There are an astounding number of businesses that do not use analytics even today!
Well, it’s not hard to understand why?
As a small or medium sized business owner there are countless things that demand ones attention and not finding focus on ‘analytics’ can be just one of them.
However, site owners who have not yet transitioned to online marketing or are looking for ways to optimize and enhance their web performance should embrace analytics. We say that, because, by not doing so, they are missing out on a lot of potential sales that can help them grow and expand their business profitably.
Analytics does not only track web visitors, but is a fundamental tool in knowing and making intelligent decisions about your website performance, marketing, search engine optimisation, social media, pay per click advertising and email marketing. Even design changes can be improvised and measured by simply using your analytics.
What’s Different, anyway?
There is a significant difference between website statistics and analytics. Statistics of a website are usually provided by an automated program that displays charts, graphs and basic visitor information. All this is static information. Analytics is the practice of taking website produced data and using it to improve your website, web presence and understand ROI.
If you’re looking at website data and just reporting the numbers published each month, you’re simply reporting website stats. Analysis takes a complete view of the website and is an active searching and questioning activity that takes place on the website.
Web Analytics – It’s true Definition
Avinash Kaushik, author, co-Founder of Market Motive Inc, Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google., and an expert in web analytics defines Analytics as —
Just about every activity on a website can be tracked – how visitors arrive, and what they do on the website, the link they choose to move to the next page, how long do they stay and what data do they read. All this visitor behaviour from entry to conversion reveals a spectacular amount of information that can be tracked, analysed and used to advance the website, its UI and UX and the processes required of the visitor. Free business analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Yahoo Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Piwik make it easy for owners to set up and know whether they have created a successful online marketing presence,
Unearthing the Goldmine of Information
When web owners and marketers understand how to use analytics properly, it changes everything.
Unfortunately, most companies are used to developing ad hoc reports that are focused on activity reports that are unfocused on the primary goals of sales, leads, registrations or other actions. Because there are too many factors involved in ad hoc reporting, as a result, such reports are potentially misleading, and are a terrible basis of decision making.
So, what should be done?
The very first step is establishing the goals of the website. Identify the purpose of the website from the corporate or business standpoint. In short, what so you want? To make money? To raise awareness? To increase branding? Chances are, like most website owners, your primary goal is to make money, and all secondary goals would revolve around the visitor actions that make you that money.
The secondary goals are those where you should rank the actions of visitors and develop a priority for those visits based on revenue and profitability.
Again, analytics is not about numbers, but rather analysing behaviour. When you develop context of a visitor through your tool, it is based on the intent of the visitor. In that terms, you get to better understand the particular visitor, their intent, their reactions, and the result of the visit that will help you improve your online marketing efforts!