Flying Blind: The Importance Of Website Analytics
Just about every business that needs to have a website, has a website – right? But how many businesses monitor their web presence using website metrics tools?
I’m constantly dumbfounded when speaking with new marketing clients, on the lack of metrics in their site. I’d say that, on average, more than 80% of the small businesses that contact us for help with their marketing haven’t looked at their site analytics in the past 60 days. What’s even more scary, is that around 50% of the businesses we speak with don’t have any analytics running on their site. In this day and age there’s just no excuse.
Website Analytics Are Crucial
Web analytics tools give you business owners and marketers realtime intelligence in how a website is being used. Information such as where your web visitors are geographically located, whether they came to your website directly or from another web link, how long they spent on each page, etc. can easily be mined and filtered.
Analytics tools help refine your website’s content. For example, perhaps you know it takes 30 secs to read a certain page of your website, but web analytics reports that 50% of visitors click away from that page after 15 secs. Based upon the data you can make some educated guesses as why that’s happening, and take steps to rectify the situation. Perhaps there are a couple of paragraphs that don’t add much to the page’s overall content, so visitors find it derivative or boring and leave. Maybe there’s a technical issue – a script takes too long to load, an ad doesn’t appear, or the page doesn’t format correctly when the page is viewed on a mobile device. Correctly implemented and configured website analytics software will tell you these things, as well as a lot more.
Websites, at least the good ones, are never finished. Any website should be considered to be in a state of continual development in terms of content, design, and underlying structure. Any page can be tweaked to perform better – whatever the yardstick being used. However the only reliable, repeatable, and consistent way to improve page performance is by measuring it. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Installing and correctly configuring website analytics software is a pre-requisite before embarking on any kind of Conversion Rate Optimization process.
Website Analytics: Plenty of Pros, Very Few Cons
Site analytics can help with lead generation, user behavior analysis, social media performance, sales evolution, product design, and is vital for any online advertising campaigns. It baffles me as to why startups and small business owners would neglect such an important component of their site.
There are many web analytics services out there, and the best bit is that many of them are free. The KEXINO website uses Google Analytics, but there are many others such as Clicky and Mixpanel. Installation is extremely easy, and there are plenty of online resources to help even the most technophobic small business configure their account to report on the most important performance indicators for their particular business. There are hundreds of pros and precious few cons, so why are you waiting?
Most of us now know that today’s website can no longer be little more than a glorified brochure. It needs to be an integral part of the marketing, pre-sales, sales, and support structure of the business. To do that effectively you need to know what’s working and what’s not. Otherwise you’re flying blind.