Using Web Analytics

by on September 13, 2010

So you have all this data sitting in front of you. Are you confused as to how it falls together? Are you looking for the magic numbers to turn your site into the Holy Grail of conversions? You aren’t the only one.

Web analytics aren’t just numbers, however. They can help you identify trends in traffic and key terms, which landing pages need to be better optimized, and which content needs to be modified.

Out of all the statistics available, though, some are more important than others are. Learning how to read these figures can make a huge difference in the success of your SEO campaign and, ultimately, your online business.

Keyword Metrics

Most analytic reports include keyword statistics, outlining which terms your visitors used to find the site in the SERPs. By paying attention to those terms, you can learn whether your site is as targeted as you think it is.

For instance, one of our key terms people use to find the Article Archive is still “the little agency that could” from the alt tag of an image – in a post over four months old. Why people are searching for this term, I have no idea, but it’s definitely not targeted.

Watch what key terms bring people to your site. If they don’t match your website’s main theme, you didn’t meet your optimization efforts.

Popular Content

Which articles and pages draw the most attention is also a vital bit of information. Those with the most visitors and the highest amount of time on the page can help you figure out which pages are the most important. Not to you, but to your visitors. In short, this information can help you identify visitor trends.

Length/Depth of Visit

How long did they stay? Where did they go? These two questions are answered by the visit’s length and depth. Neither number should be small. If you have an average of 8 seconds per visit with an average of one page per visitor, your site isn’t converting very well. Your content is failing to be interesting enough for people to explore your site further.

Traffic Sources

Which sources of traffic bring the most visitors? Which bring the most conversions? This metric shows information on search engines, social media, referring sites and more. Learning how to measure which methods of traffic bring you the best conversions can make a lot of difference in your success. As well, it can cut down on the amount of time you spend putting together link building campaigns that don’t bring results.

Pay attention to what kind of information is on the referring site. What type of site is it? How many visitors do they get? By comparing poor referring sites with better performing ones, you can develop a much stronger link profile.

In short, web analytics can really help you learn a lot about how your website is performing. They can also give you an idea of how you can better optimize the site to match your visitors’ needs. It may not be what you expected, but, if you listen to the data, put thought into any changes you make and, of course, test, test, test, your changes will get better results every time.



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