How to Use Web Analytics to Grow BusinessesIf you own a business, chances are you do. But don't pat yourself on the back too quickly. By now it's widely-accepted that if you have a business card you should probably have a website. It doesn't matter what your company is selling - a website, however modest, has become a standard. The real question is: what is your website doing for your business? As a web marketer I often put this question to the business owners I meet. Not because I'm trying to lead into my sales pitch, but because I'm intrigued to hear the answer. Most people get a certain "deer in the headlights" look in their eyes when I ask this question. To be fair, it's not a question we're used to hearing. But that's not all that's going on here. Traditional advertising mediums - print, TV, radio, etc - are notoriously difficult to track. Sure, you'll know how often the phone is ringing or how many people come in with a coupon clipped from the Sunday paper, but what you don't know is how many people saw/heard your ad and whether they were interested, oblivious or, worse, annoyed. Business owners are used to this. We all know we need to advertise - it's a necessary cost of doing business - so we buy that half-page ad in the Yellow Pages or the local newspaper, we sponsor an event or a little league team, we have a radio commercial written (maybe even with a jingle) and we hope for the best. This has been a given in marketing since the beginning. But the web, and analytics, changed the game. So how should you be using your web analytics to grow your audience, and your business, online? Track Everything With web analytics on your site you can track: Where your traffic is coming from by:
- The referring website and page
- The search engine and keyword used
- Their location
- Their operating system, browser and monitor resolution
- Their network
- Duration of visit (time on site)
- Pages per visit (number of pages viewed)
- Bounce rate (percentage of users who viewed only one page before leaving)
- Conversion rate (percentage of users who completed a preset task)
- The users may not be well-qualified - or the site where you are listed or advertising might not have the best audience for your content/offer.
- The listing/ad may promise something that the entry page does not live up to (or, at least, the promise is difficult to locate once the user arrives at your site).
- Your site is simply not usable, is unattractive or unprofessional, causing users to leave immediately (and most don't come back)
- Your users are not connecting with your content/offer.
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