In this age of Big Data, mobile, cloud, and real-time communications technologies, businesses are continually challenged and pressed to keep up with the latest and greatest trends. It’s no mystery that technology is now the primary differentiator for businesses to set themselves apart in today’s competitive marketplace. Global IT spending is forecast to reach $3.8 Trillion in 2014, which indicates the enormous influence that technology spending is having on businesses of all sizes. Industry insights are also showing that technological advances such as cloud computing are exerting the biggest changes on determining how consumers access goods and services. The upshot of all this is that organizations must continually find ways to meet and exceed customer expectations. They need what has popularly become known as 360 degree customer-centricity, or the ability to track customer’s online behaviors and identify their website interactions across multiple devices.
This is where website analytics can really come in handy. Website analytics is the collection, measurement, reporting, and analysis of site visits to a website in order to help understand patterns and popularity trends and optimize web usage. It can especially be useful for tracking the results of advertising and marketing campaigns. Everyone probably has a general idea of this through Google Analytics, which is arguably the most popular tool in this space.
Closely aligned with website analytics is the area known as website optimization. Broadly speaking, this consists of the tools, processes, and strategies for improving website conversion rates, or getting visitors to purchase your products, goods, or services. Website optimization also concerns the improvement of website performance, such as speeding up page load times through the streamlining and optimization of HTML, CSS, images, and scripts.
One source has aptly described the twin pillars of website analytics and optimization as follows: “Web Analytics & Optimization is a process for improving websites based on the analysis of visitors’ behavior. It focuses on analyzing and optimizing marketing efforts, turning new visitors into customers and returning customers into loyal friends.”
Websites are critically important for a business because they offer site visitors the first impression of your products, goods, and services and how those are presented and delivered. It’s your storefront, the entry point for describing how your business is going to meet their needs. Just as a traditional brick-and-mortar business needs to be kept tidy and clean and staffed with kind and courteous customer service agents, so also a website should be user friendly, intuitive and easy to navigate, and optimized for various kinds of mobile devices and site traffic.
Businesses must be willing to do everything in their power to keep up with customer demand and expectations. Website analytics and optimization tools are therefore going to be a critical part of an organization’s strategy for understanding their visitor traffic, trends, and behaviors and for how to convert this traffic into regular customers.
In this series we are going to explore the tools, resources, and strategies that small business owners should NOT be caught without when it comes to website analytics and optimizations. In today’s competitive digital market place business success absolutely depends on a website that is exceeding visitor expectations and converting those visitors to regular paying customers. Websites are revenue generators, pure and simple. We’ll continue to drive this point home again and again throughout the following series. Please join us back here tomorrow as we continue the discussion!