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Website Analytics & Tracking Code Explained

Website Analytics, Statistics & Tracking Codes Explained
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Introduction

Website analytics and statistics help you understand your website’s performance. By placing a little bit of tracking code on each web page, you can learn a lot about your website visitors. Even basic information can be extremely helpful. For example,

  • Top visited pages
  • Which web page are people entering on most? – this may not be your home page. For example, did you write an amazing blog post using long-tail keywords that has a high search engine ranking? 
  • Which web page are people leaving on? Do you need to re-write this page so that people aren’t exiting from it? 
  • Search terms used to find your website
  • Top referring websites (where your visitors came from) 
  • Where your visitors are geographically located
  • What device are your visitors using most (desktop, laptop, cell phone) – if most of your people are on a desktop, does your website look great on a desktop? If most of your people are on a smart phone, does your website look great on a cell phone? 
  • And so much more!

Real World Example

Here’s example from my own website.

I reviewed the list of queries (keyword search terms) used by searchers where my website appears somewhere in the search results. A surprising piece of intel is that many people are actively searching for “website creation program”. I developed a website creation program at the end of 2019 and even ran a 9-week beta program – and this program is currently on hold. But when I see these stats, I know that people want what I have! They are seeking it! I need to get off my butt and officially launch the program! 

Another piece of information I learned from reviewing my website statistics is that my website isn’t performing as well as I’d like for the search term “holistic web design”. With this valuable tidbit, I can add into my website strategy to: 1) review my website’s metatags, 2) optimize my website content more for this term and related terms, and 3) create more blog posts around the topic of “holistic websites” etc. I need to act now because my competition in this space is growing. 

Checking stats doesn’t have to be painful. It only takes a couple minutes to review. This kind of data is critical to moving your website forward successfully and profitably!

Create Your Website Goals, Then Track Them

  • What do you want people to do on your website?
  • How will you know if anyone is doing them?

Take a moment to define GOALS for your website that you are able to track. Ask yourself, “Did my website visitor complete my goal, yes or no?”

Define events like this: 

  • What percentage of people stayed on your website longer than a certain amount of time?
  • What percentage of people visited your contact page and then signed up for a free discovery call?
  • Who saw your mailing list signup page and then actually signed up for your mailing list?
  • How many people made a purchase from a specific marketing campaign? (# of people who saw it vs. how many converted).
  • And more!

Track conversions for specific goals and then put on your investigator’s hat to figure out reasons for certain outcomes.

Get into the headspace of your target audience!

Think like your customer avatar.

  • Do they like the design? 
  • Do they like the wording? 
  • Do they see the value and benefit in completing the goal? For example, do they really want that lead magnet you developed? Does it excite them? Does it fill a real need? Is it worth handing over their email address for? 

You can track conversions with a simple calculation: How many people started the goal compared with how many completed the goal. How many people visited your marketing campaign landing page (“clicked through”) vs. how many people visited your thank you page (“converted”). 

Two popular analytics programs I recommend adding to all websites are: 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free website statistics program that tracks your website’s performance. If you are serious in growing your business and seeing how your website is doing from month to month, I would definitely add this code to your website. This program works hand in hand with another one called Google Search Console – which helps monitor your website for performance and errors and gives you advice as to how to improve your website, which directly affects your search engine rankings. You can also add new pages immediately to Google for quicker indexing (like a new blog article or a new product). 

For more information about Google Analytics, check out this helpful “First Steps” video provided by the Google Analytics channel. 

Facebook Pixel

When you have a corresponding Facebook business page, and if you ever want to consider paying for Facebook ads, this is must-have code you need to add to your website. 

The Pixel tracks Facebook members who visit your website, which enables you to create TARGETED Facebook ad campaigns to real potential customers based on actual behaviour and demonstrated interest. 

Let’s take the simplest example to demonstrate how brilliant this is. 

A Facebook member clicks through to your website via one of your business page’s posts. That person is now considered a warm lead; that is, she’s aware of your business and your branding. You can then create specific ads to show only to these warm leads; you can get more friendly and personal, be more creative and direct. You can spice up your ad design and copy because this person knows you. And she’ll be more likely to click on more of your stuff! 

My only caveat is that getting a Facebook Pixel is a bit of a run-around. You need to create a Facebook Ad Account and connect it to your Facebook Business Page first. Then you can create your Pixel. However, in my opinion, this is absolutely essential if you are a business using Facebook with a Business Page. Additionally, since Facebook owns Instagram, if you are on Instagram, this is also necessary. 

Wrap Up

That’s my in-depth introduction to website analytics, statistics and tracking code. This is likely the first in a series of blog articles on this topic. Stay tuned for more! 

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