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Do You Know What People Are Really Doing on Your Website?

Building a website without taking advantage of what analytics can tell you is like sending out a direct-mail campaign to everyone in town.

Author: Jeremy Harrison

Updated: September 15, 2021

Your website should act as the central hub for your digital marketing plan, attracting consumers from near and far in search of products and services—who may also eventually visit your brick and mortar store. Websites, social media, paid ads—these are tools any business can and should be using to generate traffic.

So, you perform due diligence, hire a web designer and get a website up and running. Then, you open a few strategic social media accounts, set up an Adwords campaign, and you’re off and running. But then what?

How do you know if any of this stuff is working?

How can you tell what people are doing on your website?

With analytics.

Analytics 101

Building a website without taking advantage of what analytics can tell you is like sending out a direct-mail campaign to everyone in town. The success of a direct-mail campaign is built on demographics, so that your business sends mailers out only to consumers that fit the economic, marital, education, etc. demographics of your ideal customer profile. Otherwise, you’re wasting valuable resources on bad leads.

Analytic tools help in much the same way, showing you things like where website visitors come from, what they’re doing on your site, and what actions they take—if any—when they’re on the website pages.

Here are a few specific metrics that prove helpful to businesses:

  • Heat maps. A heat map offers a display of where people are clicking on your website pages (whether the text or images are hyperlinked or not). For instance, if people are clicking on a certain line of text that’s not linked to another page, you can link that phrase to a new page that offers more information, or leads consumers to a call to action or landing page.
  • Location of visitor. Visitors to your site can come from multiple locations, perhaps a marketing email, a referral site, or a search engine. It’s extremely helpful to know where the http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosenfeldmedia/2367274164/majority of your visitors are coming from. If they’re referred by search engines, perhaps your blogging efforts are starting to pay off, or if you’ve invested in one, your paid ad is gaining traction.
  • Keywords. Keywords are integral to SEO efforts, and so is blogging. Using key metrics that show keywords and keyword phrases rankings, competition, and how variations of keywords rank comparatively, you can fine-tune your website and content marketing plan to optimize what’s hot and forget about what’s not.
  • External website links. Want to know if other websites are linking to yours, one metric that search engines account for? Analytic tools exist to show you were these links are coming from, and the authority of the linking site.

You wouldn’t think of paying hard-earned marketing dollars on a print or TV ad, or direct-mail campaign, without doing the appropriate market research, so why would you use a website as a marketing tactic without also employing effective tools to analyze what’s working—or where customers are going and what they’re doing. Putting the power of analytics behind your website allows your business to adjust and adapt according to consumer demands and trends. Then, your website will act as the hub for building traffic, generating leads and increasing conversions.

The best way to get started is with Google Analytics. It’s free, easy to set up and very powerful. It provides extremely useful data about who is visiting your site. There are paid tools too, but we recommend starting with Google Analytics. It provides more data than most small businesses could possibly digest. Spire customers get this setup, at no cost, with their website packages. If you aren’t a Spire customer, you can sign up for Google Analytics here.

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