Web Analytics and how to Use Them
Web analytics are the different statistical measures of the performance of a website. If you’re a webmaster, these are your feedback as to who is visiting your website, how long they are staying, which pages they are going to, where it ranks on search engines and etc. They are very powerful if used correctly, so we’re going to go through the most important ones, and then tell you where you can find these stats.
Web Analytics You Need to Know About
Kind of self-explanatory – the number of times people have come to your site. This is one of the most important measures for anyone that makes a website with the intent of people viewing it.
Don’t get this confused with the above. This is the number of unique visitors to your site (a person visiting more than once still counts as a 1). This represents the size of your audience.
Many web analytics tools record stats on more than just the number of visitors on your site. They record their country, web browser, device and possibly more. All this information can be used to inform content targeting and web design. E.g. targeting to the US audience; web design for mobile devices.
Click-through rate = Click-throughs/Impressions
Click-through rate is the most popular stat for evaluating the performance of online ads. It is calculated from the ‘click-throughs’ (number of clicks on the ad) divided by the ‘impressions’ (number of views of the ad). It is a good measure of ad effectiveness because it represents the ratio of people who, seeing the ad decided to click on it.
This tells you how users are getting to your site – whether from search engines, other sites, social media or direct URL.
This is the percentage of visitors who navigate away after vising only one page. An inevitable degree of these ‘bouncers’ will be people who accidentally entered your site while looking for something else. But the remainder of the stat should be minimised because it indicates cases where the website was not effective enough.
This is the % of people who respond to the call to action of the website. It is one of the most important measures of the website’s effectiveness because it represents the % of users who responded the way that you wanted them to e.g. that bought the product.
Value Per Visit
A simple measure of the value you extract from each visitor on average. It is likely to be small due to the relative abundance of visitors but small number of buyers on the internet. But is a crucial measure in evaluating whether the website is covering its expenses.
A ranked list of pages from highest to lowest visits. The pages with the most visits are the ‘top pages’ which you should learn from by asking questions like: ‘what did they do right?’ ‘what did they do that the others didn’t do?’ and etc.
Where to find web analytics
Many good content management platforms (CMPs) like WordPress, Squarespace and Wix record SEO stats which you can access through their interface. This is the most simple way to find these analytics.
So that brings to an end our crash course on web analytics. If you’ve never looked into your website’s stats before, or never recorded any at all, then we recommend starting now. Without them, you’re digital marketing efforts are flying blind.