You’ve got your website, now it’s time to start tracking and analyzing the data. The first thing you will want to do is to make sure you have an analytics tool in place from the beginning. Many content management systems will offer some very broad overviews but as the manager of your business you will want specifics including a history detail so that you can view patterns and campaign performance. Google analytics is the industry standard.
To best analyze the data for your website, it is important to view a good sample size. You will want to start tracking the data from the moment your site goes live so that you will be able to identify a growth in traffic compared to a prior month or the same month one year ago. I am an Excel nerd and I love to consider the variables that can swing data. Any number of factors can influence the data such as a product promotion, marketing campaign, industry trend, or incremental customer set. Looking at a proper sample size is going to teach you what is working or what is not working for your business. The key is to start tracking as soon as possible so that you have benchmarks for comparison.
The next consideration is the metrics you are using. Make sure you are looking at page views, visits, search terms and sources to get a full analysis of your website performance. Compare your metrics with industry standards to find out if people are spending more time on your website than the average. Find out which page of your website that viewers are clicking on the most. Are visitors just hitting the home page for two seconds and leaving? Find out what search terms visitors are using and match the demand with your offerings and communications. No matter what type of industry you are in, you will want to provide clear content on your website that is easy to access and to engage with your visitor base. Your metrics will tell you how well you are doing that.