All too often, when our marketing team begins working with a new client, we find that the client has never even looked at his or her business website analytics. Worse yet, we sometimes learn that the website for the business has no analytics platform at all.
Why are these situations bad? Well for starters, you should think of website analytics as a flight recorder (also known as the “black box”) for your business. If there is nothing to record the critical flight data on a commercial airline, there is no easy way to diagnose what caused a particular problem. If there is a flight recorder, but no one looks at the data, the outcome is the same.
Analytics is one of the best ways to assess the overall health of your business
Certainly the best way is looking at your business’s books, but those numbers rarely offer you a reason why profits are up or down. Web analytics, however, can.
By looking at overall web traffic data, you can determine if a change is due to a seasonal trend or an isolated event. You can also determine if there is a change in where your web traffic is coming from.
If you see there is a big downturn in organic traffic, it may be that your website has been down ranked by Google, which may be due to new competition or a problem with the website itself.
You can also dig into website demographics and determine if there is a change in your core customer base or that you are no longer serving a certain geographic area as well as you were.
Or you may find that web traffic is doing well which would clue you in that the problem is that potential customers are not converting.
We’re just scratching the surface here, but you can see how useful web analytics can be to even a small brick and mortar business. But what about a bigger business with a substantial monthly investment in marketing?
Analytics are a necessity for successful marketing
Without a doubt, analytics is the absolute best way to evaluate the work you or your marketing team is doing. Not only can they help you assess the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, but analytics can also help you evaluate where best to apply your marketing budget.
On a more granular level, analytics can help you or your marketing team optimize your marketing campaigns to their maximum effectiveness. Even if you or your team pours over the social media ad metrics on a particular social media platform, seeing those conversions on your website will give you a much clearer picture to the true value of those efforts.
Analytics can help you spot opportunities to help your business adapt and grow
Website audience data can help you determine what time of day and what days of the week are the most crucial for your business – and the most fruitful for your online advertising budget. Website data can also help you key in on geographic areas or audience demographics that are most worth focusing on.
Website search data can help you learn what potential customers are looking for and spot other very critical trends in the marketplace. This may lead to you offering a new product or service in order to tailor your business to ever-changing customer wants and needs.
Analytics can help you make informed decisions about real world business problems
In your website traffic data is a very clear picture of how both your customers and potential customers are making decisions about interacting with your business before they ever walk in the door or pick up the phone. And at no time in the past has this been more relevant than right now, in the midst of a major pandemic.
With such a ground-shaking shift in how customers interact with businesses, your web analytics is your most valuable asset in making decisions about your business – particularly because we are all relying on technology to help us navigate these very trying times. It can help you determine if your customers feel safe patronizing your business and if you are making transactions as convenient for them as possible.
This is very critical information, but perhaps you still can’t bring yourself to dive into your Google Analytics to try to dig this out? Well, here are some valuable tips to help you embrace your web analytics:
Tips on minimizing resistance to looking at your data
- Leverage a platform that puts all your critical data in one place. A primary reason most people ignore their Google Analytics is that you can only look at one segment of data at one time. Using customized reporting or an easy-to-navigate dashboard can make looking at your data actually enjoyable.
- Use data visualization to help make your analytics more accessible and meaningful. By converting your data to more meaningful charts, graphs and maps, your data will be much easier to understand and more pleasant to look at.
- Hire an expert to help you make sense of your analytics. Making sense out of website analytics is a learned skill. A professional can create reporting for your most critical data that is much easier to understand and much more meaningful to your business management.
- Set aside time every week to review your data. No matter how great your data reporting is, if you don’t look at it, it means nothing. Carve out a set time every week to look at your web analytics. And remember, your analytics will become easier to understand over time. Spend the time!