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Using analytics to improve your online business

Analytics technology for briketterWhile most larger companies are using advanced business intelligence or data mining software to track their performance and for decision support, a lot of other companies are using analytics to get the data they need to stay sharp or optimizing their business. However there are still tons of online companies that haven’t even intalled analytics or any type of similar software. It’s one of the main technologies that have had an impact on todays way of analysing data. But what is Google analytics, and how can you use it – to improve your business? A friend of mine running the site brikettertilbud.dk, a danish site selling briketter didn’t use analytics until this year, and now he is using it on a daily basis and constantly improving things based on his findings.

What is Google analytics?

Analytics is a free online tool from Google. Basically it’s a small piece of code, which you install on all your pages on your website (this can often easily be done by adding it to the footer or header in your CMS system). But before you can get the code, you will need to sign up for a free analytics account at Google. After it has been activated, it will track all sort of data from your visitors. A few examples would be where they came from, what browser they are using, when they visited your website, how long they stayed, how they navigate around on your site and much much more.

Analysing your traffic

Brænde and briketter technologyAfter analytics has been installed on your website and had a chance to run for a month or two while collecting data, it’s time to analyse those data.
There are a lot of useful things you can find if you take the time to drill down into the various data you have collected. For instance where do visitors come from? It’s not irrelevant to know if they come from the search engines, most are paid traffic or if they all type in your URL directly. Using the analytics technology you can easily track where they came from, and use this to optimize your website. For instance if you can see that certain keywords are getting you a lot of traffic, maybe by doing some onpage optimization you can increase that traffic even more for those keywords. Or if certain sites are sending you a lot of relevant traffic, maybe it would be an idea to buy some more advertising there.
Another important thing is checking how your visitors interact with your website, do they leave it within a few seconds, if so why is that? Not enough relevant content, or did they come from a source that had no relevance for your website? By analysing the various data, you can ofte get ideas on how to improve your website, and make it more useful for your visitors.

Setting up convertion tracking

For many one of the most important things in analyse (and adwords for that matter), is to see how well your visitors convert. A convertion could be a sale, in case of a webshop, but it could also be someone who contacted you, filled out a certain form, or downloaded a specific PDF file. Anything that would bring value to you, could be considered a convertion.
With analysits you can set up various types of convertion tracking. Then later on use those goals, combined with the data analysis we talked about before. For instance you may now see that a certain site are sending you a lot of really good traffic that converts great. Then it could be a good idea to see if you somehow could get even more traffic from that site. Or that one of your landing pages converted really bad, then it might be a useful thing to create a better landing page.

As you can see it can often be a really good idea to know more about the people visiting your site, and also how they interact with it. If you haven’t already installed a tool like analytics, I suggest you get started right away.