"Text on a laptop screen that says 'Analytics.'

Getting analytics done right for your website can make or break your business

If your sales are not being measured correctly, you won’t know what is working for you and what is not. If you don’t know that, then you don’t know what to change and what to keep, thus wasting time and resources.

A list of the resources you waste when you don’t have accurate analytics.

  • Ad budget
  • Employee time
  • Customer feedback
  • Website optimization

And the list goes on and on.

If you have data that you could use to make decisions, it needs to be collected and stored in your analytics tool. A good analytics tool helps ensure data quality, capture all relevant data, and give you all the tools you need to understand, analyze and report on it.

Your business is dependent on you to get analytics done right.

Your website needs more than just pageviews and visitors

Pageviews and visitors are commonly lumped together as “analytics” and that’s a huge mistake. Pageviews gives you data on how many pages were viewed by visitors, but it doesn’t give you data on whether those pages prompted action. Visitors gives you data on how many people visited your website, but it doesn’t give you data on whether they took action after visiting.

To get a full picture of how your website is performing, you need analytics that measure conversion rate (how often people take action) and conversion efficiency (how much people tend to spend when they take action).

You need multiple types of analytics to get the full picture

When it comes to analytics, you need multiple types to get a full picture of how your visitors are interacting with your website, what content is leading to conversions, and what your site’s bounce rate means.

Two young men reviewing an analytics report on a desktop computer.

Which types you need will depend on your website and its purpose. Here’s what you may want to consider: Primary website analytics: This includes Google Analytics or WordPress.com Stats, among others. These provide overall site data like visitor demographics, traffic sources, page views, exit pages, time on site and bounce rate.

Site conversion optimization (SCO): This includes Google Conversion Tracking, Google Analytics Goals, for conversion tracking. You’ll install these on specific pages where you want to track conversions.

Partial view (PV) analytics: This includes data on a single pageview. PV analytics are collected by JavaScript codes embedded in your website’s pages. PV analytics are used by PPV (paged-per-visit) analytics to provide visit frequency and conversion data.

Social media engagement: This includes the platforms’ own analytics, such as Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and Instagram Insights. You’ll get demographic data, traffic data and interaction data from these platforms.

E-mail marketing: This includes platform-provided analytics, such as MailChimp, AWeber, Emma and Sendible.

All these different types of analytics should feed back to a single source of truth.

Most websites use a version of Google tag manager to make this happen. There are a variety of ways you can integrate all the tools you use to get one picture of how the business is doing.

You should also make sure that the measurements you take and the way you analyze the data are relevant to your business. Don’t waste time and resources on numbers that don’t bring up questions or insights you need to address.

How do you actually put the data to use?

Implement action-oriented analytics

Just measuring your data isn’t going to do you much good unless you act on it.

Of course, implementing analytics is an ongoing process. Once you set up your tracking, you need to continually update it. However, once you have your numbers, there are a variety of ways you can use them to drive action.

"Arrow and cube illustrating how analytics can help target the right clients.

Feedback loops bring analytics to action

In physics, a feedback loop is a type of loop. It receives input, processes the input, and outputs a result. The output becomes the input for the next cycle. With analytics, you’re creating a feedback loop between your data, your website, and your visitors.

This improves your website over time. If you can compound small improvements on your website over the course of a year, you’ll have a tremendously improved conversion machine.

So maybe you’re asking yourself how can you actually set up proper analytics to do all of this?

The answer is Google Tag Manager.

More specifically for 2022, Google Tag Manager server side. The new Google tag manager server-side allows you to track everything that happens on your website without getting blocked. The reason you would get blocked is that most analytics tools run on a different domain. For example, Google analytics runs on Google’s domain not yours. The same deal with Facebook. All the tracking is being sent to Google and Facebook servers.

What Google Tag Manager server side does is that it allows your data to take a pit stop on your domain before finishing the trip to Google or Facebook.

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