The Benefits of Web Analytics for Successful SEO
- By Ron Stefanski
- June 15, 2020
Web analytics is a valuable tool in optimizing your website performance. Not only does it provide you with insightful data about how well your site is performing, but it also gives you a wealth of information on how visitors behave on your site.
You get all the information pertaining to their gender, age, and location, as well as the traffic source that brought them to your site. Web analytics also highlights which content on your site is popular, your total conversions, and so much more. Armed with this information, you will be able to plan well-informed business strategies to give your customers what they want.
According to eConsultancy, 89% of all businesses rely on web analytics to help them make decisions to meet their objectives.
Web analytics business objectives often include things such as:
- Attracting more visitors
- Generating more leads
- Increasing conversions and sales
- Boosting customer engagement
- Improving customer retention
With insights from website analytics tools, you can drive actions like:
- Adjusting website design
- Refining website content
- Fixing leaky sales funnels
- Re-allocating marketing dollars
In short, data from analytics will give you an edge over the competition so you can grow your business in the quickest and most effective way possible.
Types of Web Analytics
Most businesses use web analytics as a means to study online behavior so they can improve it. You can also use analytics data to your advantage when making marketing decisions for your organization.
However, there are many different metrics that can be measured, collected, analyzed, and reported, including:
- Number of new and returning visitors
- Sources of traffic
- Number of pages viewed
- Length of time spent on page
- Actions taken on the website
- Visitor demographics, including age, gender, location, and interests
- Website’s performance in the search engines
Since every business’s operational needs and success benchmarks are different, it’s important to focus on the reports that will help you tailor your approach and fulfill your business or content objectives, which will differ depending on the type of business.
For example, a non-profit organization may be more concerned with building awareness while a for-profit company may use website analytics for generating ad revenue.
In other words, the type of analytics you choose to focus on will depend on your desired outcomes.
While web analytics can be used to measure and analyze a wide range of metrics, these can be classed into just three broad use categories. Below, we take a look at the main types of web analytics and how they are important for businesses.
1. Audience Data
By providing you with demographic data like gender, age, location, and occupation, web analytics tools help you gain a better understanding of your target audience so you can develop more effective online communication. Collecting this data will allow you to determine how well your business is meeting the needs of the customers.
Audience data analysis commonly involves the following metrics:
- New Visitors – These are users who are visiting a site for the first time.
- Returning Visitors – People who repeatedly visit a website.
- Device Breakdown – The devices used by visitors to connect to a site.
- Location – The geographic location of the user at the time of connection.
2. User Behavior
The way users interact with your website is of vital importance in helping you find ways of increasing traffic and conversions. With insights gained from advanced web analytics tools, you will be able to streamline the user experience, from your website’s navigation to the content features and beyond.
This type of web analytics is mainly concerned with the volume of traffic to a website, as well as the quality of the user’s browsing experience. By making use of user behavior metrics, you will learn which pages on your site receive the most traffic and which ones engage users for longer.
User behavior metrics include:
- Bounce Rate – The percentage of people who leave after viewing just one page.
- Time on Page – The time spent by users on each page on a website.
- Clicks – The number of times links are clicked.
- Conversion – The frequency with which website visitors complete desired actions.
3. Website Performance
Tracking the overall performance of your website can help you discover technical errors that reduce the quality of the user’s browsing experience. This information can help you remove things such as navigation and display problems to ensure that visitors spend more time on your website.
With more engagement, it is more likely that you’ll be able to get your marketing message across no matter where visitors are on their customer journey.
Website performance metrics include:
- Uptime – The time that a website is available to users over a given period of time.
- Load Time – The length of time it takes for a website page to load.
- Keywords – How accurately the words or phrases on a website describe its contents.
- Impressions – How many times a page on a website is seen by visitors.
So, as you can see, whatever your objectives, there are many benefits of web analytics. The data from advanced web analytics tools will help you evaluate and improve your online presence.
The insights you gain will drive a variety of actions, including refining website content, improving website design, and re-allocating marketing dollars so you can optimize your strategies to meet your ultimate business goals.
Tracking Keywords to Monitor Progress
An amazing benefit of using web analytics is that it allows you to track keywords in the search engine results pages (SERPs) so you can keep an eye on your website’s progress versus your competitors. As you start to drive more traffic to your website, your analytics keyword data will help you determine which keywords you’re ranking for and where you’re ranking in the SERPs.
You’ll also get data on similar keywords that you could potentially rank for so you can create new content with those keywords. This, in turn, results in an increase in organic traffic to your site.
Here’s some information on how I use Wincher to monitor my own keywords.
When you first log in to Wincher you are met with this screen. It consists of four sections to help you better understand how you’re ranking.
- Position Changes: This shows how all of your keyword positions in your selected group have changed over your selected timeframe. Green means increases in positions, orange means a position decrease.
- Average Position: This shows the average position of all of your keywords in your selected group as well as an average position trend displaying how the positions have changed over time.
- Traffic: This displays the estimated number of clicks to your website from the keyword group per month.
- First Three Positions: This area displays how your group of keywords is ranking by position.
All of these sections are helpful, but for me, the most helpful metric is the first 3 positions monitoring tool. This lets me monitor keywords of the utmost importance and see when they arrive in the top 3 positions of Google, which is where the bulk of the traffic comes from.
One thing that I really appreciate about Wincher is how they let you create keyword groups. This makes it so that you can segment your keywords by groupings and really target the important ones for your business.
For instance, I’m very interested in ranking high for keywords related to “online entrepreneur” so I made a group focused on terms related to that subject.
You can see from the screenshot above that I have chosen four main keywords and the dashboard metrics adjust to that group when I change the keyword group filter.
This is crucial as you can methodically target groups of keywords based on blog posts you create and then continually optimize those posts if they aren’t ranking well enough in the SERPS.
This transitions nicely into my next point about tracking your competitors alongside yourself to see how you compare.
In the screenshot below, you can see that I am tracking my group of keywords vs my top competitors to see where they rank on these terms.
These graphs are a great way to track yourself vs your competitors to understand how you’re trending. This is very important for the focus keywords you have and the analytics provided by Wincher lets you see how you trend over time.
Needless to say, this is very powerful stuff and can be extremely beneficial as you optimize your website to focus on specific keywords and terms to bring visitors to your own website.
Of course, Wincher provides a lot of other tools to help such as reporting, position notifications, and annotations, but for the sake of this article, I won’t delve too deeply into some of the other areas.
If you’re looking to keep track of all your keywords, as well as those of your competitors, I recommend that you try the free trial from Wincher to see just how helpful this data actually is. I did this myself and was extremely pleased with not only the pricing, but the quality of the tool.
Using Analytics from the Start
Using analytics from the start is vital for any business or blog that wants to connect with customers on any platform online. By having this valuable data at your disposal from the very beginning, you will be able to identify exactly who your customers are and what they want.
You’ll know what they are searching for on your website, as well as which content is most popular, making it easier for you to create and optimize your content to align with your users’ interests. This will allow you to increase engagement and sales, boosting your business’s bottom line.
Creating better content is just one of the many productive decisions that you’ll be able to take that will grow your website traffic and increase conversions.
By using analytics from the start, you will also be able to see what actually works in your business, and what doesn’t. This way, you won’t have to waste a lot of time, money, and effort throwing it all at the wall to see what sticks. From web design and search engine optimization to sales funnels, and more, you will know by looking at your data which areas need optimization and where you should be concentrating your full marketing efforts so you can replicate previous successes.
Data is Needed to Make Decisions
The most successful marketers always make their decisions based on data. Without proper website analytics, you will have a hard time making informed marketing decisions to propel your business forward.
You need this type of data to be able to guide your marketing strategy. The right web analytics tools will allow you to easily collect, analyze, and visualize the data from your online platform to make decision-making quicker and easier.
For instance, say you’re getting good traffic flow to your landing page. However, you find that there’s a very low conversion rate, by looking at the data, you might determine that visitors are losing focus on the product page and clicking away before reaching the cart.
Another good example, and one that’s rarely discussed, is how much color psychology can influence conversions on your website.
The key is to lead with analytics and once you have the data you need, you can take the necessary steps to optimize your sales page or other pages that have a large impact on your bottom line.
Competitive Advantages of Web Analytics
Listed below are just some of the competitive advantages that exist due to the use of website analytics:
1. Get in-depth knowledge of your visitors
2. Find out what their needs are
3. Discover ways to enhance the user experience
4. Segment and target ideal customers
5. Find your most popular content and focus on creating more of it
6. Enhance your website’s SEO
7. Track top referrals so you can create strategies to gain more
8. Make use of top outbound links as opportunities for partnership
9. Track e-commerce metrics and use them to generate more sales
10. Predict future demands so you can position your business accordingly
More traffic, increased conversion rates, higher engagement and social shares, more sales, etc. – the competitive advantages of using web analytics are endless!
Monitoring Backlinks to your Website
Backlinks are a powerful tool to increase website traffic and boost search engine rankings. They can also serve as a strong indicator of a website’s quality. It’s vital to monitor backlinks to your website if you want to consistently improve your rankings.
With a good analytics tool, you will be able to determine which links are from authority sites, and therefore are helpful to your site, and which ones are from poor quality websites and could potentially be detrimental.
The last thing you want is to have spammy links to your site that could get your website penalized or even de-indexed. Analytics will help you measure and keep track of the quality of your backlinks so you can protect your site from negative SEO.
There’s no question that the benefits of web analytics are vast. Website analytics are at the very core of the digital marketing industry and most of what marketers do wouldn’t be possible without the wealth of data available to us.
With the implementation of proper analytics, there is no limit to what you can do to grow your business. You will be able to take immediate action for improved results. In fact, depending on your website traffic levels, you can even have actionable analytics within just days of setting it up. So get started now!
What tools have you seen or used that have worked to measure a website’s performance and help identify opportunities for optimization? Let us know in the comments below.