Hey! In this video, we’ll be going over how you can make web analytics work for you—no matter what kind of business you own.
You’ll learn about how analytics helps you track and measure what visitors do on your website, and use that information to help you achieve your business goals.
Let’s get started.
Used properly, web analytics can become the foundation of the online portion of your business. That’s because analytics can measure the performance of just about any kind of online marketing you decide to do. From search to display advertising, social to email, and everything in between.
At the same time, analytics measures your website visitors across the entire digital customer journey - from the first time a person visits your website, to the time they become a valuable repeat customer.
To see how this all comes to life, let’s look at an example, say, a guesthouse or “bed and breakfast.”
One goal for for a bed and breakfast is to have website visitors make a reservation online - after all, that’s how they make money.
Analytics can help measure how many reservations are being made, but it will also capture important insights about the things that lead up to and follow that reservation. All throughout the entire customer journey.
So what exactly does that mean? Let’s play out an example of the journey a customer goes through before they make a reservation. If you were looking for a guest house in, say Cologne,Germany for a trip you’ll be making three months from now, the first thing you might do is go online and search for a term like “guesthouses in Cologne.”
After you search, you end up on a search results page. And from there, you might spend some time clicking around on some guest house websites that interest you. You’re in research mode.
Once you’re on a website, you might do any number of things. Like check out the daily rate. See what kinds of rooms are available. Browse some reviews or testimonials to get a better idea of what the guesthouse is really like. You might even look at some pictures to get a sense of the place. At this point, you’re probably not ready to actually book a reservation - you’re still looking around. But you might decide that this one is on your short-list, and you might even sign up to receive email updates from the guesthouse to make sure you don’t miss out on any promotions.
Now, two weeks later, what do you know? An email shows up in your inbox offering 10% off the normal rate, for the same dates you were planning to travel!
At this point, you’ve done quite a bit of research, but you haven’t booked yet, and that email was just what you needed to make your decision. So you click on the email, go back to the website, and make a reservation.
The power of analytics is that it can help a business measure what’s going on at every stage of that customer journey. Want to know how people are initially becoming aware of your business? It can tell you which search engines people are finding you on and which kinds of pages they’re being sent to.
It can then tell you if people are actually engaging with your business when they get to your website. For example, do they browse around and sign up for your email updates? Or do they just click the back button in their browser and move on to the next option?
Analytics can also measure whether people are converting on the goals you want to track - in our example, there were actually two: First, that email newsletter signup, and second, the reservation itself.
Analytics can tell us whether people are coming back and becoming repeat customers. And when properly set up, analytics can even tell us if those loyal customers are becoming our advocates - for example, are they sharing our content with others on social networks?
A great way to turn analytics into a powerful tool that helps you understand how people use your website and improve accordingly, is to set clear, specific, quantifiable goals at every stage of the customer journey.
Then, use analytics to measure your progress toward those goals, and identify bottlenecks that are getting in the way of achieving them. For example, the guesthouse may have a goal of getting at least 50 reservations per month. Using analytics, they might find out that people are getting confused by their booking system, which is causing interested potential customers to abandon the website… and probably book somewhere else.
This isn’t good news, of course, but it’s great information. It identifies what needs to be fixed, and hopefully, drives a decision to spend some time and resources making the booking process quicker and easier. And that’s the key - data without action isn’t going to help anyone.
We’ve covered a lot of ground here, so let’s recap. Analytics can become the foundation that measures and supports all of your digital efforts.
It can help you measure what’s happening and understand the different stages of the online customer journey, highlighting things you’re doing well and showing you where you need to improve. So set your goals, measure your progress, and then use your data to take your business to the next level.
- why web analytics underpins everything you do in digital
- the kinds of insights you can gain using analytics
- how to use data to support your business goals.