Web analytics is a powerful tool that allows website owners to better tell if their efforts are truly paying out and to make small changes that can have immediate and long-term effects. Not only can web analytics show you where your website traffic is coming from and how long each visitor stayed on your site, but they can also show you which links on which pages are getting the most clicks, which SEO keywords are working the most for you -and which ones not at all, and the percentage of new versus returning users to your site. These statistics can show you where necessary changes must be made in order to maximize the effectiveness of your website and generate more traffic.
There are free web analytics available, such as through Google or possibly even your web host, that provide numerous statistics for various areas, allowing you to judge where your website is currently at and see where it could be. Of course, there are also paid web analytics available. You can also hire an outside analytic consultant who can study the data for you and advise you where changes should be made in order to achieve the results that you want. However you acquire your web analytics, there are some things to keep in mind to help you and your website get the most out of that data.
-Look at the long term data. It’s easy to get caught up in the short term data, but often the changes you make to your site take times to pay off. It also often takes times to generate enough substantial data to see where changes that will make the most impact should be made.
-Don’t get overwhelmed. Web analytics can present you a lot of data for many different categories, some of which can be confusing and even appear contradictory. In this way, making changes to one area of your site can have an impact where you wouldn’t expect -but the analytics data will show that impact and allow you to correct or modify as necessary.
-Compare analytics. Even if you pay for your web analytics, compare that data with the data from a free or other paid website analytics. Often times, the data may show something entirely different, but when taken together, the analytics will show you a more completed picture of how well your website is working for you. This also allows you to make more considerate decisions regarding changes to your site.
There are many benefits to using web analytics for your website. They can help you to better gauge the amount of real traffic you’re getting, determine if your campaigns are paying off and if you should make changes, and even help you determine if your web site’s appearance is attracting and keeping traffic or driving people away. As a website owner, anything that helps you to maximize your site and efforts is a benefit, and web analytics is an effective tool that can do just that.