Many online business owners have an idea of what website analytic tools are about, but may be missing the bigger picture. For new online business owners, website analytic tools may be seen as a tool simply for checking the popularity and traffic of your website. But it can be so much deeper, and more useful, than simply site traffic.
Website analytics tools don’t only allow you to see incoming traffic, but more valuable and detailed information such as the amount of time visitors are spending on particular pages, their bounce rate, and more specific information such as their interests and shopping habits. All together, this information allows you to fine-tune your website to optimise the user experience, and generate better sales leads.
Think of such tools as a way to bring efficiency to your business. In the same way that electronic signatures can speed up the process of onboarding new customers, website analytics provide you with the platform to identify your target customer faster and more efficiently so you don’t waste time targeting the wrong audience.
Fine Tuning the User Experience
To give a concrete example, a long time ago I was hired to perform marketing campaign management for an MMORPG company (massively multiplayer online roleplaying games). The strategies I implemented were highly effective, per se – the company went from getting dozens of unique visitors per month, to several thousands. But even with thousands of unique visitors, they still had a tremendous bounce rate (users quickly leaving the website).
With a little investigation using website analytics tools, I discovered that users were typically leaving the game during the gameplay tutorial. I then suggested the company hire paid testers, who gave feedback that the game introductions / tutorials were too long and boring – players simply wanted to jump into the “action” as quickly as possible.
This is an example of how website analytics tools can help you figure out why you aren’t generating a lot of sales, even if your marketing campaigns are generating a lot of traffic. I’d recommend reading this list article of the 25 best website analytics tools for some of the most popular options available right now.
Pinpointing Effective Marketing Campaigns
With website analytics tools, not only can you see how many visitors you have, but you can pinpoint exactly where those visitors are coming from. So whether you’re running an SEO campaign, buying advertising space on other websites, or running a social media campaign, you’ll be able to figure which of your efforts are most effective.
This will save you a lot of money, because all of these various marketing strategies aren’t necessarily cheap to run. So by figuring out which marketing strategies are actually delivering visitors, you’ll be able to scale back on the ones that aren’t as effective, and focus on the ones that are.
Figure Out Your Most Popular Content
If you run a blog or news type website, of course you’ll want to know which topics are of most interest to your readers. As another personal example, I occasionally contribute articles to a website that deals with news related to smartphone, computer, and gaming topics.
The website was originally designed to be a technical help portal, with many articles dealing with computer troubleshooting guides, but it was soon discovered that the majority of visitors were interested in the gaming news section of the website. So efforts on writing computer repair guides were scaled back, and more writers were hired for game industry news. This particular website has now had several articles reach the front page of social aggregation websites such as Reddit and Slashdot.
There is so much you can accomplish with a good set of website analytics tools, I can’t cover it all in a single article, however my best advice is to research the various website analytics tools and plugins available, and begin experimenting.
As a business owner, you need to keep up with the latest technology and tools to stay ahead of the competition.