For my second blog post (the first can be found here) I wanted to try and answer the question often posed to me at parties after I’ve explained what web analytics is, which is ‘why is web analytics important?’.
As analytics can be briefly defined as ‘The analysis of web data to improve the website for it’s owner and it’s visitors ‘, you can see how this can be a broad question to answer. As a start point, you need to understand what the ‘web data’ is.
A website’s web data can be captured by any number and various types of tools. With how the majority of these tools work though (which I will cover in a later blog), pretty much everything a visitor to a site does is captured or measured. This means if you’re interested in how long a visitor spent looking at your site on? We have it. Which pages they looked at in which order? We have it. What they searched for in google to find the site? We have it. How often visitors return to your site? We have it.
So we can capture more web data for a web site than we can shake a stick at, but what’s the point? Well, we can use this data to answer important questions that you may have about your site, for example;
• You’re unsure if the pages with photos on in your web site helps you make more sales than the pages with reviews on? The web analytics data helps you prove this by comparing them and seeing which one leads to selling more than the other.
• You’re unsure why people who look at the products you offer on your web site then fail to buy them? The web analytics data can show you what pages on the site between the products that are viewed and the buying journey cause people to leave.
• You’re unsure why you only get requests via the contact form on your site for the low value services you provide? The web analytics data can show you what terms visitors are entering on Google to find your site, so you can see if people are not finding you when they look for your higher value services.
As you can see, the web analytics data helps you to understand what on your site the visitors to it like and dislike, what they interact with and what they don’t. This means by using web analytics, any decision about your site you make can have any element of guess work removed from it, as you can see exactly what works and what doesn’t by how the visitors have reacted to it.