How to Use the 3 W's of Web Analytics to Optimize Your Digital Marketing Efforts
The Importance of the 3 W's of Web Analytics
With web analytics, you have at your disposal a robust tool to gain in-depth understanding about your website users. Every click and pageview tells a story about what your users want, how to keep them coming back and ultimately how to convert them into devoted customers, donors or readers.
Today, internet marketing and become more challenging and competitive than ever before. Analysis of user behavior, demographics, and qualitative and quantitative factors on your website, and then using those insights to make strategic marketing and advertising decisions give your business a significant advantage over others that fail to collect and make use this data.
“Hits” to a website was one of the earliest and simplest metrics webmasters tracked. You might remember the popular hit-counters that seemed ever-present on the web and were used as a way to display how popular the website was. We've come a long way since then! Beyond the initial hit, there is a treasure trove of information waiting to be consumed by businesses hungry for data about their users.
Website "Hit-Counter" - Remember These?
The 3 W's of Web Analytics
Who visits your website? Who bounced – that is, who came to your website and then left without viewing any other pages? Who were able to keep engaged in your content and who exited the site mid-funnel, perhaps abandoning a checkout step? Most importantly, who were you able to convert? Web analytics can be used to answer all of these questions, and using your analytics data to find the answers to these questions enables you to confidently make decisions about site optimizations for user experience. For example, that abandoned checkout step could be improved to encourage users to complete the transaction.
What led users to your website? If they used a search engine, what query did they use? What pages did they spend the most time on? What products generated the most revenue and what services generated the most lead form submissions? Once you understand what brings users to your site and makes them convert, you can begin to make optimizations to increase the number of those conversions (a process called conversion rate optimization, or CRO). For example, if your Referrals report in Google Analytics shows that very few users are coming to your website via organic search, then you know that your organic presence needs work.
When are users viewing your site? This is simple enough, and nonetheless, time is a vital part of the information you receive from web analytics. For example, if you are a restaurant and find that users are visiting your “Daily Specials” page largely at 10AM (probably scoping out lunch options), then it stands to reason that this is also a good time to sponsor a post on your social media accounts. If you are an online retailer and see that your traffic reaches its' peak on weekends, then you could consider offering weekend sales to take advantage of the influx of users to your website.
Hopefully you see by now that web analytics is no hit-counter! These three W's will help to determine which parts of your website need improving and how to optimize your website in a way that will cater to your users and influence their conversion actions. Adapting a data-driven mindset of constant iteration and improvement can help grow your business faster and push you down the correct strategic pathways.
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