it and if it’s doing the job it’s meant to?

Well, if you want to base your opinion on more than just blind faith and optimism, web analytics can tell you everything you need to know and provide actionable insights.  It’s actually just as important to have a strong web analytics service as it is to have a pretty website.

In a nutshell, web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimising web usage.

If used correctly, web analytics can offer a real insight and tell you everything you need to know about your website.  It can help you fine tune your online activity by capturing rich data about user-behaviour, which in turn can derive valuable insights to gain a clear advantage over your competitors.

You may have tried downloading a free tool from the internet – like Statcounter or Google web analytics.  There are many free services out there and they can be very useful tools for some, particularly if you have a hobby business or blog.  However, most of these services have their limitations.  Some feature limited tracking and are unable to report if hits to your website top 500.

If you’re searching for a good and reliable web analytics service for your business, you do need a better solution that can tract and analyse user behaviour on your website without any form of limitation.

It’s also worth remembering that it’s key to have the experience and knowledge to use this data.  If you don’t, it’s just numbers on a page. Data overload is all too common and standard web analytics packages can all too often fail to provide the right information tailored to your company’s needs.  Are you really saving money when your people don’t have the knowledge to use it?

Good data that is interpreted well can tell you many things: how a visitor landed on your website; what search terms they used to find you; how many visitors you receive each day/month; what activities they performed on your website; where users spend most of their time; what percentage of visitors to your sign up pages actually convert; how long they stayed (or your bounce rate); how to convert your visitors into sales and even the effectiveness of ad-campaigns.

Very importantly it can identify areas for improvement, discovering where people are leaving your site, where your site is failing to convert and if you need more informative content and/or more frequent updates.  The opposite is also true, it’s useful to understand what aspects of your site are working.  Or which areas of your site are proving “sticky” – which is actually a good thing!  It means which areas of your website stick in the minds of your visitors, which translate to repeat visitors.

Basically, analytics can be a hugely informative tool that tells the story of your website, giving you all the information you need to make it a memorable tale or one quickly forgotten by visitors.

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