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What is Web Analytics: The Beginner’s Guide 2023

One of the best parts of digital marketing is that we can learn so much about what our site visitors are doing online. How they found your site, what pages are being viewed, and the paths that users are taking through the site once they get there.

Web analytics platforms can put this information right at your fingertips. Of course, once you have the information, you need to know how to leverage it.

Do you know which metrics are most important, and what they mean for your business?

In this post, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about getting started with web analytics, including what these platforms can offer, what you can learn from them, and how to choose one.

What Are Web Analytics?

Web analytics tools can provide you with invaluable insights about traffic coming to your site. You may receive information like how many pageviews you’re receiving, which channels are sending traffic to your site, and what actions users are taking on your site. Many have conversion-focused features that are designed to help you understand the digital buyer’s journey and their path to conversion.

The goal of these platforms is to provide you with the information needed to make informed decisions about how you can drive business growth, and the information you focus on will depend on your role at an organization.

Marketers will often analyze ad spend and lead quality and quantity. The product and sales teams, meanwhile, will seek to understand user behavior and want to understand which actions and pages help users reach certain conversion goals. And finally, management will be focused on overseeing the business’s KPIs across multiple departments.

Why You Should Use a Web Analytics Tool

A web analytics tool can provide essential data that can help you optimize your website, digital presence, and customer journey. You can improve different touchpoints and even reorganize your website to improve the customer experience, shorten the buyer cycle, and drive more sales.

Web analytics tools give you actionable data that can give you inspiration for optimization, and that may even help you identify obstacles that are currently impacting users from becoming leads or customers. Or maybe it can help you determine that optimizing a certain channel— like push notifications for your mobile app— can make a huge impact in driving more sales.

You can also see which content, product use cases, and/or products are most valuable to your customers. This information— along with an understanding of which ad channels are generating the highest quality leads— can help you make fast, informed decisions.

You want to understand not only what’s happening on your website, but the consequences that those actions have on your business. Whether you’re launching a new product or trying to boost your volume of sales on existing products, web analytic platforms can help.

What You Can Learn from Web Analytics

What you can learn from web analytics depends on the specific web analytics platform you’re using, but most quality platforms today offer the ten following metrics and insights.

1. Referral Traffic Channels

One of the most valuable things a marketer can know is which online marketing and advertising channels are driving traffic to your site.

Are they finding you through Google search? And if so, are they finding you through an organic search result or a paid ad?

Are they finding you through social media? If so, which one? And was it through your main Facebook Page, or a link in an organic post?

Or maybe they’re finding you through a particularly high-value guest post that you wrote for an industry-leading blog.

There are plenty of different organic and paid marketing platforms that can drive traffic to your site, and the best way to increase traffic is to know which platforms are most effective and to go all-in on those.

Most web analytics platforms can show you where traffic overall is coming from, but also where your highest-value traffic (aka converting customers) come from.

2. On-Site Customer Behavior

On-site customer behavior can show you the path that users are taking through your site.

Which pages are customers visiting, and in what order? And which paths through your site are most likely to lead users to conversion?

Some pages, for example, may have unusually high bounce rates or exit rates. Others may be most likely to be viewed directly before the user navigates to a high-value page like an email sign-up, a lead form, or a product page.

These are some of the core metrics to watch:

The nuance that these metrics can offer is exceptional. You may have a blog post, for example, that brings in the most traffic and assume it’s your highest converter. When looking at customer behavior, however, it’s clear that it actually has a high bounce rate and that another blog post has less traffic overall but higher likelihood to send users to a high-value page where they convert.

3. Customer Actions Taken

Some web analytics platforms can help you track when specific actions are taken by users on your site.

Examples include:

You can set up custom tracking events that register when pages related to these actions are fired. For example, you can track completed purchases when the order confirmation page fires.

conversion funnel with custom events
A conversion funnel with custom events in MyTracker

4. Pages Viewed

It’s always a good idea to know which pages are receiving a large number of views. You want to ensure that high-value pages like product, contact, and lead generation pages are viewed frequently.

It’s also helpful to see which pages are bringing traffic to your site, and which are being viewed most often.

You might discover, for example, that a large number of users are visiting an FAQ page on your site. This could indicate that they still have questions during the consideration stage of the digital sales funnel, which may mean that you might need to add some clarity to core product pages.

pages viewed

5. Segmented Audience Behavioral Data

A great product analytics tool will help you understand how different audience segments are using your site. This can help you start to understand which users are most valuable as customers, and also what conversion paths they’re taking.

This can be invaluable; certain types of audiences may have shorter buyer journeys, while others may have longer and more complex journeys but ultimately retain longer or have higher average order values.

6. Audience Demographic Data

Many web analytics tools will provide at least basic demographic data about the people coming to your site, and information on different audience segments.

The information you get will depend on the platform, but may include the user’s:

Audience Insights report
MyTracker's Audience Insights report

7. Revenue

While many businesses rely on their own eCommerce, invoicing, or sales platform to track revenue, web analytics platforms will also often have revenue-tracking features.

The benefit of leveraging revenue tracking through web analytics is that it can give you a holistic look at which users, conversion paths, and actions are most associated with conversions. And it doesn’t hurt that you can view all the information on a single dashboard for a quick and effective revenue.

revenue report
A Revenue report in MyTracker

8. Revenue Prediction

Knowing your current revenue is great, but getting expected revenue is great, too.

Expected revenue falls under the predictive analytics category, and it tells you how much revenue you’re expected to earn in a set time period based on your own brand’s historical patterns.

Here at MyTracker, revenue predictions are calculated by utilizing machine-based forecasts that are up to 90% accurate. We offer revenue predictions up to two years out.

LTV prediction
LTV prediction report in MyTracker

9. Ad Spend

How much are you spending every month across all of your paid channels, and where is that ad spend going? And, just as importantly, what traffic is it bringing your way?

Some web analytics platforms can help you track your overall ad spend, showing you how it’s divided up and how successful those different advertising channels are when it comes to driving high-quality leads and traffic your way.

10. ROI

Your return on investment (ROI) metric is going to assess how much you’re spending on customer acquisition (including on ad costs) compared to how much revenue you’re receiving.

This is a crucial metric that ensures that you’re spending well and that your ad and marketing spend is actually paying off, and you need a positive ROI if you want to scale upwards.

You should be checking your ROI regularly, and a web analytics tool can help you track it effectively, especially since it has a holistic, bird’s-eye view of everything happening with your site.

How to Choose a Web Analytics Tool

It’s easy to see the value of web analytics tools, so by now you’re probably ready to choose one!

There are a number of web and product analytics tools on the market, and they’re not all created equal. Make sure that you choose a tool that meets the following criteria:

MyTracker meets all of these qualities, so check out our web analytics software.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re launching a new product or looking to improve the performance of an existing one (or you just need to find a new direction!), web analytics will help you.

Tracking custom site events will improve your analytics accuracy. Audience segmentation will help you identify your highest-value audience segments and target them easily. And, perhaps most important of all, conversion funnels will help you see how well (and quickly) users are hitting those target actions… and where they’re losing interest and drop off.

These are invaluable insights that can make a huge impact in scaling your business, so don’t wait; get the information you need to grow your revenue and your business now.

Ready to get started with web analytics? Learn more about what MyTracker’s web analytics here.

Tags: attribution audience segments web analytics