Throughout history, there have been pairings that, well, quite simply, just work. They have coexisted in perfect harmony, using each other’s artistic contributions to cement a beautiful partnership. Sonny and Cher, Rogers and Astaire and now webpages and analytics – the key to understanding how to make your website all singing and all dancing. Whilst there is no requirement to take up singing or dancing lessons to make your website more productive, the only thing the analytical gods ask you to sacrifice is time in return for what will prove to be a very smart investment in the long run. Win – win, a full house of 10.0 – yay!
Now, before you attempt Vibrato and Demi Detourné, you have to master the basics. Build a simple *dashboard (see beautifully designed but basic grid thingy below) to summarise what you already know and what you want to know… fill in the blanks (like one of those puzzles people do to pass boring lunch hours or an uncomfortable pedicure) and begin phase one of operation ‘make my website work for me’.
From this table, it is easy to deduce the amount of visits you have had and what percentage are new or returning. And when coupled with knowing their source, over time, you can begin to collate information with a view to making necessary changes to your site’s online positioning, keeping you out of the red and firmly on the up. Use the figures to tell you when, where and how to make changes, and remember, monitor these changes! (the gods are watching!)
Consider the following factors:
Over a period of time, say 1 year, is your number of visitors increasing or decreasing?
How many new visits are there vs returning visits?
Are all your visitors returning (therefore you are not spreading the word) or are they all new (i.e. visit once and never come back)?
Where are your visitors coming from? Search engines? Your emails? Adverts? (With analytics you can tell which mode of transport your traffic took, are your links and advertising working?)
Technology – do they visit on mobiles? Are they using old computers? (e.g. if 90% of your visits come from PCs using windows 95 then don’t make your website really graphic heavy…see table above, amateur but effective.)
- What is the target age range for your visitors, how does this compare with their actual age range? (you may need to adapt your content accordingly to change the figures.)
Analytics is about understanding the information available to you and using it to spot trends. There is no use hitting the disco doing the Timewarp to Brian Adams’ 1991 snogathon song (Everything I Do) I Do It for You if everyone else is Krumping or listening to Dubstep…Give it a go, you’ll thank me in the end…The end.
Just before I go, next week you’re in for a treat. All I will say is that it is going to be a visual lesson…watch this space.