The Importance of Web Analytics

Often times, when I am browsing the internet or shopping for something online, I realize that a lot of these online businesses, especially the small, possibly mom & pop web stores, don’t have web analytics set up for their website. It doesn’t matter how big or small your website or web store is, web analytics are important! If you are developing and executing marketing campaigns, it is even more important!! Web analytics provides you with very valuable information. It gives you a plethora of information on your customers, your prospects, and more importantly, the results of a particular marketing effort. If you do not have analytics, it’s difficult to know what is working and what isn’t.

Consider this sample list of metrics that analytics can provide for you:
Site Referrer – What websites out there on the web send you the most traffic?
Single Access Pages – Is there a particular site visitors are hitting on your website and than leaving immediately? Why? Is there something wrong with the page? Is there something you can do to improve the page?
# of Visits, Orders, Revenue – This is important to gauge the performance of your website as a whole
Keywords & Search Engines – How are people finding you in the engines and what engines are they coming from?
Trends – Is there a particular time of year where you are slow in sales?
Location of Visitor, Browser & Resolution Settings – Is your website designed for how people are most likely to view your website?

Web analytics can provide great insight into how your site is currently performing. It also gives you valuable information for trending and forecasting for the future as well as identifying areas of opportunity. If anything, the information is still very interesting to look at. I think you would learn a lot about your own business and customers just from digging in a little bit.

I think some businesses may not have analytics installed on their website because they think it is difficult to install and don’t want to spend a lot of money. If that’s the case, I’ve got a solution for you: Google Analytics. Google Analytics is free and provides ample information for your analysis. The instructions are pretty clear and they have a help section if you have any questions.

Start analyzing your data and you might be amazed at the results when you start using the information you find to tweak and improve your customer’s user experience.