Hi there! Web analytics tools can give you a mountain of data, straight out of the box - and that’s a great opportunity for businesses. But in order to really make use of all that data, it’s important to make sure you’re measuring progress toward your own particular goals. That means you’ll want to customise your analytics a bit, to make sure you’re tracking things that really matter to you.
Seeing some examples of goals and conversions, and looking at why it’s important to create them, will help you figure out what yours should be.
So, you’ve taken your business online for a reason, right? Well, just about anything you hoped to achieve with your website can be tracked and measured with web analytics as a goal you hope to achieve.
“Conversion” is the word commonly used to describe what happens when a website visitor completes a goal. And by now, you know that web analytics tools have the ability to break down loads of data about your visitors and what’s happening on your site to give you information that can help you get more of those conversions. Let’s use the example of a guest house to see just how important goals and tracking conversions can be.
Say you sign in to your web analytics tool and start looking at numbers. First, you notice that the guest house website had 10,000 visitors last month. You compare that number to the past, and see that your visitor count is up from 5,000 during the same month last year.
Well, not necessarily. Visits alone don’t help your business move forward, and without understanding the value of those visits, it’s really hard to figure out what to do with this information. So let’s try to figure out a little more about the value of those visits. Maybe you look at some reports and notice that the average visitor spends two minutes on your website, about the same as last year.
We’re starting to learn a little more, but we’re still not really getting to the business value of those visits. Is two minutes enough time to make a valuable visit? Is it too little? The truth is that we don’t know.
Just looking at stats like these really limits our ability to make any decisions. What we need is data that can very clearly show the value of these visits to the business. With that data you can start to really use your web analytics tool to show you things you can do to constantly improve.
And that brings us back to the very basics of what it is we want to achieve online.
One reason you’d create a website for a guest house is so that people could reserve a room online. So a completed reservation is definitely a goal that you’ll want your analytics tool to be tracking. That’s one down! But what other goals might your guest house have? What else can people do that is valuable to your business? Well, maybe you want people to know where to find you.
How would you set up an analytics tool to measure that? Well, maybe visiting the page on your site with a map and directions would be something you could consider a goal and configure that as a conversion.
Or maybe you want people to sign up for your email newsletter so that you can send them special offers and keep them up-to-date with improvements you’re making. If they sign up, they’re signaling that they’re interested in your guest house and giving you an opportunity to reach them, so that’s really valuable!
And that means completing the signup form could be another goal that you track.
There are all kinds of goals you can find that can be tracked as conversions inside web analytics and show you the real value of what’s happening on your website. Once you’ve figured out your goals, you’ll need to configure them in your web analytics tool. While the processes for doing that can vary, it’s usually pretty painless.
Once it’s done, looking at the reports in your web analytics tool becomes much more productive.
Instead of simply looking at how many visitors you’ve gotten or how long they spend on your site, you can start seeing reports showing the things you actually care about. Like maybe only 2% of your visitors coming from social media sites are signing up for your email newsletter.
So what can you do? How about putting out some social media posts offering a 10% off coupon when people sign up for the email newsletter? Or maybe you find out that your reservation rate jumps from 3% up to 6% on weekends. Your next step? You adjust your advertising campaigns to advertise more heavily over the weekend, when people are more likely to take action. If you’re thinking this is all starting to come together, then you’re getting the hang of what web analytics tools can do for you.
Just remember: you’ll get the most out of these tools when you use them to measure your specific goals.
Now go forth and analyze!
Used properly, web analytics tools can give you valuable information to help you meet your objectives. You can do this by setting up your web analytics tool to track the specific goals that you care about. Here we’ll explore:
- examples of goals and conversions
- why it’s important to create and configure goals
- how to determine what your own goals and conversions should be.