Many business owners pay good money for professional web development, but then fail to make the most of the ‘behind the scenes’ analytics available to them. This is a shame, because once you understand how your customers interact with your website, you will have the ammunition needed to make precise changes, in order to increase conversions.
Google Analytics is a free service which provides data on how visitors interact with your website. There are four clear benefits:
- Referral sites – Knowing whether your visitors arrive at your website via a search engine results page (serps), a social media link, PPC Ads or by typing your URL directly into the browser, helps you identify potential niche markets, as well as measuring the success of your marketing campaigns.
- Bounce rate – This is the percentage of visitors who land on one of your webpages and then leave your site. Did you know that you can set this to identify visitors who clicked on a link to one of your off-site channels? This will reduce your bounce rate and provide additional information to help you increase conversions.
- Conversion rates –You can track sales, subscriptions or downloads. Knowing your conversion rates will help you fine-tune your marketing efforts to target profitable sources of customers.
- Popular pages –This data helps you to know whether your optimisation efforts are directing traffic to the desired pages.
Google Webmaster Tools
Often an overlooked resource, Google Webmaster tools allow you to monitor and optimise your website’s visibility on the web for search engines, rather than for people as with Google Analytics.
- SERPs – These tools provide data on how many search queries returned pages from your website, the total number of your web pages included in the serps and the ranking of your website in the Search Engine Results Pages.
- Indexing – With this information you can find out if search engines have trouble crawling your website and also prevent private pages being indexed.
- Broken links – You can locate any broken external links, as well as ensuring that your webpages are internally linked.
- Sitemaps– You can submit a sitemap to Google, which tells Google that your website has changed in some way and needs reindexing. You can also tell if any of your pages are being blocked by Google.
These are a great way to truly understand how your visitors interact with your site. You can track which of your links visitors click the most, identify the areas on each page that draw the most or least attention and analyse the impact of images, headlines and advertisements on visitors.
Utilising these analytics packages can provide a much needed window into consumer and search engine behaviour, resulting in a better optimised website and hence, increased conversions.