Web analytics is a term used to describe the measuring, collecting, analyzing and reporting of internet data. This information is collected to help understand and optimize web usage. Web analytics can evaluate web traffic, business and market research and content. There are two types of web analytics available: on-site and off-site. With on-site analytics, you’re measuring the activity that occurred while on your site. With off-site, you’re collecting data from the internet as a whole and seeing how it affects your website.
Why You Should Keep Tabs on Web Analytics
Keeping tabs on your web analytics is a critical component to your online presence and its survival. Without it, you won’t know what’s going on with your site and how it’s being affected by the internet. Fortunately, most companies keep track of their analytics, but it’s more of an obsession than an informational piece. It’s important that you not only watch the numbers but take the time to understand them. After all, web analytics are the very tools needed for online success.
Web Analytics: Visitors
So what should you be keeping track of when pulling your web analytics? There are endless possibilities for what you should and could be watching, but there are the top two: visitors and traffic sources.
When evaluating traffic to your side, web analytics will show you how many visitors you’ve had and their activity on the website. For example, you can view unique visitors, total visitors, the average time spent on the site, the bounce rate and the number of new visitors. Obviously, you want to keep your bounce rate low as this number indicates people who came to the site and left right away. If your bounce rate is high, think about why. Is your site informative enough? Is it confusing? Misleading? These numbers can give you insight as to how others view your site.
Web Analytics: Traffic Sources
The traffic sources will tell you how people came to your site in the first place. This is important because it can determine where people are hearing about your product. Searchers can be drawn in from other sites, their search engine or from your site directly. This is valuable information to have since you can work on the areas where you’re falling short. If you’re not getting people coming to your site from the search engine for example, it’s time to reassess your SEO and ranking.
Web analytics can also help you choose the best sets of keywords for your site, write stronger title tags and boost your SEO ranking. It can help you identify pages that need improvement and provide you with information on what factors could help your site rank better. You can also evaluate your content and how your pages are viewed.
Web analytics are your insight as to what’s going on with the internet. You can’t manage your online presence unless you take the time to measure what’s going on. Since web analytics can be difficult to understand, you may want to have an internet consultant from WSI walk you through the various programs available and how they can meet your unique needs.
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