Analytics isn’t a new concept, but detailed statistical analysis used to be reserved only for the largest businesses. The concept has gained popular appeal in recent years because today’s technology means that small and mid-size Alberta businesses can now harness the power of analytics. It can be an intimidating topic for business owners who aren’t familiar with the process, but there are some key definitions and concepts, along with some practical applications, for how analytics can benefit your business.
Understanding the Language of Analytics
Getting a handle on key terms is the first step to understanding analytics. If you’ve been wondering what sessions, pageviews, and bounce rate mean, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few terms you’ll want to know as you familiarize yourself:
- Session – A session incorporates all of the usage data generated when a user is actively engaged with your site, app, or other digital property during a selected date range.
- User – Any person, new or old, who has had at least one session during the selected date range.
- Pageview – The total number of pages viewed, including repeat visits to the same page.
- Pageviews/Session – The number of pages viewed per session, calculated by average. This indicates how deeply users are diving into your content.
- Bounce Rate – The percentage of visits that result in a single pageview. A low bounce rate is a positive sign.
- New Session – An estimate designed to capture the average number of first-time visitors to your site or app.
- Goals – In this case, a goal refers to an action that you want the user to take, like clicking a link, filling out a form, or making a purchase.
- Conversion – When a user completes a goal, you earn a conversion. Conversions are good news in the world of analytics!
- Campaign – Allow you to set parameters for URLs, to track how traffic is being referred to your site.
- Acquisition – How you earn new users. There are many paths to acquisition, depending on your goals.
- Behavior – This data tells you how users engage with your app or site. Behavior data can be used to improve the user experience of your online properties.
Simple Steps for Integrating Analytics
It’s easy to get caught up in the complexity of the numbers, but at its heart analytics is simply about figuring out what works, and what doesn’t. Your goals encompass what you want your website or app to accomplish, and your analytics will help you work toward achieving those goals over time. Your objectives are the steps that move you closer to your goals, and a call-to-action encourages users to take that next step. Once the system is in place, your key performance indicators (KPIs) provide a measuring stick for your progress.
- Analytics work best in a conducive environment. Establish a culture that highlights the value of data, and the ways it can be used to improve the performance of your business.
- Don’t assume that big numbers automatically indicate that things are going well. High traffic numbers are great, but page views/session gives you a better idea of whether users are truly engaged.
- If you’re new to analytics, then you’re familiar with the learning curve involved. Provide context when sharing your data with employees or stakeholders to add meaning to the numbers.
- Focus on long-term data, when possible. Pulling data from a larger sample gives you more reliable insight, and minimizes the natural inconsistencies that come with looking only at smaller windows of time.
Adopting analytics for your Calgary business is a process, but you don’t have to worry about accomplishing everything at once. As you progress, you’ll become more comfortable with the data, and what it means for your business. Of course, we’ll also be here to help at every step of the process, from integrating analytics to putting your data to work!
Emphasize Design has all of the online tools to grow your business in Calgary. Our web design incorporates the lessons learned from analytics, and we offer all of the services you need to find success online.