Chapter 5

Website Analytics

If you have a website and are not utilizing the data from the analytics you are missing out on a huge opportunity to help improve your website and gain a higher return on investment.

The primary objective of carrying out Web Analytics is to optimize the website in order to provide better user experience

The website analytics process:

  • Set the business goals.
  • To track the goal achievement, set the Key Performance Indicators(KPI).
  • Collect correct and suitable data.
  • To extract insights, Analyze data.
  • Based on assumptions learned from the data analysis, Test alternatives.
  • Based on either data analysis or website testing, Implement insights.
web analytics diagram

Introduction to Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a freemium analytic tool that provides a detailed statistics of the web traffic. It is used by more than 60% of website owners. Google analytics helps you to track and measure visitors, traffic sources, goals, conversion, and other metrics (as shown in the above image). It basically generates reports on Audience Analysis, Acquisition Analysis, Behavioral Analysis, and Conversion Analysis. Click the tabs below to begin learning about each in more depth.

Audience Analysis

As the name suggests, audience analysis gives you an overview of the audience who visit your site along with their session history, page-views, bounce rate, etc. You can trace the new as well as the returning users along with their geographical locations. You can track −

 

  • The age and gender of your audience under Demographics.
  • The affinity reach and market segmentation under Interests.
  • Language and location under Geo.
  • New and returning visitors, their frequency, and engagement under Behavior.
  • Browsers, Operating systems, and network of your audience in Technology.
  • Mobile device info under Mobile.
  • Custom variable report under Custom. This report shows the activity by custom modules that you created to capture the selections.
  • Benchmarking channels, locations, and devices under Benchmarking. Benchmarking allows you to compare your metrics with other related industries. So, you can plot what you need to incur in order to overtake the market.
  • Flow of user activity under Users flow to see the path they took on your website.

Acquisition Analysis

Acquisition means ‘to acquire.’ Acquisition analysis is carried out to find out the sources from where your web traffic originates. Using acquisition analysis, you can −

 

  • Capture traffic from all channels, particular source/medium, and from referrals.
  • Trace traffic from AdWords (paid search).
  • See traffic from search engines. Here, you can see Queries, triggered landing pages, and geographical summary.
  • Track social media traffic. It helps you to identify networks where your users are engaged. You can see referrals from where your traffic originates. You can also have a view of your hub activity, bookmarking sites follow-up, etc. In the same tab, you can have a look at your endorsements in details. It helps you measure the impact of social media on your website.
  • See which plug-ins gave you traffic.
  • Have a look at all the campaigns you built throughout your website with detailed statistics of paid/organic keywords and the cost incurred on it.

Behavioral Analysis

Behavior analysis monitors users’ activities on a website. You can find behavioral data under the following four segments −

 

  • Site Content − It shows how many pages were viewed. You can see the detailed interaction of data across all pages or in segments like content drill-down, landing pages, and exit pages. Content drill-down is breaking up of data into sub-folders. Landing page is the page where the user lands, and exit page is where the user exits your site. You can measure the behavioral flow in terms of content.
  • Site Speed − Here, you can capture page load time, execution speed, and performance data. You can see how quickly the browser can parse through the page. Further, you can measure page timings, user timings, and get speed suggestion. It helps you to know where you are lagging.
  • Site Search − It gives you a full picture of how the users search across your site, what they normally look for, and how they arrive at a particular landing page. You can analyze what they search for before landing on your website.
  • Events − Events are visitors’ actions with content, which can be traced independently. Example − downloads, sign up, log-in, etc.

Conversion Analysis

Conversion is a goal completion or a transaction by a user on your website. For example, download, checkout, buy, etc. To track conversions in analytics, you need to define a goal and set a URL that is traceable.

 

  • Goals − Metrics that measure a profitable activity that you want the user to complete. You can set them to track the actions. Each time a goal is achieved, a conversion is added to your data. You can observe goal completion, value, reverse path, and goal flow.
  • Ecommerce − You can set ecommerce tracking to know what the users buy from your website. It helps you to find product performance, sale performance, transactions, and purchase time. Based on these data, you can analyze what can be beneficial and what can incur you loss.
  • Multi-channel funnels − Multi-channel funnels or MCF reports the source of conversion; what roles the website plays, referrals’ role in that conversion; and what all slabs did when users pass through landing page to conversion. For example, a user searched for a query on Google search page, he visited the website, but did not convert. Later on, he directly typed your website name and made a purchase. All these activities can be traced on MCF.
  • Attribution − Attribution modeling credits sales and conversions to touch points in conversion tracking. It lets you decide what platforms or strategy or module is the best for your business. Suppose a person visited your website through AdWords ad and made no purchase. A month later, he visits via a social platform and again does not buy. Third time, he visited directly and converted. Here, the last interaction model will credit direct for the conversion, whereas first interaction model will assign credit to paid medium. This way, you can analyze what module should be credited for a conversion.

Learn More About Analytics

Get more information on Google Analytics and more in our digital marketing chapter analytics.

Understanding Key Metrics

Google Analytics is a freemium analytic tool that provides a detailed statistics of the web traffic. It is used by more than 60% of website owners. Google analytics helps you to track and measure visitors, traffic sources, goals, conversion, and other metrics (as shown in the above image). It basically generates reports on Audience Analysis, Acquisition Analysis, Behavioral Analysis, and Conversion Analysis. Click the tabs below to begin learning about each in more depth.

  • Pageviews − Pageviews is the number of views of a page. Multiple pageviews are possible in a single session. If pageviews is improved, it will directly influence AdSense revenue and average time on website.
  • Bounce rate − Bounce rate reflects the percentage of visitors returning back only after visiting one page of your website. It helps you to know how many visitors do so. If the bounce rate of a website increases, its webmaster should be worried.
  • Pages per session − Pages/session is the number of pages surfed in a single session. For example, a user landed on your website and surfed 3 pages, then the website pages/session is 3.
  • Demographic info − Demographic data shows Age and Gender. With the help of Demographic Info, you can find the percentage of Male/Female visitors coming to your website. Analyzing the ratio of this data, you can make a strategy according to genders. Age group data help you find what percentage of age group visiting your website. So, you can make a strategy for highest percentage of age group visitors.
  • Devices − This data shows the devices info. In devices info, you can easily find how many percentage of visitors come from mobile, how many come from desktop, how many come from tablets, etc. If mobile traffic is high, then you need to make your website responsive.

Traffic sources − In the acquisition, you have to check all your sources of the traffic. Major sources of the traffic are:

  • Organic traffic is the traffic coming through all search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing….)
  • Social traffic is the traffic coming through all social media platforms (like − Facebook, Twitter, Google+, …)
  • Referral traffic is the traffic coming through where your website is linked.
  • Direct traffic is the traffic coming directly to your website. For example, typing the url of your website, clicking on the link of your website given in emails, etc.
  • Source/Medium − This metrics gives you an idea of the sources from where you are getting traffic (Google, Yahoo, Bing, Direct, Facebook…).
  • Landing pages − Landing pages are the pages where the visitors land first (normally, home pages of the websites are the landing pages). With the help of this metrics, you can find the top pages of the website. Using this metrics, you can analyze how many pages are getting 50% or more traffic of the website. So, you can easily find which type of content is working for you. Further, based on this analysis, you can plan the next content strategy.
  • Site speed − Site speed is the metrics used for checking page timing (average page load time). Using this metrics, you can find which page is taking more time to load, how many pages have high load time, etc.

Goals are used in analytics for tracking completions of specific actions. With the help of goals, you can measure the rate of success. Goals are measured differently in different industries. For example, in an e-commerce website you can measure the goal when a product gets sold. In a software company, you can measure the goal when a software product is sold. In a marketing company, goals are measured when a contact form is filled.

Goals can be divided into the following categories −

  • Destination Goal − Destination goal is used to find pageviews of a website. Put a destination URL in the destination field to complete your goal.
  • Duration Goal − You can measure the user engagement with the help of duration goal. You can specify hours, minutes, and second field to quantify the goals. If a user spends more than that much of time on the page, then the goal is completed.
  • Event Goals − You can measure user interaction with your event on the site. It is called as event goals. You must have at least one event to compose this goal.
  • Pages/session Goal − You can measure the user engagement with pages/session goal. First, you have to specify how many pageviews/session counts as goal complete. Then, with the help of goal metric, you can analyze how many goals are completed.
Next Section: Search Engine Optimization