What Your Analytics Can Tell You About Your Website

posted this in
Web Design
on September 12th, 2013

Tracking your website’s metrics can be really overwhelming. Analytics tools (like Google Analytics or Rocket Analytics) have a way of throwing tons of information at you and if you don’t know how to interpret it, you’ll be completely confused.

That’s why we put together a quick guide to help you better understand your website’s analytics and what they can tell you about the success of your website.

Understanding your analytics

Before we dive into learning what your analytics can tell you about your website, it’s important to understand some of the most common terms and what they actually mean for your website.

Visitors vs. Unique Visitors - Each time a person visits your website, it is counted as a visitor. A visitor is counted as “unique” only after the first time they’ve visited your website.

Think about it like this: If 3 people come to visit my house in one day, I’ve had 3 visitors. The next day, 2 of the same people come to visit me. I’ve had 5 totals visits, but only 3 unique visitors.

The first time you visit a website, a cookie (not the chocolate chip kind) is typically placed on your browser that tracks everything you do including how many times you visit the site, which pages you view and many other things.

Page Views - The total number of pages that were viewed on your website.

Return Visitors - Return visitors are those that have been to your website more than one time. This is tracked when a cookie is placed on their browser and keeps track of how many times they’ve been to your website.

Bounce Rate - A visitor has “bounced” if they only view one page on your website and leave.

Conversions - A website visitor has converted when they express interest in whatever you have to offer. They may fill out an online form, download an ebook or buy one of your products.

Find the areas that need some love

Now that you better understand the metrics you’re tracking, how can you take that data and make improvements to your website? No matter how beautiful or successful your website is, there is always room for improvements.

Track the important stuff

It’s impossible to know what areas need some work if you’re not tracking what’s happening on your website. Here are a few common scenarios:

  • A high number of pageviews shows that your visitors are engaged and your site is providing relevant content.
  • A high bounce rate might mean that your content isn’t engaging your visitors or maybe your call-to-action isn’t grabbing their attention.
  • Return visitors show loyalty to your company or an opportunity to recapture visitors that didn’t convert the first time.

Pay attention to your visitors, popular pages and bounce rate. If your bounce rate is low for a particular page, try changing some things to see what helps keep people on your website.

Setting up goals in Google Analytics is another great way to keep track of the success of your website.

For example, if you have a page for visitors to download an ebook, you can set up a goal with the thank you page as the indicator that the goal has been reached.

Analyze your data

Depending on the goals you have set, you can analyze the data to determine what’s working and what’s not.

If you’re offering an ebook download and you have 500 visitors view the page, but only 10 reach your goal (the thank you page), you should test out different things to see what increases the amount of visitors who reach your goal.

Try changing the headline for your offer, images on the page or even the color of your call-to-action button to see what increases your conversions.

Test, test and test again!

Websites are not meant to be built and forgotten. In order to keep growing, you should continually test out new things to see what improves the overall success of your website.

Now it’s your turn - Have you discovered anything about your website using analytics? Comment on Facebook!