Pay attention to your web analytics

graphic by sara landis graphic designer + photographer

graphic by sara landis graphic designer + photographer

Websites require attention if you want them to work well for you. Checking your website’s analytics will give you some much needed insight and clues into where to focus that attention because it shows you how your site is performing. Do you regularly monitor your website analytics? If you do you’ll get some very useful statistics on page views, conversions, sales, referrers, and popular content. 

If you see that a particular page on your website is getting a lot more hits than the rest take some time to think about it. What does this page contain that others don’t? If you just posted a blog and received a big traffic spike — what was the content? What channels did you use to get the word out about the blog? Did you try some newly researched long-tail keywords in your copy? 

Analytics will provide a fascinating breadcrumb trail to what is working best on your site. Then you won’t feel like you are groping your way in the dark — you can take the data and form a plan to provide content that folks are interested in and looking for.

If you have an online store, Analytics will include things like revenue, conversion, and cart abandonment data so you can track how your business is doing and identify different opportunities for growth. Should you send emails with a discount offer to the abandoned cart people? Did a particular sale offer on Facebook convert well?  These are things you will discover if you pay attention to your analytics.

I particularly like the referral data. This tells me where my website traffic is coming from and where I need to focus some effort. For example, how much traffic am I getting from search engines? If it’s not a lot, then I know I need to work on my SEO and try a few different SEO strategies. If you notice an increase in the number of referrals from search engines then YAY! You’re SEO efforts are on the right track and you should make mental note of what you’ve been doing there lately.

Bounce rates are another good indicator of how your site is doing. The first page your visitors see on your site is the landing page — called this because it is literally the page visitors land on coming in from a traffic source. The bounce rate stat will tell you how many people landed on your page and then left, immediately, without having done anything on that page. Nothing caught their eye or enticed them to poke around. Looking at the bounce rate for your website's pages will let you know which pages need some love and attention. Consider any page with a bounce rate over 30% as needing to be looked at.

Most website analytics connected to your site will have a mobile app — this makes tracking your site’s analytics every day easy. It’s one of the first apps I look at in the morning while I drink my coffee. Download that app if you haven’t already! Analytics are a fascinating and necessary tool if you want to make your website perform for you.