Resource type: Blog

Want to win the race to success? Then use website analytics…

Did you know that Formula One cars have up to 300 on-board sensors? During a Grand Prix these continuously transmit data to the driver’s technical team, showing them how the different parts of the vehicle are running. The team can then radio their driver and tell him how to get the very best performance from his car.

Well, you can build into your website a performance monitoring system that is every bit as powerful and it goes by the title of ‘website analytics.’

Don’t be put off by the uninspiring name. This is really exciting information which, when used correctly, will help you to make crucial decisions that can drive your website forward.

And you don’t have to be a boffin to understand the key measures. Let’s take a look at a couple and translate the jargon into plain English.

• “Unique visitors.” Say your website has received 1,000 hits. It could be that 1,000 different people have visited it. Or maybe one person has visited it 1,000 times. It is vital to know how many individual people have been to your website. In analytics terms, these are called Unique Visitors.

• “Bounce rate.”  If someone lands on your website looks at only one page and then leaves then, in analytics parlance, they have “bounced.” And “bounce rate” simply expresses the number of people who have done this as a percentage of all the visitors to your site.

You can hopefully see why this kind of information would be incredibly useful to you. And this is just a small selection from the huge range of measurements that you can use.

The more you use analytics, the more you will learn how to change and adjust elements of your website to make it perform more effectively…and get the results that your business is looking for.

• Not enough Unique Visitors? Maybe you need to do more to promote the site and generate new traffic.

• Bounce rate too high? Perhaps you haven’t attracted the right people. Or maybe you have attracted the right people, but the content of your website wasn’t powerful enough to hook them.

Analytics doesn’t simply pump out information for information’s sake. It gives your business valuable feedback on customer behaviour that should lead directly to positive, constructive action. Every day you can acquire new feedback that will help your business improve.

There are many analytics packages, but the leader is Google Analytics, which is free.  As well as showing you how many people are visiting your site each day, Google Analytics will tell you where your website traffic has come from, what people were searching for, the geographic location of your visitors, which of your online ads is most effective, your most and least popular web pages, which other sites ‘referred’ people to your site (including your own social media pages), and what kind of device your visitors are using.

Another very useful and easy to use analytics tool is Hotjar. This can provide you with a ‘heat map’ that graphically illustrates just how your site is being used.
Used together with Google Analytics, this will give you a real insight into the effectiveness of your website and help you identify any changes you need to make.

So get to grips with website analytics as soon as you can. It can give you a real advantage in a challenging marketplace. Just listen to the words of Mariam Naficy, CEO of Minted:

“Conversion rates can be greatly increased by using web analytics. We saw conversion rates for one of our products increase by 400% after using analytics tools.”

Why not picture yourself as the business equivalent of one of those F1 drivers, using analytics to put yourself firmly in the driving seat of your website? And as you learn more each day, you’ll be able to use this new-found knowledge to accelerate past your competitors.

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