This post is also available in: العربية (Arabic)
From our currencies to our credit scores, the value of numbers cannot be discounted. Without them, we’d be wandering around in a world built on words and actions, without anything concrete connecting them.
That’s where analytics come in.
It’s art of seeking out and finding patterns in otherwise nonsensical data. We do this even when we don’t realize it – when we measure where our likes are coming from on social media, or when we calculate the fastest route to reach a destination. But so often we forgot to implement analytics in the places we need them most – our websites.
Analytics are the backbone of every strong digital presence. They’re the thread that binds together every page of our sites, measuring where our visitors are coming from, whether they’re old-timers or newbies, which channels are driving them and how often our content is converting them into leads.
At Wuilt, we have a built-in analytics system, but if you aren’t already tracking yours, here’s why you should consider incorporating an analytics tool.
This is what every button on your website is subliminally guiding people to do – act. Your conversion rates calculate the percentage of people who followed through with the action you intended: whether it’s to purchase a product, fill in a form, or sign up for a service. You could have all the people of the internet crowding your website, but if your conversion rates aren’t where you need them to be, then you know you’re doing something wrong.
This applies to any type of website, not just e-commerce ones. Knowing your conversion rates lets you see how far off you are from your ultimate goal. You can then use this information to edit any aspect of your website, such as your Call to Actions (CTAs) or landing pages.
Think of your website as an ocean with multiple water sources flowing into it. You have direct visitors who came to your site by typing in the exact URL, search visitors who landed on your page through a search query, and referral visitors who found you via social media or a blog.
Different channels carry in different amounts of conversions, based on the type of people who use them. If you’re reaching thousands of people through a Facebook campaign only to find that none of these visitors are converting, then you know not to advertise there anymore. Or if you see that your backlinks on other channels are giving you strong, high-converting traffic, then you can expand your link building efforts. If direct visitors are infrequent, you know to upgrade your advertising techniques.
Bounce rates are the percentage of times that a visitor lands on your site and leaves without doing anything.
High bounce rates mean that you might be doing a great job at attracting traffic, but you’re failing to give your website something to stand on once people arrive. This could be because your site is generally disorganized, sports a tacky design, features irrelevant photos or has too many, too few, or just not the right words.
If you’re caught in a low conversion cobweb, then knowing your bounce rates can help you decide whether you need to give your site’s content a makeover or revamp your digital marketing efforts. Sometimes simply modifying a headline or adding a video can lower your bounce rates.
The average session time measures the general amount of time people spent on your website before leaving. It correlates with one key element: relevancy. If your site is relevant to your visitors, they’re likely to spend more time on it.
Average session times can tell you other things beyond your ability to hold an attention span. For example, are you reaching out to the right traffic sources? Is your website’s design scaring people off? Could your navigational elements be hard to maneuver? You can play with these things until you target your most relevant audience and build a site worth staying on.
People can scour web pages from desktops, tablets and cellphones, and your website will always look different depending on the device. If you find that most of your views come from cellphones, you should optimize your site for mobiles. You should do this regardless, but if you find a high correlation between mobile use and bounce rates, it might be because your layout isn’t formatted for it.
It’s also important so you can know what type of ads to select if you’re using a platform such as Google’s Display Network – specific ads are optimized for mobiles and for desktops, so investing in one or the other can help you pull in specific types of traffic.
One important thing to know about your users is their relationship to your website. New visitors may interact differently from those who have visited before. It’s necessary to know the difference in conversion rates between those two types of visitors.
Here, you can again focus on usability and calculate whether new visitors have higher bounce rates. If so, it’s back to the drawing board. You can also use this to track new traffic, in case you’re wasting money on a campaign that isn’t working.