Most business owners use their web analytics package to figure out how many people are coming to their website, where they are coming from, and which pages they are visiting. Beyond that, the majority don’t show a great deal of interest in the numbers, charts, and statistics that are available.
If you dig a little deeper than that, however, you can learn some really interesting and important things. For example, you might be able to get some clear indications about which parts of your website are failing you, driving buyers away instead of convincing them to take the next step.
Unless you already happen to be turning every searcher and social media referral into a potential customer, you should be searching for conversion-killers within your analytics data on a regular basis. Here are a few questions that can lead you in the right direction…
What Do Customers Want?
There isn’t any part of your website or web analytics package that’s going to tell you exactly what potential customers wanted when they showed up on your pages. However, by examining which websites they came from, what keywords or links they followed to get there, and which pages they navigated to, you should be able to piece together a good sense of their initial intentions.
Where Are Prospects Leaving Your Website?
Knowing where customers are exiting your website is extraordinarily valuable. That’s because they typically leave for one of three reasons: They found the information they were looking for, gave up on their search, or contacted you and are waiting for the next step. By seeing which pages lead to website exits, and how long visitors are staying on them, you should be able to draw some valuable conclusions.
Which Conversion Goals Are Being Met?
If you have multiple types of conversions available on your website (for example, a purchase, a click-to-call button, and a PDF download), then you can draw comparisons between the results you get from each. If one option is significantly more popular than the others, that could tell you that it’s more convenient for your prospects, or it’s a step they feel comfortable taking. Knowing that, you can align your other conversion goals in the same way.
Where Are You Seeing Bounces from Your Website?
If there are pages on your site that are leading to bounces – that is, visits that result in someone leaving without clicking to any other page – then it’s very likely you need to adjust the content, headline, or call to action visitors are seeing. It’s hard to get conversions without retaining visits and attention, so treat renovating pages with high bounce rates as a top priority.
What Is Split-Testing Telling You?
Ultimately, the best way to tell what is and isn’t working on your website is by split-testing different elements or landing pages against one another. Often, you’ll be surprised to see that your gut instinct on something isn’t accurate, and that user behavior points you in another direction. You can only get those realizations through data, and they make your website more efficient and profitable over time.
Looking into your web analytics package is a bit like going under the hood in your car – it can be confusing at first, but once you know what to search for, it can be a helpful way to assess the situation and spot problems before they get any worse. If there are conversion-killing elements on your webpages, it’s better to take the time to find them now than it is to let them keep costing you money week after week and month after month.