Online marketing strategy: what is web analytics?
In our last article, we told you all about web performance, loading and response times, and how important it all is for positioning purposes. We explained how analysing that information is crucial to keep your website neat, tidy and up-to-date at all times. This time, we want to focus on talking you through web analytics and what it can do to improve your decision-making in all kinds of different ways that will affect your business development, especially in marketing terms.
Web analytics. Analysing the statistical data you get from your website is absolutely vital.
But what do we mean by web analytics?
Analysing your web means extracting a range of significant data regarding the conditions and behaviour of the traffic on your site, then studying the data, defining conditions and making decisions based on your findings so as to optimise the resources and actions you invest in fulfilling your goals.
Photograph via Unsplash
Information in web analytics
One of the great advantages of being and working online as a company is that everything you do in your marketing strategy gets recorded and computed in real time.
If that only applied to your actions, the advantage over being on other media would not be too significant, but the beauty of it is that you get to record and compute the way each and every user reacts to those actions too.
In practical terms, this differs from a conventional mailing campaign, for instance, where all you can do is gather global statistical data to give you estimated market penetration rates and a hypothetical expected response. The problem there is that you have no way of knowing how many letters reached their destination, how many were collected and how many were read. With an online marketing campaign, all you need to measure is the response you get compared to the volume you launched to find out: how many users opened your email, how many accessed the content you published, how many are reading it, how they got to it, and where they go after reading it. All of this information that web analytics offers you helps to improve your marketing strategies.
Take this information and get it regularly and professionally analysed and you will have the power to use your resources wisely and make sensible decisions, implement improvements regarding current initiatives in your online strategy or reinforce them with complementary actions. This way, you will be optimising your results interactively and almost instantly and producing new real-time feedback as your online marketing strategy develops.
“Take this information and you will have the power to use your resources wisely and make sensible decisions”
Web analytics on user behaviour
Knowing how your users behave, what paths they find most effective to reach your website, how they browse your site, what interests them, which pages they pay most attention to and which ones they bounce straight out of gives you absolutely priceless insight as to what they want so you can avoid showing them things they will not find interesting.
Being perfectly aware of which words people use to search for you and through which content and social media they reach you will help you to focus your market acquisition strategy where you know it will be most effective. And if the results are not as good as you expected, take care to analyse where you went wrong and make adjustments.
What resources and tools can I use to extract and analyse information?
We have already explained that web analytics means extracting and studying a variety of data. Worded that way, you might think that those data are hidden and hard to find. Not at all!
Google, the search engine par excellence, provides some of the most powerful, popular and free web analytics tools, including Google Analytics and other Google tools for developers and webmasters. These resources are available to everyone and come with all kinds of graphs, filters, parameter settings and comparisons.
Making sense and habit out of web analytics
By now you must be thinking it is the easiest thing in the world to draw relevant conclusions from all this readily-accessible data – and it is! So, how to use it to your advantage over the competition when they have that information too?
The secret to success lies in two key elements. First of all, the know-how. You need to know what you are looking for in a vast ocean of data to pick out only that which sheds light on your development and helps you to interpret it properly. Secondly, routine. It is important to regularly and routinely work on any changes you make and monitor them carefully to ensure the outcome of your actions and changes is what you wanted.
Web analytics to answer your questions
All in all, web analytics should be the core of your project from the outset, helping you right from the start to answer certain basic questions, even before development begins, using the global data these tools provide:
Who do I want or need to reach? Define your target audience and find your market niche. How do they come to me? We are talking about their favourite social media, the searches they usually make, etc.
What content are they looking for? Check the content they follow and share, their feeds, the news they are interested in and the blogs they like.
All of these questions can and should be asked before starting a project, and the answers are there in the web analytics and metrics provided by the online world. These answers will tell you what online marketing strategy to follow, specifying everything from your web image to your content and how to make it happen.
Once the project is underway, a new set of questions will come up almost constantly to help you improve according to the answers you get from studying your data:
Where do your users get stuck?
What boosts their loyalty?
Which advertising campaigns are performing best?
Which ones are not working so well?
What content gets shared and commented?
On which media?
In short, web analytics is a crucial exercise with which to develop your online marketing strategy, enabling you to optimise your results and save costs, which pays off in the form of instant tangible benefits.
If you are interested in taking your first steps in the world of web analytics or if you are keen to build on what you already know, you will find a list of all the best web analytics blogs on 40deFiebre.
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