Measurement Matters: An Essential Tool for Building Your Website
Web Analytics: The Ground Floor
Home builders often come to the Google Analytics team with three questions that are common across any industry with an increasing online presence:
“How are visitors finding my website?
How are visitors navigating around my website?
And how many of my visitors converted to customers?”
These are the same questions that RE/MAX, the global real estate network, asked while they worked to develop a strategy for their popular website. In order to make changes that would genuinely help consumers and lead to new opportunities, they needed hard data to justify their decisions. To find answers to these questions, they turned to Google Analytics. (Click here to read more about RE/MAX’s experience)
Web analytics solutions collect data on the behavior of website visitors, providing metrics to site owners that help them improve their online initiatives. By acting on visitor data from solutions such as Google Analytics, businesses can improve their return-on-investment (ROI) from online marketing, optimize their website content, and drive sales or sign-ups (known in the industry as conversions), to name just a few of the most popular uses of web analytics.
Drive the Best Leads to Your Site
For starters, how are leads arriving at your site? A web analytics program would identify the search keywords that drive the most traffic to your site, have the best conversion rates, and the best referring links from other sites. You’d also be able to track the performance of your search marketing, banner ads, and other campaigns both paid and unpaid, in order to adjust your online focus accordingly.
Within months of adopting Google Analytics and measuring the performance of their online marketing initiatives, supply wholesaler BuildDirect was able to see that their ads on less-commonly used search engines weren’t providing sufficient value. Neither was their email marketing.
Narrowing BuildDirect’s search ads to just the top few search engines led to 37% more conversions while reducing their search ad budget by 33%. Also, using Google Analytics’ segmentation tools to identify key customer demographics resulted in double the conversion rate for email marketing. (Click here to read more about BuildDirect’s experience)
They’re Here - Now What?
Once visitors find your site, you can use web analytics to see what they are doing and use that information to make informed decisions about your site content. How many people are reaching your lead generation form? How many people arrived at the form, but left without filling it out? If visitors are arriving at the lead generation form, but leaving before filling out the form, you might have to fix your website content. Web analytics will show you these behavior patterns so you can improve your site and increase conversions.
Agency.com and SurePoint Lending were successful at driving traffic to their website, but the process of online mortgage and loan applications can be sensitive and frustrating, leading many visitors to abandon it before completion. Using Google Analytics data, Agency.com continually fine-tuned key stages in the process to help boost conversions by 25%. "Based on data from Google Analytics, we are continually altering the site to make people feel more comfortable and establish trust before asking for sensitive information,” says a client partner for Agency.com. (Click here to read more about Agency.com’s experience)
Shaping Future Online Strategy
Going beyond lead generation, there are plenty of opportunities to extract valuable data from consumer behavior on your site. For example, analytics users can break down traffic and conversions by geographic location and see which regions of the country should receive more or less marketing attention. Savvy users can also implement an array of innovative metrics as well, combining data to draw interesting conclusions.
Let’s say that customers who visit new home community sales offices in person are more valuable than others. If you want to know which of your website’s visitors fall in that category, it’s a good guess that they’re the ones visiting your “Maps and Driving Directions Page.” Google Analytics will tell you just how many of those visitors you’re getting and that they are overwhelmingly coming from Scottsdale (hypothetically).
The important thing is to act – the data doesn’t do you any good if you don’t make decisions based on it and then execute. Web analytics solutions make sure that you’re not flying blind in your online efforts. Whether you’re brand new to analytics, or an experienced professional, Google Analytics will help you understand how your customers are voting online with their clicks. Plus, it’s free.