You may have set aside huge portions of your marketing dollars, resources and time for various digital marketing activities namely lead generation, content development, pay-per-click ads, email marketing, and search engine optimization and so on. But did you know that web analytics is the most vital activity among all the above-mentioned ones? Without web analytics, none of the digital marketing activities will generate its desired results.
Efficient web analytics will help improve the effectiveness of your content, SEO, ad traffic, email marketing, conversions, and all the other facets of your digital marketing venture. Accurate analytics data sets you on the path to growth and success. It is the only surefire way to know the weaknesses and the overall health of your business. Precise analytics data is always authentic and equips you with the ability to take highly-informed decisions.
It is important to know what analytics data to collect, and how to collect it. It is also crucial to know what you want to accomplish from this data. If you are aware of these three factors, your business decisions will be precise! However, your decision-making process cannot be effortless, streamlined and effective if you don’t have a good web analytics measurement strategy in place!
A web analytics measurement strategy will help you accomplish the following for your business.
- Helps you define the business objectives. Then map those objectives to your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), goals, and metrics
- Makes your company an alluring venture for other entrepreneurs to invest in
- Tells you if your marketing strategy is on the right track and needs tweaks or modifications
- Enables sifting and sorting of analytics data and helps analyze which ones are vital and why
- The measurement strategy also helps you perform various optimization tasks and improvements on your website
A web analytics measurement plan should be the first step in your whole web analytics process! All the other steps in your analytics process will collapse unless you have a robust web analytics measurement plan in place.
Now let’s see the steps involved in a typical measurement approach.
Step 1 – List your business goals
If you own a website, what do you want the website to accomplish? If you are running an e-commerce website, then obviously you want people to buy the products listed in it. But if you have a regular website, your goals of owning a website must be well-defined!
Generally, your goals of owning a website will be one of the following:
- Selling your products
- Displaying 3rd party ads for earning revenue
- To develop a good rapport with your customers
- To act as a platform for your software applications
- Increasing your bottom line by the end of the next six months
So what’s your goal of owning a website? Is it any of the above or anything similar to that or something completely different? You must be clear about that goal before starting to collect any analytics data. Remember, every marketing buck that you spend must be channeled towards accomplishing the goals of your website. Every goal that you define for your business is ultimately all about making the most of your marketing budget.
Step 2 – Define your objectives or policies
In order to reach your website’s goals, you must have well-defined objectives. Objectives are the intermediate steps that help you analyze the progress in your pursuit to attaining your business goals. Objectives determine the success of your goals. Hence your objectives must be actionable, measurable, and easy to understand.
For example, if your objective is to increase traffic to your site, you need to take some actions. The actions can be any or all of the following or more.
- Optimize it to rank high in the search results
- Run pay-per-click ads
- Write guest blog posts to get link backs to your website
- Share your blog posts in social media
- And so on…
As you can see, all of these above steps of this objective are very much actionable, measurable, and obviously easy to understand. If executed correctly on a regular basis, these objective steps should take you one step closer to your goals.
Step 3 – Selecting the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
The success of each business objective can be measured by analyzing KPIs. But first, you must have chosen the right KPIs. The choice of KPIs can vary from industry to industry and the aspect of the business you are looking to track. Every department of a company will have a unique set of KPIs to measure success depending on particular business objectives and goals. So identify what types of KPIs are absolutely vital for your business, department or objective and start measuring that.
Having said that no KPI or metric is worthless! Every KPI has a role to play when it comes to measuring the success of your business objectives. Even the most seemingly basic metrics like the visitor count, time on the site, and page views can be crucial in various contexts. I’ll give you an example. If your business wants to increase the visibility of 3rd party ads displayed on your site, tracking these seemingly basic metrics is essential. Track those KPIs thoroughly that can easily measure the success of your objectives.
Here’s a video that offers some valuable tips on the best practices for creating KPIs.
Let’s imagine that your goal is to retain the maximum number of visitors on your site and also turn them into permanent customers. Then you must track “Visitors” and “Interactions per Visit”. Although you can track a whole bunch of other KPIs, these are the most crucial ones to track.
Visitors: This metric can be sub-divided into many sub-metrics. But what you must primarily track is the proportion between “New vs Returning visitors“. Analyze the percentage of visitors returning to your site. Which pages are they navigating to? How much time are they spending on those pages? etc. In order to analyze all these behavioral details, you must track another related metric – Interactions-Per-Visit.
Interactions-Per-Visit: Tracking this metric will offer important insights into the interactions of the visitors on your site. You can track how much time they are spending on the site, and other actions taken by them on the site.
Tracking these two metrics will help you optimize your site’s pages for boosting the percentage of returning visitors, maximizing the time they spent on the site, and also convert them into subscribers or customers.
Step 4 – Setting Benchmarks or Targets
Benchmarks (or targets) are typical parameters for knowing how close you are to your objectives. They are critical for measuring your objectives! Benchmarks are usually numeric values that compel you to gauge the pursuit towards your objectives. It will reveal whether you are closer to accomplishing your objectives or not.
But how do you choose your targets or benchmarks? The answer is to analyze some data. Well, there are two common ways to do that. You can make use of your company’s historical data. But if that’s unavailable, search for some benchmark data pertaining to your industry on the web. Perform a quick search on any of the search engines, and you can find many benchmark data that you can make use to set your own benchmarks.
Step 5 – Decide on Segmentation and Reporting
This step is the most important aspect of creating a web analytics measurement strategy. Once your web analytics tool has started to collect decent amounts of analytics data, it may get overwhelming to handle such enormous data. Scouring through these huge amounts of data is not just waste of precious time, but extremely cumbersome. Hence, it is highly recommended to segment your data and create user-friendly, easy-to-understand reports with your analytics tool.
For instance, if you are using FoxMetrics analytics suite, you can generate a wide range of reports – both detailed and customized ones – instantly. Reporting and segmentation can save you a lot of time and headaches. These reports will not only help you analyze crucial analytics data but also enable you to scale closer your goals faster. Remember, the ability to generate easy and effective reports is essential for taking proactive business decisions.
Data segmentation is a powerful feature in itself! It helps you dig out valuable additional insights about your business and take appropriate actions accordingly. If you are looking to segment your lead generation activity then some of the best ways to segment it are by traffic sources, ad groups, and email subject line.
Step 6 – Analyze your data, fine-tune, and adjust!
Last but not the least is the analysis part of the data. If the data – that your tool is generating – is accurate enough, it should lead you to better decision-making and improved revenue. The data will throw insightful light into the weaknesses of your website and help you tweak it to perform better. Only a close analysis of your data will tell you if you need to modify your campaigns or not.
The sole aim of creating a web analytics measurement strategy is to create an authoritative data-driven system that will help measure the user interaction with your website – effectively. The strategy should help you segment traffic sources and analyze how each segment behaves. Most importantly, a good analytics strategy must enable you to analyze the ROIs (Return-on-Investment) of your marketing campaigns. All of these should easily help you optimize your website for increased revenue and sustainable growth.
Choosing the right analytics tool – FoxMetrics
Unless you have an ingenious way to collect the analytics data, your web analytics mechanism is seriously incomplete. If you reckon you are not capable enough at setting up a data-driven decision-making system, leave it to the experts. We at RawSoft have helped several clients – both big and small – to attain their business goals by setting up highly-efficient web analytics solutions. And at the vanguard of our analytics solutions is FoxMetrics suite of products. Foxmetrics suite is not just an analytics tool but a comprehensive web analytics suite to handle any demanding analytics duty. The suite is the result of our years of hardcore analytics expertise and hard work that will equip you with all the analytics firepower that you need to propel your business to profitability. Please click the following link to know more about FoxMetrics analytics suite.
Web analytics is all about taking business decision completely based on accurate analytics data to drive your business ahead! It is about making the online experience of your visitors more pleasant and user-friendly. Web analytics is predominantly about analyzing the behavior of your users and improving their user experience on your site. Web analytics is not just about generating copious amounts of data displayed before you as reports. Rather it should be an honest attempt to optimize your website to offer the best online experience for your visitors landing on your site. The more user-friendly and informative your site is, better are your chances of retaining your visitors or converting them into permanent customers.