6 reasons why you should have analytics on your website

6 reasons why you should have analytics on your website

As a business owner, having an intimate knowledge of who your ideal customer is and what they like is very important. This data drives the decisions you make every day. Having more of it is not a bad thing when handled properly. It allows you to serve your customers even better.

And this is where analytics come into play on your website. It allows you to gather anonymous data from those the land on your site. Many websites built by a developer have analytics already installed. This is a pretty common practice. The problem is the business owners are never taught how to use it, or it is way too confusing, so they ignore it. Others don’t even know it’s there.

In this article, I will share some great reasons to have analytics installed and help you to recognize the importance of having it. So, let’s dig into a few reasons why having analytics installed on your site can help your business grow.

Reason #1 – Where did they come from?

If you have taken any kind of marketing course, you no doubt have been taught to figure out how a prospect found your business. This data allows you to focus your marketing efforts on the ways that are bringing you the most business.

Your website is no different. Using analytics, you can figure out how your visitors arrived at your site. For example, when a prospective customer comes from an ad link you posted on Facebook, you will be able to track that click back to Facebook and know your ads are working.

Even prospects coming from search engines will be tracked back to what engine they used, so you can better focus your content marketing efforts. This will allow you to save time and avoid wasting money on efforts that are not working.

Where did your visitors come from
Where did your visitors come from?

If your business relies on the traffic you receive, this data will be crucial to your growth.

Reason #2 – What are they interested in?

Tracking user behavior is very important to learn what is working on your site. You can use analytics to learn what products people like the most. Or know how long they choose to browse around your site. It’s valuable information you can use both online and off.

Data such as page count and user flows allow you to optimize the site so any visitors will see what they are interested in the most first. This data can help you make more sales. Even simple things such as knowing that the blog articles you choose to write are of interest to your audience are important.

When you better tailor your website to your visitors, it’s a win for everyone.

Reason #3 – Goal tracking

It’s always a good business practice to set goals. Sometimes these are money-based, sometimes leads, or any other metric that is important to you. But if you are not tracking anything off your website, it will be very hard to see how those goals are doing.

Using analytics, you can set goals of how many leads you get, or even how many people sign up for your newsletter. Find out how many people add something to their cart. Then track that through and see how many complete the purchase.

This plays hand in hand with seeing what is working and what’s not in your marketing efforts.

The nice thing with setting goals is you can always change them. And having the data to know you are off course or are succeeding is always required.

Reason #4 – User Demographics

Studying user demographics
You can use analytics to learn about your users

Do you know enough about your customers to adjust your marketing to best suit them? Using analytics on your website will allow you to gather more data about who visits and how you can serve them.

In my mind, analytics is not just about gathering data so you can make another sale. While yes, your business needs to make money, ultimately it should be serving those that purchase from it. Having more data will allow you to make the decisions to do just that.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you run a service business and have recently been looking into adding a phone app to allow your customers to schedule their next appointment without having to call you. In this case, knowing if most of your customers use an iPhone or Android would be important to decide which version of the app you should create first.

Reason #5 – Content Creation

If you spend any time at all creating content for your audience, I am sure you would like to know how it performs. It’s also important to know which topics you write about and what interests your visitors the most.

As you create a variety of content, analytics will give you the ability to see which of your content threads are working. For example, are your visitors more interested in topic A or B?

Again, your business is providing something of value to the visitors. Even if they don’t buy from you, providing them with information may just make their day a little better. Plus, you can use the data you collect to see when articles become stale and need a refresh.

Reason #6 – Find problems

Analytics can provide you with important details when something goes wrong. Imagine you are browsing a site; everything seems to be working fine and then you hit a page that is not there anymore. Now you are frustrated and end up leaving the site, never to return.

This example happens across the web every single day. But with analytics installed and used regularly, you would be able to see pages that your visitor leaves on, and the time they spent there. If people are hitting a single page and then ‘bouncing’ away, then you might have a problem. Either the page is broken, or something is wrong with the content.

Staying on top of problems is extremely important to keep your website ranking up as well. While most search engines do not directly penalize you for bounces, it can affect your ranking if no one ever stays there. The search engines will take it as a factor and not show your site as often, assuming it is not relevant.

If it’s so great, what’s the catch?

I am not going to lie to you. The catch is a big one in my opinion. The number one reason to avoid analytics is privacy.

The most common analytics application you will hear of is Google Analytics. And to make it better it’s free for you to use. But there is a catch. If you are not paying for it, then you are the product being sold.

With analytics, you are giving up all the information about your visitors and even your site to a big company that you have no clue how it will be used. This has become a hot topic lately with user privacy becoming important. People don’t like their personal information being sold.

The nice thing is there are alternatives to Google Analytics that address this issue. Tools such as Fathom Analytics pride themselves on being privacy first. Fathom is much simpler to use. To be privacy-focused, they do not track near as many factors, so the data is not as detailed. But it is plenty good enough for the average use case.

Since privacy is a big thing for our personal lives and business, the tools we use for our clients and recommend will always be privacy-focused. As such I recommend that you also use a privacy-focused tool. Think of it as you would hate to be spied on, so don’t do it to others. Collect only the minimal amount of data to help you reach your goals.

Conclusion

From one business owner to another, my best advice is to get analytics installed on your site yesterday. The wealth of data you can learn and act upon will only stand to make your business better. Each of the sites we build has analytics installed on them and we teach our clients to use the data. If you would like to get analytics set up on your site and are unsure of where to start, reach out to us and we would be happy to help.

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