Not Your Mom’s Bean Counting

Ever wondered who is coming to your site? You can see some of your visitors through their comments, but not everyone comments on everything they read. So how do you find out more about the silent ghosts who read your pages then leave without a whisper?

The study of who comes to your site, how long they stay, and what they do while they are there is called website analytics. Modern analytics tools have everything from demographics to In Page Analytics to Load Time. So how can analytics help your business?

How Often and How Many
Analytics tools will allow you to see how many pageviews, the number of times your page or website has been viewed, you gather in a given time period. This number will help to you to determine how often each of your pages is visited and which pages are the most popular. You can also learn how many users visited in a specific time period; you can even see how many of those are brand new viewers. This information will help you to figure out how many new potential customers you are reaching and how many pages each of those people are visiting.

How Long and How Far
While time on site is a very difficult stat to produce, it can be useful to make sure you have plenty of super interesting content to look at. Without going into too much technical detail, time on site depends on your visitors visiting more than one page to be calculated correctly. If visitors are clicking around on your pages and interacting with your content, you should be able to see how long they are on each page, if they are reading your content, and how quickly your usual audience gets bored. Tailoring your content to your customers’ attention spans can make your site more popular with the people who already love you!

Who, What, Where, When
Ever wanted to know the most popular time of the day for site visits? What about the age range or geographical locations of your visitors? Analytics can help you to build your own reports to get to know your people better. See how often people visit, where they go, and what they click on the most. If you want to know it about your visitors, you can probably build a report to help you find it!

How Do I Get Started?
Who should you use for your analytics needs? Here are my top two favorites to get you started:

  • Google Analytics is a free analytics tool with loads of free resources to help you learn your way around. They have tons of videos and quizzes to help you retain the information as well.
  • Piwik is also a free, and it is a much more advanced analytics tool. While it can be daunting, with a little practice a some good instruction, you can be on the path to advanced analytics in no time. Don’t be intimated by this awesome tool!

No matter which analytics tool you choose for your sites, the information it will present will be invaluable to building a better connection with your client base. You’ll learn more about them, their habits, and what is important to them. As difficult as it can be to connect with users in a meaningful way over the internet, analytics might give you a path to a better bottom line.