It is vital to be able to accurately assess the performance of your campaigns and optimise them and your website accordingly. This should be at the heart of any online marketing strategy.

I have put together a list of stats that you should track and of web analytics tools that can help you achieve this. Please note that some of them are only relevant to e-commerce websites.

Traffic:

Visits, Average Time, Average Pages viewed, Traffic sources, Content viewed

  • Setting up Google Analytics is an absolute must. It is very powerful and user-friendly.
  • However what’s missing from Google Analytics, that a tool like Omniture site catalyst can provide, is the lifetime history of a user: how they discovered the website, how they came back, how frequently they are visiting the site, etc. It will help define the lifetime value of each customer. Omniture is however quite expensive, while Google Analytics is free.
  • Google Analytics just released a new functionality called Multi-Channel Funnels currently in limited pilot. It will show which channels your customers interacted with during the 30 days prior to converting or purchasing. Conversion path data includes interactions with many media channels, including clicks from paid and organic searches, affiliates, social networks, and display ads (this is therefore addressing some of the current limitation raised above).

Email Sign Ups:

Contact details / Ages / location / Interests…

E-commerce:

Number of sales / amount / average basket value / recurrence

  • A key feature of most analytics packages is the ability to track conversions and break down the sales process into multiple steps. A tool such as Google Analytics tracks Sales funnel, Drop Off rate, Exit steps. See the example screenshot on the right.

Membership:

History of who logs in and with what frequency.

  • This is usually provided by your CMS / CRM system and is particularly valuable to websites requiring a login to access to (some part of) the website. It will help you identify potential recurring customers but can also alert you on people that haven’t been using your website in a while.

Store locations:

How many clicks on specific stores.

  • If you have brick and mortar stores, you might want to track how many people are checking for their details (address, opening hours, phone number…) to trully understand how your online presence helps your offline presence. You should consider a coupon system to track referrals from the website.

Onsite search:

What are visitors searching for once they have reached your website.

  • Using Google Analytics Site Search functionality allows you to track what your visitors are searching for on your site. This could lead to some interesting learnings in terms of products in demand, content you are missing out on and stores locations that should be considered.

Usability:

Understand how your visitors interact with your website: calls to action, design layout, copy effectiveness

  • A/B testing: You should undertake some A/B and Multivariate Testings to see what layout and messaging achieve the best results. A tool that can assist with this task is Google Website Optimizer.
  • Recording sessions: You might want to consider implementing a service like Clicktale, which records the users’ behaviours on your site and can help you make sure that the user interface is optimised and leads to as many subscriptions as possible.
  • Heat maps: Crazy Egg is a heatmap tool that let you see where your user click on your websites and can therefore highlight any poptential layout issues on your website.

Please let me know if you agree/disagree and if I missed any obvious or new tool I should consider!