Why web analytics monitoring is crucial to your business
Web analytics monitoring helps you better understand your business. Collecting data and producing reports, gives you insights that can help you increase your conversions. The top web monitoring tool is Google Analytics. There are others. For example, Onmiture (Adobe’s web analytics tool), Kissmetrics and Clickty, to name a few. Web analytics will provide data about your website visitors, what pages they visit, how they got to your website, how long they spent on your website, and much more.
Get started with Google Analytics
To effectively monitor your website use Google Analytics to gather data and monitor your data, you will need to set your business goals, e.g. do you want to generate sales or drive awareness? Secondly, you will need to establish your key performance indicators (KPIs), i.e. what are you measuring your performance against? Perhaps, your KPIs are based on how many people sign up for your newsletter and/or your resulting revenue. Next, decide if you want to set business targets based on your past performance or an industry benchmark.
Analyze and monitor the mobile and desktop versions of your site. To track your performance and obtain accurate reports:
- You will need to set up goals and eCommerce tracking in your Google Analytics account. Use goals for non-eCommerce tracking. You will require a developer or web administrator to set up eCommerce tracking on your website as this requires adding additional code to your web files. It is possible to do this in your Content Management System (CMS).
- In Property Settings, Enable Demographics and Interest Reports and Enable Users Metric in Reporting.
How to exclude your IP address from Google Analytics metrics
- For report accuracy, you will also need to set up Filters to ensure that neither yourself or your employees are included as web visitors in your reports. To do this, you will need to enter your IP address(s). To find your IP address, simply Google, “What is my IP address?”
- Give the filter a name, e.g. “My IP address”
- Select a predefined filter type: Exclude
- Select source and destination: Traffic from the IP Addresses
- Finally, select the expression, “that are equal to”.
Exclude hits from bots and spiders
- You will also need to check the “exclude all hits from known bots and spiders” in the View Settings tab as you only want to count visits from humans.
How to set up a Google Analytics account
To view the number of unique visitors to your website and obtain other useful statistics about your website visitors, sign up for a Google Analytics (GA) account for your domain name.
You will be required to provide your website name, URL, and industry category.
Google Analytics will then generate a tracking ID, which you can add to your website. You should be able to add the GA tracking code to the designated textbox field in your CMS.
Another method of adding tracking to monitor your website is by using Google’s Tag Manager. Your CMS should have plugins or extensions for tag management implementation.
Visit Google’s Analytics Academy to learn more. They include a list of helpful video tutorials to get you started. Many of these video tutorials can also be found in the relevant sections of your GA dashboard.
How to set up a Google Analytics account
You can find Site Search in Google Analytic’s Behavior Report.
You want to set this up as it will tell you what visitors are looking for on your site. This internal site search data, will help you identify product, service, and user requirements.
For example, if visitors are regularly searching for shipping and returns information, it may indicate that this information is not clearly displayed on your site.
Another example is if visitors are regularly searching for “blue silk scarves” on your site and you only stock them in red; you may want to think about adding blue silk scarves to your inventory.
How to Set up Site Search in Google Analytics
Find the search bar on your website. Do a search just as a customer would. In this example, we have searched for the word “coats” on our lovingclothes.com website.
Look at the URL in your web browser. You are only interested in the text that appears after the “?” and before the “=” sign. In this case, “s”. This is known as a query parameter.
Click on the Settings cog icon, in the lower left-hand corner, of your Google Analytics dashboard:
- Select View Settings
- Select Site Search Settings
- Turn on Site search Tracking
- Enter your query parameter, in this case, “s”
- Click Save