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A beginners guide to web analytics, online business and website performance review

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This article is for anyone taking the first step to understand how website analytics can be helpful for your company to improve sales or leads though actively working with your website. It’s a list of initial and very simple questions you can use to evaluate performance and get insight for what actions you need to take in order to improve conversions and engagement.

The purpose of this article is to help someone who is an absolute beginner to connect the dots between analytics data and your website.

Web analytics is about asking questions and finding answers. If you log in to your Google Analytics account without a clear purpose and question to answer – you can spend hours just looking at numbers. Before you open up the the tab to explore how your website is performing – you should define what is important for you to get answers to so you can decide what action to take.

Before you start, make a list of what pages are important in your customers journey/path to purchase and make a note of one primary action or purpose for each page. (referred to as primary pages below)

I assume that you have the following in place to make the full use of this article:

  • Google Analytics (or any other web analytics tool)
  • Goals set-up for sales or leads (if you have leads – you should assign a value for your company on these)
  • Events – tro track what people do on your website (such as click to call, which email addresses that are emailed to, if and which documents are downloaded etc)
  • Internal traffic from inside your own company is removed (and any other sources that may be relevant – for example if you have a consultant or agency that help you out)
  • Google Search Console activated
Overarching questions:
  • Where visitors come from? and what is the breakdown between, organic, referral, direct and paid?
  • Look at the breakdown between new and returning visitors
  • Have traffic increased or decreased?
  • Where they leave the site? (and is this device or technology specific?)
  • Conversion rate?
  • Geography – where do they come from?


Primary pages:

What primary pages are important in the purchase process? investigate how they perform using these questions:

  • Bounce rate
  • Page views
  • Amount of visitors
  • Time on site
  • Do they download/pay/view a video/read that article – or whatever else your purpose is for this page? (Do the visitors engage with the content on these pages)
  • Exit rate
  • What technology do they use (device, browser) and is there any conclusion that can be made from this information in relation to the above questions?
  • Traffic source
  • What keywords drive the most traffic to your page?

And once you have your answers – you assign actions and implement any necessary changes – otherwise what is the point of having a web analytics tool if you don’t actively work with your website?

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