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We live in an age of data abundance and those who harness it are gaining the edge over the competition. If you would prefer to have the edge than be edged out, this article is for you.

HOW TO GET IT

As far as your website is concerned, there are several tools you can use, but we are going to be focussing on the now famous, Google Analytics.

You may already have google analytics installed on your site. If you don’t know, the first thing to do is ask your web services provider, but even if it is not installed, it is only a mildly technical processto get you up and running.

WHAT TO DO WITH IT

When you get into the Google Analytics dashboard, you will notice that there is an abundance of data to be found, so your next challenge is finding the right data that is going to help you.

While there are some deep and really complex techniques and reports you can run, we are going to focus on a few that you will find easily and that will work effectively.

TRAFFIC SOURCES

You can learn about your traffic sources in the Acquisition section. Identify where your traffic is coming from and this will give you an indication of the channels that work best for your target market.

It may be that you are getting a great deal of traffic from Google, if this is the case, you can investigate the keywords and to what pages the traffic are going, then you can optimise the page (and others) to draw more search traffic.

On the other hand if it is drawing a lot of traffic from your posts on LinkedIn, you will know that you can add contacts and develop even more traffic from the source.

traffic sources

BOUNCE RATES

This may sound like a basketball technique, but your bounce rate is simply how many people arrive at your site, then leave immediately.

This figure tells you how effective your landing pages are and allows you to improve your site by changing the offending pages to better fill the needs of your visitors.

It is almost impossible to say what a good or bad bounce rate is, as this varies from one business to another. It also depends on the purpose of the page. Some analysts say under 50% is good and over is bad, but there are many cases where this is not the case and we will explore that in a future post.

bounce rate

DROP-OFF ZONES

You can learn about this by looking at the User Flow report. You will see what people are doing when they arrive on your site, and at what point they are ‘Dropping off’ and leaving your website.

If you are finding that a good number of people are navigating through your site but dropping off at your order page, you can assume there is a question in your visitors mind that is not being answered.

Ideally you can set up an exit survey to find out why they are leaving without making a decision, then you can change the content to ensure the FUD’s (Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts) are all addressed.

drop off

WILL YOU BE WATCHING?

While there is a whole universe of metrics you can observe, if you monitor these few points you will be able to build a fairly accurate picture of how your website is performing and what you can do to improve it.

Do you watch your analytics? What are the key insights you look for?