“Analytics” is just a nice term for data collection. Good analysis can directly affect your company’s revenue, because knowing how users behave when using your website helps you build a website that leads them toward your goals.
What to look for in Analytics
Website analysis collects data on three important things: how users interact with your website, how your website performs and how your website is doing in the sea of the internet.
You can use these analytics to make informed decisions about the direction of your website and business. Without some beta testers, comments, and reviews, you may not know much about how the average person uses your site, and you may not have much feedback on changes you make. Analytics lets you know what people who are not talking are thinking.
But analysis can often be confusing. If you do not know what you are looking for then it may just look like charts and numbers to you. We explain what some common measurement values are and how they affect your company.
Traffic, side views and demographics
Your traffic is your website input; the stream of people coming in to look around. It is good to know the size of this stream and where it comes from, so you can tailor your website around it. For example, your website may get more traffic on weekends than on weekdays, so if you were to announce a new product, you might want to do so on weekends where more people can see it.
Pageviews are the most important measure of traffic and track how many people come to your pages. However, one person can see multiple pages, so many analytics suites will group a user’s experience with your site in one session, which is a more accurate measure of how many actual people use your site daily.
Demographic tools will tell you how users are composed; where do they live, where did they find your website, what browser and device they use, how old are they, if they are men or women etc. This can inform you if your audience is different from the general public. With tools like Google Analytics, you can even see users’ interests, but only in broad categories.
Completion of goals
Your business has a goal and your website helps you achieve that goal, whether it’s getting users to sign up for an account, buying a premium service or just staying on your website for a while.
Your website performance should really be measured not by how many clicks you get but by how often you reach your goal. This is called yours conversion rateand a high conversion rate leads directly to more revenue. A site that gets 10,000 impressions per day but only funnels 1 percent of these users to the goal would be awful compared to a site that receives 1,000 impressions but converts 10 percent of them. After all, with 10 percent conversion rate, the site does its job 10 times better than the other site and makes just as much money with much lower traffic.
Most analytics suites allow you to set goals to achieve, such as selling a product or having someone download an app. These will be tracked for each session and for some suites they can be tracked for each individual user for many months. Maybe your service uses free trials or a free level, and most of your revenue comes from free level users who upgrade their plans in this case, it is necessary to track users in the long run for accurate data.
Bounce rate and session duration
Bounce rate is the measure of how many people leave your site without seeing other pages or interacting at all. Having a high bounce rate can mean two things, and they are very different.
The bad news is that a high bounce rate may cause users to find your site annoying. Maybe it takes too long to load, it’s buggy and does not respond, or your content is not useful. People leave the site quickly without clicking around and your bounce rate increases.
The good news is that this is not always the case. For some types of websites, especially for news and blogs, it is not bad to have a high bounce rate. If you read this article, found it informative and relevant to what you searched for and then left without searching, Google’s search algorithms will see that you found this page helpful and start ranking this site higher. Obviously, it’s better to get you to read more (that’s why there are related posts in the sidebar and below the article on almost every site), but no one will complain about a “happy bounce”.
The session duration metric can help you tell what type of bounce your site is getting. If people only spend a few seconds on your site on average, they are probably bored or annoyed, but if they spend several minutes there, they are probably engaged in your content.
What is A / B testing?
A / B testing is like the scientific method of websites. You show the current version of your site to Group A users, but then you show a modified version to Group B users. There does not need to be any major change; maybe you moved a button, changed the look of a form or added a splash box somewhere, all you think would improve your goal. Then run the test for a while and measure how many users from each group achieve the goal.
You may find that version B does a much better job of achieving its goal, so you can safely replace your current site with version B. If you do this several times, you will eventually land on a site with a highly optimized conversion ratio.
A / B testing is the gold standard for improving websites; It’s everywhere, and you’ve probably been an ignorant test subject for many companies. The Huffington Post uses A / B testing for the first five minutes of publishing an article to determine which headline to use. In 2011, Google ran over 7,000 A / B tests on users of the site. Most analysis tools include ways to run A / B tests.
Which Analytics Suite should I use?
No matter what usage case you have, you should almost certainly use Google Analytics, as it is completely free and offers many useful features. Adding it (and most other tools) is as simple as including a few scripting tags on your site.
In addition, many suites on Google Analytics are expanding, but it is perfectly fine to continue using Google Analytics. (After all, more data is always better.) You can read our guide to analysis tools for a more detailed summary of what the market has to offer.