How to Make Sense of Your Data and Use it to Your Advantage
Analytics is a word thrown around a lot these days. However, knowing your website’s analytics and knowing what do with these number is the difference between night and day. With a good understanding of your website’s analytics, you can increase traffic, improve conversion rates, and promote your website better.
That’s easier said than done. I used to be in that position a few years ago and felt lost in data.
The most important I have learnt during that time is to “Ask the right question”.
In this post, I want to share with all of you 5 questions that have guided me through the data labyrinth. These will provide you the steps you need to take to improve your site’s SEO, analytics and increase the success of your business. So forget about the 97 steps to increase your conversion rates and follow these easy tips that can help you make the most out of your online platform!
1. Who reads it?
This is the first question you should be asking yourself. And you need to make sure you can answer this question: does it line up with your target audience? This is the key thing because this will determine whether your content is not matching with your audience or whether you need to shift your target to match who is responding to your content. This is a tricky strategy so there are few more things you want to consider as you make this decision.
Your analytics should be able to give you a wide range of information including the whether the content was opened on a mobile or desktop device, where exactly your page views of coming from, new vs. returning users and a whole lot more. One of the things you really want to check is the referral source. This can be through search engines, social media, direct hits or other means.
See breakdown of your traffic by Source with the Traffic Source Report
The source of your traffic can tell you a lot about what you are doing right and what you might be doing wrong. For example, if most of your traffic is coming from search engines then that means you are probably doing a good job with your SEO, but you probably aren’t doing enough with your social media. You want to strike a balance between different channels so you can maximize traffic to your website.
2. What was interesting to the audience?
This is another essential question you should be asking when you are crafting to your audience. What may be interesting to you may not necessarily by interesting to your audience. Check your popular content, the duration spent on each page, click-through rates, as well as the view count on your media.
See what content works and what doesn’t. If your videos have a lot of view counts, but people only spend a couple minutes on pages with a lot of text then you can tell what type of your content that your audience prefers.
Of course, in the early days of a website, knowing what exactly works best for what you are trying to promote can be difficult. For this reason, it is a good idea to experiment with a variety of content. That said, there is a reason why so many websites are designed with SEO in mind. Shoot for a fair amount of images, 500–1500 words, a good amount of media and you have a good template to jump off from!
3. What time was it read?
This is one of the easiest things for you to consider when you are looking at your analytics. You can see the exact time traffic has come to your site. Are there certain times of the day that are more popular than others? You want to do two things. The first is take advantage of the most popular times that traffic is going to your site.
What this means is that if you have consistent traffic each morning then you want to make sure you have new content ready to launch so that users will continue coming to your page as it will be fresh. If you don’t want to get up at 3 am, then you can always schedule your posts in advance to be published at a certain time.
See during which hour and day your website has the most traffic and conversions with the Heatmap Template
Similarly, you want to see what you can do to have generally have consistent traffic throughout the day. Publishing daily content is a lot of work and for most sites, it can be a little too much and often unnecessary. Nobody expects a carpet cleaning business to have the same level of content as Huffington Post.
With that in mind, however, you can think of ways to create good rates no matter the time of day. You can have promos that are only valid for a certain period say form 6–9 Pm or strategically time content launches with ads so that when new visitors come to your site, they are immediately greeted by new content.
4. What is my conversion rate?
This is what it all comes down to. Your content, your strategy, all the work you put online is designed to maximize your conversion rate. The first thing you need to do is make sure you are tracking this information. If you are using Google AdWords all you have to is make conversion rate is enabled.
It’s simple, but surprisingly large amounts of companies never ensure to do this. By the way, do you know what a good number is? 50%? 25%? The websites with the best conversion rates are at 5%! So if you want fifty people to take action that means you need 1,000 visitors.
Get access to the Post Click Analysis (It’s FREE!) to see whether your ad spending produces a positive ROI
From here, you have to look at other data. What percentage of visitors followed through on your Call to Action (CTA) to do whatever you asked whether that was purchasing something or contacting you? You can’t expect for every visitor to follow through, but the two things you want to do are figure out how to get more traffic (see above) and increase the ratio of visitors who take action.
For the latter, again you will have to do some experimenting to see what works. Your CTA is super important so play around with it. Make sure it is forceful and unique. For example, if you are travel company instead of “click here” try something like “fly today.” You also aren’t limited to only on CTA per page. Give your users multiple opportunities by having multiple CTAs. Don’t go overboard, but give somebody more than one option.
Make sure you keep your most important content at the top and include a CTA near the beginning as well. People have short attention spans and you give them the opportunity to click early, then you have created an excellent window for you to increase your conversion rate.
5. What can I do to improve?
No matter how good your site is, how many unique visitors you have or how high your conversion rate, there is always something that you can do better. This is the whole point of examining your analytics so that you can see what is working and what is not.
Make a list of your website’s priorities and start building from there. Do you want more traffic? Are you looking for returning visits or new ones? Are you trying to increase your social media presence? Whatever you are looking for, tailor a strategy around your unique needs.
The first thing you can do is make sure you are hitting your targeted audience. Look at filters for region, time of day, and even throw a few surveys out there. In addition, get people on an Email list. With email marketing, you can get even more data about your customers such as age, interests, budget and a whole lot more. This makes it a lot easier for you to create content that works with your audience.
From here, think about ways you can expand your website’s appeal as well. Referral promos from existing customers are great for this because you current customers may refer you to groups of people you had never thought of before. That’s why you always want to make sure you reviewing your analytics!
If you are working in Google Analytics, take a look at one of Supermetrics blog’s earlier articles, to learn how to get better audience insights and improve.
Repeat what works; throw away what doesn’t
Analytics gives you information about patterns over time. With newer websites, the amount of time you have to look at it is quite short. But some of the most effective sites on the Internet are now over 20 years old. At the same time, others have fallen into the dustbin of disuse.
As you start accumulating data track information week to week, month to month and then year over year. You can see what is effective during certain times of the year and what isn’t.
The important thing is seeing these trends and figuring out how to get the most out of them. This will help you maximize the efficacy of your online presence to help your business get on the right paths to success. Best of all, getting the most out of your analytics really isn’t much work or effort.
Once you get used to asking these questions and tweaking these different parameters, getting great traffic with high conversion rates will be as simple as counting 1–2–3! Good luck!
Originally published at supermetrics.com on November 24, 2017.