An article from iMedia Connection this morning fit in nicely with a post I’ve been meaning to write regarding gaining valuable customer insight from your web analytics. The article, 3 Steps to Measuring Blog Buzz, talks about metrics for following the conversation on your blog – but I think customer insight can come from multiple pieces of web analytics.
Why is this important? Learning about how your target audience interacts with your web presence can help determine your next marketing move. Small businesses, who have closer ties to their web results, can consider this free market research.
iMedia’s article focused on following the conversation on a company blog and their 3 points are worth checking out. They talk about gathering information, rating postings, and applying metrics. I actually may give their method a try.
Now, what else can be found lurking around in your web analytics program and why might it be important? Let’s take a look:
- Keywords: No-brainer! Your analytics program will tell you what keywords people searched on before they clicked on the your link in their search engine results. I follow these religiously. What a great way to gauge what is of interest to your target audience – and practically in real-time. Plus, over time you can see what keywords should be used in your SEO/SEM efforts and other marketing copy.
- Top Content: This handy tool tells you which pages were most viewed on your site. You can also see how long people spent on those pages and what percentage exited from that page. This gives you a pretty clear idea of what content resonates with your audience and what does not. Learn from the pages with a low bounce rate – they’re driving people farther into your site!
- Geographical Map Overlay: Aren’t you interested to know where your visitors are located? I use this to help determine where best to place valuable budget dollars. Take a six month snapshot and you may uncover areas of the city, country or world that might hold new customers.
- Referring Sites: Where were your visitors before they came to your site? They clicked on another site and came to your site. Now, go to school on that referring site. Why was your visitor there, how does it relate to your site, and how can you better tailor your content to interact with visitors from that site?
- Click Paths: Where do your visitors click and how far do they go? What I like best about this metric is finding pages with a high exit percentage – or more simply put – dead ends. A six month snapshot will show you popular paths your visitors take. Learn from those paths and apply those elements to your “dead ends”.
- Visitor Network Location: Okay, this one might not be as important, but I’m nosy when it comes to my target audience. Network location will sometimes yield company names where your visitors are located. I’ve written previously about this being a method to find out if competitors are clicking on my paid search ads. You can take steps to block their IP address if they are indeed wasting your money!
These are just a handful of useful metrics you can use to gather information on your audience. Do you need to look everyday? No! I take brief glances weekly, detailed looks monthly and plan-altering looks every six months.
Here are some other quality posts I came across that focus on using information from web analytics:
- How do you calculate engagement? Part II
- Top 5 Performance Boosting Techniques For Your Website Using Web Analytics
- Using Web Site Analytics Data
- Is Web Analytics Hurting Paid Search?