For the non-geek, knowing where to look and what to make of your web analytics is critical to future success. Certainly you can benefit from knowing where your Website’s visitors arrived from (referring sites), where they landed, and how they moved about your site.
To begin, you must identify your Key Performance Indicator (KPI) – this varies from business to business. An eCommerce website will need to track whether customers put items in the shopping cart and then completed the check-out—or, it must identify what page they were on when they exited the site. A service business that markets itself via blog posts might want to track social media metrics: Are readers’ tweets convincing others to come read the posts?
Here’s a closer look at three KPIs and what they are telling you:
1. Bounce Rate. If you do any paid search marketing, the bounce rate tells you what percent of specific landing page visitors did not continue through your site. So, if 68 percent of visitors bounce out of the fuzzy slipper catalog they had been directed via paid ad, there maybe a problem. Perhaps the page loads too slowly?
GSquared Interactive blogger and bounce rate guru cautions businesses to not make any contextual changes until they have considered length of stay visitors stay, first. While a bounce rate may be high, the content might be engaging.
2. Checkout Abandonment Rate. In Google Analytics, go to “Standard Reporting,” then “Visitors” for a Visitors’ Flow report. It graphically shows what routes visitors follow through your site. Of course the flow only tells part of the story; you’ll want to know the reason(s) why some customers do not complete a purchase despite putting items in the shopping cart.
In geekspeak, one must understand customer funnels, the actual pages they visit through either the checkout process or departing the site. Paditrack is a free program that uses Google Analytics’ data to perform a conversion funnel study. Unlike Google Analytics, Paditrack’s report can include past usage information, going back as long as you’ve used Google Analytics.
3. Your Social Media Metrics. The ability to reach customers who are active on Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Google +, Instagram, Pinterest, and others, continues to grow in importance. With Google Analytics’ tools, you can learn which posts or videos are being shared (for example, by visitors using the Google +1 button or the Facebook “Like” button on your site). Click on Traffic Sources, then Social, then Plugins to get this information in your Google Analytics overview. You can also learn which social sites are referring visitors with Social Sources Report. It even provides an easy-to-read chart showing Conversions (number of visitors who completed one of your goals and the dollar value) juxtaposed with Assisted Social Conversions, conversions that social media helped to facilitate, and Last Interaction Social Conversions (visitors who came directly from a social media site and fulfilled a goal/sale. make a purchase, fill out a form). Use Google Analytics’ tools to set goals.
It should be said that Google Analytics isn’t the only way to track your Website traffic. You can also employ Bing’s Webmaster Tools for similar reports. Also, there is an open source, free analytics program called Piwik with a growing number of fans. For tips on the basic installation and use of Google Analytics, try a blog called Search Engine Land – it is a great resource.
Now if all this is taking you away from operating your business, it might be wise to consider moving all of your web and eCommerce needs to a Company who can affordably take it all off your plate – and deliver astounding results. You don’t even have to look far and wide to find your answer. Just reach out to Newtek, The Small Business Authority where in-house experts can hold your hand every step of the way.