Do you understand exactly what your site stats are telling you?
In today’s competitive online world, having a beautiful website just isn’t enough. You have to fully understand just how your audience is engaging with your website if you want an advantage.
Should you be targeting mobile users? Are people spending too much time on the wrong landing pages? How long are they spending on your site? What browsers are they using and how well does your website display?
The more knowledge you have about your site, the more power you have over how users interact with your business as a whole. Understanding your analytics is the first step in that process.
Here are 7 things your analytics can tell you about the state of your website.
1. Why People Are Coming to Your Site
One of the things you absolutely should be tracking as a part of your analytics is your SEO keywords, because they will tell you exactly what is drawing new visitors to your site.
If you’re using Google Analytics, it’s fairly easy to pull a keyword report with a collection of your most popular words and phrases (though there is specific keyword tracking software available too). You can also track what words and phrases are being searched with your own website search bar.
Your keywords can tell you a lot about your users, including what they’re searching for and what they think your site has to offer. If you’re struggling to pin down your audience or you’re trying to drive new traffic, check your keyword analytics for clues.
2. Why People Are Leaving Your Site
While it’s important to know how many people are coming to your site, it’s arguably more important to know which pages are keeping their attention and which ones are driving them away.
Your analytics can show you the frequency with which visitors are coming and going from your site, where they’re going, and even how fast they’re moving. Based on those statistics, you can determine which of your pages should be retooled or scrapped.
Take a look at your top 25-50 high-traffic pages and compare exit rates to find your biggest problem areas.
3. What Devices They’re Using
You probably already know that your site stats can show you whether a user is viewing your website from PC or a mobile device, but you may not know that your analytics can also tell you what browsers they’re using and what operating system they’re on.
This information can be extremely helpful if you’re trying to make your site as user-friendly as possible. Sometimes certain web features are incompatible with certain browsers or devices, or maybe your site designer didn’t test the design on enough browsers and it just doesn’t look as good on Firefox as it does on Chrome.
If significant portions of your visitors are using a browser or device that is incompatible with your site, your conversions may suffer.
4. How Well They’re Navigating Content
Your analytics can also tell you how well users are moving through your site’s content, or if they’re getting stuck on certain pages.
Your stats should be able to tell you the proportion of visitors that land on one page versus those that land on two or more pages. If people are looking at one page but not jumping around to others, it might be time to reorganize your content.
If users are completely avoiding some important content, it could be a sign that they’re not finding it easily enough through your current navigation setup. Consider simplifying or rearranging your navigation and see how your stats change.
5. How Happy They Are With Your Content
Site stats can show you how long someone is staying on each page and give you insight into your bounce rates.
Bounce rates show you how many users that have come to a certain page are leaving your site without interacting with any other related pages. If your bounce rate is higher among first-time visitors, it could be a problem with your content.
Keep in mind that “time on page” stats can counteract bounce rates. If your stats show that your pages with high bounce rates have better than average time spent on each page, it could mean that you do have engaging content on that page but that you’re missing other forms of lead generation.
6. How Long They’ll Stick Around
Speaking of time spent on a page, your time stats can tell you a lot more about how engaged your audience is as a whole.
You should be able to determine site speed details like average page load time and server connection time (slow sites can turn away visitors), as well as things like what time of day your audience is most active and how long they stay on your site.
These reports can help you determine peak hours for productivity. If you have a blog, this means you will know when to post to get the most views. It can also tell you the best time to engage users on social media or other platforms to drive more site views.
7. If They’ll Convert or Not
Of course, one of the biggest things your analytics can track is your conversion rate and sales funnel, which is an important part of almost any website. Your analytics report can tell you how much traffic is dropping off at each step in the funnel.
You should be able to determine where any leaks are coming from, how your homepage is performing, how well your lead magnets are working, and how traffic relates to your overall sales numbers.
You can also track things like geolocation or demographics so you know how well you’re converting in certain countries or with certain age groups or genders. The more you know about where your audience is coming from, how they’re moving through your sales funnel, and when and where they’re converting (or not converting), the more control you’ll have over your user experience.
Keep in mind that not every piece of analytics software can track all of these things. Google Analytics and other big-name statistic tools probably can, but be sure you know exactly which stats you want to track before choosing new software.
Determine the areas of your site that you want to focus on – bounce rates, conversion rates, demographics, site traffic, new visitors, timestamps, etc. – and make sure that you’re getting the reports you need.
After that, it’s all about reading the data. Remember to compare and contrast different stats to try to identify the source of any problem. For example, high bounce rates may mean that you need to improve your content, but if your time stamps show that people are staying on the page, it could be your navigation that’s the problem.