Blog

5 key reasons your business needs to be using analytics software

5 key reasons your business needs to be using analytics software

Analytics is now an essential part of running a successful online business. Analytics software collects data on your website’s visitors -- where they came from, which pages they looked at, how long they stayed on each page, whether they bought anything. This gives you the cold, hard facts about how your online business is doing.

Businesses large and small benefit from analytics. Whether you sell one product or a thousand, whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or a multinational conglomerate, the principles, techniques, and goals of web analytics are the same -- identify which business activities generate revenue, and use this to guide future decisions. Here are 5 reasons you should be using analytics software.

To identify your more popular content

Analytics software tells you which of your pages generate the most traffic. For example, say you sell health and fitness products, and you use a blog to generate leads. With analytics software will see at a glance which topics are bringing in the most traffic. You can then focus on creating more content of this type. Without analytics, you’re shooting in the dark.

To identify problem content

Conversely, you’ll also be able to see what content is not doing well. You also get access to a range of metrics that help you figure out why this is. For example, the bounce rate tells you how many people land on a page then leave the site without visiting any of your other pages. If you have some pages with a high bounce rate, you can try reworking these pages to try to retain the traffic.

To optimise your site for conversions

Most analytics packages integrate well with third-party e-commerce platforms. This enables you to calculate how many visitors eventually buy. You can go into more detail too. Where is the traffic which converts coming from? Is it a certain advertising platform? A certain blog you have a guest post on? Is it coming from search engines, and if so, what keywords are people searching for?

Answering these questions helps you optimise your on-page content and off-site marketing. For example, if you know you get high conversions from Facebook advertising, you can put more money into this rather than somewhere that isn’t producing results.

To conduct A/B split testing

Say you’re making a sales page for one of your products and you have two ideas. One is to use a lot of text and go into detail about the features of the product (Option A). The other idea is to use short bullet points summarising the key benefits, and plenty of images (Option B).

With analytics software, you can run an experiment. You create both pages, and either A or B is served to the visitor at random. The analytics software then tracks how many people went on to the buy the product, and shows you a report. There’s no guesswork involved -- you can see objectively which approach works best for your business.

It’s user-friendly

Analytics companies know that not everyone is as data-minded as they are, so they put a lot of effort into making their interfaces simple and easy to use. You can get most of the information you need with very little effort -- certainly, everything mentioned above is within the reach of most people.

That said, the use of analytics is a skill in its own right, and the better you are at it, the better the insights you can glean. If you want to take advantage of some of the more powerful tools, you may have to take some courses or bring in an analytics consultant.

Conclusion

The analytics industry is evolving rapidly, both in terms of the data it can collect and the myriad ways the software can slice and dice it to help you find actionable trends. This data is there for the taking, and you can easily use it to optimise your site. Be aware that your competitors are doing this too -- so be sure not to get left behind.