SEO and analytics may not exactly have you hanging off the edge of your seat, but like it or not, these lie within the ‘engine room’ that gets your website performance cranking. What do we mean by that? Well, you need to be well-optimised for SEO to attract more organic visitors, but to monitor how your SEO efforts are doing, you need to have analytics in place. Do you know right now reading this which pages are doing well for you, where your key traffic sources come from or how conversions are occurring? With SEO being right up there with the ‘dark arts’ after multiple changes in the last couple of years, if you want a good place to start, tracking your analytics would be it.
What should you measure?
The short answer to that is you should measure entirely based upon your business goals – what measures are instrumental to achieving those? Basic measures you should look at include:
- Number of visitors (repeat and unique)
- Average time spent on site.
- Bounce rate (that is the % of people who immediately clicked away when they hit your site).
- Your most popular pages.
- Site flow (this is the behaviour of visitors – how are they moving through your site?).
- Traffic sources.
Of course, there is much more data available than these basics, but it can become overwhelming if you don’t really need all of it. There’s no sense consuming time to track things you neither need nor understand – if you prefer, most analytics tools allow custom reporting (here’s the instructions for Google Analytics).
As we have spoken about before, the free version of Google Analytics will give you a good place to start – it is easy to install on your WordPress Website and covers all of the basics. If you are at a point where you want more advanced capabilities, here are some other tools to try…
This is a subscription-based paid tool which allows you to have more in depth tracking of who your customers really are. Here are some of the features:
- Funnel tracking – you know who is in your funnel and where, you also know who dropped off – that means it’s possible to contact them and find out why.
- Know who comes back to your site, even from a different device or browser.
- Split testing.
- Understand specific changes in customer behaviour over time.
- Details about individuals such as: where they came from, what they bought and what they did after signing up with you.
This is also a paid tool – one of its key differences from other tools is that you can track live customer data. Here are some features:
- Detailed customer profiles.
- Funnel reporting.
- Retention reports (do your customers keep coming back?).
- Live chat – with your customers while they are on your website.
This is a free, open-source analytics tool (your data is kept on premise and not shared with any third parties). One of it’s strengths when compared to Google Analytics lies in the ability to track earnings from vistors – this makes it a good choice for eCommerce sites. Other features include:
- Track multiple websites.
- Mobile app available.
- As it is open-source, if you have a good developer you can customize.
- Keyword search tracking.
Of course, if you are in earlier stages with your website or business, the free version of Google Analytics may suit your needs just fine, but if you find yourself needing to track other data these tools (and many others) are available. We would stress that you need to know what you should be measuring before investing in any of the more expensive tools. The other part of this is the human element – you can purchase the most expensive tool out there but it will be no good if there is a disconnect between that and the human reading and interpreting the data. This means it is worth your time training yourself or people on your team to analyse and interpret the data. Get this right and you have a much better idea of what to tweak on your website to boost results!