The importance of web analytics for your business

By Carl Ashfield
June 21, 2022
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Your website is the cornerstone of your online business. It’s where you establish your identity and credibility, generate leads, and close sales.

Website analytics tell you everything about your site, whether it’s working, whether there are any performance issues, and even where you should make changes to help improve conversions. We’re not exaggerating when we say that your website is vital to your business.

So we need to make sure that you’re using your web analytics set up to its full potential.

Market Leader:

In 2021, Google maintained its position as the undisputed leader in the web analytics sector by ensuring three of its web analytics tools occupied the top three spots in the worldwide market. Google Analytics came in top place with a market dominance of 31.55%.

Google Analytics 4 is the latest version of Google Analytics (Universal), and it’s packed with a lot more features that will help you measure your website’s performance, understand your audience, and make the changes that will improve your results (more on that later).

Why Should We Use Web Analytics?

Get Insights:

The first and foremost reason for using web analytics software is to get insights into your website traffic. By understanding who your visitors are, where they come from, and what they do on your site, you can make better and informed decisions about improving your website. This information can help you make changes to improve the user experience and increase conversions.

Make Data-Driven Decisions:

Web analytics can help you make data-driven decisions about your website. By understanding which areas of your site are performing well and which ones need improvement, you can make changes that will positively impact your business.

Improve Your ROI:

Another important reason for using Google Analytics is to improve your return on investment (ROI).

By understanding which marketing campaigns are driving traffic and conversions, you can invest more in the campaigns that are working and less in those that aren’t. This will help you get more out of your marketing budget and ultimately improve your bottom line.

Track Your Goals:

Goals can be set up within Google Analytics that will also help you understand a website’s user behaviour. How many users click your ‘Contact Us’ button? Are users watching your videos? If so, do they watch it completely?

With goals set up, you can get even more granular with the data.  You could find out what your users did next, dig into the demographics of those users and even use these as segments to retarget in your paid campaigns later on as you’ll know that they’ll be warm leads and easier to convert due to certain actions made on the website.

Gain a Competitive Advantage:

Finally, web analytics can give you a competitive advantage. By understanding your website traffic and how it compares to your competitors, you can make changes that will help you stand out from the crowd and help you stay ahead of the competition.

How Does Web Analytics Work?

Collecting Data:

The first step in web analytics is data collection. This is done through the use of cookies, which are small pieces of data that are stored on a user’s computer. Cookies can track various information, including the pages a user visits, the time spent on each page, and the links clicked.

Processing Data:

Once the data is collected, it needs to be processed to be analysed. This is done through web analytics software, which can take the data from the cookies and turn it into usable information.

Analysing Data:

The next step is to analyse the data. This is where you will look at the information that’s been collected and try to make sense of it. For example, you will look at which pages are being visited most often, what time of day people visit your site, and where they’re coming from.

Reporting Data:

The final step in web analytics is to report the data.

Now that you have the data broken up into easier-to-understand segments and groups, you can add the data into reporting tools like Google Data Studio which will show and highlight informative data to the decision-makers within a business.

A Sample of Web Analytics

When you use a Web analytics tool like Google Analytics,  data is often displayed in dashboards that may be adjusted based on user personas, date ranges, and other characteristics. In addition, data may be categorised into several subgroups, for example:

Audience:

Here you will mostly find a lot of data about your users and their demographics. What devices do they use and the language and location of your users.

From analysing this data, you could find that mobile users have a really high bounce and exit rate, which could indicate there may be a technical issue.

Acquisition:

The acquisition section displays which marketing channel like SEO, paid and social brings in the most traffic and if connected, we can see Google ads and Google Search Console data within the platform.

Again, we can break this down to a granular level to find out which channel brings in the most traffic to the homepage and other sections of a website.

For example, Google ads bring in the most traffic to a product page but highlight a really high bounce rate. This could be due to the fact that the page isn’t relevant to the Google ad that they clicked on or other on-page factors.

Behaviour:

This section of Google Analytics highlights the (you guessed it) behaviour of your users.

What and where do users mostly land on the site? Where do they mostly leave? You may find that an important product page has a high number of visits but a really low conversion rate. So why is this? The data is there for you to analyse, test and improve.

Conversions:

This is where you’ll see your conversions and goals. How many users filled in our contact forms? How many users watched and completed our videos? And so on. This is important to see what matters most to your business. Maybe a certain goal isn’t performing as well as it should have.

If you run an eCommerce store, this section will also highlight your revenue and product data. By using a date range, you can see how your products and conversion rate perform. Are users starting to convert more over time or drop over certain periods of time?

Most importantly is the checkout behaviour section, here we get to see a funnel of how your users flow through the checkout process.

You will see the number and percentage of users who viewed a product, the number of users who added to the cart, the number of users who filled out the shipping and billing information and more importantly, how many converted into a purchase.

When set up correctly, this section can find out the most crucial information when it comes to ecommerce analysis. A high percentage of users see the shipping information but they do not proceed any further, why is this? Again analyse, test and improve these numbers.

As it could be that your shipping details page has too many fields leaving users frustrated or there could be field errors (But this is a totally different blog post).

Time for a change – Google Analytics 4

If you haven’t heard already, the current version of Google Analytics will become obsolete by July 2023 of next year. The current platform has been around for over 10 years and was built for the desktop web and pulled most of its data from cookies.

A lot has changed since then, and due to the current version (Universal Google Analytics) not having the ability to deliver cross-platform insights, Google Analytics has built the next generation of analytics known as GA4 which also focuses on better data privacy regulations.

But don’t worry, this can currently be set up alongside your current Google Analytics Universal account, meaning you can collect a good year’s worth of data.

If you need help setting up your web analytics, then please get in touch and we’ll happily get you set up with tracking and gaining valuable insights on your users.

Well that’s it for today, if you found this useful and want to learn more on how you can boost your ecommerce business using digital marketing tricks, feel free to sign up to The Evergreen Way here!

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