A Beginner’s Guide to Web Analytics and Why They Matter

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Do you want a website that is attracting visitors, gaining subscribers, and meeting conversion goals? Have you ever thrown your hands up in the air wondering why your website isn't doing what you designed it to do? Frustrating, isn't it?

Making good use of website analytics will provide you with a wealth of great information if you'll only pay attention to what it's telling you! Being able to measure the performance of your website and understand what your visitor statistics are telling you is crucial to its success.

Some people relegate web analytics to the domain of the nerds, marketers and number crunchers, but that really shouldn't be the case. Website analytics can be easy to understand, easy to use, and give you a ton of actionable information regarding your website.

The Key to Unlocking Your Website's Potential – Web Analytics

If you have an online business your analytics will tell you:

  • Where your site visitors are coming from
  • What they did on your site, and what made them return
  • How they progressed through the buying cycle
  • Where they went after they left your site

Website analytics tells website owners what's happening on their websites. It measures all kinds of data like visits, page views, bounce rate, time on site, new visits, vs. returning visits – the list goes on. All this helps you understand what's happening on your website.

So, why do these statistics matter? These numbers tell you where you are, will help you get to where you want to be, and best of all will give you great info on how to get there.

What your Website Analytics Can Teach You

Learning how to understand this information will give you a ton of great feedback on your website. 

When I'm looking at my analytics I can tell what my most popular content is in a snapshot. It's surprising some of the things I see. Some of the most popular content on my site is stuff I would have never thought about when I created it.

You can also find areas that aren't doing what you want them to do. Your analytics can help you refine your content to improve performance and conversions. One of the biggest things is learning how people find you. This is huge when you're working on search engine optimization.

You can leverage those pages that are doing great, and watch the results of campaigns or offers that you're promoting, seeing which ones do well, and which ones don't. 

The bottom line is you can get a bunch of actionable information that will serve as a springboard for making improvements to your site and plugging holes that show up.

If you're just starting to take your analytics seriously these are three numbers that you will want to watch. 

  1. Visitors – Check to see what your total visitors are per day, and check for unique vs. returning visitors.
  2. Sources – Find out where your visitors are coming from. Is it search engines? Is it links? Lots of really good info in this number alone.
  3. Landing pages – What pages are they coming to and how are those pages performing? The goal of just about any landing page is conversion of some sort via a call to action. Watch your landing pages and see how they're doing.

Analytics doesn't have to be the sole territory of the numbers geeks. If you're serious about your website, you need to be learning from what your website statistics are telling you. That way you can have a clear roadmap to where you want to go and can avoid the frustration of "hoping" something will happen, then "wondering" why it doesn't.