July 05 2013

Understanding Web Analytics Provides Digital Marketing & Digital Strategy Insights

A website without analytics is like driving blind on a highway, with your boss in the backseat. Web analytics provide you with intelligence about how visitors are interacting with your site, whether the site is delivering against your goals and so much more. Not paying attention to your web analytics is a recipe for digital disaster. Don’t crash the car (your boss will be mad). Instead, login, dig in and explore several meaningful reports that will help develop and strengthen your digital marketing efforts and overall digital strategy. 

Popular pages

It’s important to understand what pages are most popular on your website, as not only can it identify sought-after products or services, but it can indicate possible shortcomings of your digital marketing efforts. If you’re noticing that a certain product or service page is receiving small amounts traffic, it may be indicative that additional efforts are needed to better promote it. For example, you may want to invest in a pay-per-click campaign specific to that product or service.

Traffic sources

If you have attempted to optimize your website for search engines and are still not seeing the results you wanted, it may represent a need to adjust your search engine optimization and inbound marketing strategy for greater impact. Diving deeper into your web analytics is a great way to generate ideas as to how you can successfully do this.

  • Referral traffic: Referral tracking tells you what sites visitors were on prior to visiting your site. Understanding this can contribute to the success of your SEO strategy in two ways. One, it can reflect the effectiveness of your linking strategy. Two, it can reveal how your products or services relate to customers’ needs, which also provides insight into advantageous keywords to include in your SEO title tags and meta descriptions.

  • Search engine queries: Not only do web analytics tools tell you what people are searching for to find your company’s website, but they record the average position that your website is ranking in search results for these specific queries. If you find that you aren’t ranking well in search results for certain terms and phrases important to your company, it can give you some direction as to the keywords you need to better incorporate into your search engine optimization strategy.

Content quality

Web analytics tools tell you the average amount of time visitors stayed on your site, how many pages they visited, and how long they spent on each individual pages. These numbers can illustrate the quality of your website content. Getting visitors to your site is only half the battle. If visitors aren’t having deep experiences with your site in terms of the amount of pages they are viewing and the amount of time they are spending on them, you may need to enhance your content in order to make it more informative and compelling. Consider utilizing a professional copywriter.

Website usability

This insight can come from a number of different reports, but a notable one would be your website’s bounce rate. A bounce rate describes the percentage of visitors that left your site from the page in which they entered. So, if you have a high bounce rate, it could indicate that people are not finding your website easy to use, and therefore, you’re not even getting the chance to communicate how your products or services could meet their needs. If your website has a high bounce rate, consider investing in website usability testing and analysis to see how you can improve your site architecture, and consequently, the effectiveness of your website as a marketing tool.

Viewing devices

This information is particularly valuable in light of the growing mobile and tablet market. As the number of individuals using these devices continues to grow, it is increasingly important that companies design and develop website that are equally appealing to users on all devices. If your analytics indicate that you have a high percentage of site traffic coming from mobile or tablet devices, it may be a good idea to invest in responsive design.


On that note, most web analytics tools have a feature that tracks conversions. In order to do this, you must set up specific goals and implement a tracking strategy, such as creating a unique vanity URL for print advertising or putting a tracking code on the webpage you consider to be the point of conversion. With this, your digital marketing efforts become measurable, allowing you to better determine if a tactic is successful or not, and thus, enabling you to maximize your marketing budget.

Website statistics are incredibly valuable to your company. For this reason, not only is it important to consider web analytics when making important decisions, but it’s important to monitor them on a regular basis. Some web analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, allow you to create custom dashboards so that you can access the reports and information most important to you on one screen, quickly and easily.
It should be noted that there are uncontrollable, external factors that may influence your website analytics month to month. It is important to take all elements into consideration when determining the significance of a particular statistic.

For assistance setting up or interpreting web analytics, contact ZAG Interactive.

posted by
Michelle Brown
Michelle Brown
VP of Sales & Marketing

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.