Tracking specific goals with web analytics

Tracking specific goals with web analytics


Web analytics tools can
give you a mountain of data. You can use this data to measure
progress towards your specific goals. But you’ll want to customize
your analytics a bit to make sure you’re tracking things
that really matter to you. Let’s hear from Mike who has done just
that for his hot-air balloon business. (Mike) “When you are on this process,
and when you are on this learning curve that I have been over the past year,
it’s so easy to lose your way and lose track, and stray off
the plan for you’ve set yourself, which, of course, then detracts from your
ability to achieve your goals. So, by creating these sort of set targets,
and monitoring their effectiveness, which is so important…
so, by having goals, and clear goals,
as part of my overall strategy, I am able to then clearly measure has that
got me closer to achieving those goals, and have the changes I’ve made
delivered measurable benefit? Okay, so you’ve taken your business
online for a reason, right? Well, just about anything you
hope to achieve with your website can be tracked and measured
using web analytics. “Conversion” is the word
commonly used to describe what happens when a website visitor completes a goal. And, by now, you know
that web analytics tools have the ability to break down
lots of data about your visitors, and what’s happening on your site. This gives you lots of information that can help you get more
out of those conversions. Let’s go back to our guest house example just to see how important goals
and tracking conversions can be. Let’s say you sign in
to your web analytics tool and start looking at the numbers. The first thing you see is that your guest house website
had 10,000 visitors last month. Now, you compare that to last year’s
numbers from the same month, and you see that your website
visitor count is up by 5,000. That’s great, right?
Well, not necessarily. Visits alone won’t help
your business move forward, and without understanding
the value of those visits, it’s really hard to figure out
what to do with this information. Let’s try to understand a little bit more
about the value of those visits. Maybe you look at some reports and
notice that the average visitor spends two minutes on your website,
which is about the same as last year. Now, we’re starting
to learn a little more, but we are still not really getting
to that business value of those visits. Is two minutes enough time to make a
valuable visit, or is it too little? The truth is, we don’t know. Just looking at stats like these really
limits our ability to make any decisions. What we need is data
that can very clearly show the value of these visits
to your business. Then, you can really start
to use your web analytics tools to show you the things that you
can be doing to constantly improve. Which brings us nicely back
to the very basics– understanding what it is
that we want to achieve online. So, for your guest house, you probably want a website
where people can reserve a room online. So, a completed reservation
is definitely a goal that you’d want your analytics
tool to be tracking. Now that’s one down. But have a think about what other
goals your guest house might have. What else can people do on your site
that’s valuable to your business? Well, you might want
to let them know where to find you. So how do you use
an analytics tool to measure that? Well, if you want people to visit the page
on your site with the map and directions you could consider that a goal, and configure it as a conversion. Maybe you want them to sign up
to your email newsletter. That way, you can send them special offers and keep them up to date
with exciting news. If they sign up, they’re telling you that they’re
interested in your guest house and you’re giving them
an opportunity to contact them. That’s really valuable, so
completing the signup form is another goal that you might track. You can find all kinds of goals
that can be tracked as conversions inside web analytics. And use them to show the real value
of what’s happening on your website. Once you’ve figured out your goals, you’ll need to configure them
in your web analytics tool. The process of doing this can vary,
but it’s usually pretty painless. Once that’s done, looking at the reports
in your web analytics tool will become much more productive. Now, instead of simply looking
at how many visitors you’ve had, or how long they spend on your site, you can start seeing reports
showing the things you really care about. You might learn that only
two-percent of your visitors coming from social media sites are signing up for your email newsletter. And now you can do something about it, like posting on social media
an offering a ten-percent off discount when people sign up for that newsletter. Maybe you find out
that your reservation rate jumps from three-percent
to six-percent on weekends. So why not adjust
your advertising campaigns to advertise more heavily
over the weekend, when people
are more likely to take action. You see how this
is all starting to come together? Great. Now you’re getting the hang of what
web analytics tools can do for you. Just remember, you’ll get
the most out of these tools if you use them to measure
your specific business goals.

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