With millions of websites on the Internet today it has become quite hard to make your website rank higher than your competitors. You need to make sure that your website is performing at its best and that your internet marketing strategies are working efficiently and effectively. For this, you need to understand and measure the factors that influence a website’s performance; this is called web analytics.
Why Use Web Analytics?
Web analytics refers to tracking, monitoring and analyzing different factors that influence the performance of a website on search engines. Web analytics is crucial because for a website or online business to be successful you need to make sure that all the influencing elements are performing at their best.
Without monitoring your performance you cannot know no what is working and what isn’t. Thus, it allows you to efficiently allocate your effort, time and money towards the factors that are producing the most optimal results rather than wasting them on useless ones.
Remember: numbers don’t lie. So, track your metrics and formulate your online marketing strategy based on the relevant data. Without web analytics, you are doing business in the dark which means you are losing potential opportunities and spending your resources on wasteful efforts.
Importance of Different Metrics
There is a huge amount of data when we talk about web analytics, however, it is important to note here that some factors are more important than the rest. It can be quite overwhelming to track every one of the web matrices, therefore, you should know which data is more relevant to your website.
To make sure that your web analytics is useful, you should continuously track and measure the performance of your website keeping in mind certain basic factors. These factors are often referred to as vanity metrics which do not directly impact your business strategies but are crucial to understanding how your website is performing online.
What Are Vanity Metrics?
Vanity metrics point out whether your website is performing well or not on the internet. These are, however, useless when it comes to making actual business decisions that help enrich business goals. The reason being that vanity metrics are often misleading, fickle and appealing for all the wrong reasons. On the flip side, some vanity metrics can actually help boost your online performance if used effectively.
For each website or business, vanity metrics can be hard to identify and depend on the industry and individual business needs. To identify vanity metrics for your website or business it is important to ask whether or not it will help your business grow online.
Let’s take a look at some vanity metrics that are useless for your business and some that actually work.
Vanity Metric You Should Not Track
Here are some common examples of vanity metrics that are often deceiving:
Block Post Views
This metric measures the quality of the content available on your website and how the readers perceive it. However, it does not indicate whether your blog views are organic or not, if it actually satisfied the reader’s query, whether or not they actually read and how long they spend on your post.
Video marketing is on the rise these days so a lot of businesses have different videos on their website today or they link the official company YouTube account. If you want to get an idea of your reach then view count works as a great metric. But when sharing the same video on a social media platform “view” may not me what you think. On Facebook or Twitter even if someone has only viewed your video for 3 seconds it is counted as a view. However, on YouTube, it is a little longer i.e.: 30 seconds. Again if you have a longer video of let’s say 5 to 10 minutes then the metric tells you nothing.
Social Channel Likes
This is also a receiving statistics as it does not reflect the quality of impact of your online presence. Shows you may get 20000 Facebook likes for 500 new Twitter followers but that translates to your engagement or sales. What you need to understand here is categorize in the total number of socialize and see what like is actually coming from potential clients so people that are engaging with your brand.
Email Open Rates
Email open rates are considered an excellent metric but it only tells you whether your email had a compelling subject line. It doesn’t tell you whether or not your email persuaded the reader enough to give you business.
Now, let’s talk about the vanity metrics that you should track.
Vanity Metrics You Should Track
To put it concisely, anything that directly relates to return on investment (ROI) is worth tracking. These metrics include:
Every time a visitor leaves your website after visiting and not interacting then it’s called a bounce. Rather than tracking the overall bounce rate of your website, it is important to track the bounce rate of each page on your website. This way you can monitor what actions people are taking after arriving at each webpage.
This enables you to identify the weaknesses in each web page and to fix the pages that have higher bounce rates. It also allows you to see what’s working on pages that have a low bounce rate and use the same strategy to fix the other pages.
Conversion refers to when a website visitor turns into a customer. Having thousands and millions of traffic on your website is useless if the visitors are not converting into customers. By tracking your conversion rate you can see what percentage of website visitors convert into potential customers. It allows you to see which web page is working and focus on the type of activity which is increasing the conversion rate.
We have already established that your number of social media likes does not determine anything. The right term you should be focusing on is engagement. Engagement measures how many people have interacted on your social media posts through likes, comments or shares. Find the average number of comments, likes and shares on your social media posts and then divide that with your total number of followers. Finally, multiply the figure by a hundred and you will have the percentage of your engagement.
Engagement tells you whether or not your followers care about what you say. You can also use in-app analytics to assess different metrics that analyze the engagement on your social media profile.
You need to know where your customers and leads are coming from. To monitor your leads you can use different tools such as Google analytics which tells you how your leads are finding you and how they interact with the website. Such tools are a great way of identifying the key factors that make up your sales funnel.
Remember there is a difference between a bounce and an exit. While bounds are when someone lands on your website and leaves it after visiting one page, an exit is when a visitor goes through different pages on your website and then leaves. Naturally, some of the web pages of your website will have higher exit rates than others. Examine the pages with high exit rates and find out why visitors are exiting your website.
Web analytics can be both helpful and useless when it comes to growing business online. The key here is to identify your actionable metrics and monitor them to find out where you might be lacking. By focusing on improving the metrics that impact ROI, you can efficiently use your resources and avoid shuffling through overwhelming large and useless files of data!