Web analytics is a powerful tool that enables companies to be constantly up to date and to initiate a process of continuous improvement.
What Exactly is a Web Analysis?
Web analysis, also known as traffic analysis or web controlling, is used to:
- Improve efficiency, and
- Monitor the long-term success of a website
Based on this information, you can uncover weaknesses in your website and improve its efficiency. Many companies are not aware of the valuable information available about their customers, which they can use for their operative business on various levels (product development, marketing, sales, corporate communication, and more). No expensive market research or testing procedures are necessary, because the data is immediately available, provided it is stored centrally and analyzed in a targeted manner. Web analytics data provides information about the visitor behavior of a website. This includes the origin of visitors or the length of stay.
To analyze whether your website is fully optimized as well as to test how well it is equipped for online success, there are tools that provide tips and advice.
Goals of Web Analysis
Web analytics involves the calculation and observation of numerous metrics that provide an incentive for improvement measures. Possible aims are:
- Increase visitor numbers
- Strengthen customer loyalty
- Keep visitors on the website as long as possible
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Increase in turnover through sales
How Does Web Analytics Work?
Before you develop a tracking concept or implement tracking, you need to ask yourselves a few questions:
- What do I actually want to do with the data?
- What goals am I pursuing?
- What do visitors expect from my website?
- What do I need to do to benefit from the data and optimize my online marketing or the website?
Key Figures of Web Analytics
Web analytics is not a one-off task, but a continuous process of measuring, analyzing, and optimizing. In web analytics, information about visitor behavior is collected, evaluated, and calculated as key performance indicators (so-called KPIs). Without KPIs, there is no web analytics, because they make the performance of a website measurable. Appropriate measures can then be derived from the KPIs, which should lead to a positive development depending on the objectives of a website operator. These indicators are therefore at the beginning of every web analysis. They result from the corporate strategy or industry-specific requirements. Only with the KPIs, you can see to what extent the company goals are being achieved. They are also a basic requirement for the tracking concept. Web analysis tools contain numerous predefined KPIs, these include:
- Number of visitors
- Duration of visit
- Percentage of organic visitors
- Average page load time
- Conversion rate
You should never consider just one metric. For example, a high bounce rate can have very different causes, such as long loading time, missing information, or missing calls to action.
Which Steps Should be Taken?
Step 1 – Develop a Web Analytics Plan
Collecting data alone will not get you anywhere. You should have a clear idea of what you need the data for. The web analytics plan is therefore essential and acts as the tool to help you with this task.
- Recommendation: For the creation of the web analysis plan, it is recommended to use a mind mapping tool. This allows you to structure the plan flexibly and visualize it well.
Step 2 – Determine Your Priorities
It is also very important to ask what priority the individual measures have within the company or within the department. As a rule, these can be sorted according to their importance.
Step 1 – Develop a Tracking Concept
The tracking concept is a kind of specification, for example: what data will be collected using the tracking codes on your website and how should it be transmitted to Google Analytics? The concept is the description according to which the tracking is finally implemented.
Step 2 – Implement the Tracking Concept
Once the tracking concept is in place, the implementation of the tracking can begin. The earlier errors or weaknesses are discovered in the implementation phase, the easier it is to correct them.
Step 3 – Integrate Further Data Sources
Other data sources can be used as well. A practical feature of Google Analytics, for example, is the cost of data import. If Google Analytics is connected to Google Ads, views, and clicks, among others, these can already be evaluated in Google Analytics for individual campaigns. With cost data import you can extend this principle to any other ad system. For example, cost data from Facebook and Twitter can be imported into Google Analytics and directly compared to which costs sales are purchased via the different networks.
Step 4 – Creating Dashboards and Reports
It is important to clarify in advance which different addresses there are for your reports and which function the dashboards should fulfill. Similarly, with dashboards, you should also differentiate according to the requirements of the different target groups and create dashboards that meet the respective needs.
Step 5 – Establishing the Optimization Process in the Company
Once you start looking for anomalies in your data, making hypotheses, and implementing optimization measures, you create real added value for your business.
Web Analytics and Privacy
Web analytics systems are subject to data protection laws and guidelines. Before you implement the tracking code of your analytics provider and store data, you must conclude a so-called ADV (contract data processing agreement) with your provider. This regulates that they store and process the data on your behalf. Only after this agreement has been concluded is the use of the web analytics tool permitted. However, there are other measures that you should legally observe, such as the cookies, opt-out, and Do Not Track function. With the help of this function, it must be possible for the website user to prevent website tracking.