Just about every online business or business with a website uses an analytics tool to track traffic. However, more often than not, business owners and managers do not take full advantage of the information contained in analytics reports – or they don’t know how.
So how should businesses interpret Web analytics data — and leverage that information to decrease bounce and exit rates and increase sales on their website? To find out, CIO.com asked dozens of Web analytics and marketing experts. Their top eight tips on how to use web analytics data to improve conversion rates.
See how people are accessing your site (mobile devices vs. laptops or desktops) — and optimize accordingly
-“Look at how sales, especially conversion rates, differ by device type,” says Bill Elward, CIO, Castle Ink, a provider of re-manufactured ink cartridges, laser toner and printer cartridges.
Track where traffic is coming from — to help find where to invest marketing dollars and time
– It have to ask, “Is traffic coming from other websites (referrals), social media or search engines (paid/organic)?” says Mike Wolfe, CEO, WAM Enterprises, a digital marketing agency. “Knowing where traffic comes from can help understand where to invest more time and money to increase traffic.”
“Analytics data can [also] allows to understand what marketing channel is leading to the most conversions on website,” adds Chris Meares, director of Analytics at Mass Media, a boutique digital analytics consulting firm.
Discover where visitors are located, so you can better target those areas
– “Use a geographic filter to figure out which countries, regions or states generate more sales than others,” says Noah Parsons, COO, Palo Alto Software, providers of business plan software. Then it can “use this information to create focused advertising campaigns for specific geographies.” It can also use the information to “try to figure out why this regions don’t convert and consider special offers, discounts or other incentives to boost sales for those regions.”
Use demographics data to better understand and target audience
– “Google Analytics recently released a Demographic and Interests segmentation in the Audience report,” says Katya Constantine, founder, DigiShopGirl Media.
“This allows sites to see the age, [gender] and interests of their site users – and which segments have a higher conversion rate,” Constantine explains. “Based on this data, it can create better targeting criteria in future display and paid traffic efforts.”
Know exactly what your customers are looking for (with Site Search)
-“Use Site Search data in Google Analytics to find terms people are searching for while they are on site, along with the page they were visiting at the time,” says Dave Cannon, co-founder, FindProz, a private instruction marketplace.
“This will help to pinpoint lost opportunities for product placements or more mid-to-low-funnel content, and where they should be located on a site,” Cannon says. For example, “someone might search for ‘photographer’ and then refine the search ‘wedding photographer.’ [So] now it know to advertise wedding photographers.”
Learn where visitors are landing
– “Look at Landing Page metrics,” says Nick Mather, COO, CyberMark International, and an Internet marketing firm specializing in ethical SEO. “These are the pages where all website traffic lands from search engines and other referrers. The content (text, images, call-to-action elements, etc.) on these pages should be perfected as to decrease the bounce rate and increase the conversion rate.”
Find out which calls to action generate the most interest.
–“When it comes to online conversion rates and lead generation, it can use in-page analytics to learn which calls to action are producing the best results on Web pages,” says Brendan Cournoyer, director of Content Marketing, Brainshark, a provider of cloud-based business presentation solutions for sales, marketing and training.
Pay attention to bounce rates to see where it is losing customers
–“Look for pages with higher traffic and high bounce rates about other pages,” he advises. “Pages with high bounce rates can write down a problem with the information, layout or call to actions. Use bounce rates as a first indicator of problem pages.”
In addition, think about using “a conversion funnel to figure out where it is losing customers on the way to a sale,” says Parsons.