Using analytics to get real feedback on your site

All websites iSonic build and host include the extremely powerful and detailed website tracking platform - Google Analytics. For anyone that has had a look at their website stats for longer than a minute or two will know that the amount of data that is collected and given to you as a website owner is expansive and detailed - something that only the web, as a marketing platform, is able to offer.

However, it can also be overwhelming and often difficult to know which statistic is important to you and your success online. In this article, we will be looking at some of the most basic statistics available which should act as primary data for your website reviews. As with any reporting, it is important to find out what is right for your business and focus on improving only a few key metrics at any one time.

Important Statistics we suggest should be reviewed regularly:

Visits

The visits statistic, not surprisingly, gives you an indication of how many prospects have viewed your website. If one visitor comes to your website once and visits 10 pages, the count here remains at 1 for that user, this is also true if they return in 2 days time.

This statistic is a very fast and simple way to track the performance of your website in terms of attracting traffic. This should give you a good indication of how strong your influence is in the market. The visits stats also allow you to see what viewers return, and who is new to your website.

A typical standard business website should expect about 400-600 visits per month. A larger business with 10+ staff should expect 1000-4000, and an eCommerce website up from that. If your site is below 200-300 visits per month, then you should focus on getting your traffic to a higher level so updates to your website conversion optimisation has more impact.

Duration of visits

The duration of visits gives you an average time that all of your visitors stayed on your website. This in turn will give you an indication of how engaging your website is. Typically a higher duration is preferrable, however this can depend on your website's goals and speed of conversion. For example Google, would not want a long duration on their website as they are wanting the user to do a search and quickly find what they are looking for. Equally if you have a very attractive Adwords campaign that is churning through clicks to get enquiries, you may not want to focus on this number as the site only contains one campaign page and form.

If you think your duration is lacking, then consider improving your navigation and adding additional content to your site to keep people engaged. If you are getting excellent duration stats (10 min +) but no enquiries, then your call-to-actions such as sales banners and forms need to be made more obvious and enticing for your visitors to fill out.

Bounce rate

Your website's Bounce rate is calculated as a percentage of total sessions (visits). The percentage is a count of visitors who came to your website, visited one page, and then left on the same page without exploring any further. This is called ‘bouncing’. For most business websites, it is very important to maintain a low bounce rate (more people navigate through your website rather than give up on the first page).

A bounce can be a result of a number of situations. The most obvious would be someone coming to your site expecting one thing but getting another thing. It may also be that your site takes to long to load, or does not get to the point quickly enough and the visitor loses interest. Additionally it may be that the user finds what they want - e.g. your phone number - then they close down the window without going any further (in this case, that would most likely be a good thing).

To improve on your bounce rate, similar strategies to the improving duration of visits apply. This includes optimising navigation and content to better engage a visitor is always a great start. Having standard navigation features for browsing your website will also go a long way in helping the user quickly find what they are after.

Transactions/conversions rate

The transactions/conversions statistics is a very handy feature which allows you to set up goals (e.g. buying a product, or making an enquiry) and then putting a value on that goal. This was originally intended for eCommerce websites, however it is also useful for retail stores and service based businesses as all leads should be worth a value to any business. Once you have determined the value of a form contact for example, you can then set this up as a goal in your website and track the value of its performance over time. This is not enabled by default though, so if this interests you then have a good look around to see what is possible, you can always ask our team for assistance also.

Comparing this result with your SEO and Adwords spend is where these values really become powerful.

Advanced Tracking Techniques

Session Replay

Session replays are a metric that allows you to watch a video recording of your customer’s using your website. You are able to see mouse clicks, scrolls, and movements, as well as usage from mobile devices (pinch, zoom, double-click, etc.). Session replays are highly valuable, as you are observing your clients usage with your website. If clients are confused, run into faults, you are able to improve or update your website to better suit your audience. This is a great tool for improving your bounce rate, and duration of visit for example.

Heatmaps

Heatmaps are visual images that are generated by movements, clicks, page scrolling, as well as browser attention. You are able to see visually here on the webpage is most used, and where more attention may be needed. A good example of where this type of technology would be useful would be a page with the same call to action in multiple places. Standard analytics would simply register all call to action clicks as the same, however a heat map would show you specifically which button and what location was being clicked the most. 

Funnels

Funnels show the drop-off points between pages from the majority of your visitors (e.g. 100% of visitors start on the homepage, 50% get to the services page, and 15% of those then go to the contact form). This is a useful too in Google Analytics. Understanding the reasons why viewers are dropping off at a particular point, will help you to improve your conversation rate and thus the value of your website. A typical example of this in action would be a high dropoff on a form containing a confusing question that customers usually give up on (or they don't have the ability to answer that question straight away - e.g. Their ABN) - a better solution may be to remove this completely from the form and contact them to get the information later in your sales process. Mixing this with the session replays will give you a good combination of data that will get your conversion rate higher than ever before.

Taking notice of your analytics and advanced tracking techniques, will definitely help you to improve the performance and value of your website.

If you want to learn even more about Google Analytics, or would like us to review your history and suggest improvements to your website's performance, contact iSonic for a free discussion - coffee included. :)