435 Social Media A-Z: A is for Analytics

The 435 Digital blog is our resource to help you strengthen your online presence through social media for profit. We constantly get asked questions on different topics we have written about and even those we haven’t. To help you better understand the vast and sometimes crazy world of social media, we have decided to dedicate the month of November to explaining social media from A to Z. There was no holding back, so we chose to start with a topic that could very well have its own month dedicated to it… A is for “Analytics.”

Web analytics are important for optimizing web usage and play an important role in everything from marketing to accounting. Even if a company has a person solely dedicated to maintaining analyitcs, it is important for everyone to have a basic understanding to learn more about your consumer.

There are a lot of different dimensions to web analytics, but to start off, the three most important stats on are bounce rate, time on site and unique visitors. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who exit the site after the landing page. Like your golf score, you want your website bounce rate to be low. The main objective should be for visitors to click on other pages to your site from the landing page. A simple way to do this is to add hyperlinks into your website copy directing traffic to other areas of the website. It is important for all internal hyperlinks to open up in the same window to decrease site bounce rate. Landing pages can be customized based on keywords when the traffic source is from a search engine.

Though a valuable statistic, bounce rate can be misleading if the landing page is a homepage with a substantial amount of information or a blog. This is when “time on site” becomes useful. Similar to bounce rate, looking at a website’s “time on site” data, one can tell how long visitors are spending on a website and in what areas. This is especially important for businesses to learn the wants and needs of their consumers. 435Digital.com’s analytics indicate visitors want to learn more about social media through our blog posts, hence the creation of Social Media A-Z.

While it is important to know where people are spending their time, it is essential to know who is visiting your site. Unique visitors are the number of unduplicated visitors to your website in a given time. Analytics usually break down data every 24 hours and categorize it by month. Therefore, a unique visitor will only be counted once per day but may visit your site twice a week. To know how many “regulars” your website has, analyze the new vs. returning data.

To get an idea on how many times a person visits your website, divide total visits by unique visitors to get “average number of sessions per unique visitor.”  Knowing how often people visit your site can help you determine how many times you should update your content.

If you or employees visit your website frequently, it is important to make sure these are not interfering with your web analytics. To make sure you are getting the most accurate information install filters on certain IP addresses.

The most popular analytics platform is Google Analyics. It allows you to add a filter in your analtyics settings by going to your filter manager and clicking, create new filter. Depending on what IP address you are blocking, you can name the filter: home computer, work, laptop etc. Google has made it easy by doing the work for you, simply select predefined filter and type in the IP address.

Web analytics are a very powerful tool that when utilized can improve your business and highlight needs you may not have otherwise identified. To get a basic understanding, it is important to know your website’s bounce rate, time on site and unique visitors… and of course, keep reading 435′s Social Media A-Z!—DANNI WYSOKI

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