What Do Website Analytics Allow You to Do?Paul Jarvis · Feb 22, 2023
Competition is fierce in today’s online world, regardless of the industry and nature of your project.
Acquiring a strategic advantage will help you be one step ahead of your competitors, and website analytics are there to show you the path to follow.
But what do website analytics allow you to do? Let’s dive in and learn more about your new superpower.
What Are Web Analytics?
Website Analytics is the process of collecting, measuring and analysing data related to user behaviour, web performance and usage inside a website.
This process is performed by website analytics tools. Most web analytics tools, such as Fathom Analytics, use a tracking code within your website’s structure to collect information that can later provide valuable insights.
In short, a web analytics tool gathers data related to your web activity, and then this information can be used to make data-driven decisions. But what can you do with website analytics?
What Do Website Analytics Allow You to Do?
Web analytics metrics show us all the relevant data points and user interactions that our visitors have with our website.
Users are the cornerstone of our online projects, and with the help of website analytics tools, we can see through their eyes and understand how they see, perceive and act on our site.
1. Identify Popular Pages & Content by Traffic
One of the most important website analytics parameters is website traffic. You can track visits to websites to consistently understand how many visitors certain pages get.
You can use this information to generate timely reports about the evolution of your project regarding online traffic.
Identifying the most popular pages and content of your website determines the efficiency of present and future marketing strategies.
For instance, pages that don’t get enough visitors could have their content improved to boost traffic, whereas you can “replicate” content strategies on your most visited pages to increase your traffic even more.
Instead of looking at “website traffic” as a whole, website analytics tools help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your website pages individually.
2. Check Your Visitor’s Device & Browser
Checking the device type of your visitors is important to have a clearer understanding of their user journey.
More than 60% of online traffic comes through mobile devices. Certain web analytics tools, such as Fathom Analytics, also show you specific metrics related to browser type, which can help you extrapolate data related to your users’ preferred operating system (Safari for iOS, for instance).
3. See Locations People Visit Your Website From
You can also see the country of your visitors and users through website analytics. The data collected by tools shows you if you are successfully getting unique visitors from your geolocalised target audience.
Some products, search intents and content target potential customers from specific countries, so it is important to pay attention to users’ locations.
4. See How Long People Stay On Your Site
Metrics such as bounce rate and pageviews per session show you whether unique visitors click on multiple sessions after getting to your site. Other metrics, such as average time on site show you how long users stay on your website.
This includes visitor behaviour of both first-time vs returning visitors, and it can help you understand if your key pages are keeping users engaged or not.
As a rule of thumb, the more visited pages unique or return visitors have, the more likely they are to contribute to the overall conversion rate.
5. Understand How People Discover or Find Your Website
Your traffic sources help you gain insight into how users find your site online.
They can also show you your most relevant referrals (social media platforms, backlinks from directories, Google’s search engine, and more), acquisition channels, top landing pages, and user behaviour on your site.
The raw data generated by Fathom Analytics shows you each traffic source to your website in a more accurate and precise way than other website analytics tools, such as Google Analytics.
6. Record Button Clicks
Measuring the efficiency of calls to action in the form of buttons shows you what’s working and what isn’t on your website.
You can track button clicks on Google Analytics, Fathom Analytics, and other web analytics tools as well.
Placing your buttons on different pages, improving your calls to action, and changing the design of your buttons on mobile and desktop devices are some of the solutions that website analytics help you to follow in case you have fewer button clicks than expected.
7. Track Downloads On Your Website
Some calls to action require web owners to track button clicks within their sites.
If people are downloading ebooks, files, or programs on your website, it means that your strategies are working. If not, then there are things to be improved. This can only be known by successfully getting the right data through website analytics.
A lack of interest in file downloads might mean that you are targeting the wrong type of audience, your downloadable files are not what users seek, or there are file download errors on your website. Website analytics help you check what’s happening so you can later improve and boost downloads on your website.
8. Understand Visitor Journey
Visitor journey refers to the experience a person has while using your website.
Understanding the user journey can help you:
- Improve navigation: your site’s navigation should have a clear and straightforward path that users can follow without major inconveniences.
- Improve conversions: your website should have a goal, and your job is to help your visitor achieve it as soon as possible. Understanding visitor journeys can help you design better funnels and remove potential friction points.
- Identify potential technical issues: technical issues, such as broken links or misplaced buttons, have a negative impact on the user journey through your site. Identifying these issues helps you to fix them rapidly.
9. Identify Trends & Patterns
The information provided by website analytics should be extrapolated to understand the trends and patterns that take place within your website.
For example, different types of traffic from certain sources might navigate the site differently than others. Visitors that come from search engines might have different goals (informational) than visitors that directly access your site from your commercial newsletter (transactional).
Likewise, some types of content are more popular among certain demographics, which creates the need to tailor your content to certain regions instead of all your visitors.
First-time users might not convert as much as returning users, which has a big impact on their individual user journey through your site.
Web analytics are useful for identifying all these patterns to use this information to your advantage by implementing it into your marketing efforts.
10. Monitor Website Errors & Speed
Technical issues within your website negatively affect conversion, bounce, and engagement rates between your site and your users.
It has been proven by Portent that the first five seconds of a webpage load-time heavily impact conversion rates. Identifying slow loading times and fixing them gives you an advantage over slower competitors.
Moreover, other anomalies, such as broken links, 404 pages, and faulty buttons, ruin your visitor’s customer journey, which can make you lose customers.
Web analytics tools have features to identify these errors so you can fix them as soon as you have a chance.
How Can Website Analytics Help Your Business?
Website analytics allow you to have a wider understanding of the things that happen on your website.
If you take a look at the right metrics on web analytics tools, it is possible to power data-driven marketing campaigns that help your business grow while surpassing your competitors.
Let’s see some actionable ways in which website analytics can help you unleash the true potential of your big, medium-sized, or small business.
1. Improve Website Performance and SEO Strategies
An SEO strategy tailored by the data collected by a web analytics tool has a data-driven advantage over bland, simple, and generalist strategies.
Parameters such as site performance, broken links, traffic from search engines and other metrics help marketing teams to perfect their calls-to-action and conversion rates based on real, tangible information.
Ultimately, website analytics show you the direction to improve your site’s SEO as a whole, which focuses on website visitors in an organic way.
2. Tailor Your Digital Marketing Efforts
By analyzing your main traffic sources, it is possible to improve social media campaigns or different strategies to get more people to come to your site.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) show you the efficiency of different marketing channels, which is something that can greatly be achieved with the help of a web analytics tool, such as Fathom Analytics.
There are a few key metrics that pave the road ahead for better marketing outcomes, such as bounce rate, returning visitors, conversion rate, average time on site, and more.
Let’s see a quick example: if you are getting more visitors from Facebook than from Twitter, it makes sense to re-tailor your marketing efforts to Facebook.
If your newsletter is not bringing enough traffic as expected, it is possible to use this data to perfect the content of your newsletter to improve these metrics in the long haul. It’s all about understanding the things that work and the things that don’t.
3. Boost Conversion Rates and Business Goals
The comprehension of web analytics helps web owners to get the correct answers on how to improve a business’ conversion rate.
By checking tangible data about how many people click your buttons, buy your products, download your files or interact with your site’s calls-to-action, your marketing team can find the best way to boost conversion rates in a way that CTAs satisfy user behaviour.
This can only be achieved with the help of accurate data provided by web analytics.
Wrapping Up: Unlocking the Potential of Website Analytics
Web analytics open the door to countless opportunities that website owners must learn how to use to their advantage.
At the end of the day, web analytics tools are just tools - it’s the analysis and comprehension of data that will help you unlock your site’s true potential.
But website analytics don’t need to be complicated - Fathom Analytics simplifies things for you while also focusing on responsible data collection.
Are Website Analytics Tools Safe to Use?
Privacy-friendly web analytics tools, such as Fathom Analytics, are safe to use because they comply with GDPR and European Data Protection Authorities’ regulations. Nevertheless, the use of widely standardised tools, such as Google Analytics, cannot always be considered as “safe” due to user privacy breaches identified by government authorities.
Paul Jarvis, author + designer
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