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4 Tips to Help Master Your Website Data, and Why It Matters

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You’ve got a website, but now what? People are landing on its pages, clicking around here and there. The content attracts a handful of new blog and email list subscribers every week. But what does all this data really mean? And how can you use it to your company’s advantage?

When it comes to website analytics, it’s easy to get lost among the forest’s trees. You may not be sure what information matters most and what you should be looking to improve. While your site is instrumental to your business’s digital marketing strategy, a lot goes on underneath. Below we’ll explain how to master the four most critical website analytics and why they’re so important.

1. Examine Traffic Sources

In general, a lot of your website traffic will either be organic or paid. Organic means visitors find your online content by searching for it. Maybe not your exact URL, but a search engine returned your site’s content as a match for the keywords someone used. They found the preview of your content promising enough to click on it.

This traffic is organic because you didn’t pay the search engine to show the links to your site. Paid traffic is the opposite. You embed links to your site’s content in a pay-per-click ad or a boosted social media post. Targeted audiences see the ads and posts since the objective is to attract visitors who match specific profiles.

Boosting your organic traffic can help serve your growth marketing goals. Search engine optimization strategies use keywords to generate traffic and leads. Ideally, you want more of this traffic to be organic than paid. In the long run, it’s more cost-effective, and you stand a greater chance of nurturing genuinely interested prospects.

But you also want to examine the keywords you’re targeting and whether they match visitors’ search terms. A deeper dive into your traffic analytics will reveal this data. The information will show whether the keywords you’re using effectively acquire leads. Plus, it can indicate where your SEO strategies could use a facelift.

2. Identify What Visitors Do

Getting people to your site is great. But once they’re there, how do they engage with your content? Just because your traffic numbers are up doesn’t guarantee that visitors enjoy your pages. Metrics like bounce rates, page entrances, and exit percentages can tell a more insightful story.

Your bounce rate reveals what percentage of visitors came to a specific page and left without doing anything else. They didn’t go to another link on your site, including contact forms. This means they came, saw, and didn’t engage any further. Your bounce rate doesn’t tell you why they left, but it can indicate the content didn’t meet their expectations.

Page entrances tell you what pages people are coming to first. Perhaps more visitors are landing on a specific blog post versus your e-commerce store. Numbers like this show that your blog post is outperforming your store pages in terms of attracting visitors. But if your goal is to get people to your store, you might need to experiment with your blog posts. Trying different call-to-action links may help direct a percentage of traffic toward conversion.

A page’s exit percentages aren’t the same as the bounce rate. The former metric means people left your website from the page but may have spent time browsing through your site. If your visitors are leaving on a purchase or sign-up confirmation page, you’re in good shape. If they’re bailing midway through the marketing funnel, you’ll need to investigate further to determine what’s prompting their departure and make necessary changes.

3. Measure Conversions

Your website isn’t there to only look good. You want people to do something once they get there. It might be purchasing a product, signing up for your emails, or registering for your upcoming webinar. With conversions, you could have more than one objective. Plus, those goals might vary by audience.

One aim isn’t necessarily better than another. However, measuring conversion rates will reveal whether your strategies are working. Determining how you want people to engage with your content will help you shape it. Also, you’ll need to benchmark your desired conversion rate. Otherwise, you won’t know when to declare victory.

Averages can sometimes help set your own targets. For example, the average online store conversion rate is between 2.5% and 3%. However, you likely want to surpass industry averages. Your goal could be to work up to the top of the average range if your site is new. It depends on what will be feasible for your team and make the most sense for your business’s growth objectives.

4. Look at Repeat Visitors

Businesses can’t grow based on new customers alone. In fact, most of your growth will come from existing clients. With digital marketing strategies and online stores, this translates to repeat visitors to your site. Even before leads convert, more than one visit to a page can indicate strong interest.

It’s like when a prospective homebuyer comes back for a second viewing. The repeat visit indicates that the property is probably a top contender. The buyer may have additional questions, but they like what they see. Measuring unique versus repeat visits to various pages on your site shows which audiences are most likely to buy.

This data also tells you who your loyal customers are. You can use this information to retarget them for specific campaigns, such as product and service bundles. When certain pages get a lot of repeat hits, it shows you what’s relevant to your audience members. Use the insights to craft related content to boost retention, engagement, and conversion rates.

Understanding Website Analytics

Data about your website is there to guide your online marketing strategies. The insights can steer you toward opportunities and reveal wins. Analyzing traffic sources, visitors’ behaviors, conversion rates, and repeat page hits will give you a clear performance snapshot. Understanding what that snapshot says can help your business grow in the direction you desire.

About the author


Larry Alton

Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in tech, social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.