How do your customers find you?
Have you ever looked at your website analytics? Not just how many hits you got each day or month, but properly looked at them. Your analytics can tell you a lot about your customers, from how they found you to how often they return to your website. Some of the more advanced tools can even tell you their gender and age bracket.
Google Analytics is a great place to begin – it’s a free tool offered by Google that can be upgraded to a more advanced, paid service later down the track should you feel the need. It tracks visitors from all referrers, including search engines, social media, and direct visitors and referring sites.
Google Analytics can also track how many clicks you get from advertising, pay-per-clicks networks, email marketing and digital collateral – which includes links from PDF documents. They can tell you how long people are staying on your website, your bounce rate and not only how traffic arrives at your site, but where it goes once has it arrived on your website.
You’re also able to see your conversion rate, which is the frequency at which a visitor "converts" on your website. Conversions can be set up to track purchases through your website, submissions of an online form, or even button clicks and downloads. This allows you to fine tune your online marketing campaigns, as you are able to tell which sources deliver your best customers.
Google’s Webmaster Tools is another essential resource that allows you to track how you rate in Google searches. It will show you if your pages are being blocked by Google, as well as picking up on broken links, a list of any external pages that link to your content and allows you to see what keyword searches were used to lead to you being listed in Google and if there were click-throughs as a result of this.
Heatmaps are another option to see where your visitors are hanging out once they visit your website. It will show you where you get the most clicks and where they hover their mouse and scroll to. Some heatmap applications also allow you to watch a mapping of individual users interacting with your website. Visitor recording is similar to heatmaps and allow you to track where visitors are moving their mouses and click most often.
The main difference between Google Analytics, Heatmaps, and Webmaster Tools is that Webmaster Tools displays traffic for individual keywords and tells you how your website is performing in Google searches. On the other hand, Google Analytics and Heatmapping will tell you about how visitors behave once they are on your site, where they're clicking and what pages they're visiting.
So next time you’re looking at your website statistics, why not consider taking the plunge into Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools and maybe a heatmap application? The insight they provide about your customers can help you better target potential customers and help you grow your business to the next level.