04/26/11
The Importance of Website Analytics

It never ceases to amaze me how many people don’t track the visitors to their site or if they do have access to their website analytics they don’t take advantage of them and just look at the top level number of visitors and fail to analyse the data to help improve their website conversions and boost profits.

A website should be seen as a ‘living thing’ which through a process of fine tuning constantly evolves. It is very easy to become focussed on the bottom lineanalytics manand see an increase in the number of visitors as a success. Obviously an increase in traffic is a good starting point but it is the constant evaluation of your traffic and fine tuning of your website that will bring long term commercial profitability.

There are many different tools for measuring and analyzing website traffic and although we are familiar with most of them here at Landingnet the default that we recommend to all new clients is Google Analytics. This is not meant to be an analytics tutorial but just an overview of the data available within Google Analytics and the way it can be used to help improve your website and your business. If you would like us to setup you website analytics then please get in touch.

There are 4 main sections within the analytics interface which I shall discuss in a bit more detail:

  • Visitors
  • Traffic Sources
  • Content
  • Goals

Visitors

This section allows you to analyze your visitors and see where in the world they are, the type of equipment they used to view your website, whether they are a new or return visitor and the ‘bounce rate’ which measures the percentage of people that enter the site and leave without viewing other pages.

It is exceptionaly important to keep an eye on what technology your viewers use to access your website. the type of browser and screen resolutions of your visitors should always be taken into account and your website should be tweaked as trends change to give people the optimum web experience for their setup. It is not so long ago that the majority of visitors were using screen resolutions as low as 800 X 600. But a quick look at our stats show that this now accounts for less than 0.5% of our visitors with more than 20% of all visitors viewing our site at a resolution of 1280 X 800 thus necessitating new layouts every so often to take advantage of the extra space available.

A few years ago internet explorer accounted for about 90% of all users this has changed enormously in recent years with firefox and chrome both grabbing more market share at the expense of i.e.

Google analytics browser statistics

This information is important as different browsers handle html differently. Any web design company ‘worth its salt’ should design for cross browser compatibility but new browsers are constantly entering the market and of course lets not forget the advent of smartphones. So if, for instance, your site was designed a few years ago it may not look good in Chrome or may not even work properly or in the case of one site I was asked to review recently, may not display at all!

I will cover the other main areas within Google analytics in part 2 but in the meantime if you aren’t using any form of visitor tracking on your site or you need help to get the most out of your analytics then feel free to contact us and we can get you up and running.