You've made sure your website loads quickly, has responsive design, ranks highly in searches, uses top-notch security measures and provides powerful content, but do you know how well it performs?
Tracking and analyzing data from your website helps you identify areas that need improvement, which, in turn helps you understand trends and allows you to make good decisions for website and the business.
If you don’t have any analytics on your site, get that done. The easiest way to do this is to have your web team install Google Analytics. It’s free and relatively powerful out of the box and can be customized to a large degree.
Many Analytics Packages
But Google isn't the only game in town. There are MANY other analytics packages, each with their own take on what’s important to create actionable intelligence. These include:
- Adobe Analytics (formerly Omniture)
- IBM Analytics
- Stat Counter
Engagement Is The New Metric
That said, older metrics that were once seen as the unquestioned way to judge a site’s success aren’t as useful as they once were. For instance, the once revered statistic of page views may no longer be a great indicator of your website’s digital presence.
Engagement is quickly outpacing raw traffic. It's more specific in helping you find out what actually works on your site and what doesn't. Here are some of these metrics:
- What did someone click on?
- Where did they look on the page?
- What did they download?
- What’s the pathway that was taken through the site?
- Are they an existing customer or an unknown visitor?
The one thing that IS getting a little creepy is tracking individuals (read the following on Canvas Fingerprinting). It’s done all the time, but as a company, you must ask yourself if that’s something you want to do. In retail, this sort of thing is expected; in professional services, it could undermine the trust so vital to a long-term relationship. Whatever your position or choice, make it with eyes wide open and a full understanding of the business and potential ethical implications.
So if you don't know what actually is of interest to your visitors, consider using one of the many analytics packages and find out today!
Here's to your successful website!