Web Analytics: Stalk Your Site

Web Analytics

Let’s get one thing straight: stalking, in most cases, is a problem. Stalking your ex’s photos on Facebook? Definitely frowned upon. Stalking in real life? 100% illegal.

But stalking your own website statistics? Well, that’s just good business sense. I’m talking about web analytics, which gives you all the juicy details on how users are interacting with your site.

The data gathered using web analytics can be used to help you improve user experience and ultimately make your business more successful.

Web Analytics Explained and Expanded

Web analytics is a way of collecting, analysing, and reporting web data. It involves gathering information about website visitors and how they interact with the site.

The point of using web analytics, such as Google Analytics, is to allow website owners to make data-driven decisions to improve user experience, content, and online strategies.

Google Analytics Last 7 Days Performance Screenshot

Typical data that web analytics reports on include:

Pageviews

Pageviews refer to the total number of times a particular page on a website has been viewed or loaded by users.

Every time a user accesses and loads a webpage, it counts as one pageview.

Pageviews are a fundamental metric in web analytics and are used to gauge the popularity of a website or specific pages within it, however, this data should be viewed in conjunction with other data. Since pageviews do not take into account unique views, a small number of people reloading one page on your website could incorrectly give the appearance that the page is very popular.

Unique Pageviews

Unique pageviews represent the number of times a specific page was viewed at least once by a user during a session.

For example, if a user visits a website’s pricing page, then moves onto the location page, and heads back to the pricing page, this will only count as one unique pageview for the pricing page.

Unlike total pageviews, which count every instance of a page being loaded, unique pageviews provide a more refined measure by considering only one view per session. This offers a much more accurate representation of user interest.

Unique Users

Unique users represent the number of individuals who visit a website within a specified time.

This metric is essential in web analytics as it helps measure the size of a website’s audience by counting each user only once, regardless of how many times they visit the site during the timeframe.

Analysing unique users can provide insights into the total number of individuals who have engaged with a website to help determine overall popularity, however, they may not always be precisely accurate.

For example, one person may view a website on their personal computer, and then visit the same website on their mobile. This will count as two unique users because of the way web analytics track users.

Returning Users

Returning users are individuals who have visited a website at least once before and return for additional visits.

This is a key metric to observe in web analytics because it allows you to understand user behavior and measure user loyalty. You can also track returning users over a specified time period to assess the effectiveness of your efforts to retain your target audience.

Bounce Rate

This is a measurement of the percentage of visitors who land on a single page of a website and leave without navigating to additional pages.

Bounce rate is commonly used to measure the effectiveness of a website’s landing pages, which can encourage a website owner to reassess the page content, the page loading time, or potential navigation issues.

If you’re experiencing high bounce rates this could indicate that the content on a landing page is not engaging or relevant to the visitor’s needs, and therefore they leave without exploring further.

It could also be a sign of poor site navigation or confusing layouts, which discouraged the users from exploring further.

Slow-loading pages can also be a significant factor for high bounce rates, as users may become impatient and exit the site.

Traffic Source

A traffic source refers to the route users took to arrive at a website, for example, did they organically arrive at your site using Google, or did they click a paid advertising link?

Measuring the traffic source provides insights into how visitors find a website, which in turn tells us how effective marketing efforts have been, and how to optimise future online strategies.

How Can Web Analytics Benefit You?

Web analytics might sound challenging, but the insights gained can be essential in making informed decisions about everything from website design and content strategy to marketing campaigns and overall online performance.

Web analytics encompasses a huge range of different types of data you could analyse to gain insights into your website and your audience.

However, not every component of web analytics will be relevant to your business, and measuring every piece of data available can be overwhelming.

Instead, you could opt to focus on one particular area, for example, user retention. Here, let’s explore the areas in which web analytics could be used to benefit your business.

Determine Demographics

You can find out things about users of your website using analytics tools, for example where they are located, their age, their gender, and the type of device they are using.

This information can help you better understand your audience, and allow you to create targeted marketing plans.

Traffic Tells

Knowing how your audience reached your website is very powerful information.

If a low proportion of visitors come to your website through paid advertising, you know you can quit pursuing that particular avenue.

If you aren’t getting as much traffic through search engines as you’d hoped, maybe you need to up your SEO game.

Consider Content

By tracking the performance of specific pages, you can determine what type of content was popular among your visitors, as well as what wasn’t.

This can lead to better content planning in the future, to meet the demands of your audience.

Marketing Metrics

You can use it to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, for example, look at click-through rates and conversions.

This data is valuable in helping optimise future marketing strategies, and ensuring marketing expenditure isn’t wasted.

Conclusion

Knowing how to interpret web analytics and using this information as a means of bringing about change on your site is absolutely essential for anyone who runs a website today.

After all, how can you expect to know how to improve if you don’t know what is and isn’t working?

Think of it as a school report detailing the areas where you need to work harder, only instead of getting your report at the end of term, you can access an updated report at any time, on any given day.

Need help with your web analytics? Contact us today.

Karli Edmondson-Matthews
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