Web analytics is the process of measuring your website's statistics and analyzing traffic patterns and behaviour. Web analytics is not an option, but a requirement for all social media strategies. All businesses, big or small, need some way to objectively track, measure and analyse online consumer behaviour weekly (and even daily) in order to:
- draw effective insights
- optimise their websites,
- increase traffic and
- grow their customer databases in order to increase sales.
It is typical for any business to do some sort of data analysis and evaluation. (Data being any information that directly impacts the business). These analyses are used to determine sales, profit, loss rate, and market interest. It is always a good idea, when using the correct tools, to make sense of the actions users take on social media. In terms of establishing a strong e-presence for your website or social accounts, there are many paid and free tools that one could use in order to collect necessary data to promote your site. A few great examples of web analysis tools that social marketers can use are Google Analytics, Yahoo Web Analytics and Crazy Egg.
Google Analytics is a free service that generates detailed statistics about visitors to your website. Google Analytics is the simplest and most robust web analytics offering there is for click streaming. Yahoo Web Analytics is similar but a bit of a step up from Google in terms of profiling, filtering and customization. Crazy Egg is a paid for medium but it allows you to build heat maps and track your visitors every click based. Questions that should always be playing in the marketers' minds should be: How have our followers grown this month? Which posts seem to perform best Which times make the most sense for posting? The answers to these very important questions are out there, and web analytics tools are there to help you find them. Jay Baer, marketing speaker and coach cover the metrics of content marketing. He breaks down these metrics into four categories, with each one building upon the previous. See below: Consumption metrics: How many people viewed, downloaded, or listened to this piece of content? This also alludes to the reach to the intended audience.
Sharing metrics: How resonant is this content, and how often is it shared with others?
Lead-gen metrics: How often does content consumption result in a lead? Which keywords and phrases can be used to promulgate.
Sales metrics: Did we actually make any money from this content? If so, how much? These metrics simplify and summarize the importance of web analytics and the reasons for it.
Data by itself is a great way to see how you are performing, but without applying what you’ve learned, it has little use. In essence, web analytics is the analysis of all data (qualitative and quantitative) from your website and your competitors. The results that you draw can be used to drive a continual improvement of the online experience of your customers and prospective clients which translates into your desired outcomes for your company, product and brand.