So you have a website, what now? Get to know your site visitors, they are a vast wealth of knowledge for how well or not so well your website is performing. Really get to know your website analytics. They will give you all sorts of insight into how visitors are moving about your website as well as how they found and arrived to your site.
1. Success Requires Measurement
The digital media age has brought the benefit of everything you do online being measureable. With a relatively simple addition to website code it is possible to monitor not only how a visitor finds a site but also how they interact with it once they are on it. This is more than just understanding pages visited and how long someone spent browsing…. this is about real performance data.
Sure, this assumes that your measurement of success is somewhat related to traffic and honestly most of your goals are related to traffic. The more traffic you have generally will result in the following:
- You will have more comments.
- You will have more pingbacks and people referencing you.
- You will have a greater potential to make more money.
- You will have a better shot at ranking higher in search engine results.
Of course, all of this comes back to measuring your success, managing it well, and responding to the information presented to you via analytics. Thus, without analytics, you won’t be able to execute on these great things.
2. What you are Measuring – understand it
The key to making decisions is having an unbiased approach and expertise in understanding how people interact with the internet and more specifically your pages. Website owners have two choices here: 1) learn how to interpret data yourself or 2) go to a Google Authorized Analytics Consultant (GAAC) and use their services. As a GAAC, in our opinion there is poor cost benefit in taking the time to learn the nuances of analyzing websites… our advice is to use an expert and get on with making the decisions that affect your bottom line. The experiences that many GAAC’s have can be transferred into your own company very quickly and efficiently, saving you years time on the bell curve.
3. Know Your Visitors
When you track your website traffic you will be given the opportunity to know an incredible amount of information about them as individuals and your entire community as a whole. Just think of the amount of leverage you have knowing who they are, where they are coming from, what they are doing, and what they are looking for specifically!
4. Know Your Ecosystem
Website analytics can provide you with some significant sources of information that you can then use to filter out and measure against those within your niche, focus, or target audience. It’ll give you the information about your direct competition, the strength of your keywords, and how well you’re doing with your content.
It’ll also show you the sources of traffic that’s bringing you new visitors via social media and social networking platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, which are within your controllable ecosystem, as well as people who are referencing and talking about your property as well. When you get a surge of traffic from a respected source you’re going to want to mine that puppy for all it’s worth, thank the source profusely and explicitly, and then seek to replicate that model of traffic again, and again, and again.