One of the key rules of marketing is measurement; it’s important to measure the success of each of your marketing campaigns in order to understand their effectiveness, and to tweak your marketing methods to increase your value for money.
Website statistics are a great measurement tool that you can use to understand the growth of your brand awareness, pinpoint effective marketing techniques and determine which of your products or services have most traction with your target market.
There are many free and paid statistics applications that you can use, but one of the easiest and most widely recognised is Google Analytics. With a Google account, you can easily set up analytics with just one line of code that is added to your website – then watch the clicks!
A good indicator of marketing effectiveness and brand awareness is the number of visits and unique users that your website receives. You may have seasonal peaks and troughs, but your aim is to see a general increase in users over time.
You can also determine the location of your visitors – whether they are local or international, which is important when matched against your target market’s location. For example, a photographer based in Brisbane would aim to have a higher percentage of visitors from Queensland than other states, and than other countries.
Engagement is an indicator of how interested a user is in the content on your website and is measured via pageviews (number of pages viewed) and average visit duration. The longer that a user visits your site, the more engaged they are, and the more likely they are to return, buy a product, or interact in some other way.
You can use your website statistics to understand which content on your site is the most popular. This information can help you tweak product placement, and to learn more about customer needs. For example, if statistics show that product A has been visited ten times more often than product B, then this may determine the future of product B in the product mix, or how product B is displayed on your website or promoted externally.
You can also find out whether visitors are getting the information they want from your website via the Bounce Rate. This statistic shows what percentage of users visited only the landing page without clicking further. The lower the Bounce Rate, the more likely that the site is interesting to the user in some way.
One of the most interesting aspects of website statistics analysis is to see where your visitors are coming from. By tracking your traffic sources, you can get a good understanding of how well your search engine optimisation (SEO) is functioning, and you can determine which advertising avenues work best for you.
When viewing your sources, take particular note of the pages per visit, average visit duration and bounce rate for each source. Source traffic with high pages per visit, longer times visiting the site and lower bounce rates are indicators of higher engagement, and are more qualified users.
By using a simple formula of cost per month / number of clicks per month, you can also determine the cost of acquisition for each new visitor. For example, if a banner ad costs $10 per month and your site receives 20 visits, you can deduce a cost per click of $0.50 per visit. You can further determine the location source of those visits, and if only 10 of those clicks come from Australia, you can determine a cost per click of $1.00 for Australian visits. Once you understand this price point, you can then make more informed choices when looking at new advertising options.
The most powerful tool in website analytics is the ability to understand the path that a user takes through your website, from source website through all pages visited, to sale/enquiry. This knowledge of what pathway leads to a ‘conversion’ can help you choose the most effective marketing campaigns and website design.
There are many more aspects of website statistics that can be helpful to your business (I have touched on just a few basic areas), but once you become accustomed to using your analytics application of choice, you will be armed with a great set of tools to measure your brand’s growth and your marketing efforts.
As always, I am interested to hear how you use statistics to benefit your business. Please share below.