The thought of statistics and graphs can be off putting to a lot of people. Especially those that think you need a degree in Maths to understand them. The great thing about Analytics is that you don’t! With a little bit of commitment and a little bit of training you can teach yourself the basics so you can then reap the benefits of taking action on your analytics results that will allow you to improve your business.
In a shop you would watch your customers, move your displays, use sales posters and banners to try to attract attention and encourage sales. In a world that is beginning to become constantly connected through various touch points the customer has become the main driver of your online success, therefore you need to understand how people are using your website: Are they following links? Are they reading content? In order to for you to review and change your website to improve its success you need to understand the customers journey fully. You can do this by producing quantitative and qualitative data so you can see how the customer is behaving on your website so you can see which parts of your website are beneficial or not.
A basic fundamental to understanding your customer’s behaviour/ journey can be achieved through measuring both MACRO and MICRO conversions.
Macro conversions show you when your customer has reached your business objective on your website e.g. this could be making a purchase. Micro conversions however measure the various stages that a customer might take before the macro conversion is achieved, this might include the customer signing up to an email, or returning to the page numerous times but not actually making that Macro conversion.
When you are looking to improve your website you should particularly be interested in the MICRO conversions, this way you can see what conversions are not successful. Once you have identified which micro conversions are not successful you can experiment by making small changes. You can then monitor your data over the next few months to look for any improvements. Some aspects you might want to track to see where improvements can be made include:
- You might want to track where your customers and sales are coming from, that way if you are piling money into one resource that isn’t working you need to know!
- It is particularly important to monitor your checkout stages (basket, address, payment etc.) This way you can see which pages are causing you to lose customers and sales.
- Look at Customer Behaviour on various pages, you might want to track how long visitors are spending on your website, you can then make a change to perhaps an image or a call to action and then monitor the same thing at a later date and see if it has had any positive effect on your business.
It is worth noting that no matter what you are measuring you should always set goals and values that you are hoping to achieve. Otherwise your results will be meaningless because you have nothing to compare them to.
The most important thing about Google analytics is that when you have collected and analysed your data you can use that data to see where improvements can be made. When you have made these changes to your business the whole cycle of improvement starts again.