If you have your own, custom website: Congratulations! You are eligible to win a treasure chest of data that you can’t with website building services such as SquareSpace or Wix. Carefully planed and designed analytics can get much deeper than the basic page view counts of those services.
So, what should you be measuring? “Everything!” is a crappy answer, but the right one. This rabbit hole goes deep, so here are some things that can be measured to get you started:
Typically, goals are measured when a user reaches a “Thank You” page after having taken an action. Some widgets or actions won’t lead to such a page but you can still measure it. With a custom event, you can track when a user clicks a specific button and identify that as a goal.
A simple count of page views is nice, but you don’t know if someone who came to your article actually read it. Instead, you could trigger a custom event when the user scrolls to the bottom of the article, or at the end of a video or sound file. Again, you can’t be 100% certain, but it is a better indicator than just landing on a page.
External Link Destination
When a user clicks a link that takes them to another website, you can track where they went. This can help you identify which of your outgoing links are popular, and help you know more about what your users want to see.
By tracking errors that users encounter when filling in a form, you can better understand the usability of the element. For example, if you have a form field that asks for a URL, and the form requires you to enter http:// to start and 90% of users get a “Please start with http://” error, perhaps you should remove that requirement, or add a script to add it for them!
Internal Link Referrals
This is baked into many analytics suites. Tracking internal link referrals can show you how visitors flow through your site, and give you clues about which of your navigation links are used most/least.
A custom 404 page is important for your website to have. Putting analytic tracking on it and combining that with tracking internal link referrals, you’ll know if there is a broken internal link on your site. Then you can fix a simple problem that may be causing big issues for users.
The above list if far, far from exhaustive. The bottom line is to determine good Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your website, and measure them all.
Need help setting up analytics for your website? Cloudsmith is ready and able!