When we measure our results online, knowledge is power. A few years ago, marketing professionals had very little information about the results of what we were doing, and there was a lot of room for estimates and assumptions that were never quite accurate. But that era is over.
In online marketing we have a large amount of information about how our users respond, and we can analyze it to improve our results. One of the pillars of this analysis is web analytics; For that reason, today we will see what it consists of, 5 steps to measure online results and 5 fundamental tools.
What is web analytics?
Web analytics consists of gathering the information generated by users when visiting our website and interacting with it in various ways. Afterwards, we analyze all these data to obtain insights that help us improve our marketing: optimize the website to increase conversions, improve our marketing campaigns, identify our potential audience …
Originally, web analytics was focused on the technical aspects of the site, such as loading time and other details of its operation. Over time, he has moved to focus more on metrics related to marketing, such as the average time of each visit or conversions. In fact, both are aspects to take into account, since the technical part is still very important to ensure a good user experience.
Another important distinction is that of web analytics versus digital analytics . As its name suggests, the first focuses exclusively on the brand’s website. Although it is essential to evaluate the performance of our website (especially if we have an ecommerce), we can not forget that it is a point of contact more within an integrated digital marketing strategy. For this reason, digital analytics is responsible for measuring the online results of all the channels that make up our marketing (social networks, mobile applications, email marketing …)
How to measure your results online in 5 steps
Set your goals – It is essential that web analytics be linked to business objectives; otherwise, you will not be really contributing to our marketing. Therefore, the first thing you have to do is sit down to define what you want to achieve with your website and establish a series of KPIs (key performance indicators).
Collect the data – Here it is important to gather all the information we need, but without getting lost in unnecessary data. To store and visualize all this information, we will use digital analytics tools (such as those explained in the next section).
Filter the data – To ensure that the data is really useful and actionable (that is, we will be able to use it for the desired objectives), we must use functionalities such as conversion funnels or segments.
Put the data in context – A figure by itself does not tell us anything, so we must devise web analytics visualization tools (such as dashboards or control panels) where we can see the metrics in their context and link them to the KPIs we have defined.
Analyze and draw conclusions – Finally, we will have to do the analysis work itself, segmenting and comparing the data to obtain valuable business information, for example, measuring the results of the actions and deciding how we can improve them.
5 best web analytics tools
Google Analytics is undoubtedly the most popular web analytics tool used to measure results, since it is free and relatively easy to install.
Most users have a basic knowledge of Google Analytics, but the truth is that it is a much more complex and complete tool than it may seem at first glance. If we invest the time and resources necessary to train and configure it well, we can obtain lots of valuable information in a format that is easy to visualize and understand.
This simple tool provides you with information about the ranking of your website against the most visited websites, so it is very useful for benchmark reports. You can monitor your website and those of the competition and see how they evolve over time.
Of course, although the information provided is very useful to give a general idea of your positioning, you should bear in mind that the data comes only from the users who have the Alexa Toolbar installed.
This tool belongs more to the field of digital analytics, but it is very useful to measure results and calculate the return on investment in social networks. With it, you can obtain information such as the interactions by publication, the conversion rate, the economic value or the most popular contents.
True Social Metrics has a free basic version, but if you are going to use it regularly, it is highly recommended to opt for the paid version.
In reality, Moz is not a single tool, but a set of free and paid tools (“freemium”) to measure your results online. These are the main ones:
Open Site Explorer: to analyze the incoming links of your website and those of the competition.
Moz Content: to perform content audits and identify the highest performance content of your website. The free version allows one audit per month.
Local Moz: to improve your positioning among geolocated search results.
MozBar: a plugin that you can install to see general information on any page of Google results, quickly and conveniently.
MozCast: a very fun tool to measure your results on Google and present them in the form of a weather report. Not everything was going to be serious in web analytics!
Finally, another free and very complete Google tool, in this case focused on monitoring the presence of your website in your search results.
It offers all kinds of information related to your web positioning : accessibility of content, maintenance of the site, related keywords …