Have you perused Google Analytics lately? When it comes to website analytics, there’s no shortage of data to review. As interesting as it may be, you likely don’t have the time or capacity to examine it all, especially in December.
But website analytics are important because you can use them to measure progress toward your goals, inform strategy, and justify business decisions. To save yourself time (and a headache!), we recommend focusing only on the metrics that offer the most useful feedback for your business.
(For guidance reviewing your website’s content and accessibility, read this post.)
Below are three questions to guide your 2022 website review:
- What function does your website serve?
- How does your website relate to your business goals?
- How much do you invest in your website?
What function does your website serve?
To hone in on the website analytics most relevant to your business, start by identifying the function of your website. Why does your website exist?
Most websites serve at least one of the following functions:
- Education (Example: The A11y Project)
- Entertainment (Example: Inside Impact Podcast)
- Fundraising (Example: The V Foundation)
- Lead Generation (Example: Colibri Digital Marketing)
- News (Example: EdNC)
- Sales (Example: Brand Fuel)
- Service Delivery (Example: Hearing Health Care)
Your website may serve more than one function. For instance, the purpose of our website is both to educate clients through our expert blog posts and to generate leads for our accessible and inclusive WordPress website development services.
Website analytics related to function
Certain website analytics will offer helpful insights as to whether or not your website is functioning as intended.
If your website serves as an educational resource, it’d be helpful to review pageviews, time spent on page, and content downloads. Pageviews will give you an idea of which content is most popular among your audience, while time spent on page will clue you in on where your audience is investing their attention.
Useful metrics for entertainment websites are subscribers and downloads, which show you the size of your audience and the number of times your content has been played or watched.
Fundraising websites might be the most straight-forward when it comes to analytics. Track the number of submitted payments or form submissions and referral sources, which will show the path a donor took to get to your site. Also consider the correlation between donations and specific campaigns to determine the success of your marketing efforts.
Websites that function mostly as a lead generation tool are also pretty straight-forward to assess. Calculate your conversion rate by comparing the number of inquiry forms submitted (or free resources downloaded, consultation calls scheduled, etc.) to the number of pageviews or button clicks. Of the total number of visitors to your website, how many are reaching out to learn more? It might also be helpful to know how those leads are discovering your website, so referral source is another helpful metric to review.
News websites are similar to entertainment websites in that pageviews and time spent on page are helpful metrics to track. Additionally, the number of times a piece of content has been shared is a good indicator of its resonance. Take a closer peek at the most popular content on your site to learn more about what’s working and what’s not.
Like fundraising, if you use your website to sell products, consider tracking the product pages with the most views (even if they weren’t the ones with the highest sales) and referral sources.
For service delivery websites, you likely want to ensure your website is reaching the people you intend to serve, so audience-specific metrics that describe visitors’ location, age, language, and gender would be valuable.
|Website Function||Analytics to Track|
|Education||Pageviews, time spent on page, downloads, shares|
|Fundraising||Form submissions, referral sources, donation dates (relative to campaigns)|
|Lead Generation||Form submissions, resource downloads, total pageviews and button clicks, referral sources|
|News||Pageviews, time spent on page, shares|
|Sales||Number of sales per category, Product pageviews, referral sources|
|Service Delivery||Audience demographics and geography|
How does your website relate to your business goals?
While the recommended metrics listed above are a good starting point based on your website’s function, you want to zoom in even further on the website analytics related to your business goals.
Let’s say your website’s main purpose is sales, and one of your 2022 goals was to diversify your product portfolio. Perhaps you expanded your inventory, and now you want to assess which product sales contributed most to your profit this year. Referral sources won’t give you much information about which products sold well. Instead, focus on sales categories and product pageviews. Those numbers will prove whether or not you were successful at diversifying your portfolio.
Ask yourself: Does this metric prove whether or not I met my goal? If not, don’t waste your time analyzing it!
How much do you invest in your website?
One thing Google Analytics won’t measure is how much you invest in your website. But reviewing the amount of time, money, and effort you and your team put into your website is just as valuable as reviewing website analytics.
If you’re exhausting resources to manage your website, but it’s not functioning as intended, or not generating the traffic and results you desire, it may be worth weighing the cost and benefit of hiring outside support.
Here at Unity, we build inclusive and accessible custom WordPress websites for nonprofits and small businesses that are making an impact in their community. We also offer hosting and support plans.
As you consider what’s working and what might need some improvement in 2023, we’re here for you! Reach out at the link below to chat with us about what you need and how we can help.