Website analytics is like Big Brother for your website and is critical to any digital marketing campaign as they provide you with tangible information. Web analytics allows a company/brand to find out that people looked at on their website and how long they spent on the site. It tells you how they found your website, what platforms they used to look at your website on e.g. mobile, tablet or laptop.
There are many different types of web analytic tools available, both free and ones you have to pay for. I am most familiar with Google Analytics, which is free of charge and extremely easy to set up and use.
Please find below a screen shot from the training network that I work on. As you can see from the screen shot, it shows us the number of visitors we had visiting our website for the last month. This can be drilled down to daily hits which is extremely useful if you have an online campaign that aims to direct people to your website site. You can determine from Google Analytics whether of not the campaign is work and meeting your KPI targets. Google Analytics also allows one to view what key words people used that led them to your website which can in turn be used to enhance your SEO ranking. Depending on the information you want to gather, as defined in your digital marketing strategy, you can create report in Google Analytics to provide you with this information. It allows you to set goals, which can be extremely helpful during online campaigns as you can determine where a person dropped off along the process and readjust your requirements if applicable. Was it a the book now stage or before hand???
However, according to Hubspot CMO, Mike Volpe, website analytics does not provide marketers with enough information to gain a true understanding of their target audience. He believes that marketing analytics, “measure business metrics like traffic, leads, and sales, and which events (both on and off your website) influence whether leads become customers. Marketing analytics includes data not only from your website, but also from other sources like email, social media, and even offline events. Marketing analytics are also usually people-centric, featuring the prospect, lead, or customer as the unit of focus, whereas web analytics usually regard the page view as the unit of focus in its reports.”
So while having website analytics in places is critical, they cannot be viewed in isolation. They need to be measured in line with your other digital marketing channels to ensure you are gathering a true analysis of your target audience.