Monday, June 16, 2008

Does Web Analytics help SEO?

Yes Yes Yes. It definitely does help SEO.

Very recently, I faced a situation where the client was adamant that he is only concerned about SEO and how his keywords rank. He was not interested in understanding how web analytics will be useful for his business and how it helps SEO. For him Web analytics is not important. Only if he had a little bit of sense, he would understand that reaching his target audience and serving them better would be beneficial, rather than just pleasing his boss.

So with no luck, I was trying my best in educating this educated fool and explaining to him that selecting keywords and achieve high rankings is not enough. We should understand the traffic our SEO efforts are generating and the valuable data's that we could get to analyze further and come up with strategies to improve the website performance. Though I convinced him, he was still not willing to implement it. I am sure he will learn his lesson, become a bit more prudent and understand the power of web analytics and will seek my assistance in a short while.

There are many web analytics Gurus who talk in depth about what we can derive from web analytics. But let me just brush through the benefits and let you understand some basics.

You can find out the following if you have web analytics set up in your website.
1. Find out how many people visited your website.
2. Understand where your customers come from (country and city) and which markets are most profitable to you.
3. How much time they are spending in your website.
4. What keywords they used to find your website.
5. Which domain is getting you the largest traffic.
6. What is the most visited page in your website and what was not. Analyze it further and understand why people are leaving your website.
7. Find out how much traffic is generated through organic search engines.
8. How new visitors came to the website and what was the source they used to visit you.
9. Analyze your online marketing campaign performance and how much traffic they brought you. Whether if was effective or not.
10. If you have ecommerce - you can find out how many people purchased through your web-store.
11. Find out the navigations patterns of users.

After you understand all these data's, there would be many questions arising in your head. You can infact dig deep into these data using your analytical tool and uncover many of your unsolved issues. In fact, I love to measure performance by comparing two periods and understand what has changed, whether organic search engine traffic has improved, which campaigns brought in higher ROI, what has improved and what to do next. It definitely gives a lot of insight if you analyze it in a micro level which takes you to the next level.

Keep tracking!