Web analytics is a way to collect and analyze what is happening on your website, covering everything your visitors do, where they are from, what content they like, and much more. By using a web analytics tool to collect data, you will be able to find out what works and what doesn’t, and then point your website in the right direction.
You can collect a large amount of data on how people interact with your website. For example, you can keep track of all visits, the pages users spend the most time on, the sites that led them to your site, etc.
If you are new to web analytics, the amount of information you have access to can be overwhelming and therefore you can determine what to do next. However, understanding this data is essential, as it will allow you to be aware of your site.
Take “time on site”, for example. This statistic measures the time that users spend on average on your site and on each of its individual pages. Generally speaking, if visitors only spend a few seconds on your website before leaving, it means something is wrong.
If you’re wondering, average users spend around three minutes on most websites. In the next section, we’ll introduce you to some other key metrics to keep in mind and why they matter.
Five key web analytics
There are many metrics that you can track using analytics tools. However, these five items are a good starting point. Let’s start with your total number of visitors.
- Overall Traffic
When we talk about web traffic, we mean the number of visits to your site during a specific time. This number is significant because it advises you if your site is standing out enough.
Let’s say you get around 50 visitors a day. This number is low if your website has been around for a year. However, it is decent if you set up a shop a month ago. In other words, it is not only important to keep an eye on your traffic, but also how it is changing.
Their numbers will increase as your website ages. If your traffic stagnates or decreases over time, it means that you are not doing something right. In most cases, this can be due to search engine optimization (SEO) issues, so this is always a good place to start.
- Bounce Rate
When someone visits your site and leaves without seeing a second page, we call it a “bounce.” The percentage of those visits you get relative to your overall traffic is your bounce rate. This metric is significant on the grounds that it advises you if there are any extraordinary issues with your site. Some of the more common causes of a high bounce rate include:
- Long loading times
- An awkward navigation schemes
- Unattractive web design
However, the bounce rate is highly dependent on the content on your site and what people are searching for. Therefore, it is not always bad to go over that number.
- Traffic Sources
New visitors will find your website through links instead of entering your URL. With web analytics apparatuses, you can undoubtedly screen your traffic sources and change your methodology in like manner. For example, if you don’t see a lot of search engine traffic, you know you need to review your keyword strategy. The pages that link to your site are your traffic sources and we can generally divide them into four categories:
- Search engines
- Visits from email campaigns
- Links from social media
- Links from other sites
Mobile vs. Desktop visits
Today, many Internet users fully embrace mobile traffic. It surpassed normal computer traffic some time ago, which means that it is essential that your website offers a strong mobile experience.
With analytics tools, you can track the percentage of users who visit your site via desktop or mobile browsers. It’s a fairly easy metric to explain, and it tells you where to focus your efforts.
Even if your website generates more desktop traffic than mobile devices, we recommend that you focus on optimizing your mobile experience. Taking a mobile-centric approach to web design will pay off in the long run.
New and Returning Visitors
Everyone wants people to come back to your website. We call these users “repeat visitors” (and they are the best!), But you can also think of them as your primary audience.
Many people have different ideas about what constitutes a decent user rate of return. In our experience, if your recurring traffic is around 30% of your total, you are doing quite well.
However, if it is less than 20%, it means that your website is not as attractive as it could be. This could be due to usability issues, such as those affecting your bounce rate or your content strategy. Either way, it’s worth taking a close look at your site and determining how you can improve it.
Many people run their websites without keeping an eye on their metrics. It might work, but you have so many analysis tools at your disposal that it’s a waste if you don’t use them. For example, simply monitoring your traffic can tell you if your content strategy is paying off (or if you need to try something new). There are many numbers to pay attention to when it comes to web analytics.