Analytics used to be reserved only for larger companies with the budget available for the considerable investment required in order to install web analytics to enable measurement of website performance. With the recent advent of more sophisticated free services such as Google analytics, this is now a thing of the past. Every website can be measured, and every online marketing campaign can therefore be fully measureable and accountable, a dream scenario for any serious professional marketer or businessperson.
Analytics allows you to analyse your visitor behaviour and profiles in more detail including:
1) the countries they are coming from, even down to town level detail (perhaps there is room for a product launch in an area you previously had not thought of),
2) which pages they are viewing on your site, in which order of priority and which page do they leave from?
3) which sites are referring the most traffic to yours – perhaps that banner ad you invested in is not generating any traffic, if you don’t have analytics in place you will only have the data from the banner ad company on which to base a decision…
4) which search engines are you being found on and under which keywords are your visitors looking for you on? Perhaps your clients are looking for you under a phrase you never imagined – perhaps it is a small part of your business which you could expand to get more returns on?
5) how many of your site visitors return to your site and find it useful? How many only visit once? How many leave after only viewing one page, and how many stay on your site for hours browsing or reading interesting content?
All this data can be at your fingertips and can highlight problem areas with your site, allow you to quickly diagnose success areas or immediate fixes which are required and also help you to reassess and prioritise allocation of your budget for all marketing and promotional activities. It may also help to highlight opportunities, perhaps in referrals from an unexpected source which could be a good medium for you to advertise or partner with, or perhaps there is a lot of interest in your product from a country where you never expected it and a simple sales trip could start to see some of that interest turn into genuine business leads.
This is just the beginning. Analytics, when integrated into your business, allows you to ‘configure goals’ so that you can start to assign objectives for your site, and monetary value to each type of visitor action to quickly enable you to see what is working and what is not. Another vastly underused benefit of analytics is the ability to combine it with offline marketing campaign measurement – it is possible to send a print ad campaign directly to a campaign URL on your site – and then your analytics data will tell you how many people your ad convinced to come to your website – finally, measurable print ad campaign data, available in house, for free! The same evidently applies for your online initiatives such as email marketing campaigns or regular e-newsletters, with some simple technical changes, you will know how many people clicked on those links you sent out to visit your site, and you will also be able to judge the success of your e-newsletter campaigns.