Many of you who have your own website know the many struggles that can go into finding out how you can best maximize it’s effectiveness. It is important that you not only understand what you want your users to do when they get to your website, but also how users are currently using your website so that you can make the necessary changes to maximize your conversions.
One of the best tools on the web to analyze user statistics, Google Analytics, allows you to achieve a better understanding of how users are not only using your website, but how they are arriving there in the first place. This could be through a number of means, including the percentage of users coming from search engines, other websites, or through traffic directly to your URL. You also can find out about how users are navigating the internal pages of your website, where they are dropping off, and whether or not they are completing your desired goals.
Setting up Google Analytics is easy, and can be completed by visiting www.google.com/analytics. There are a number of tutorials in the help center to help you navigate the initial setup process, as well as how to read into the statistics that you are seeing. To get the most accurate analytics data, you should let analytics run for at least one full month, but preferably closer to three or more. The longer you let analytics run, the more accurate statistics you will be able to discern, as sometimes certain statistics will encounter various anomalies in a given month. Once you have analytics setup at your website, here are a few
Monitor Bounce Rate: Monitoring the bounce rate of your website is crucial. This is the percentage of users that leave your website immediately without completing any other action. This data allows you to track how changes to your homepage effect how users first perceive your website when they land there.
View Where Users Leave: Discovering what pages where users leave your website can be very insightful. If they are leaving after completing your primary goal then there is little concern, however if they are dropping out in the middle of the process, there may be things that you can do to better retain users.
Set Goals: Setting goals for your users is also very important. You can monitor the percentage of users who are filling out your contact form, making a purchase, or downloading an item such as a Whitepaper.