At this stage in your blogging career, you have taken the time to set up your blog, focusing heavily on ensuring that it is aesthetically pleasing so as to attract the attention of your potential readers. You chose a great, unique title and tagline, drawing them in and have poured your blood, sweat, and tears into creating great content that is not only useful for the reader but also optimizes your blog’s SEO ensuring that you are easily found.
While some bloggers, especially early in the game, may sit back and wait to see what comes of their effort, those that take blogging more seriously are going to want to access, track and analyze the data regarding who is visiting their blog, how they have found it and what content is performing better. This is where Web Analytics is going to prove to be highly valuable.
What Is Web Analytics?
In his book, ‘Web Analytics 2.0’ Avinash Kaushik defines web analytics as:
“1. The analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your website and the competition
2. To drive a continual improvement of the online experience of your customers and prospects
3. Which translates into your desired outcomes (online and offline)” (Dubois, 2010)
In plain English, web analytics measures data regarding your website, including, but not limited to, page views, traffic and clicks both for your personal site as well as for your competition. This then empowers you to manage and strategize your site by taking this information and applying it to your customers to improve upon their experience on your site. By applying the necessary changes, you will, in turn, be able to reach your business goals whether they involve aiming to improve the traffic reaching your site, the number of sales made via your site or more.
“When it comes to the customer journey, it’s critical that the experience customers have with your brand remain consistent from acquisition to purchase. And with the right tools, you can ensure that’s what they get” (Analytics Capabilities, n.d.).
For a blogger, this means driving readers to your site who are then going to find value with your content. You can work towards increasing blog followers/subscriptions, engagement such as the number of comments on your posts, or improving upon the click through for affiliate links on your site.
When attempting to analyze the data it is important to note that there are two different types of measurement: quantitative and qualitative.
Quantitative: This is the measure of what the readers are actually doing on your site and how they are interacting with the content that you are publishing.
Qualitative: This measurement indicates why they are visiting your site, and whether your content is effectively communicating to the target audience that you are hoping to each.
What Tools are Available?
There are many different tools available for businesses and individuals looking to track and analyze their website’s data. While some tools come with a hefty price tag, they offer a significant number of options to larger corporations. For smaller businesses and individuals there are also a number of free options that they can consider.
At this time, it is important to note that analyzing web analytics is no easy task. There is a significant amount of data that needs to be filtered and understood in order to draw the appropriate conclusions, and the ability to effectively do so comes with a great deal of experience and training. For this reason, it is recommended that those with a marketing budget to put towards analytics consider hiring an expert.
Bryan Eisenberg, author and marketing consultant, states, “Investing in people and the tools that those people need to be successful is key. But it’s the people who can understand that data that really matter” (Dubois, 2010).
In his article for Inc, Lou Dubois recommended the following Web Analytics Tools:
**Note: Pricing has been pulled from the original article, and may be subject to change. Always double check pricing prior to committing to a paid service or tool.**
- Google Analytics (Free)
- Crazy Egg ($9-$99/Month)
- Compete (Prices Vary)
- Google Website Optimizer (Free)
- Optimizely ($19-$399/Month)
- Kissinsights from Kiss Metrics (Free to $29/Month)
- 4Q by iPerceptions (Free)
- ClickTale (Free to $990 – 3 Months Free on Paid Plans)
- Facebook Insights (Free)
What Web Analytics tools are you currently using for your blogging efforts? Have you discovered any other tools not listed here that you believe should make the list? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments below!
Analytics Capabilities. (n.d.). Web. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/analytics/analytics/capabilities/
Dubois, L. (2010, December 31). 11 Best Web Analytics Tools. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/guides/12/2010/11-best-web-analytics-tools.html