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  • Writer's pictureFreddy Fix

What is web analytics and how to start measuring data

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

When you want to start a business or build a personal brand, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, you need to strengthen your online presence with a website. Start by creating a website with a website builder, and then customize it so that it truly represents you.

The next step is to consider how you want to monitor your progress and optimize as you grow. Web analytics helps you do just that. It lets you track what's going on behind the scenes at your site, so you can understand which aspects of your site really benefit your business or brand.

There are many web analytics tools to choose from and many more calculations to consider. In this article, you will learn exactly what web analytics is, what metrics matter, and how to start tracking your site so you can reach your goals.

What is web analytics

Web analytics is the measurement and analysis of data that makes it possible to understand how users interact with websites. While web analytics refers to the entire process of finding and evaluating data, it is often accomplished using web analytics tools. These platforms measure different metrics and help you gain insight into how users get to your site, what they do when they get to your site, how they interact with your brand and more.

Why web analytics is important?

You might think that creating a great website and offering a great service or a great product is enough to keep customers on track. However, there are often unexpected obstacles, and sometimes users will interact with your site in a way you might not have expected. This means that it is important to consider behind the scenes of your website to really make data-driven decisions. You need to understand the user experience and journey from an outsider's perspective to assess what is worthwhile for your site. This can only be achieved with the help of web analysis.

Web analytics tools can highlight how visitors get to your site and where along the user journey they can get stuck before purchasing your offer. With this information, website owners can optimize the website experience accordingly and ultimately improve user satisfaction. Such an assessment is well worth it for business owners, as it can increase the traffic and conversions from their website.

How does web analytics work?

While it's nice to have thorough information about user interaction with your site, you may be wondering how it is collected and if it is invasive. Rest assured that you do not want to steal private information from your users, and they have every reason to feel safe while browsing your site.

That said, there are various tracking mechanisms in place on websites that enable website owners to have a general understanding of the user experience. Web analytics tools often use tags that essentially count every time a user visits a particular webpage or clicks on a particular button. This way, you can gather information about the total number of visits and clicks on specific places on your site without invading the privacy of individual users.

Another option is to use cookies that allow you to understand repeated visits from a single browser. This can be useful for evaluating returning customers, storing shopping carts and using remarketing tactics. Although cookies provide a little more information about individual visitors to the site, they still do not let a site owner know anything about a user other than the user's visit to their site. In addition, many website owners use the use of the cookie banner which explicitly states that they will track visitors to provide a more personalized experience in the future. Users can choose whether or not to accept these terms, in which case a website cannot track the specific user.

What calculations should you track

An important aspect of successful web analytics is understanding which metrics are most useful for your business. Although each site is different, the basic question remains the same for each site. What are the goals of your site? These often include getting traffic and making sales so that your business or brand can thrive. To achieve these goals, consider the following calculations:

01. Traffic

Traffic usually means how many visits your site receives. The more visits your site receives, the more likely you are for people to learn about your brand, and the more likely you are to make money. In many ways, traffic is the easiest calculation to measure and is available on almost any analytics tool.

That said, keep in mind that not all visitors can be considered equal. Some visitors can be you or your close friends, others can be counted twice just by updating their website, while the rest can be new visitors. Each of these categories will eventually have a different value for your brand.

02. Traffic sources

Another important aspect of assessing traffic is understanding where it comes from. Just as there is not one type of visitor, traffic sources can also vary in value. Someone who actively searches for your brand on Google may act differently on your site than someone who happens to find your site through an ad. While all traffic is good, someone who has a commitment to your brand is more likely to buy your product or service than someone who is just browsing and considering options.

In addition, traffic from different geographical locations may vary in value for your brand. It is possible that visitors from one place are more likely to spend larger amounts than those coming from another place. If you have an international brand, it is also likely that your offers will vary in price depending on the local competition. Take this into account when considering where your traffic is coming from.

To understand traffic sources, make sure you track numbers from all the platforms on which your site can be found. In addition to search engine traffic, you need to understand how much traffic each ad gives you and how these visitors tend to behave. Consider using an analysis tool that can identify the different sources of your traffic so you can easily compare each source.

03. Conversions

The traffic is only as good as the money it gives your business. Ultimately, for your brand to thrive, you need that traffic to shop and actually buy your product or service. The next step is considered a conversion. Although any next step can be defined as a conversion, it is often used to mean when a visitor to the site converts to become a user.

This calculation can be considered a business calculation as it can be used as a basis for future decisions about what it is worth using to make more profit. By being able to predict how many site visitors will eventually convert, you can easily justify spending money on ads and branding. That said, not all ads will provide the same number of conversions. So be sure to track which ads and products are most fruitful.

Another important aspect of conversion tracking is understanding which products or services on your site sell the most. For example, consider a t-shirt company. Although they can sell 50 different designs, the same three t-shirts are most likely to sell the most, while the remaining 47 designs only get a few purchases. Online analytics tools can help you understand which items sell the most. You can then be sure to advertise these products to get the most out of your advertising costs. You can also use this insight to help you decide which products to display at the top of your site and even determine the design of a future product based on these successful items.

04. Revenue

Income refers to the total money earned in a given time period. In addition to conversion data that you can use to track the number of sales, you can evaluate the money you earn on those sales through your earnings. So to go back to our t-shirt example, suppose one of the three best-selling shirts costs $ 8, while one of the less popular designs costs $ 25. In this case, you can sell a third of the more expensive shirts and still make more money than if you just sold the design for $ 8.

This revenue difference points to the importance of looking at both conversions and revenue together. While raw numbers of conversions are important for success and growth, revenue is important for business management. Companies can understand which products are worth continuing to produce and what they need to do to stay profitable.

How to get started with web analytics?

Now that you have an understanding of what calculations to track, you may be wondering how to actually get started tracking these items. There are many platform options, and we suggest you read this list of the best web analytics tools available to choose the most ideal option for you. Many of these tools will then require some setup in order for them to calibrate with your site and be able to provide you with real data.

One of the most effective ways to start tracking website data is to use Wix analytics. This platform is automatically accessible to all Wix users, so as soon as you create a website, you will be able to access data. To access your site analytics, navigate to the sidebar and find the "Analytics & Reports" tag on the left side of the screen. There you will get an overview of the types of calculations that are available to you, such as traffic or sales. Once inside these calculations, you can customize your reports so you can see trends based on region or traffic source. These types of customization options let you see what really matters to you.

Freddy Fix borrowed from Wix

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