If you come and visit my website (after reading this post) I’ll know where you are, the operating system, device, time of day, how you got there, where you browsed, time-per-page page, even if you clicked back or forward in your browser, the works!
I’ll even know if you come back in the future (and you better!!!!). Have I got your attention? Awesome. If you’re working at home, odds on you have some form of online presence. The best thing about this online presence is that everything is measurable and, with the growth of tools like Google Analytics, it’s free!
If you haven’t got any form of analytics then shame on you, take a moment to reflect on your mistake, then scroll down for 3 simple analytics tips that can be the start of something beautiful. If you’ve already got it installed then hats off to you and if you’ve not tried them yet, run this analysis now!
NB: The following points are all directed in Google Analytics. They are still easily found in other Analytic Packages.
#1 The Devices and Browsers your Customers are using
Found in: Visitors -> Technology
What if I told you 50% of your visitors still used Internet Explorer 6? Oh and by the way the other 50% are on their iPhone. I hope your website is compatible with older browsers and has a mobile-friendly version!
This report is as easy as they come yet gives such a fascinating overview of your websites visitors.
Highlighting usability problems, for an example, a 100% bounce rate in Google Chrome, can really save time in finding website performance issues.
This can also extend to marketing issues, wonder why that last email under-performed? Filter by device and maybe you’ll find that iPhones couldn’t load it, but that’s what all your customers are using!
#2 Referral Tracking
Found in: Traffic Sources -> Incoming Sources -> Referrals
In simple terms, this report shows you the websites that your traffic comes from, and is particularly handy if you are part of affiliate schemes.
Enabling you to see variables like who sends the most referrals, drives the most revenue or the highest percentage of new visitors is a fantastic way to gain an understanding of your customer base and where your website is popular.
This information will in turn help target your energy and budget into where to build more of an online presence.
Even more interestingly, each referral your company gets is a website linking to you. And why do people most commonly link? To Praise or to Complain!
You have first-hand access to brand management, all thanks to analytics. Deal with any unhappy customers before their complaint goes viral, or draw attention to people giving a thumbs up to your company and use them as online testimonials.
#3 Track your Sites Search
Found in: Content -> Site Search -> Overview
Websites will commonly have a search bar, and Analytics tracks this beautifully for you!
Search terms really are beautiful. Enabling you to see all of the keywords your customers search for, you can see what they’re looking for and even drill down to searches that return no results.
Highlighting gaps on your website, the pages of particular interest or even a page customers are struggling to find through standard navigation provides a perfect overview of your site.
The knock on effects for keeping your product/service up to date is and keeping navigation simple and user-friendly are invaluable, and worth the signing on effort in itself!
I hope these tips have perked your interest into the fascinating world of data analysis for your website. Had any success stories or want to add your own points? Comment below.
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This article is by Michael Derges, data analyst and research for inkcartridges retailer Stinkyink.com. When not straining his eyes over spreadsheets and graphs, he can be found bike riding around local areas of interest.