Web Analytics tools are used to collect, measure and analyze web data. Web analytics tools are not just for measuring web traffic. They are used to:
Find your audience on the internet
Attract them to your website and understand behaviors
Learn from competitors
Test new ideas
See where your audience goes and what they tell others
With this knowledge, any company has a blueprint to improve business. Plus invaluable market research.
What are the best web analytics tools?
Here the 12 best web analytic tools any business could want.
FIND YOUR AUDIENCE: The best way is to find your audience is to identify the keywords they query that are likely to drive them to your unique product or service. Here’s how to find your audience on the internet.
GOOGLE TRENDS: Has cataloged every keywords ever searched on Google and displayed it as a graph showing the term’s popularity over time in (nearly) real time. The graph can be examined by countries, regions, cities and customized time periods to name just a few of its features.
GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER: Provides traffic estimates of the Average Monthly Search Volume of keywords as well as ideas on others. You can even give the Google Keyword Planner a link to your website or landing page and it provides keyword ideas on what it thinks your website is about.
SEO BOOK RANK CHECKER: Want to know where your website ranks for your keywords? SEO Book Rank Checker tells you for Google, Bing and Yahoo. Plus, the Firefox Rank Checker extension allows you to easily check your website rankings from your browser.
ATTRACT THEM TO YOUR WEBSITE AND UNDERSTAND BEHAVIORS: A visitor’s behavior and drivers and conversions are critical to achieving business goals. Here’s are the best tools to understand website behaviors.
GOOGLE ANALYTICS: Tracks and reports website traffic – how much, where it comes from, what is most viewed and does your audience take desired actions. Google Analytics’ approach is to show high-level, dashboard-type data for the casual user, and more in-depth data further into the report set. Google Analytics is the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet.
ADOBE MARKETING CLOUD: Is a collection of integrated online marketing and Web analytics products by Adobe Systems. It is a comprehensive marketing solution which enables marketers to measure, personalize and optimize marketing campaigns for optimal marketing performance.
GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE: Optimizes visibility of a website. It helps to monitor and maintain your site’s presence in search results by letting you know how many pages are found (or Indexed) on search engine, what websites are sending traffic to your website through Inbound Links and keywords that result is clicks to your website.
LEARN FROM COMPETITORS: Competitors are a valuable source of comparison and learning. Here are best tools to analyze and learn from your competitors.
SIMILAR WEB: Uses big data technologies to collect, measure, analyze and provide user engagement statistics for websites and mobile apps. It collects data from panel of web surfers made of millions of anonymous users equipped with a portfolio of apps, browser plugins, desktop extensions and software.
ALEXA: Also estimates and ranks traffic based on the browsing behavior of people in their global data panel which is a sample of all internet users. Alexa measures closely align to Google Analytics for many metrics.
WEB TRENDS: Analyzes confusing data gathered from websites and transforms it into actionable information that can be used to optimize web traffic and campaign ROI. They look for opportunities that other providers may have missed and act on them before competitors have a chance.
TEST NEW IDEAS: To improve the success of your effort, you’ll want to test new idea. And it can be done in ways that measure and prove the impact of your initiatives.
OPTIMIZELY: Gives businesses the ability to conduct A/B testing, in which two versions of a page can be compared for performance. Multivariate testing can also be done. Optimizely enables personalization, which can be used for making data-driven decisions. It meets the diverse needs of thousands of customers worldwide looking to deliver connected experiences to their audiences across channels.
SEE WHERE THEY GO AND WHAT THEY TELL OTHERS, What people say about your brand has an important impact on your business and brand reputation. Here’s are some of best tools available to listen and measure social channels.
CISION: Monitors conversations to see where the discussion about your brand is taking place, what’s being said and who is leading it. With Cision social software, a single dashboard provides valuable insights to position your brand against the competition.
BRANDWATCH: Examines data from millions of sources, from social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to news, blogs and even product reviews. It can deliver a huge amount of data for analysis. Its extensive filters and customizable reports make that data easy to analyze and put to use for marketing campaigns, product research and reputation management.
Do these tools give you a complete picture of web analytics and the best tools to use? Are there any others that you would include? Do you need a partner to manage and guide your business with web analytics?
Google Analytics is the most popular web analytics tool in the world.
Google Analytics has been installed on over 10,000,000 websites. It is used by 64% of the Top 500 US Retailers, 45% of Fortune 500 companies, and 55.9% of the top 1 million domains as identified by Alexa.
But what good is the data if you don’t know what to do with it.
Here are 10 ways to get killer insights from Google Analytics with video tutorials.
SET DATE RANGES LONG ENOUGH TO SHOW TRENDS: The date range selector is at the top right of every page. It shows the last 30 days by default. But 30-days often isn’t long enough to show trends. Establish a time frame long enough to allow you to tell a story. 90 days, year to date or the last year is a longer and often more effective date range for showing trends, seasonality and the impact of key events. Here is how to use the date range selector.
USE BOUNCE RATE EARLY AND RATE: Bounce Rate is the percent of visitors to a website who leave after viewing only one page – the lower the percent, the better the Bounce Rate. It is a key web metrics for website relevance because if your site is interesting to visitors, they’re likely to view more than one page. Google Analytics shows Bounce Rate for many measures. The more often you use Bounce Rate, the more insightful are your conclusions. Here’s how to know Bounce Rate for all your pages.
UNDERSTAND ACCESS FROM SMARTPHONES: According to SimilarWeb’s State of Mobile Web US 2015 report, roughly 56% of consumer traffic to the leading US websites is now from mobile devices. There are many sources that report traffic from mobile devices by industries like financial services, auto and retail. Knowing mobile traffic to your site is an important way to look at traffic. It’s likely to already be a large percentage and it’s definitely going to go up.
IDENTIFY KEY LOCATIONS AND GEOGRAPHY: Let’s say your company’s operations are organized around specific geographical sales regions: East, Central, and West. By default, Analytics only reports on default geographical regions. Unless, by using the geographical type in Data Import, you create a mapping between the specific regions you use for your business. You then see your data organized around these custom sales regions. In the US, the data is available by state, metro area and city. And the maps are very telling.
KNOW WHERE VISITORS COME FROM: In web analytics, traffic sources are different kinds of sources that send traffic to your web site. The metrics you find are: 1) Direct Traffic: All those people showing up to your website by typing in the URL of your Web site or from a bookmark, 2) Organic Search: Search engines – Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask and other, 3) Paid Search: Paid ads on search engines from services like Google Adwords and Bing Ads, 4) Referral: Other Web sites sending traffic to you. These could be as a result of your banner ads or campaigns or blogs or affiliates who link to you and 5) Other: These include campaigns you have run, e-mail and direct marketing.
LOOK FOR INNOVATIONS WITH SITE SEARCH: If you have a search engine on your website which visitors can use to search the site, you can measure the usage of this feature. The results you can find under the Site Search category in Google Analytics. In the overview, you see the percentage of visits with and without site search. Also some other metrics such as % search exits, % search refinements, time after search and search depth. But the real nuggets come for the words visitors use to search. For example, we work with a scissors company and the #1 word in Site Search is “left-handed.” Imagine that. A new product idea is handed to you through Site Search on Google Analytics.
FIND MOST VALUABLE PAGES IN SITE CONTENT: Site content reports consist of: 1) Pages, 2) Content Drill Down, 3) Landing Pages and 4) Exit Pages. Pages report displays the top pages on your website based on traffic, as well as each page’s page views, unique page views, average time on page, entrances, bounce rate, % exit and page value. Content Drill Down is helpful for websites that have sub-folders such as domain.com/blog/ and domain.com/support/ or something similar. The Landing Pages report lets you see the top pages where visitors enter. Exit Pages show the last pages people visit before exiting your website. These are the pages you want to look at to see what you can do to keep visitors on your website longer.
ANALYZE ACTIONS WITH EVENTS: Events are user interactions with content that can be tracked independently from a web page or a screen load. Downloads, mobile ad clicks, gadgets, Flash elements, AJAX embedded elements, and video plays are all examples of actions you might want to track as Events. Using Event Tracking to measure interaction and conversions on your website is really beneficial for getting a better understanding of how your users are engaging with the content and features of your website in a much more advanced way than the standard reports can manage.
MEASURE METRICS MOST IMPORTANT TO SUCCESS WITH GOALS: Google Analytics doesn’t tell you how your business is doing without some additional setup. You have to tell Google Analytics to keep track of what’s critical to your business – and you do this with goals. In Google Analytics, you have four ways to track goals: 1) URLs, 2) time, 3) pages/visit and 4) events. Here’s how to set up Goals.
“SHOW ME THE MONEY” WITH CONVERSIONS: Most of the time Conversion Rate is thought of in terms of e-commerce websites. But increasingly tools are making it ever more easy for you to track conversions of any kind. Form submissions (leads). Trial signups. Content consumption. Download Software. View support FAQ. And more. No matter what your website, you can start measuring “conversion rate”. It is the fastest way to the heart of why your website mostly exists.
Did this teach you how to use Google Analytics for killer insights? Are you ready to put analytics to work on your business?
What good is data if you don’t know what to do with it?
Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for the purposes of understanding consumer behavior, improving user experience and optimizing web usage.
This might sound intimidating to some but the reason why companies do web analytics is simple: To find insights that help make better business decisions.
Who does it well?
Here are 10 case studies of companies that used insights from web analytics and drove ROI.
BT FINANCIAL GROUP: Is a leading provider of superannuation, investment and insurance products. The BT website focuses on service and usability with an online application form as one of the key conversion points. Landing pages with different combinations of the design elements for testing are created to optimize the user experience and maximize conversions. With conversion testing, BT increases form completions by more than 60%.
BUILDDIRECT: Does business in more than 100 countries with an expanding portfolio of building materials. Though the company is growing rapidly, management is eager to improve the efficiency of its online spending. Through web analytics, BuildDirect finds home buyers who purchase a sample have a 60% likelihood of returning to the site within the next 30 days and placing a full order, BuildDirect uses GA’s A/B testing capabilities to perfect its marketing approach. With insights from web analytics, BuildDirect increases sales by 50%.
HARVARD UNIVERSITY: To expand the digital reach of two established schools, Harvard Summer School and Harvard Extension School, Harvard ran a 12-month SEO and PPC campaign. They use web analytics as an audit to identify technical setbacks, content positioning, to create new landing pages for search traffic, and top-of-funnel paid search awareness campaigns. The result are: 1) 89% increase in visits from organic search, 2) 75% increase in registrations from organic search, 3) 30% increase in CTR with AdWords and 4) 124% increase in ROAS with AdWords.
KEEN FOOTWEAR: Is an outdoor shoe manufacturing company based in Portland, Oregon. The company needs a better way to measure, analyze, understand metrics that mattered on their social network provide meaningful insight. A framework involving reach, engagement, influence, sentiment and effect is developed. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) within each area are established. Using the metrics: 1) Page Likes increase by 92%, 2) Post Reach increase by 342%, 3) Post Engagement increase by 137% and Active Users increase by 213%.
MOTOREASY: Is a company that sells extended auto warranties. Motoreasy’s Web site is re-designed to give you a quote for an extended auto warranty on your car. This involves: 1) Tell people what you want them to do (fill in the form) and 2) tell them the benefits of doing so(you’ll get a quote which could save you money). The telephone number is featured prominently at the top, making it easy for them to call if they found filling out the online form too tedious. These changes reduce the drop out rate from 65 percent to 29 percent overnight. This increases the completion rate of the sign up page from 31% to 69%.
NIKE GOLF: Is the golf-specific retail branch of Nike. Although there is the benefit of the Nike brand, there is also the lack of a focused keyword strategy on the Nike Golf website. It is very difficult for search engines to crawl for content. Research helps make decisions like whether target keywords should be “golf apparel”, “golf clothing”, “golf clothes” or “golf sportswear.” As a result of the research, Nike Golf sees a 169% in total increase in organic search traffic.
ON THE BEACH: Offers value for money flights and hotels to the world’s most popular beach holiday destinations, providing consumers with a huge selection of travel products, including 50 million airplane seats and more than 30,000 hotels. On the Beach finds that their generic search is undervalued under last click reporting, a discovery that allows the company to build a custom attribution model and increase budget on generic campaigns. This helps drive a higher volume of site traffic, holiday sales and market share in the travel sector, which in turn led to a 25% increase in ROI.
PBS: Helps individual PBS producers and local PBS stations create and promote each section within PBS.org. PBS wants to develop a coordinated approach to analysis and reporting that would inform their future strategic decisions. Analysis of search engine trends leads to an increase in PBS traffic by 30%. Web analytics is set up to allow PBS to evaluate the way users consumed video. As a result, PBS increases both conversions and visits by 30%.
PUMA: Has rich, dynamic web site; but, just as PUMA constantly improves its products, it also believes in making site changes that help visitors easily achieve their goals. While testing its web site header, it finds a variation that increases online orders by 7.1%. Puma more than doubles the amount of time visitors spend interacting with PUMA brand content, such as news, videos, and photos. It results in 47% more traffic.
RYANAIR: Is Europe’s largest low fare airline. 99% of Ryanair’s bookings are made through its website making it the company’s single most important marketing tool. Web Analytics helps understand email and visitor behaviour. Ryanir is able to increase click-through rates by 200%, decrease bounce rate by 18%, increase visitor traffic by 16% to strategic pages and double revenue generated from their email campaigns.
We, at BarnRaisers, are big believers in how data-driven results helps make better business decisions. Helping companies connect the dots between strategy, execution and results is a big part of what we do.
To these case studies help you see how insights from web anlaytics can drive your businsess’ ROI?
These statistics say there are big changes in marketing coming. But we live in budget cutting times, and marketing budgets are among the first to get cut. Why? When non-marketing executives take a hard look at the numbers, they often can’t see a direct link to revenue.
The secret is having – and correctly using – the right measurements.
Here are 12 data driven measurements every marketer should know.
KEYWORDS: 90% of consumer buying decisions begin on the internet according to Forrester Research. The journey most often begins with a consumer typing their unmet need into the query box of a search engine. 54% find websites through natural search engines results says Forrester. Do you know keywords you want for your company? If you don’t, how do you expect to attract the people who are looking for what you have to offer?
LINKS (HYPERLINKS): The best way to establish authority and improve search visibility is to have reciprocal links with other authorities in your area. Do you know how many inbound links there are to your website and who they are? You should. Where once low-quality tactics worked for a long time, link building has undergone significant changes in recent years due largely to recent Google changes that discredit dark hat tactics. Now, blogs, guest blogging and social media represent authentic ways to build links and relationships that are mutually beneficial to businesses.
SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS PAGE (SERP): 85% of people click on a website listing on the organics side of a search engine page; 53% click on the website that is listed first. Within the top five listing, 88% of the clicks are made according to Search Engine Watch. This means, if you want people to come to your wevsite, it’s important to know your Search Engine Rank Page for your most important keywords.
COST PER CLICK (CPC): If you can’t get to a top rank with your top keywords, it’s better to pay for a top rank than believe search engines are going to drive visitors to your site anytime soon. Paid Search ads should be considered. They are bought on a cost per click basis. Paid search operates like an auction where the buyer sets the price, budget and time frame. CPC’s also provide a valuable benchmark on the value of keywords. Based on the price, they show what others are willing to pay for them.
CLICK THROUGH RATE (CTR): Is the percentage of people who viewed a page that contained your ad and also clicked on the ad. This is calculated by dividing the total number of clicks by the total number of ad impressions. CTR is an important metric to measure performance and whether the ad is relevant. Google Adwords says the average CTR is 2% for ad placements on Google.
UNIQUE VISITORS (USERS): Is the number of distinct individuals visiting a website during a given period, regardless of how often they visits. It is a key metric for measurement if your web business is increasing its visibility and customer base.
BOUNCE RATE: is the percentage of visits where the visitor view a single page and left. Bounce Rate is considered a key measurement of website relevance. Because, generally speaking, if the site is relevant, the visitor will view more the one page. As Avinash Kaushik, Analytics Evangelist at Google says, a high bounce rate generally reflects visitors who “came, puked, and then left”. To reduce Bounce Rate, here are 20 Things to Consider from Search Engine Watch.
TRAFFIC SOURCES: Every visit to a web site has an origin, or source. There are three main categories: 1) Search Engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing – either organic or paid, 2) Another Web Page (Facebook, Twitter, another website) or 3) Direct (type a website url in the browser). This show how your audience finds your business and a very valuable measurement for tracking your time and investment into driving website traffic.
KEY CONTENT (PAGES): Once a visitor gets to your website, what pages are most viewed? Key Content or Top Pages tells what is their hierarchy of needs from your business.
CONVERSION RATE: What is the action(s) you want visitors to take when they get to your website? Conversion Rate is the percent of visitors that take the action you want. If you sell products or service from your site, it means the percent who buy. But, if you don’t (and most websites don’t), it means the percent who may subscribe to an email, register for a trial offer or download information. Any action or event that indicates they are a step closer to being a customer. In fact, a business may have multiple conversion rates. Macro Conversions are primary conversions like completing an order for an e-commerce site or filling out a contact form for a lead generation site. Micro Conversions are the usual actions that are precursors. They may include signing up for an email newsletter or downloading a PDF.
AVERAGE ORDER VALUE: If you sell a product or service on your website, a key means for maximizing revenue is to know your Average Shopper Value. The calculation is: Revenue/Number of Transactions = Average Order Value. If you know this measurements, you can determine what you need to do to get customers to buy more (Free shipping on orders over $75; Buy 2, get 1 Free, Deal of the Day).
WORD OF MOUTH: The number of positive Reviews, Rating, Facebook Likes, Tweeter Follower, Shares, Comments and YouTube Views can have a relationship to website traffic which has a relationship to revenue. People like to do business with people they know. If your business is generating word of mouth, potential customers are going to want to get to know you through your website.
Do you think these are data driven measurements every marketer should know? Any there others that you recommend?
Web analytics is not just a tool for measuring web traffic.
Off-site web analytics refers to the measurement of a website’s potential audience (opportunity), share of voice (visibility), and buzz (comments) that is happening on the internet as a whole. On-site web analytics measures a visitor’s behavior once on your website. This includes its drivers and conversions.
Taken together, web anlaytics provides a complete picture of your audience and their attitudes and behaviors toward your brand. Web analytics is the most valuable, useful, cost-effective and timely resource a business has to answers key strategy questions.
Google Analytics is the most widely used web analytics software. Google Webmaster Tools shows traffic for each keyword separately; it gives more information about website performance. There is even a Google Analytics Academy to learn all about how to use web analytics done online on the participant’s schedule. They’re all free to use so there’s no reason a company shouldn’t dedicate some time and attention to examining web analytics.
If you need more convincing, here are 37 key strategy questions web analytics answers.
WHO ARE OUR CUSTOMERS?
Who do we attract?
Who do we want to attract?
Who is visiting for the first time?
Who is returning for more visits?
What cities or countries are most people visiting from?
What search keywords are sending us traffic?
What percent of traffic comes from mobile devices?
Who are our most valuable segments?
Who is worth doing marketing efforts to based on their business potential?
Are we doing better or worse?
WHAT ARE THEIR BEHAVIORS TOWARD OUR BRAND?
What actions do people take?
Are they taking the actions we want?
How do people find us?
How do people travel through the site?
What sort of experience do we create for our users?
What percent of users view at least 3 pages per visit?
What percent of users remain on site for at least 3 minutes?
Where do our most active visitors come from?
Where do visitors click?
Where are our most valuable users coming from?
Who shares our content?
What content works best?
What percent of users comment on content?
Who recommends us to a friend?
What social networks and social media metrics are worth tracking?
What do they buy from us?
HOW DO FIND MORE PEOPLE LIKE THEM?
How do we find more people like the ones who are most valuable customers?
How long does it take for someone to decide to do business with us?
How do we know if our site is doing well relative to competitors?
How do we know if our marketing efforts are working?
How has advertising worked?
Was advertising worth it?
How can we identify the ideal marketing mix?
How do analytics help us understand how the business can make the most revenue and profits?
What key metrics should be used for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
What is the best way to measure ROI?
Do the answers to these questions matter to your business? Do they convince you to dedicate time and attention to web analytics? Does your company need to learn how to use web analytics better?