There are many tools used to capture traffic, and other variables when analysing a website, or an applications performance. Google Analytics is the pre-eminent provider of analytical insight data that allow website owners, and managers to make better informed decisions.
What’s often overlooked, or misunderstood is the real power that these tools can render when seeking to improve the overall performance of a web site, whether it be through website reach and total content read, total number of sales conversions in a weekly, monthly, or yearly period, the data points that can be generated are wide and varied, ensuring reliable insight is gained to make decisions that have a real impact.
There are many ways to measure a sites performance over time, and most indicate whether your website is performing at its best.
- Mobile traffic – in the year 2016 mobile traffic overtook traditional desktop traffic for the first time ever. Indicating an increase in mobile handset take up rates, and a willingness of consumers to use the devices increasingly while on the go. Therefore it’s never been more important to track mobile traffic. As a result of this Google started emphasising this in it’s Analytics platform. Monitoring the volume and engagement of mobile visits is therefore critical. One of the many ways to do this is to ask the following questions when quantifying your performance – “How many of your marketing promotions leads come from mobile users? What percentage of mobile users are bouncing off? How much time are those visitors spending on your site? What portion of your total website traffic comes from mobile?” When these questions are answered, along with having a mobile friendly website, generally speaking a website will perform better in Google search results.
- Real time – with real time data metrics you can see where your visitors are across the world at any given time, as well as what those users are doing on your web site. Having an idea of what website visitors on your website are doing, and how they’re engaging with content will allow you to make better decisions around what content to keep, what’s needs changing, and what isn’t working.
- Demographics – if you enabled GA Advertising Reporting feature you’re usually able to ascertain a users age, gender, and interest category based on their online travel and purchasing activities.
- Attribution – when a goal is achieved the conversion is attributed to the last click related to that goal, typically multi-channel effectiveness is worked out when a user searches and engages with content, with a conversion being carried out on a secondary platform. A user journey typically involves multiple touchpoints, and this is why attribution is important in the overall analysis of a websites effectiveness and performance.
- Search Console – using a search tool to find answers to questions on a websites performance is important. This is why GA, and other analytics platforms utilise a search tool to find specific answers to questions.
- Site speed – a websites speed can be the determining factor in whether a user stays or goes. Typically, the faster the web site experience is the for the user, the more likely they are to stay and engage with content, leading to increased conversion rates, and increased sales.
- Benchmarking – this tool allow you to share data in order to compare your performance against companies in similar categories. This is important when seeking to measure how well and effective your overall strategy is compared to the competition.
- New vs Returning visitors – this metric allows you to ascertain how well your doing in getting new visitors to return.
- Conversions – Setting up goals, and/or e-commerce tracking helps to show businesses value for their work.
- Frequency and recency -the frequency and recency metric allows you to see how many times a user has visited your website, and how many days its been since their last visit.