Unless you know and understand who is visiting which pages of your website and / or blog and what their intent is, it is impossible to target your content and communications effectively. Most hosting packages that you purchase will have some form of analytical software that comes as part of the deal (accessed via your control panel) – Webalizer comes as part of ours.
Although useful, it doesn’t give you a fraction of the information that you can access through Google Analytics which is free of charge and very easy to install once you sign up and get a tracking code – I did it myself on our Elite Edge website.
You can find out who is visiting your site, what landing and exit pages they use, monitor in-page clicks, geographical location of visitors, top referring sites, trends following marketing activity etc. I won’t go into the reporting elements as there will be lots of information readily available already on this topic and I’m not an expert here.
What I will talk about is what you do with this information once you have it.
I often talk to clients who say they understand the value of Google Analytics but realistically they don’t have the time or internal resources to monitor it effectively. You actually don’t need lots of time to do an OK job at understanding what’s happening. For example if the objective of a marketing campaign is to drive traffic to your website and encourage them to make a purchase, sign up for something or make an enquiry to your business and this isn’t happening, then maybe you can alter the page content to ensure it’s more appropriate. Also are they landing on the right page for the information they need? Its surprising how high the bounce rate is on many home pages and businesses are not even aware of this. They get lots of hits on their website, but nothing happens after that. Interestingly, if they leave your site and exit to a competitors site, then there’s your first job! Make the landing page (home or otherwise) more relevant to them. Carefully track your Google Analytics logs with the question(s) in mind “what can I do to make people stay longer, make a purchase, contact me” etc. Your website could look great, have amazing deals on there and technically be doing all the right things to “tick the boxes”. BUT if it isn’t giving the visitor what they want, they are gone, often never to return because you’ve already left a negative first impression for them.
If you need help or would like more information about how you can use this free information to channel your marketing activity effectively then please get in touch.