In the early days of the internet, when “Under Construction” gifs and the < blink > tag were in full use, at the bottom of most web pages you could find the earliest form of website analytics: The Hit Counter. This simply counted how many times the page was loaded by anyone.
With the advent of more complex website coding, and powered by search engines like Google, website analytics has evolved far beyond the simple “page view” count of the 1990s. With properly tuned website analytics, you can track not only how many unique visitors you have coming to your website, but where they are coming from. Did they find you through a search engine? Did they come to you from a link on another website? Maybe they just typed your address in, directly! Whatever the method, knowing it lets you know where you should be targeting your advertising dollars: more Google AdWords, the local Chamber of Commerce ad page, or maybe Facebook ads or your own Facebook page.
And web analytics goes far beyond that. You can track what pages your visitors are looking at, and in many cases how long they are spending on each of those pages. If everyone is visiting your “how to” page and spending a lot of time there, but not visiting your “get a quote” page, maybe it’s time to rethink how things are organized so that people will realize you offer a service along with whatever expert information you are sharing freely. Or, it could be as simple as changing the keyword optimization on certain pages. If everyone is landing on the funny links page you created to make your company more accessible, but not your actual product page, you probably need a strategy to drive folks from that entry point to more specific information about you and your business.
Keywords are the signposts of the internet. When a search engine crawls (looks at and analyzes) your website, it searches your text for words that occur most frequently and compares that to the list of search terms people use. For example, if you own an auto body shop in Denver, it is important that you include words like “auto body” “repair” “mechanic” “car” and “Denver” on your page multiple times so that the search engine understands what your page is all about.
Once you have all this information, it will make it easier to target the clients who need your services. It will also help you decide if you are spending advertising money on avenues that aren’t really working.
If this sounds complicated, it can be. Especially if you have a complicated website or a very niche business. That’s one reason why companies hire firms like AlphaPixel Reach to implement and review their website analytics. Getting a monthly report and interpretation of how your advertising dollars are working along with recommendations for new keywords, or social media advertising buys makes it easier for you to get the most out of your advertising dollars.